Our School has a large, vibrant community of scientists working at all levels in research, teaching, management and outreach.
We received a Silver Departmental Athena Swan award in October 2020, which followed the Bronze award we achieved in April 2017 and reflects the on-going commitment we have made to improving equality in our department.
The School of Life Sciences is committed to promoting a positive and inclusive working environment for all our scientists. We support women at all stages of their career, from undergraduates all the way to professors.
The University of Essex has a Women in Science Network to support female staff and students in STEM subjects and was awarded the Athena Swan Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.
In October 2020 we were granted a Silver Departmental Athena Swan award, which followed from the Bronze award that we achieved in April 2017. The Silver award reflects the work carried out by staff in our School to continue to improve equality, including a mentorship scheme, support for postdoctoral research staff, and financial help towards childcare costs for academics who wish to attend conferences.
There is a wide range of opportunities, resources and support networks available for our staff, both within and outside our University.
The School has a mentoring policy to support its new academic staff. A senior member of staff is assigned as a mentor to all new academic staff.
For research active staff, one of the key roles of the mentor is to help to de-mystify the ‘rules of the game’ by providing advice on what is worth doing and when, where and how to network, how to develop a career plan, explaining promotion criteria and how to develop a profile within a discipline.
This period of formal mentoring ends when the mentee achieves permanency. Further information about this policy can be found in the staff handbook.
A School Mentoring Scheme has been established as a result of an action from the School’s Athena Swan Bronze Department Award.
This voluntary scheme is open to all academic/research staff and PhD students and aims to support individuals at all stages of their professional or personal development. Mentors will provide support, give advice and guidance on career/personal development and provide opportunities to reflect on progress.
The scheme supports both traditional mentoring with senior staff as well as peer mentoring and can be either long-term or short-term to suit individual needs. All documents are available on the School Mentoring Scheme Moodle.
Starting in any new workplace is always a little daunting. The mentorship scheme in Life Sciences meant I had a personal connection with a knowledgeable member of staff from day one. This was an enormous help for both small and big challenges in my new job.
The School actively promotes academic and research staff applying for permanency and promotion.
We understand that some of our students may have different access needs or may need additional support while studying with us.
Our Student Directory includes articles about how we support our students, and how we ensure our campuses are accessible to all. If you have any questions you can also contact our Colchester Student Services Hub, who are happy to answer queries and provide signposting to our range of services.