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REIMAGINE: Challenging inequalities

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities that already existed in academia. Emerging evidence shows that researchers with caring responsibilities - the majority of whom are women, earlier career researchers trying to establish themselves, and researchers from ethnic minority groups are more likely be impacted.


This further emphasises the urgency of making a positive change to the academic environment. The evidence should be used as a reminder that inequalities are still very much present and that we must take this opportunity to approach them, making sure the “new normal” post pandemic is equal, just and fair. 

On this page we have collated resources, many from other organisations. The Academy is a member of  Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Science and Health (EDIS) and The Proud Science Alliance.

Find out more about the Academy’s own work on equality and diversity, including our annual diversity reports.

[Page last updated 09 June 2021]


Dr Nisreen Alwan is Associate Professor in Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton. In this video, she outlines why we need to change the language we use to think about issues of fairness, justice and equality.

Read her full BMJ blog: 'Let's equalise our antiracist language'


Have you checked out our #MedSciLife stories? A life outside science is not an extra, but an integral part of who we are as researchers. #MedSciLife brings together personal stories of those working in medical and health research to promote different working practices and explore how passions and achievements outside work can influence careers. 

Dr Li Chan, a Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Endocrinology at Queen Mary University of London, talks about learning to be a working mother which forced her to re-evaluate her priorities. 

Professor Muzlifah Haniffa FMedSci, a Professor of Dermatology and Immunology at Newcastle University, suggests asking organisations to pay for childcare when being asked to travel for meetings and about the difficulties of being a woman of colour in the academic biomedical sciences sector. 


What Black scientists want from colleagues and their institutions”. Nature spoke to six Black academic researchers about the effects of racism on their careers, their advice to white colleagues and their thoughts on meaningful institutional actions.

500 Queer Scientists is a visibility campaign for LGBTQ+ people and their allies working in STEM and STEM-supporting jobs. Their goal is to:

  • Ensure the next STEM generation has LGBTQ+ role models
  • Help the current generation recognise they’re not alone
  • Create opportunities for community connections and greater visibility within STEM

Read biographies and stories of some of the queer scientists.


"Staying Power: The career experiences and strategies of UK Black female professors". This research by Dr Nicola Rollock is the first known UK study to exclusively focus on the career experiences of Black female Professors and their efforts to reach professorship. The study examines, through one-to-one interviews, the experiences of 20 of the 25 UK Black female Professors. Black in this context refers to those of African, Caribbean and other Black background.

View the accompanying portrait exhibition here.


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