Equality and inclusion

The Faculty of Biological Sciences value diversity and continue to work towards equality across our multi-cultural community of staff and students. 

Stepping towards a more inclusive community

There is a University-wide plan of action being implemented to tackle discrimination and to promote diversity. Outlined below are our own steps towards this ideal community;

  • Organising events to champion gender equality, e.g. Celebration of International Day of Women and Girls in Science
  • Working with HR to provide useful support regarding maternity, adoption, parental leave or Career Break policies, through online info and faculty coffee mornings
  • Developing policies and training to ensure equality in our work, such as unconscious bias, equality and inclusion training, equal opportunities guidelines for seminar organisers, etc
  • Tackling the issue of the ‘leaking pipeline’ in science, e.g. with a postdoc mentoring scheme
  • Monitoring our community’s experience and developing action to improve - through surveys, improving flexible/remote working support etc.

Recognising excellence - enhancing equality

We are committed to supporting all staff to deliver their individual personal best, achieve excellence in a diverse range of areas within science and progress in their careers. 

PhD student Safi Masandi was the winner of the Faculty of Biological Sciences Diversity Award 2018. She attended the BME Early Career Researchers Conference in April 2018;

"Attending this conference was empowering. It was an opportunity to meet individuals who were not only from BME background but who were also first or second-generation immigrants, the first in their family to attend university and/or complete their doctoral studies. For me the conference presented the opportunity to meet scientists who I could relate and look up to.

I was able to obtain some of the testimonials from Dr Bernadine Idowu, who organised the conference. 71% of the attendee stated that the conference increased their confidence and motivated them remain in academia whereas 82% said that the conference provided them with a better understanding of what is needed to remain in academia. The impact the conference had on other PhD students and post-docs highlights the importance of conferences such as this one."

Useful links on equality and diversity

Supporting trans staff and students

The University celebrates and values the diversity of its staff and students and believes that the employment and inclusion of trans people at all levels of responsibility and trans students within our community enriches our University environment. 

We will treat all trans employees and students with respect and strive to provide a positive working and learning environment free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation, to enable them to achieve the best outcomes.

For more guidance to support trans staff and students, please refer to the University's Guidance for Trans Staff and Students document.

LGBT+ Role Models and Allies 

Tim Goodall, Faculty of Biological Sciences shares his experiences.


Dr Izzy Jayasinghe, Lecturer in Cardiovascular Science, shares her experiences. 

Women in Science 2019 – ebook

Reader in Neuroscience Dr Sue Deuchars has been featured in the e-book Women in Science 2019, published by the global online scientific publication, Technology Networks.

Interesting talk by Mary Beard on Women in Power

Watch Mary Beard delivered the lecture “Women in Power” at the British Museum.

Unconscious bias

Writing a letter of recommendation? Here are some tips to avoiding gender bias in writing your reference.

We all have unconscious biases. Test yourself and see what yours are.

BBC Academy's Expert Women programme

Applications for the programme, which aims to increase the number of expert female contributors on-air, are now open.

Athena SWAN

We are the proud holders of the Athena SWAN Silver Award which recognises our commitment to advancing the careers of talented women in our faculty.

This is led by Faculty EDI representative. A whole team of people from across the faculty form the Athena Swan self-assessment team. The members of the committee include representatives from each of the three schools in the faculty, from postdocs, HR, academics (both research and teaching staff).

We have recently recruited new members from the PhD student community, technical support, student service and professional services. This is to make sure our discussions and plans represent people from every part of the faculty.