Below you can read about our most important and current priorities, together with changes we have introduced.


Raising awareness

  •  A ‘Did You Know' slideshow  is regularly projected in our Atrium café to raise awareness of possibilities and facilities available around the campus. 

  • Banners promoting our initiatives are displayed within our Atrium café to raise awareness to students, staff and to members of the public visiting during open days, visit days and exhibitions.

  • Website development to include relevant information to students, staff as well as external stakeholders.

  • Athena SWAN information is included in the induction materials provided to our staff.

  • We regularly survey the views of our staff. This information is used by BIO-E&D to understand the local issues we face, to feed into the development of our Action Plan.

  • Athena SWAN and Equality and Diversity information added to the our digital student information zones.

  • All UEA staff, regardless of role, are now mandated to undergo e-learning ‘Diversity in the Workplace' training.

  • ‘Women in BIO’ posters developed to promote female role models in the School.

  • Equality and Diversity topics are promoted through our social media including twitter, facebook and our faculty showcase linkedIn using hashtags e.g. #AthenaSWAN, #equality 


 Supporting staff at key career transition points

  • Mentoring in the School includes advice for the preparation of CVs, job applications, interviews, scientific presentations as well as more targeted careers advice when needed. Opportunities for mentorship external to the school are also available.

  • Structured support for preparing and submitting research funding applications is provided through internal review panels.

  • On-site career development courses for staff are provided by the Centre for Staff and Educational Development, including over 200 courses to gain new or develop existing skills, learn best practice, regulations and pedagogy. Staff also have the opportunity to attend off-site training courses for enhancing workplace skills and employability; central training funding can be applied to for assistance with attendance costs.

  • From 2014, a pilot ‘Sprint' programme for female PhD students, developed from ‘Springboard' has been offered. It is intended that Sprint will now be rolled out more widely across the UEA.

  • We have been proactive in helping to action the initiatives resulting from the Science Faculty Appraisal working group.


Supporting transparency in promotion

  • We have developed promotion benchmarking information, based on anonymised case studies. The aim is to increase transparency, and promote timely applications: "to allow folk in Biological Sciences to gain an approximate 'feel' for what is required. It should therefore encourage overdue promotions and discourage overly optimistic ones ..." - Professor Tracey Chapman.


Promoting networking opportunities

  • The Atrium café, located on the ground floor of the School, provides a relaxing environment for socialising, coffee-time and informal mentoring. The Atrium hosts many social events such as ‘Birthday Cake' and ‘Paper Accepted Cake' celebrations held by many research groups within the School, as well as the Friday after work social event.

  • The School Contract Research Staff forum meets regularly to address specific research staff issues and provide updates to members on opportunities and changes occurring within the School. The forum is led by a post-doctoral Research Associate (PDRA's) and is supported by an academic lead, Dr Simon Butler.

  • Staff and students have the opportunity to network at ResNet events (a contact and information network promoting gender equality and fairness across UEA and the Norwich research Park). 

  • Staff, PDRAs and post-graduate research students supervise our undergraduate student iGEM synthetic biology teams. We encourage participation in order that the iGEM teams reflect the diversity of the student body. The iGEM competition offers opportunities to network with businesses and other student teams.


 Supporting Flexible Working

  • The School arranges research seminars and meetings flexibly at times to maximise participation for all staff.

  • A focus group on flexible working led to an analysis of an absence database for gendered use of remote working by academics.

  • We are working on a care leave planning template to help staff in planning their work cover during leave and on return. The School supports returning staff by offering a gradual increase in hours, flexibility in start and end times and reduced workload.

  • We work in close partnership with the Human Resources department to provide support for flexible working.

  • Our committee led the campaign to establish the Faculty Return to Work Career Development Fund: to support career development and transition back to work following a significant period of absence; all staff employed directly by the SCI faculty are eligible to apply; contact us for more information.

Supporting Families

  • The highly regarded UEA Nursery is available to staff and students. Dedicated drop off and pickup parking places are available.

  • The UEA has a dedicated family room in the basement of the Elizabeth Fry Building. It is fully equipped for nursing mothers and has changing facilities.