NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre launches new framework to improve equality, diversity and inclusion in research

The NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) has committed to a new framework of objectives that will underpin its work and help to improve equality of access to research opportunities for both research staff and study participants. 

The new equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) framework includes seven specific objectives that will help implement real and practical changes to improve diversity, ultimately increasing the quality, relevance and world-changing impact of its research.

The objectives include actions such as improving recruitment practices, building a more diverse leadership, supporting existing and developing new staff networks and ensuring that the BRC is representative of the communities it serves.

Some actions are already underway, including a new recruitment process for staff leading the BRC research themes. This involves diverse recruitment panels, carefully considered standardised questions and good provision of training. The BRC will also continue to support the newly created Women in Academic Medicine group.

There will also be continued opportunities for staff and participants to comment on the proposals and suggestions of how to embed these principles and objectives will be encouraged on an ongoing basis. The BRC teams will also take steps to ensure it is as useful as possible for those it impacts.

Professor Waljit Dhillo, now Dean of the NIHR Academy was involved in the development of the new framework. He said: “Embracing equality, diversity and inclusion is not simply a matter of complying with the law, nor is it simply a matter of social justice. Diversity is essential to excellence in scientific endeavour.

“We have recognised that now is the time to implement real and practical changes in the way we work and what our expectations are moving forward. This is imperative for both the researchers we fund, but also for the wider community we serve by taking steps towards better representation of the people of North West London.”

Professor Mark Thursz, Director of the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre has added: “Establishing a new EDI Framework is an essential step in evolution of the Biomedical Research Centre. It has enabled us to appoint new BRC Theme leaders who authentically represent our scientific community and who bring refreshingly new ideas to our translational research agenda."

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