The College recognises the particular demands of parental responsibilities and is committed to supporting members of staff in balancing work and family life. Our family leave guidance has been designed to support both staff and managers by leading them through the procedures for the various family leave types – see here for more information.

Parents face particular challenges both before and after the arrival of a newborn. Details of maternity and paternity support are given here.

Babies and Bumps

New parents and parents-to-be are invited to meet other Imperial Colleagues in a similar situation for informal networking and mutual support. HR will be present to answer any questions in relation to maternity and paternity leave.

Emergency childcare

Access to three backup care services – emergency childcare, school holiday cover and backup adult and eldercare.

My Family Care services

…are designed to meet the challenges that working parents and carers face and gives access to a wide range of back up services, advice and information. From specialist one-to one advice from experts, online resources, webinars to news updates, it is everything you need, all in one place.

Workshops for New Parents and Parents-To-Be at Imperial

…the College recognises that the transition into the life changing event of parenthood can be both difficult and stressful for some and so these sessions will look at both the practical and emotional aspects to enable staff to develop in their careers post maternity/paternity through effective planning and communication.

Additional Support for Staff

Silwood Park

A designated Nursing Room is available to use for pregnant women for resting and for staff needing to express or nurse.

Facilities include:

  • A microwave, fridge, kettle, cups, a range of teas and a water cooler
  • A reclining/gliding chair with a foot stool
  • A wash basin
  • Emergency milk storage bags & emergency breast pads


Refectory (the old student union common room – G.26)


Requires swipe card access – staff who need access should contact Security who will add the reader onto staffs’ access level.

User Responsibilities:

-       The member of staff is requested to leave the room clean and ready for the next person to use

-       If supplies are low or there are maintenance issues the member of staff should alert the Building Manager (Silwood Park)

-       Nappies should be disposed in the accessible


The baby changing facility is located in the accessible toilet on the ground floor of the Hamilton Building.

South Kensington

Facilities include:

  • A microwave, fridge, kettle , cups , a range of teas
  • A reclining/gliding chair with a foot stool
  • A wash basin, mirror, clock
  • A radio
  • Emergency milk storage bags & emergency breast pads
  • A range of parenting books which can be loaned using the library loan out book


Nursing Room 210 - Sherfield Walkway

Should this designated room be unavailable the OH Service can provide a suitable room, but cannot guarantee access every day of the week. For further information contact the OH clinic on 49401 or

User responsibilities:

  • In order to gain access the member of staff should go to the Faculty building reception where there will be a signing in/out book and a swipe card. The room can be pre-booked through Faculty reception on ext. 56677.Should access be required out of reception hours this can be arranged through Faculty reception.
  • The expectation is that bookings will not be for any longer than one hour.
  • If the swipe card is not returned after an hour a member of reception staff will check on the member of staff for health and safety reasons.
  • The member of staff is requested to leave the room clean and ready for the next person to use.
  • If supplies are low or there are maintenance issues the member of staff should alert Faculty reception staff who will notify the Building Manager.

Family Support Champions


Wish to have an informal confidential chat about maternity/paternity/shared parental leave & support available at College & the Department and want to talk to someone in our department who has recent experience?

Contact one of DoLS Champions – see their blurb’s below:

Giorgio Gilestro

  • Giorgio lives in Kingston with his wife and two boys: Pietro (8) and Giulio (4). Giorgio's wife works for an American company and travels abroad for about 1/3 of her time, therefore giving Giorgio the opportunity to experience the thrills and joys of single parenting on a regular basis.
  • Giorgio has been involved with the EOC for several years and contributed to the last Athena submission. He is more than happy to discuss any maternity or paternity issue with everyone in the Department.

Doryen Bubeck

  • As a grad student I saw very few women in senior positions and the ones that did hold these certainly didn’t have any children. I was anxious having to tell my line manager that I was pregnant after only just being appointed to a Lectureship in DoLS in 2012. I need not have worried. He immediately put my concerns to rest and was very supportive of my decision.
  • Being a new Lecturer as well as a first time mum, I was grateful for a maternity buddy scheme that made me aware of all the resources Imperial provides. I returned to work fulltime after 6 months, and my daughter started at the nursery on campus.
  • DoLS was very supportive during this transition back to work and endorsed my application for an Elsie Widdowson Fellowship to relieve me from teaching as I got my lab up and running again.

Cris Banks-Leite - (Silwood Park)

  • Cristina Banks-Leite is a lecturer in Ecology, based in the Silwood Park Campus. Cristina is originally from Brazil, and she moved to the UK to take on a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship and a NERC fellowship.
  • Cristina had a baby boy in 2015 and took 18 weeks off for her maternity leave. Her husband Robert Ewers (also an academic at Silwood Park), then took another 4 months of paternity leave.
  • Cristina followed her maternity leave with an Elsie Widdownson fellowship, which allowed her to devote her time to research and her baby.
  • Cristina’s son goes to Nature’s Nursery (across the road from Silwood) and can be often seen chasing rabbits on the Silwood grounds or playing with toys in Cristina’s and Rob’s office. He is a regular attender of social meetings on Friday afternoon, when he enjoys a glass of apple juice and popcorn.

Richard Bowman – Shared Parental Leave & Support