School of Physics & Astronomy

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the School of Physics

The School takes equality and diversity very seriously and has done so consistently, for a long time under the leadership of several Heads of School.

We have had an active Diversity and Inclusion Committee for over a decade. The fraction of women Research and Research and Teaching staff in our school is higher than the national average for physics, and we have an active outreach programme aimed at, amongst other things, improving the number of women who study physics at undergraduate level.

Women working in the SPMIC on International Women’s Day 2017 - one cleaner, 10 PhD students, two professors, two secretaries, seven mothers (of whom five are physicists), 20 physicists.
We are very keen to hear about any issue that impacts on equality, diversity or inclusion. Please use our contact form to report any issues. Any enquiries will be treated as anonymous.


Current award status

We have received Silver Athena SWAN awards in 2017 and 2010 in recognition of our commitment to gender equality. Our application and action plan can be found here.


Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The School’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee develops and implements strategies and policies to ensure that staff and students are treated solely on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential, regardless of gender, race, colour, nationality, ethnic/national origin, age, socio-economic background, disability, religious/political beliefs, family circumstances or sexual orientation.

It has representation from academic, technical, research and administrative staff together with undergraduate and postgraduate students. You can view a full list of personnel involved with the 2017 Diversity and Inclusion committee, which contains links to their staff profiles.


School policies

In addition to implementing the  University's Equality & Diversity strategies  the School also offers:

  • paid maternity leave for Home/EU postgraduate research students
  • informal flexible working
  • reduced teaching and administration duties for staff returning from maternity leave
  • whole-School meetings, events and training held in core hours.

Supporting female students

We have long established systems for supporting female students. We pair female students in a tutorial group, which also guarantees at least two female students in all laboratory and workshop groups. Feel free to approach any member of staff if you have any concerns, but we have two identified female members of staff with whom female students can discuss problems - Karen Mullinger and Meghan Gray.

Focus Group Reports

Below are the reports on various focus groups held on behalf of the diversity committee.  Comments that could identify individuals have been redacted.

Female UG
Female PG
Covid 1 UG and Researchers
Covid 2 PG and Staff


Equality and Inclusion in Science and Engineering


May 2020

Previous Diversity Committee newsletters (.pdf):

Upcoming events and meetings




Achievements and awards


Committee members


Report issues 


School of Physics and Astronomy

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD

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