Our main current priorities, together with changes we have introduced.

Raising awareness

  • We use all our digital areas to raise awareness about support and facilities available around the campus. 
  • 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 our Equality and Diversity teams 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 our digital student information zones.
  • All staff, regardless of role, are now mandated to undergo e-learning ‘Diversity in the Workplace' training.
  • Equality and Diversity topics are promoted through our social media including X (formerly known as Twitter), Facebook and our faculty showcase LinkedIn 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.
  • 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.
  • We have led to implement initiatives resulting from the Science Faculty Appraisal working group.

Promoting networking opportunities

  • The School provides a relaxing environment for socialising, coffee-time and informal mentoring. We run coffee equality and diversity Athena SWAN sessions for an informal chat about gender and equality issues. We host many social events and celebrations within the School. 
  • 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. Our Research Staff Co-ordinator, Dr Penelope Pickers, represents and supports the views of Research Staff in the School.
  • Staff and students have the opportunity to network at ResNet events (a network promoting gender equality and fairness across the Norwich Research Park). 

Supporting Flexible Working

  • The School arranges research seminars and meetings flexibly at times to maximise participation for all staff.
  • We work in close partnership with the Human Resources department to provide support for flexible working.
  • We promote 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 in the Science Faculty are eligible to apply; contact sci.equality@uea.ac.uk

Supporting Families

The highly regarded UEA Nursery is available to staff and students. Dedicated drop off and pickup parking places are available.
There is a dedicated family room in the basement of the Elizabeth Fry Building. It is fully equipped for nursing mothers and has changing facilities.

Staff comments about their careers and working in Environmental Sciences


 Jan Alexander, Professor of Environmental Earth Science  

“The School is a fabulous place to work if you are interested in the natural world and have an enquiring mind. No matter what aspect of the Earth you have a question on there is likely to be someone who knows something about it”

jan alexander

There are lots of things I love about my job. Having a new idea, finding out something new, or proving (or indeed disproving) a theory of mine or someone else's is intensely enjoyable.
There is nothing more satisfying however than seeing the enlightenment dawn on faces of a group of students you are teaching when they start to understand a complex issue or learn a new skill.
Walking through the countryside and understanding the things you see and knowing how they formed and will change adds layers of enjoyment to my work and private life.

 Jenni Barclay, Professor of Volcanology

“We genuinely do meet and talk with people well beyond our own specialism and that makes for a very rich environment”

jenni barclay

Definitely the variety. I'm always looking for new challenges and to learn new things; so that makes this pretty much the dream job for someone like me.
I love that trying to teach students really forces you to think about what the most important components of a subject are, in order to see it from their perspective. Often you really need to dis-mantle a topic that you might otherwise take for granted.
I also love seeing new data that tells me something I didn't know before, or proves or disproves a hypothesis we've been working towards

Aldina Franco, Reader and conservation biologist.

“I feel lucky to work in a School and sector where colleagues support each other and where my personal needs are taken into account”

aldina franco

I enjoy being an academic in the UK, science is valued by society. It is excellent to see that politicians frequently base their decisions on evidence generated by scientific work.

Academics have to be versatile; our work involves research, teaching, administration, enterprise and engagement. I like the diversity of tasks and the fact that it is a challenging and demanding job. I particularly enjoy formulating research hypotheses and exploring ways to answer research questions by testing hypotheses and discussing the results with students, post-doctoral researchers and colleagues; it is thrilling to see patterns in the data and to understand what they mean.
Also, I thoroughly enjoy doing field work in hot environments, hence working in the Mediterranean region.

Irene Lorenzoni, Senior Lecturer  

“Environmental Science’s collegiate and supportive environment makes it a rewarding place to work”


The interdisciplinarity of my research is what makes it exciting every day.   This involves collaborating with a multitude of colleagues specialising in different disciplines, learning from progress in these areas, understanding how they relate to each other and may pave new areas of work at the frontiers of our knowledge is exhilarating – and having the relative freedom to pursue these.
Naturally, there are also a variety of challenges in this work, especially enabling the understanding among disciplines which is not easy to achieve and requires interested and engaged individuals.  An important aspect of this work is also sharing the insights derived from my research with the students I teach and supervise.

 Gill Malin, Reader. 


“Having colleagues who are experts in atmospheric chemistry, ecology, physical oceanography, molecular biology, geology, EU policy has made for really interesting collaborations”

gill malin

One of the most memorable moments of Gill’s career: 

Opening the letter telling me that I had been awarded a five-year NERC Advanced Fellowship. It's hard to keep yourself funded long term on short term funding. The two NERC Advanced Fellowships I won allowed me the vital independence, flexibility of funding and time horizon I needed to consolidate my career. Importantly, they enabled me to apply for grants and PhD studentships in my own name. The second Fellowship led to my current faculty position.

Claire Reeves, Professor of Atmospheric Science

“I really like the fact that we have world-leading researchers who are at the forefront of their science, having a major impact on national and international policy and yet the School has a very informal atmosphere, with a laid back attitude and a reputation as being the “welly brigade”.

claire reeves

There are many very different aspects that I really enjoy about my job.  They range from the feeling that I am helping to improve the environmental quality of our planet, for example through influencing the international policy on ozone depleting substances (Montreal Protocol), to the almost inexplicable joy of finding a missing comma in some computer code that enables you to get a programme to run.

I like the fact that we attract so many students and staff from different countries as this really enhances the cultural diversity.