Annual SEPnet Diversity Workshop: Wed 11 Dec

Building Inclusivity and Bridging the Attainment Gap 

Wednesday 11 December, 12.00 – 17.30, University of Surrey

Lack of diversity continues to be a problem in physics and other STEM areas despite the number of initiatives set up to address this problem. ‘Success of our organisations and community relies on our ability to recruit, nurture and retain the richest mix of talent.’ (IOP)

Not only are there barriers to entry at undergraduate level, the attainment gap for some student groups is an increasing cause for concern in the HE sector – particularly in physics and other STEM subjects. Under-represented students face particular challenges. Tackling the underlying causes affecting students’ potential to succeed is crucial as well as equipping students to cope with university life.

This workshop will share good practice and recent research on these topics.  Presenters will provide an overview of progress to date highlighting the barriers and how to address them and will provide examples of successful initiatives. Short case studies will be followed by group discussion to discuss key actions HE staff, responsible for diversity, can take to bring about real change. 

This event is aimed at STEM staff, postgraduate researchers, student representatives and those responsible for diversity and inclusion including Project Juno and diversity champions, Athena SWAN representatives, HR managers and academics.  Refreshments will be provided.  


Creating an environment for all students to access physics equally

Professor Averil Macdonald OBE, Diversity & Inclusion Consultant and Chair of Diversity and Inclusion, University of Birmingham.

Rethinking student wellbeing and supporting students through the student experience.

Alex Johl Head of Operations for Student Experience and Wellbeing, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Birmingham.

Supporting under-represented students and addressing the attainment gap

Professor Shirley Price, Academic Director, Student Progression and Learning Gain, Director of External Affairs (Widening Participation and Outreach)

Dr Nicole Rockliff, Dept of Mechanical Engineering, University of Surrey

Professor Peter Main, Head of Physics, King’s College London

Empowering PhDs

Dr Noelia Noël, Lecturer in Astrophysics, Disability and Neurodiversity Coordinator,  Department of Physics, University of Surrey

Plugging the holes in the leaky pipeline: addressing lack of diversity at the top

Professor Sally Jordan, Head of School of Physical Sciences & Professor Josie Fraser, Deputy Vice Chancellor, The Open University

17.30 Refreshments

18.45 Guest lecture – Dr Jess Wade, Imperial College London introduced by Dr Jim Al-Khalili