We are committed to promoting and nurturing an inclusive and equal culture where diverse perspectives and experiences are encouraged; where individuals are valued, respected and treated alike; and where individuals of all backgrounds can come together and fully contribute their talents to our growing community.
We work closely with both the MPLS divisional and University of Oxford’s equality, diversity and inclusion units fully supporting their commitment to ‘fostering an inclusive culture which promotes equality, values diversity and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected.’
Support for staff and students: Harassment Advisors
Information and support are available to staff and students concerned about harassment or bullying and the Department of Physics trains and empowers a network of Harassment Advisors. A list of current Harassment Advisors in the Department of Physics can be found on the departmental intranet. The University of Oxford’s harassment advice can be found here: https://edu.admin.ox.ac.uk/harassment-advice.
Support for staff and students: Mental Health First Aiders
We also have a trained network of Mental Health First Aiders who are a first point of contact for anyone experiencing mental health issues or emotional distress. A list of Mental Health First Aiders in the Department of Physics can be found on the departmental intranet. University-wide information on mental health is available from the Occupational Health Service: https://occupationalhealth.admin.ox.ac.uk/mental-health
Themed lectures and informal mentoring
We have designed a series of initiatives and activities to promote equality, diversity and inclusion across the Department of Physics. Our ‘challenges and changes’ lecture series discusses the challenges that physics and physicists face and considers ways to push for change while Physics Thrive is our informal mentoring network for staff as well as graduate students to discuss career development and wellbeing within the department. Equally, our Physics Thrive: Graduate Peer Support network is led by graduate students that have been trained to act as peer supporters.
We have a dedicated equality, diversity and inclusion committee comprising a diverse range of academics and professional and support staff from across the department; the committee’s remit is to address all aspects of the working environment in the Department of Physics with the aim of providing equal opportunities for all. The Department of Physics is committed to making the work culture as family-friendly as possible with measures in place including scheduling meetings and seminars in core hours and supporting flexible working.
Athena Swan silver and Juno Champion
In 2015, in recognition of our commitment, the Department of Physics attained the Athena Swan silver award which was renewed in May 2018. The Athena Swan charter recognises work undertaken to address gender equality. In 2016 the Department of Physics attained the Institute of Physics' Juno Champion status in recognition of our substantial contribution towards addressing the under-representation of women in higher education in physics.