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Durham University

Durham University News


National award recognises commitment to women in physics

(13 July 2017)

Physics wins Juno Award for equality and diversity

Durham University’s Department of Physics has been rewarded for its commitment to equality and diversity in the workplace. 

The department has been awarded Juno Champion Status by the Institute of Physics (IoP) and is one of only 18 departments in the UK and Ireland to hold this award.

Project Juno is a national scheme that aims to recognise and reward physics departments that can demonstrate they have taken action to address the under-representation of women in physics and encourage better practice for both women and men.

Supporting career progression

Durham’s Department of Physics, a World Top 100 department in the QS World University Rankings, was commended for its efforts in meeting a number of principles.

These included appointment and selection processes and procedures that encourage men and women to apply for academic posts at all levels; supporting the career progression and promotion of all staff and enabling men and women to progress and continue in their careers; and flexible approaches that help all staff to optimise their contribution to their department and the University.

Under the award, the department has also committed to working on a number of recommendations to continue to enhance equality and diversity.

Equality and diversity

Professor Simon Morris, Head of the Department of Physics, Durham University, said: “The Juno Champion Status recognises our commitment to equality and diversity.

“The work put in to achieve this award will help further raise the job satisfaction of all of our staff and in turn that will inevitably lead to better teaching and research.

We are committed to offering opportunities to everyone to participate and achieve in physics and will continue to building upon this award.”

Versatile teaching methods

Physics graduate Anuradha Damale said: “In the four years that I have been here there has been a massive change in the level of nurture and understanding that the department has of different learning techniques, different backgrounds, mental health issues and the needs of mature students.

“It has become more and more understanding and versatile in its teaching methods.”

Dr Beth Bromley, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics, Durham University, said: “The Juno award is a culmination of a number of years of collaborative work with guidance from the Institute of Physics to enhance the experience for all staff and students in the department of physics.

“The award builds upon the department’s Juno Practitioner award and further underlines our commitment to equality and diversity.”

Welcoming and friendly environment

Dr Marc Etherington, postdoctoral researcher in the Centre for Materials Physics, Department of Physics, said: “I’m very happy that we have been recognised through this Juno accreditation because I think it’s recognition of all the work that has been put in to make this department a welcoming and friendly environment for everyone.

Dr Julie Wardlow, in the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy, Department of Physics, said: “There are more people that are willing to talk about diversity and there are more people that are open to go to if you have a problem or if you have something you are unsure of. There are people you can trust to talk to here.”

Opportunity to succeed

Jennifer Dyer, Head of Diversity at the Institute of Physics, said: “The Institute is delighted that Durham University has achieved Project Juno Champion status, bringing the total number of Juno Champions to 18.

The department has demonstrated that it has implemented initiatives to embed gender equality across all that it does, and we congratulate all those involved in this achievement. Project Juno continues to deliver real results, demonstrating the efforts that physics departments like Durham are taking to ensure everyone has the opportunity to succeed in physics."

To find out more about Project Juno, visit the Institute of Physics website.

* Durham’s Physics’ department recently presented awards to undergraduate students Lucy Hogarth and Alexander Hunt who have won this year’s inaugural Florence Nightingale Prize for Graphical Excellence. Since 2012 the department has awarded prizes for Graphical Excellence in laboratory reports with nominations at each laboratory level made by academic staff.

Dr Julie Wardlow, Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy, Durham University