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University of Bradford School of Chemistry and Biosciences Athena SWAN Commitment.

In 2016 the University of Bradford joined a range of other institutions who applied to the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) to join the Athena SWAN charter. This was a recognition of the Universities commitment to promoting an inclusive, supportive, healthy environment for all staff, students and visitors.

The ECU Athena SWAN charter recognises commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research, alongside work in arts, humanities, society science, business and law (AHSSBL). This charter also recognises gender equality in both professional and support roles and should address issues faced by transgender staff and students and all other forms of inequality that could affect any individual's career progression.

The School of Chemistry and Biosciences has set up an internal self-assessment team (SAT) designed to explore these issues within this school and we are seeking to be recognised by the Athena Swan charter as a school in 2017.


Current SAT representatives of the school are:

  • Dr Gisela Helfer - joined the School in 2016. She is primary carer for two school-aged children. She understands the competing pressures of academic life and caring responsibilities.
  • Dr Thomas Swift - Tom arrived in Bradford as a postdoctoral researcher in 2015, the day after his honeymoon ended. Since then he has become a permanent lecturer, moved house and become a father, whilst juggling teaching, his research, assisting to manage the School’s social media and organising a two month work break.
  • Dr Kristen Riches - joined the School in 2015. She represents early career academics on the School’s Executive Committee.
  • Dr Richard Telford - joined the School in 2005. He is a member of the School’s Executive Committee, represents longer serving members of staff (personally and managerially) on the SAT and has carer responsibilities.
  • Dr Julie Thornton - joined the School in 1997 as a Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences and was appointed to Senior Lecturer in 2002. When first appointed she had two children under the age of five and worked on a part-time basis until 2004. In 2010 she became a PI in the Centre for Skin Sciences and is currently is the Principle Supervisor of 4 PhD students. She has supervised 11 PhD students to completion, actively supporting their career development.
  • Dr Maria Katsikogianni - joined the School in 2016. She has a school-age child and she has been working full time after her maternity leave in 2010. She is a MeDe Innovation Early Career Researchers (ECRs) Ambassador for the University of Bradford, organising professional development workshops for ECRs, and a STEM Ambassador.
  • Dr Alison Marks - joined the School in 2014. She has a 12-year old child and works part-time (0.8 FTE).
  • Dr Juanvi Canet-Perez - joined the School in 2015. He leads a diverse group of technicians supporting students’ needs in their laboratory work.
  • Dr Lijun Shang  - joined the School in 2012. He is Faculty Lead in Internationalisation and fully understands the culture issues and their potential effects on staff and students’ working, studies and lives.
  • Anne Harvey - joined the School in 2015.  She is an adoptive mother to a young child.  As the sole carer she is happy to have access to flexible working arrangements.
  • Heather Reeve - joined in 2016 following a 4 year MChem at Bradford University. She worked as a research technician for 6 months then progressed to Chemistry teaching and a research split.
  • Prof Anne Graham - joined the Faculty in 1996. Leads strategy for research in the Faculty and is on Faculty senior management team. Chair of Faculty Postgraduate Research committee. Has developed early career academic forum (2016) and is Aurora role model for the Leadership Foundation.
  • Prof Steve Rimmer - joined as Head of School in May 2015, shared care (40%) of one son aged 12.

All staff or students within the school who have any concerns or questions about the school's provisions are encouraged to get in touch.

For matters outside the School of Chemistry and Biosciences, we encourage you to visit the Equality and Diversity Unit website.