Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

PhD student in the Hounsfield Facility, Sutton Bonington

The Sphere Programme

The Sphere Programme is a key element of the university's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Delivery Plan (EDI SDP), because it aims to join up and highlight different EDI activity across the university.

The Sphere Programme includes:

  • Sphere funding: Applications are invited from faculties and Professional Services to apply for funding from the Sphere Programme Board, to deliver targeted, short-term projects that enhance our knowledge, understanding and delivery of EDI.
  • An annual Sphere Conference: Delivering an EDI programme of events that showcase Sphere funded projects, as well as best practice in EDI.
  • Sphere Challenges: Faculties, Professional Services and the Students’ Union adopt annual Sphere challenges, to address their distinct areas of priority and delivery.
  • Recognition Months: The board ensures there is a coordinated response from the university for the following key EDI recognition months:
    OctoberBlack History Month
    FebruaryLGBT+ History Month
    MarchInternational Women’s Day
    DecemberDisability Recognition Month

The Sphere Programme Board

An independent Sphere Programme Board will make sure these activities are coordinated and fed into our wider strategy. It will also champion activities funded through external schemes, such as those offered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) or Advance HE.

The board manages the discretionary fund, evaluating Sphere funding applications and awarding funding to those local pilot projects that focus on priority areas and align with the EDI SDP.

The Board is chaired by an independent member of the University community along with key stakeholders and volunteers from the wider university community with an interest in EDI. Updates and progress from the Sphere Programme Board are regularly reported to the EDI Committee.

Members of the Sphere Programme Board

 Role Name
Chair Professor Raheela Khan, Professor of Cellular Physiology, School of Medicine, Royal Derby Hospital Centre
Deputy Chair Jodie Chatfield, Technical Services Manager, School of Life Sciences, Medical School, Queens Medical Centre

Arts Representative 


Ute Hirsekorn, Assistant Professor of German Studies, Trent Building, University Park 
Engineering Representatives

Chenggong Sun, Associate Professor, Engineering, University Park

Lucy Williams, Senior Project Manager, Engineering, RAD building, Jubilee Campus

Medicine and Health Sciences Representatives

Liaque Latif, Medical School Technician, Life Sciences, Life Sciences Building, University Park

Lopa Leach, Associate Professor, Life Sciences, Medical School, QMC

Sandeep Sidhu, Teaching Associate, Veterinary Medicine & Science, Sutton Bonington Campus 

Sonali Shah, NIHR RfPB Senior Research Fellow, Medical School, QMC

Sciences Representative 

Elizabeth Hufton, Senior Research Manager – Faculty of Science (School of Physics and Astronomy), Science, University Park Elizabeth.Hufton@nottingham.ac.uk 

Grazziela Figueredo, Senior Research Data Scientist, Digital Research Service, Jubilee Campus

Social Sciences Representatives  Jalpa Ruparelia, Assistant Professor, Education, Jubilee Campus


Janet Wallace, Witty Entrepreneurial Scholarships Manager, Nottingham University Business School, Jubilee Campus

Kay Fuller, Associate Professor, Education, Jubilee Campus 

Sandra Leigh, Assistant Professor, Education, Yang Fujia Building, Jubilee Campus

Professional Services Representatives Julian Tenney, Learning Content Team Leader, University of Nottingham Libraries, King's Meadow Campus 


Stavros Pourikas, Capital Projects Manager, Sustainability & Development University Park

Stephen Meek, Director, University Of Nottingham Institute For Policy And Engagement, External Relations, University Park

Race Equality Charter (REC) Representative

Emmanuel Adegbite, Professor in Accounting and Corporate Governance, Nottingham University Business School, Jubilee Campus

 Athena Swan Representative Donna Palmer, Esrc Doctoral Training Programmes Manager, Research and Innovation, University Park

Sphere programme board one-pager 

Sphere funding

Applications for Sphere funding run annually. For more information on eligibility criteria as well as how to apply, please visit the Sphere funding pages.



Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Trent Building
University Park Campus