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The Department holds an open Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) forum three times a year. All members of the Department are invited to attend and participate.  

Our EDI strategy is informed by active engagement and communication with key stakeholders within the Department. We are currently holding focus groups with each community to identify key challenges and develop clear and ambitious targets to help us meet our commitment of a fully inclusive work environment.

Focus Group 1: Current Part II and Part III undergraduate students

Representatives of this group were invited to attend the Michaelmas term (2017) EDI meeting to discuss the challenges facing their community.

Following the meeting, the students were invited to conduct a peer-survey to gain more insight into the perceived issues. The summary of their findings were reported back to the Lent term (2018) meeting.

The following actions were identified:

  • Develop strategies to improve awareness of Materials Science as a discipline in schools;
  • Improve visibility of the department’s Wellbeing Ambassadors (e.g. through dedicated webpage, posters on undergraduate notice boards, introduction during induction sessions);
  • Perform in-depth analysis of gender and racial diversity statistics at department and school levels.

Focus Group 2: Postdoctoral Research Associates/Assistants 

An independent PDRA forum was facilitated by Gina Warren (EDI consultant, Human Resources) in March 2018. General feedback from the PDRA community was received at the Easter meeting (2018) of the EDI forum. Following the meeting, PDRA representatives were invited to conduct a peer-survey to gain more insight into the perceived issues. The summary of their findings were reported back to the Michaelmas term (2018) meeting.

The following actions were identified and have all been implemented:

  •     Preparation of a general induction booklet to be issued to all staff members on joining the Department
  •     Establishment of a PDRA committee 
  •     Improved access to teaching opportunities for all PDRAs
  •     Increased representative of PDRA representatives on Department committees

Focus Group 3: PhD Students 

An independent PhD student forum was facilitated by Gina Warren (EDI consultant, Human Resources) at the end of July 2019. Students were asked to comment an a variety of aspects including the application and induction process, access to facilities and the environment in the department. A summary of the meeting can be found in the EDI forum documents. The department will report back to the Michaelmas (2019) EDI Forum.