Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in MDS

The College Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee have been working hard to improve the opportunities and support available for their colleagues across the College of Medical and Dental Sciences.

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences

EDI in the College is overseen by the MDS EDI Committee, chaired by Dr Sarah Conner (s.j.conner@bham.ac.uk). You can see the structure of the committee on our org chart.

The College EDI team can be reached by email at mdsequality@contacts.bham.ac.uk, and there are also various local EDI Leads whose contact details are listed below.

As well as College, Institute, and Professional Services Leads for EDI, the College has a dedicated Outreach, Equality and Diversity Officer (Tom Syder, t.m.syder@bham.ac.uk).

Find out more about Athena SWAN and family friendly working in the College.

MDS Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Leads and Staff Network Representatives

MDS Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Leads


College Lead

Professor Wiebke Arlt


College Deputy Lead

Dr Sarah Conner


Institute of Applied Health Research Lead

Professor Yemisi Takwoingi


Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences Lead

Dr Asif Iqbal


Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences Lead

Professor Jo Morris


Institute of Clinical Sciences Lead

Dr Andy Coney


Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy Lead

Dr Fiyaz Mohammed


Institute of Inflammation and Ageing Lead

Professor Dagmar Scheel-Toellner


Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research Lead

Dr Gabriela Da Silva Xavier


Institute of Microbiology and Infection Lead

Dr Amanda Rossiter


Professional Services (Administration) Lead

Jackie Ryan


Professional Services (Infrastructure and Facilities) Lead

Jannetta Simpson


MDS Staff Network Representatives

Staff NetworkNameEmail

BAME Network

Sonia Parnell


Enabling Staff Network: Supporting Staff with Disabilities

Dr Alison Cooper


Parents and Carers Network

Dr Rachel Adams


Rainbow Network

Dr Jennifer Marshall


Women's Network

Dr Shazia Zafar s.zafar@bham.ac.uk



Equality, diversity, and inclusion in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences is led by an EDI Oversight Group, chaired by Professor Wiebke Arlt and reporting into College Board.

Reporting into EDI Oversight Group is College EDI Committee, chaired by Dr Sarah Conner and consisting of Institute EDI Leads, staff network representatives, and student and NHS representatives.

Running in parallel to College EDI Committee are the Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team and Race Equality Charter Working Group.

Key resources

This section contains all the key resources that you need to help you reach your potential:

  • Academic Promotions - University guidance and timelines for academic staff applying for promotions.
  • Aditi Leadership Programme - This leadership programme is for those BAME staff members on a grade 6-8 who want to develop their leadership skills.
  • Birmingham Academic and Birmingham Researcher - Information about the Birmingham Academic and Birmingham Researcher schemes.
  • Birmingham Professional - The portal for all development opportunities for professional services staff.
  • Emerging Leaders Programme - For those that already contributing to leadership in the University and want to develop their leadership capabilities further.
  • Equality training - Information about the opportunities available, including the Aurora Leadership Programme for early career female academics.
  • Postdoctoral/ Early Researcher Career Development And Training (PERCAT) - Helping early career researchers develop and become more established. 
  • Research Leaders Programme - A bespoke programme designed for senior researchers who have the potential to increase the quality and reach of their research and to strengthen areas of excellence.
  • Senior Leadership Programme - A bespoke programme designed for senior leaders and equivalents in professional services (Grade 10 or above) who may be about to take up a greater formal leadership and managerial role or who may already be in senior management roles and wish to refresh their leadership skills.

Female researchers may also want to look at the Academy of Medical Sciences SUSTAIN programme.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Athena SWAN for?

  • As an initiative to improve gender equality, Athena SWAN is designed to help all staff and students. This includes objectives as diverse as supporting more female staff to become involved with College committees, to increasing the number of male nursing students, to improving the uptake of partner and shared parental leave. Athena SWAN is also fully inclusive of transgender and nonbinary staff and students.

What are my rights in the workplace relating to equality and diversity?

  • The UK Equality Act 2010 provides protection for staff from various backgrounds from discrimination, harassment, and unfair treatment in the workplace. The characteristics that are specifically mentioned in the Equality Act are known as “protected characteristics”, and these include sex, gender reassignment, and maternity/pregnancy. This means that the University has a legal obligation to ensure fair and equitable treatment for staff regardless of these characteristics. For further information, see Equality.

Where are the gender neutral toilets?

  • The Medical School gender neutral toilets are rooms ELG3, EG02B, and EF02B (all on different floors in the East Wing, at the end of the corridor to the right of reception). There is another gender neutral toilet on the first floor outside the Leonard Deacon Lecture Theatre.

  • The IBR West building gender neutral toilet is room NG32.

  • Gender neutral toilets are also available for staff and students in the Dental Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Education Centre.

What other support is available to me at the University?