Nicholas Bass

Nick Bass

I am a clinical academic. With respect to research, I primarily work on identifying genetic risk/protective factors for psychiatric disorders with the aim of improving diagnosis and progressing the development of biologically informed interventions. My particular focus is the identification of DNA variants relevant to neurodevelopmental multi-morbidity. I am also involved in dementia related research including health professional/patient/carer communication, multimodal interventions for mild cognitive impairment and genetic effects on cognitive outcomes in alcohol dependence.

I am the director of the Dementia MSc (mental health pathway) and teach genetic and dementia topics on a variety of MSc modules and MRCPsych courses. Clinically I work in Tower Hamlets Diagnostic Memory Service, East London NHS Foundation Trust. I have been developing integrated working with Barts Health neurosciences and run a joint clinic with a consultant neurologist where we assess people together.

To me EDI starts at home with fairness between my partner (also a clinical academic working at a neighbouring university) and me, and empowerment of my children and then proceeds to working for EDI in the workplace and wider society.   

I first joined the Divisional Athena SWAN self-assessment team almost a decade ago. While I was invited to join the team rather than seeking out the role, I was intellectually fully behind the aims. However, since the birth of our first child (female, mixed race, multi-cultural) in 2013 my commitment to the aims has become visceral. I took advantage of the enhanced paternity leave offered by UCL (one month, with full pay) after the birth of first daughter. I found this time with our new-born baby very valuable and my partner and I discussed both working part time at the end of the maternity leave. However, in the end we adopted the traditional arrangement – with me returning to working full time and my wife part time.

With our second daughter, we decided to share the parental leave. The five months I spent as the main carer for my children was revelatory in so many ways. It was extremely hard work and, amongst many other things, made me realise the hidden work within a household. We are moving (slowly) towards a more equitable division of labour, both at work and at home! I am now working part time while my wife has increased her hours. For me this has improved the work life balance and it has aided my wife’s research and career progression.

While there are, of course, a multitude of factors which underlie current gender inequalities in the workplace I believe that men taking on a fair share of childcare, both in a practical and psychological sense, is a key factor in achieving gender equity.