Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: policy and practice


The Institute is committed to an inclusive approach to its research programme, emphasising the benefits of diversity and equality in all its activities. Our approach is consistent with the University of Sheffield’s ‘One University’ agenda which seeks to build a diverse community of staff and students from a broad range of backgrounds, demographics and cultures, and create an inclusive, supportive and collaborative environment in which they can succeed and flourish.

We recognise that achieving these ambitions will involve substantial changes to our research culture which may take time. We are making progress and we are committed to a process of continual improvement.

While the Institute’s focus to date has been on issues of gender equality, we wish to take a more intersectional approach, encompassing all relevant ‘protected characteristics’ as well as wider issues concerning neurodiversity and caring responsibilities. 

In April 2023 we worked with an independent consultant (Elizabeth Adams from Scafell Coaching) to explore a range of EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) issues and to make recommendations for things we could improve. The review focused on several key areas: 

  • The promotion of a more inclusive research culture
  • The composition of the leadership team, including co-Directors and Executive group
  • Engagement with the membership
  • Support for early career researchers
  • Distribution of PhD studentships
  • Events programme (including public events, away-days and more informal meetings)
  • Training, mentoring and coaching
  • Changes to our website, newsletters and member ‘spotlighting’.

The report made recommendations in a number of areas relating to transparency in decision making and resource allocation; team leadership; community building and career support.

We have now set up a working group to implement the recommendations and to monitor progress towards meeting our aims.