Department of Chemistry

Department of Chemistry University of Oxford

The Department of Chemistry, together with the University of Oxford, is committed to promoting equality, valuing diversity and encouraging inclusion among its students and staff. We aim to foster an inclusive working environment in which all students and staff are valued and respected, and where everyone is able to contribute fully, to flourish and to excel.

The Department recognises that equality and diversity should be embedded in all its activities and seeks to promote awareness and foster good practice.  To this end, we have a dedicated Equality and Diversity Committee that champions diversity and equality of opportunity in all aspects of Departmental activity.  The Committee includes women and men from all levels and areas of responsibility within the Department, including students, postdoctoral researchers, academic and administrative staff.   They meet regularly throughout the academic year to discuss and address matters including gender, race, religion, LGBT+ and disability within the Department. 

The championing of equality and diversity in the Department benefits from the extensive framework and strategy already in place at the University of Oxford, underpinned by the University’s Equality Policy.  Initiatives designed to encourage equality and diversity at Oxford include a number of networks to support specific groups with shared interests, for example gender, disability, race and LGBT+.  The University holds a Bronze Athena SWAN award at institutional level, and the Department was recognised for its work with a Silver Athena SWAN award in November 2015.

Professor Dame Carol Robinson DBE FRS has taken over as President of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Dame Carol, Dr Lee’s Professor of Physical Chemistry, began her presidency in July and will lead the professional body for chemical scientists in the UK.
In a unique double, Professor Claire Vallance also has also taken up office as President of the RSC’s Faraday Division, which provides a forum for physical and biophysical chemistry, molecular and chemical physics.

At the MPLS summer reception, Professor Susan Perkin collected an Equality and Diversity Award on behalf of the Chemistry working group on the demographics of student attainment.  The group, chaired by Susan, is a collaboration between the Department and the University Student Data Management and Analysis team established to research, analyse and understand the attainment gaps in undergraduate examination performance.  The team applied rigorous multivariate statistical approaches to test a range of measurable hypotheses.

Professor Susan Perkin was selected by the Editorial Board of the RSC Journal Soft Matter to receive the 2018 Lectureship award. This award honours a younger scientist who has made a significant contribution to soft matter research. As the recipient of the Lectureship, Susan will present a lecture of her choice and contribute a leading article to Soft Matter which will be featured on the journal's front cover.