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Guiding principles for diversity, inclusivity and intersectionality (revised March 2023)

  • An inclusive culture is essential in this Department
  • Diversity and inclusivity brings positive value to our Department
  • Diversity in numbers is irrelevant if difference and diversity of thought aren’t welcomed – we welcome diversity
  • Inclusion needs to be practised in all areas of the Department
  • We all need to be prepared to change
  • We are all accountable and understand the impact of decisions we make
  • It is not the job of disadvantaged groups to fix the problems created by oppression or discrimination.  We will listen and learn from staff, students, and advisors, but the work of improving our policies and practices will not be led exclusively by staff from groups that have been marginalised or discriminated against (for example we do not expect that the work of anti-racism will always be led by Black people/People of colour).

Note on terminology and the origins of this guidance

We should refer to Ethnic Minorities rather than BAME or BME

Writing about ethnicity - GOV.UK (

The language of ethnicity | The BMJ

This guidance was drafted in 2020, in part prompted by calls for social and racial justice, some linked to the murder of George Floyd in the USA. Parts of the document focus particularly on issues of concern for staff and students from ethnic minorities, because we recognise this an area where we need to improve our diversity. However further discussion and comments have reminded us to consider intersectionality and the need to tackle all forms of discrimination. This is an evolving document and is reviewed and updated by the People and EDI committee who seek input from the wider department and welcome comments and feedback on this guide (please send to 


Led by: Catherine Pope, Kamal Mahtani

We originally planned to develop a charter.  Following consultation this idea was replaced by the values and expectations project which is ongoing  we continue to take this forward and commit to addressing diversity. This work has included consideration of: 

  • What do we as a department stand for?
  • What do we value?
  • How do we want to be represented?
  • What can people expect from us?

We will use this to commit to cultivating a culture of open discussion and honesty. We should not be afraid to make the conversation continuous, embedded and most importantly authentic – and accept that sometimes it can be uncomfortable.


Led by: Richard McManus, Julia Hippisley-Cox

We need to be more aware of intersectional inequality. Our research can address healthcare inequalities.

  • Ensure diversity is well represented in project development, PPI and advisory groups, project teams, study sampling and data collection, and dissemination. improve links with ethnic minority communities to support this and make this engagement long term.
  • Question whether our research unintentionally creates inequalities.

We run departmental seminars and activities to support this. Our PPI work continues to address diversity e.g. ;;


Led by: People, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

  • Review recruitment and promotion policies to improve representation in senior roles. This will include improving links with ethnic minority communities and undertaking wider advertising to let them know about job vacancies and inviting them to apply.
  • Review all practice and policy to consider how interview panels are constituted. Every interview and promotion panel to include a member with an explicit equality and diversity monitoring role.
  • Ensure there is no bias on fixed term contracts for ethnic minority staff and students. Explore how we can retain staff from groups who historically do not stay working here. 


Led by: Committee Chairs, Julia Hippisley-Cox, Rebekah Burrows 

Recognising that some groups, especially ethnic minority staff, are not represented. We will encourage and support diversity.

  • Improve diversity in recruitment to senior roles.
  • Invite ethnic minority and other underrepresented staff to attend as an observer and to deputise for senior colleagues so they can participate in and learn about committee work. This will need to be done equitably and without positive discrimination
  • Include diversity and intersectionality as a standing agenda item for Senior Advisory Committee (SAC), Research Committee, and Departmental Strategy Committee (DSC) meetings to keep progress under review.


Led by: Paul Aveyard, Kamal Mahtani

We recognise the legacy of colonialism and slavery in our University and how this has underpinned some funding for education here.  We note the underrepresentation of ethnic minority and other marginalised groups in education at this University.

We continue to support what is now the Rhodes Mandela Scholarships scheme.  The following extract describes their mission: The Mandela Rhodes Foundation is one of Nelson Mandela’s three official legacy organisations, founded in 2003 in partnership with the Rhodes Trust. Our mission is to build exceptional leadership capacity in Africa. We find, fund, and empower young Africans who aspire towards the kind of leadership Mr Mandela embodied: leaders who can bridge historic divides and who use their talents for the betterment of their societies and our continent.

  • Explore and attract funding for specific ethnic minority fellowships/DPhils.
  • Where we are involved in under-grad admissions consider dropping interviews and selecting at random from those meeting minimum threshold criteria, enriched to reflect minority representation. 
  • Actively encourage ethnic minority staff and students to take part in mentoring and training.
  • SAC, senior staff and line managers commit to act as role-models by undertaking relevant training on diversity and anti-racist practice. This will be monitored in PDRs.


Led by: Jo Gearing, Kathryn Ungerer

We will explore how to do this, in addition to: 

  • Signposting of the resources available. Repeated advertisement of who the harassment advisors are.
  • Provide opportunities for dialogue on bullying/harassment and racism.
  • Encourage everyone to speak up on these equality and inclusivity issues. Showcasing more positive examples as well as discussing more difficult issues.


Led by: Richard Hobbs, Nicola Small

DSC will obtain and review data summarising our progress (including the department, University and MSD) on numbers of staff, senior staff and students from ethnic minority and underrepresented groups.


Led by: All

Many people have successfully learnt how to pronounce Tchaikovsky.  Let’s work on improving how we talk with each other. We will not make assumptions about how unfamiliar names are pronounced, we will ask individuals to say their name.