The NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is committed to supporting and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), recognising that delivering world-class research requires diversity of research staff, patients and research participants. Our support for EDI, which is aligned with the NIHR’s EDI objectives, will include actions across all 15 of our research themes and our enabling hubs, and will involve staff at all levels, from senior leaders to more junior staff.
Oxford BRC EDI Strategy
This strategy sets out our six core EDI objectives, which have been informed by consultation with our BRC themes and key stakeholders. We aim to review the strategy regularly and take corrective action where required.
“I am delighted to endorse our BRC’s first Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. It sets out our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and our six core EDI objectives. Equality, diversity and inclusion are strongly associated with both academic and organisational excellence and this strategy underpins our efforts to produce world class research for patient benefit. A collaborative, partnership approach will be used to ensure that EDI is considered a core value across the whole BRC.”Oxford BRC Director, Professor Helen McShane
NIHR Core Objectives diagram
“Despite being relatively advanced in many areas, we recognise there is more we can do. We commit to reviewing this strategy at least annually and to embed EDI at all levels using this strategy as a catalyst for change.”Dr Lorna Henderson, Deputy Head of BRC Operations and Oxford BRC EDI Lead
EDI activities at the Oxford BRC
We adhere to and support equality charters, including the Athena SWAN Charter and Race Equality Charter. The University of Oxford was awarded an institutional silver award in February 2023. All of the departments in the Medical Sciences Division, where most BRC researchers are based, have at least a silver award, with the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences being awarded a Gold award in March 2023. As the BRC is a partnership and does not employ staff directly, our EDI activities take into account the strategies and action plans of our two partner organisations, Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) and the University of Oxford, and aims to add value rather than duplicate activities.
Diversity in Research Group
The Oxford and Oxford Health BRCs have set up a patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) group, the Diversity in Research Group, which aims to make involvement in health research more engaging to diverse communities. As well as members from minority ethnic communities, this group also includes younger adults and people from the LGBT+ communities, groups that are currently under-represented in PPIE work. Find out more about the group and its members.
Race equality framework
The NIHR’s Race Equality Framework was published in April 2022. It is a self-assessment tool designed to help organisations improve racial equity in health and care research. To help inform the NIHR’s work in developing the framework, the Oxford BRC took part in an assessment of our delivery of race equality in health research.
Gender equity research
Researchers in the Oxford BRC’s core management team have conducted a number of studies around gender equity in research.
They found, for example, that linking research funding to Athena SWAN action plans was associated with a rise in the number of women in mid-level leadership positions and the proportion of funding going to women.
They have conducted research into the proportion of women authoring the BRC’s scientific papers, and developed a tool to rank and identify new gender equity markers specific to NIHR BRCs. Their research has also stressed the need to take into account context when assessing markers of achievement for monitoring gender equity in BRCs.
Networks are a way to get to know people with a shared interest and to feel connected and have a sense of belonging.
Find out more about the staff networks supported by the University of Oxford’s Equality and Diversity Unit.
Find out about the staff networks and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
EDI coordinators for each of our research themes are listed in the contacts for that theme.
INCLUSION: Read about a clinical trial that has reached people who rarely take part in clinical trials.