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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.

Over recent years we've introduced initiatives including:

  • DIW talks given to all new students
  • seminars to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day and the contribution of LGBTQ+ scientists
  • networking events for ethnic minority students and staff
  • workshops to support the needs of our diverse student population
  • bursaries to help students with caring needs or caring responsibilities, and many more.

We are here to ensure students stay up to date with changes in University policy (such as harassment) related to DIW and also that information is readily accessible to all students by collating information in this website.

We advertise University-wide initiatives where students 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 also represent you at School and University-level board meetings to ensure that the views of DIW are 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

Harassment/bullying and unacceptable behaviour

There are many examples of unacceptable behaviour including (but not limited to) abuse, bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment. Please visit our #NeverOK page for further examples.

Ultimately, unacceptable behaviour is any situation in which YOU are made to feel uncomfortable.

Students who feel they are being harassed or bullied should report this to the University where internal support is available, as well as support from the Reading Students' Union and external agencies. More information and how to report an incident can be found separately on our #NeverOK page. 

Urgent assistance

If you are in a situation expressing aggression or threatening behaviour, phone University security on 0118 378 7799 or 0118 378 6300 in an emergency.

Alternatively, please phone 999.

Wellbeing support

Student Welfare Team

The student welfare team are here to support you with concerns such as homesickness, loneliness and conflicts with friends, as well as other concerns such as bullying/harassment and exploitation. As well as contacting them directly, your academic tutor and Support Centre (in the JJ Thompson building) can refer you to a student welfare officer for support.

Within Halls

If you are experiencing difficulty within your Hall you can also contact the Hall Wardens to get support. The Warden hotline is 0118 037 7777, they are there to help with accommodation and housing issues as well as signposting to other wellbeing services.


Here to help with mental health and emotional difficulties to manage a wide range of issues and to minimise the impact to academic study. Any registered student (undergraduate and postgraduate) can use this service. You can self-refer yourself to this service at any time. Visit the Carrington building for advice or to make an appointment. Alternatively, call 0118 378 4216 or email


The chaplaincy centre is a place to be heard whatever your religious (or non) beliefs. A great place to go to be pointed in the right direction for support. They are open 8:30-5:30 Mon-Fri so drop in for support and also various well-being orientated activities.

Urgent assistance

If you are in crisis (or are supporting a peer in crisis) please see seek help immediately. We recommend you contact your GP or NHS 111 in the first instance (if the University Wellbeing Service is closed). You can also contact University Security on 0118 378 6300

Alternative support for a crisis can be reached through:

  • The Berkshire NHS Crisis number 0300 365 0300 (this is a 24/7 service)
  • The Samaritans (116 123), this is a 24/7 service who specialise in dealing with suicidal thoughts
  • PAPYRUS: A UK charity decided to preventing young person suicide, a telephone (and text service) is reachable on 0800 068 4141, staffed Mon-Fri 10-10 and weekends 2-5pm.
Carrington Building Services

In addition to specialist counselling and wellbeing service the Carrington building also offers support in other areas as well including the disability advisory service, discussing financial concerns, immigration or visa issues.

Student development opportunities

RED Award

The University of Reading Employability Skills Certificate aims to empower students to get most of the extra-curricula activities here at Reading. The award helps you gain structured experience to help aid your employability and helps you stand out in this ever increasingly crowded job market.

To complete the RED award you will have demonstrate involvement in work (paid or voluntary), voluntary activities and personal development (such as the Life Tools programme).

Life Tools

Life Tools is a programme of seminars to give you the practical tools to help achieve your full potential during your academic study, for example:

  • Managing academic pressure
  • Improving resilience
  • Enhancing wellbeing
  • Reducing stress
  • Using feedback effectively.

The Life Tools programme has also just launched a Life Tools Certificate, which like the RED award provides structure to your personal development. Participation in this programme will help develop your transferable skills supporting your personal development.

To get started visit Life Tools or watch the introductory video to the programme.

Other development opportunities

There are many other opportunities to make the most of while you are at Reading. You can join a sports club or society, learn a language, support Reading Students' Union and much, much more.

Visit the Reading Students' Union page for ideas to get started.

Financial support for students with caring responsibilities or who need carers

Undergraduate carers bursary

Are you an undergraduate student in the School of Biological Sciences with significant caring responsibilities or the need for carers? You may be eligible to apply for a one-off bursary (up to a maximum of £500).

The award is intended to be used for supporting the student's academic and career development. This may include (but is not limited to) one-off childcare costs to allow attendance at conferences, workshops, placements and internships, travel costs for the sick relative to accompany the student to a University event/workshop or the cost of carers to accompany the student..

In their application, students should clearly outline what they intend to use the bursary for and how it will make a difference to their career development or academic enhancement.

Examples of eligible caring responsibilities:

  • Primary caregiver of a child (as a parent/legal guardian or close relative)
  • Caring for a relative or friend with physical or mental illness
  • Caring for a relative or friend with terminal illness
  • Caring for a relative or friend with drug or alcohol addiction/dependency
  • The need for carers to support your activity. 


Students wishing to apply for this bursary should email a completed undergraduate carers bursary application form to the School Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing, Dr Chris Jones. The School DIW team will meet to discuss applications once per term, so applications will be considered on a rolling basis.


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 staff

Learn about support networks and development opportunities for staff at the University of Reading.

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