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How does the Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing (DIW) Team support you?

The DIW Team aims to celebrate diversity and make the School a more inclusive environment for all. The team is responsible for implementing and advertising initiatives related to DIW.

We are here to ensure members of staff stay up to date with changes in University policy related to DIW and also that information is readily accessible to all staff by collating information on this website.

We advertise University-wide initiatives so that staff can get involved.

We facilitate the implementation of School-wide changes detailed in the Athena SWAN action plan, helping to improve the culture of the School. Within this remit we also prepare and submit Athena SWAN applications.

We represent the School at School- and University-level board meetings to ensure that the views of DIW is always represented. So please tell us how we can support you better!

If you have DIW ideas, concerns, or want to get involved, please contact Dr Chris Jones, the School Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing.

Where to go for support


The School of Biological Sciences is committed to maintaining a working, learning, living and social environment that is free from any harassment in whatever form that may take and ensuring that all staff and students are treated and treat others with dignity and respect. It is important to note that harassment is defined by the reasonable perception of the complainant – how it feels to be the recipient – rather than by the intent of the person causing offence.

If you feel you have experienced or witnessed harassment or bullying, please raise your concerns straight away with your line manager or members of the DIW team. The School aims to resolve concerns, problems or complaints quickly and informally through dialogue between colleagues and line managers. If you feel unable to speak to your line manager, the DIW team, Head of Division or the Head of School, or if concerns persist, then you can speak to an HR representative or a University Harassment Adviser who are trained to offer support and advice.

If a student reports experiencing bullying or harassment, please contact

Wellbeing support

Wellbeing Peer Support

The University has introduced a staff network that provides confidential support and information to colleagues experiencing poor wellbeing, emotional distress or have a mental health issue and need the support of someone to talk to, but feel unable to approach a colleague or line manager. This doesn't replace other support services but gives staff an additional option in accessing the support they need.

Confidential Care

The University provides the Confidential Care service, which is a service that can support you any time of day all year. It is not limited to concerns regarding the workplace, and can offer support on mental health, financial and relationship problems, legal concerns and much more.

This service can provide telephone and face-to-face counselling for support and all counsellors are fully trained and registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)

If a student is experiencing mental health difficulties, please signpost them to the counselling and wellbeing service in the Carrington building (extension 4202).

The Health, Advocacy, Respect and Care Network (HARC)

This is a network of volunteer advisors who offer confidential peer support for staff who feel they can't approach their line manager and/or colleagues. This may be someone who is feeling stressed and/or anxious. These volunteers are not counsellors but are there to listen to concerns and signpost support.

For support please contact your HR partner. 

Wider DIW networks you can support

Women@reading network

A network open to all staff to champion issues surrounding gender equality at the University of Reading. The network aims to: achieve gender balance, achieve parity in leadership roles, work towards equal pay and achieving gender balance on committees.

To find out more information and/or join the email list, contact

Staff Disability Network

An inclusive support network for staff with a range of disabilities, impairments and mental health conditions, as well as non-disabled staff who want to support the network. The core aims of the network are to make our community more inclusive and give disabled staff a voice and raise awareness, as well as creating a network of allies across the University.

For more information and to join the group please contact

LGBT+ Ally Network

A network of individuals who identify as LGBT and other sexual and gender identities and their allies. Therefore, LGBT+ allies are not necessarily people who identify as LGBT+. The LGBT+ network aims to promote full equality for LGBT+ individuals, and to ensure that all staff and students feel supported by a visible and informal staff network. The network also hosts events to raise awareness, as well as working with the harassment network to support and advise staff who experience homophobic, biphobic or transphobic behaviour.

If you'd like to join the network or have any suggestions, please contact

Cultural Diversity Group

A newly formed group focusing on issues surrounding race, ethnicity and culture and their effects on staff and students. The group organises seminars, networking events and online discussions.

For more information and to join, please contact

Staff development opportunities

People Development Programme

Runs various staff development programmes to help you reach your potential. Courses are online and classroom-based, supporting leadership, management, and research development. Courses run on topics from managing meetings and handling conflict to research impact and costing research proposals.

Visit People Development to view the full schedule and enrol on courses.

Springboard Women's Development Programme

Springboard is a programme to enable women to identify clear, practical and realistic steps to better themselves, while building the skills and confidence to act. Over 300 women at the University have completed the programme and the University runs at least one cohort per year.

Aurora Women's Leadership Development Programme

The University sponsors a number of female staff to attend this women's only leadership programme run by the Leadership Foundation. Various University staff also support this programme as mentors and role models.

LFHE Diversifying Leadership

A programme run by the Leadership Foundation for early career BAME academic and professional/managerial staff. The course covers leadership theory, cultural identity, power and influence. The University sponsors a number of places on an annual basis.

Stellar HE

This programme is for BAME staff in supporting, academic and research roles who aspire to senior leadership positions. The programme focuses on developing and implementing leadership reflecting the unique challenges faced by BAME staff. The University sponsors places on this programme.

School of Biological Sciences SEED Fund

SBS hosts a SEED fund that all staff (including post-docs) can apply for to fund preliminary experiments to apply for larger grants in the future. The grants are for values up to £5000. In the past we have had several successful applications from post-docs and we strongly encourage post-docs to apply to help prepare for their next career move. We have three funding calls a year and email notification will be provided.

Academic Practice Programme (APP)

The APP is a course aimed at preparing staff to teach and prepare materials for teaching. Whilst this is a mandatory requirement for many staff, the School also supports staff (including post-docs) who wish to enrol on this for their career development. A number of staff have completed this programme and are willing to act as mentors for new staff on the course. Please contact Director of Post-Docs to discuss potential enrolment on this programme.

Stonewall LGBT Role Models Programme

The University funds a number of places a year on the LGBT Role Models programme. This one-day course aimed at all career levels empowers participants to help create inclusive environments at work, at home and in the community.

Stonewall Leadership Programme

The University also sponsors places on the Stonewall Leadership Programme for senior LGBT professionals to explore leadership as well as the relationship between identity as an LGBT person and leadership.

Stonewall Workplace Conference

The Stonewall Workplace Conference is held every year where hundreds of attendees learn best practice from inclusion specialist speakers. Attendees leave with an action plan to take back to their institution and as well as access to further resources. The University funds several places each year on this conference.


Diversity, inclusion and wellbeing

The School of Biological Sciences is a demographically and culturally diverse place to work and study.

We hold the Athena SWAN Silver Award, which recognises the steps taken to advance gender equality at all levels of our School.


Support for students

Find out how the Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing (DIW) Team support students in the School of Biological Sciences and learn about student development opportunities.  

Support for parents and carers

Find information about maternity, parental, shared parental, childbirth or adoption leave, and discover how we support students and staff with other caring responsibilities.
Athena SWAN Silver Award