Athena Swan and LGBTQ+ Leaders

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Athena Swan and EDI Lead - Dr Johanna Jackson

“I am the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion lead for the department and chair the People, Culture and Engagement committee to make the department a place where everyone has opportunities to thrive. We have recently been awarded a Silver Athena Swan award for our commitment to gender equality however we are aware that there is still work to do to support under-represented groups in science.

A significant amount of the EDI work involves ECRs and there is an opportunity to get involved with a cause that you feel passionate about. The department and the College offer a range of support involving staff networks (such as ImperialAsOne, Imperial 600, Able@Imperial, Women@Imperial), mentoring and coaching as well as training in areas such as unconscious bias and active bystander.”

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LGBTQ+ Champion - Dr Alexi Nott

“As a gay scientist, I have seen how creating a supportive environment on campus can have a huge impact on the experience of LGBTQ individuals in STEM. As the LGBTQ champion for the department, I hope to increase visibility and promote a welcoming and inclusive place to work.”

Alexi recently formed the LGBTQ+ Allies Network in the Department of Brain Sciences to promote LGBTQ+ visibility in the Department and to provide a bridge with the wider LGBTQ+ STEM community. Read more and keep up to date with events taking place on the Allies Network page.

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Department of Brain Sciences LGBTQ+ Allies Network 

Our LGBTQ+ champion, Alexi Nott, has launched an Allies Network to promote LGBTQ+ visibility in the Department and provide a bridge with the wider LGBTQ+ STEM community.

If you are interested in joining the network or contributing to its initiatives, please get in touch with Alexi (

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Shifting the Lens returns for its third year!

A celebration of cultural diversity at Imperial

Shifting the Lens is a series celebrating staff and students from ethnic minority backgrounds at Imperial.

Staff and students from across the College have opened up about their culture and heritage, giving an insight into their lives outside of the College and sharing their views on the different ways Imperial can create a more inclusive environment.

 Black in Neuro week 2022

Our annual Black In Neuro Week is a free, virtual conference occurring at the end of July each year. This year's events include an Australian-based keynote speaker, a #Neuroracism journal club, one-on-one chats with graduates from historically Black universities, and panels on neuroscience careers beyond academia!

It's a great way to support research being conducted by Black scientists, learn about issues faced by Black and other marginalized communities, and grow your own network.

The link for free registration and more details can be found on the Black in Neuro website.

Black In Neuro is an international non-profit organization that aims to diversify the neurosciences by building a community that celebrates and empowers Black scholars and professionals in neuroscience-related fields.

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 Mental health explainer videos

The Department of Mechanical Engineering was recently awarded EDI seed funding to produce explainer videos about mental health. The project, led by Dr Antonis Sergis, Lecturer, and Sophia Quazi, EDI Coordinator, aims to break down the stigma of the common mental health issues faced by students and ensure awareness of the ways they can receive support.

Log in and view videos

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Health, Safety & Environment, and Education Leads

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Education Lead - Dr Steve Gentleman

“Hi, I’m Steve Gentleman, Professor of Neuropathology and the Educational lead for the Department of Brain Sciences. In fulfilling these two roles I run an active Parkinson’s disease research group and I devote a significant amount of my time to teaching. I have built up a lot of experience of teaching medical students at all levels, BSc students, Master’s students, Postgraduate medics and last, but not least, lay groups. Teaching is a fundamental part of academic life and even at my tender age I still get a huge buzz from it. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in teaching opportunities at any level.”

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Health, Environment and Safety Lead - Dr Marco Brancaccio

I am a Group Leader at the UK DRI and the Health, Safety and Environment Lead of the Department of Brain Sciences. We strongly support a safe and sustainable research environment, which we pursue thanks to a shared, proactive, and productive responsibility. Thanks to the coordinated efforts of our ECRs and safety officers, we were awarded a Bronze LEAF Award for the 7th floor of the Uren Bldg, which hosts our UK DRI Centre. The award recognises our efforts in promoting sustainable research activities, via objective assessment of their environmental impact.

Hannah and Diana - Mental Health First Aiders

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Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) - Hannah Gowland

“The Mental health first Aid course was a reminder of how we all need to take care of our mental wellbeing, and how we can recognise signs of mental health issues in ourselves and others. The course gave guidance on how to initiate those conversations because it is always better to speak up.”

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Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) - Dr Diana Benitez Jimenez

“The MHFA training helped me to identify, understand and support colleagues who could be suffering from mental health issues. With this knowledge, I hope I can become a point of contact for students, ECRs and staff when they are experiencing emotional distress. I understand how draining or overwhelming the Academic/Research environment could be and sometimes we just need someone to listen non-judgmentally to feel better. I would like my colleagues in the UK DRI at Imperial know that I could be that person who will listen and if needed I could offer guidance to improve their well-being.”