A local school pupil tries out surgical technology with a student volunteer at the Imperial Festival Schools Day in April 2018.
A local school pupil tries out surgical technology at the Imperial Festival Schools Day in April 2018.

The benefit that Imperial brings to its community is central to its work towards its mission. The breadth of the ‘Imperial community’ is a reflection of the varied nature of our public benefit in this area. Our community of learning and research encompasses our staff and students who live, study and work at the College.

We are also part of our local communities in West London and south east England more generally: our neighbours offer us important insights that shape our research and education, and in return we open our doors to them to share our passion for science, engineering, medicine and business.

Our staff and student community

During 2017–18, notable College initiatives for its staff and student community included:

  • Key community initiatives, such as Greening Imperial, a project dedicated to improving environmental sustainability at the College; the appointment of Professor Stephen Curry, Imperial’s first Assistant Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; and the creation of Imperial’s Student Support Strategy, which aims to foster positive wellbeing for all of our students.
  • Publication of the 2017 Gender Pay Gap Report and the introduction of new activities to address pay imbalance at the College, including the ‘Know Your Pool’ initiative, which seeks to identify appropriately qualified women and encourage their application for roles at all levels.
  • The Imperial Garden Party, an annual celebration for over 300 students and members of staff who have demonstrated exceptional work and commitment to the College over the previous 12 months.
  • Dedicated leadership and development programmes for College staff, including Calibre, a programme for staff working with a disability, and IMPACT, which supports BAME staff. In 2018, the College’s Technicians’ Network launched the Technicians’ Portal, an online resource which supports their professional development opportunities.
  • Construction of a new hall of residence for 700 first-year students in North Acton. The new hall is due to be completed by the summer of 2020 and will include a dedicated common room and outdoor space, as well as a wardening support system and 24-hour concierge.
  • Mental Health First Aider training, which has been undertaken by over 300 members of staff. The training equips staff with the skills and knowledge to help someone experiencing a mental health problem before professional help is obtained and to spot the early signs of mental health problems.

In our local area

In our neighbouring communities and beyond, a varied programme of events and activities this year helped to bring the work of Imperial to life for thousands:

  • In 2017 the College launched its pioneering innovation and community space, The Invention Rooms at our new White City Campus, with a free open day, which offered activities and workshops designed for people of all ages to get creative. The Invention Rooms have also hosted the College’s Maker Challenge Programme for young people in White City, which enables participants to develop a range of practical and soft skills through the creation of a new product from an initial idea to prototype.
  • Sounds of Space, a joint project between Imperial and the Royal Albert Hall, brought students from four secondary schools from across London together with Imperial students and a musical scientist to learn about physics and space through music and sound.
  • Over 20,000 members of the public visited the Imperial Festival in 2018. The Festival included over 150 exhibits, along with spotlight talks, interactive activities, workshops and live experiments. The Imperial Fringe, now known as Imperial Lates, attracted over 2,500 visitors to four free events in 2017–18 exploring topics including space, invention, AI and air quality.
  • Through our news website, social media channels and publications, the College reaches thousands of people around the world each month. In 2017–18, the College took part in its first Ask Me Anything sessions on the global social news and discussion platform, Reddit, where researchers answered questions from members of the public about their work and its impact. Imperial researchers have hosted Ask Me Anything sessions on global energy, multiple sclerosis, batteries, respiratory diseases and palm oil.

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