Equal opportunities

"Here you can find links to University policies covering matters relating to the University working environment, as well as contacts and general information on work life at the School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience.

The School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience recognises the value of every individual and aims to create an environment that respects the diversity of staff and students and enables them to achieve their full potential. No individual will be unjustifiably discriminated against and the School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience acknowledges the following basic rights for all members:

  • to be treated with respect and dignity
  • to be treated fairly with regard to all procedures, assessments and choice
  • to receive encouragement to reach their full potential

It is our aim in the School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience to ensure that we actively promote a positive, inspiring and inclusive environment for all of our staff and students regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability."

Positive working environment

The School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience is committed to creating and sustaining a positive working environment for its members and providing an excellent teaching and learning experience for our students. We are committed to providing a fair, equitable and mutually supportive learning and working environment for our students and staff, as reflected in the core values of the University.

As part of continuing to develop a positive working environment, the School is committed to enabling staff to achieve an appropriate work life balance. This policy applies to all staff, regardless of length of service, grade, or personal circumstances.

More about the University's positive working environment.

The School acknowledges that as a provider of education, no member will be discriminated against in any working practices, in relation to personal characteristics such as age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy & maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. The University has an established policy and framework for acceptable behavior in the workplace and is committed to Bristol's Zero Tolerance approach to gender-based abuse.

Supporting women in science

The School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience is committed to providing a positive working environment for women in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics).

By developing good employment practices, tackling the unequal representation of women in research, teaching and clinical posts, and improving career progression for female academics, the school is contributing to the national goal of advancing women in sectors traditionally dominated by men.

Athena SWAN awards

"Athena SWAN awards recognise the contribution of organisations in supporting women in science, engineering and technology (SET). These recognise the efforts of organisations to ensure a positive environment for women working in science; that they are represented at all levels , their contribution, skills and experience are recognised, and that they are retained and promoted appropriately.

Promoting women in science is an integral part of the school's culture here at Bristol. With a flexible working ethos and open communication with management at all levels, the school continually explores ways in which we can support women throughout their careers from undergraduate student to independent scientist and professor should that be their career choice."  

Zaf Bashir, SWAN Lead for the School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience

The School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award.

Work and family

The School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience promotes the University's Work and Family initiative, which provides information and support for parents and carers.

The school is committed to providing every opportunity for our female staff to integrate the development of a career with family responsibilities. All employees have the right not to be subjected to a detriment on the grounds of pregnancy, childbirth or maternity, irrespective of hours of work or service. The University website has more information on eligibility, entitlements and the University paternity policymaternity policyadoption policy and shared parental leave policy.

Careers in Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience

The Career development seminars  help researchers, particularly at the PhD / Postdoc stage further their scientific careers. Informal careers talks are organised with external speakers after seminars. These give participants an opportunity to chat informally to the speaker, ask questions about their career and for the speaker to share their insights into career progression. These sessions have been very well received by participants and shown that although there are some common themes there are also a variety of routes to success.

The School also hosts lunchtime themed career sessions on topic such as ‘working part time’ and ‘Can you combine a career in science with having children’.

An active peer support circle of post docs and post grads meets to discuss topics as decided by participants.

Flexible working

A number of our staff currently take advantage of flexible working arrangements. Requests for flexible working are always considered and could include job shares, part time working, term time or seasonal working, career breaks, training breaks. The school recognises flexible working can provide benefits to both the employer and the employee.


Research shows that the most successful mentoring schemes result from when an individual choses their own mentor to be paired with. The School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience supports and encourages a mentoring scheme. If you would like a mentor, and have a certain individual in mind, please contact Chris Fry for this to be arranged. It should be noted that a mentor can be chosen from anyone from the whole faculty. In addition, the University runs a mentoring scheme for women.

LGBT+ Parenting Scheme

The LGBT+ society runs a parenting scheme for students. It also has confidential drop-in sessions, open to members and non-members of the society.

Outreach activities

Outreach activities in the Faculty of Biomedical Science are aimed at igniting and sustaining an enthusiasm for science across a wide age range. We do this by taking workshops in to primary and secondary schools and participating in science festivals. We use a range of activities from public understanding of science seminars to hand-on activities to get participants involved.  The School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience is actively in out-reach and in-reach activities, inspiring school children and the public. These include:

  • Sutton Trust summer schools
  • Sessions in our mobile teaching laboratory
  • Sessions in laboratories and with human patient simulators
  • Neuroscience festival
  • Skirting Science
  • Ada Lovelace Day
  • Soapbox Science


For advice on HR policies please contact the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences HR Team.

  • Zaf Bashir: School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience Equality and Diversity Representative
  • Hugh Piggins: Head of School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience
  • Anne Bedford: School Manager
  • Vikki Layton: University of Bristol Diversity HR Officer
  • Kimberley Wooster: University of Bristol Diversity HR Advisor
  • Acceptable Workplace Advisers - website details to be confirmed

Useful links

The University joined the Stonewall Diversity programme in 2014.

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