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Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Committee and Welfare Committee

EDI Committee

The EDI committee was established in 2012 and meets regularly, with the aims of promoting equality and creating a supportive working environment for all staff in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. We promote good practice across the department and strive to ensure a positive work/life balance for all staff and students.

UCL's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy aims to foster a positive cultural climate where all staff and students can flourish, where no-one will feel compelled to conceal or play down elements of their identity for fear of stigma. UCL will be a place where people can be authentic and their unique perspective, experiences and skills seen as a valuable asset to the institution. 

Message from Head of Department June 2020

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. I take pride in the fact that our Department is so greatly enriched by its diverse and international community. We strive to create an environment in which everyone feels able to participate to their full potential and are valued for their contributions. All avenues of work in this Department are stronger when they derive from a community grounded in respect and diversity. I believe that creating this positive and inclusive work environment is a responsibility shared by all the members of our Department, and we all have a role in breaking down the inequalities that are present because of differences in race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, religious belief, disabilities, caring responsibilities and all protected characteristics.

I recognise that we must not be complacent and there is still considerable progress to be made. The challenge of attracting more Black students and staff into pursuing physics and astrophysics in this department is an enormous and complex example, but not without solutions. Many Black students at school perceive other university degree subjects are more supportive and rewarding, resulting in a loss of talent to physics and astrophysics. The challenge and opportunity for us to discuss, debate and act on is how we can take advantage of the early school interests shown by Black students for physics and nurture this interest, engage in their burgeoning science aspirations, and support their learning. The relatively few Black undergraduate and postgraduate students that do elect to study in our Department must, as indeed should all students, experience lecturers, mentors, tutors, staff and peer interactions that give them a strong sense of belonging. We cannot, and must not, accept any factors that negatively impact on students’ sense of belonging in our department, and we must guard against unconscious bias, microaggressions and stereotype threat. 

Through the Department’s student societies, PDRA network, listening groups, EDI committees and – above all – its individual members, we should aim to continually communicate values of respect and inclusion through our actions, physical environment, degree education content, and work to eradicate acts motivated by bias and racism. I call on you all to be active bystanders, to look out for one another and be assured that you will be supported by the department if you report any racist behaviours you may be witness to.

EDI Committe Members
MemberGroupPosition
Benjamin JoachimiAstrophysicsChair of EDI Committee
Anasuya AruliahAstrophysicsMSc Admissions Tutor
Jochen BlumbergerCMMPPostgraduate Admissions Tutor    
David BrooksAstrophysicsSenior Experimental Officer
Bonita CarbooProfessional ServicesSecretary to the Committee
Lori Coletti Campbell   Professional ServicesDepartmental Manager & Inclusion Officer
Mark CunninghamAstrophysicsPhD student representative
Louise DashTeachingDirector of  Teaching
Agapi Emmanilidou AMOPPAMOPP representative
Mark FullerProfessional ServicesOutreach Co-ordinator
Rafid JawadAMOPPElectronics Technician representative
Phil Jones AMOPPUndergraduate Admissions Tutor
Lucy KingProfessional ServicesDeputy Departmental Manager    
Isabel Llorente GarciaAMOPPAMOPP representative
Veera MikolaAstrophysicsPhD student representative
Thanh NguyenBiophysicsBioP representative
Ryan NicholHEPHEP representative 
Ferruccio RenzoniAMOPPDeputy Head of Department
Karen Stoneham Professional ServicesThomas Young Centre (TYC) and Materials and Molecular Modelling (MMM) Hub Coordinator

 

Race equality pledge Physics and Astronomy
  • Raise awareness of, and challenge, the predominantly white and male role mole representation in the P&A curriculum. Every module taught by P&A staff to develop portraits of eminent scientists from underrepresented groups in their fields as role models. Portrait information will be collected by the Department to ensure diversity and comprehensiveness.
  • Implement a PhD buddy system across the Department. Assign new PhDs to an existing senior student. The buddies will be provided with access to EDI resources and encouraged to undergo training, e.g. with regards to unconscious bias. Evaluate impact of scheme with annual or bi-annual surveys.
  • Keep track of speaker backgrounds more comprehensively across the Department.
  • Increase the share of speakers from BAME backgrounds at seminars and outreach talks, also exploring the potential to reach out to global universities outside the traditional physics institutions via online sessions.
  • Encourage at least one member of staff in the Department to be trained as a Fair Recruitment Specialist and trial the scheme in at least one recruitment within the Department, with subsequent evaluation.

Welfare Committee 

The welfare committee was set up as a result of the staff survey in 2017.  It's aim is to facilitate the conversation in the department around issues of wellbeing and welfare for our staff and students.  

The committee is made up of academic, research, technical staff and professional services staff and students all year groups and including postgraduate taught and postgraduate research programmes. 

The committee aims to meet three times a year, once during each term.

The departmental Welfare Committee official launch was on 24 January 2020 in the Haldane Room.  The event was a great success. The therapy dogs took centre stage.

Welfare Committee Members
MemberGroupPosition
Lori Coletti Campbell   Professional ServicesChair of EDI Committee - Departmental Manager
Abbie BrayAMOPPPhD student representative
Mark FullerProfessional ServicesOutreach Co-ordinator
Selina LovellProfessional ServicesTeaching & Learning Manager
Nick NicoloauTeachingAssociate Professor (Teaching)
Raman PrinjaAstrophysicsProfessor of Astrophysics - Head of Department
Ruben SaakyanHEPProfessor of Physics
Kelvin VineLabsExperimental Development Officer