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Nine departments at Oxford University have been honoured with Athena SWAN awards in recognition of their efforts to help promote and advance the careers of women in academia.

The National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit will receive a silver award at a ceremony in London in November, while bronze awards will go to the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, the Department of Paediatrics, the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, the Department of Psychiatry, the Mathematical Institute, the Nuffield Department of Medicine, the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences.

The awards recognise and celebrate good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine in higher education.

Professor Jenny Kurinczuk, director of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, said: 'We are delighted to hear that we have been chosen for a silver Athena SWAN award. This is testament to the quality of our application, led by Maria Quigley, and the contribution of our Athena SWAN working groups, our administration team, and the support from the Medical Sciences Division's Athena SWAN co-ordinator Brid Cronin.

'We have for many years followed the principles recently laid out by Athena SWAN, although we are not complacent and are working to improve the support for female researchers and all our staff following the Athena SWAN plans we developed during the application process.'

Professor Alastair Buchan, head of the Medical Sciences Division, which received eight awards, added: 'We are delighted with these results. The eight awards reflect a great deal of effort across the division to ensure a supportive working environment for all our staff but women especially.'

Bronze award holders are deemed to have identified challenges and put plans in place for the future, while silver award holders have demonstrated they have taken action in response to challenges previously identified.

The latest awards bring the total number of Oxford departments to have received accolades to 20. The University itself is also the holder of a bronze university award.

As of next year, departments in Humanities and Social Sciences will become eligible for Athena SWAN awards for the first time.