Diversity and inclusion: helping more ideas thrive

Science misses out when people feel it isn’t for them, or leave research careers because of barriers they face. We’re committed to removing those barriers and making science and health research open to anyone with a great idea.

What we're doing 

There’s no quick fix. Creating an inclusive culture where people feel they can participate and contribute means making lots of small changes that add up to more than the sum of their parts. That's why we’re calling for change in three areas. 

Making UK science more inclusive

We’re funding research to understand more about the causes of inequality within science, and making our grants more flexible to accommodate diverse needs, like providing adjustments for disabled applicants.  

We’ll also introduce innovative ways to measure, evaluate, incentivise and embed good practice in diversity and inclusion, and share what we learn with others. 

With the Francis Crick Institute and GlaxoSmithKline, we’ve launched a network called EDIS (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Science and Health Research)(opens in a new tab) which aims to inspire and encourage the UK scientific community to make equality and diversity a top priority.

Engaging a wider range of people with science and health

We’ll continue to engage people from all walks of life through our work in education and public engagement. We’re planning to build on the great work Wellcome Collection has already done to make its exhibition space more accessible(opens in a new tab) to different audiences.

We’ll partner with organisations like BBC Children in Need and the Brilliant Club(opens in a new tab) to spark young people’s curiosity in science, and inspire more of them to see themselves as scientists in future. 

Leading by example

As one of the biggest funders of science and research in the UK, we want to lead by example. We know we’re not as inclusive as we could be. We’re enhancing our recruitment process, introducing bias awareness training, and investing in a seed fund to support people to develop their own ideas for making Wellcome more inclusive.

Our commitment to tackling racism

We are working to tackle racism at Wellcome, and we hope to improve the experiences of the people of colour we employ, fund and work with. Only by doing this will we be closer to racial equity at Wellcome, and able to deliver our vision to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. Read: 

We know we can’t do this alone and we have a lot to learn from others – that’s why we’ve brought together an Anti-racism Expert Group. They will work with us in an advisory capacity, sharing their knowledge and experience to support us as we strive to become an anti-racist organisation.

What we want to achieve 

If we’re successful, leaders across UK science and research, including those from funding organisations and universities, will support and drive commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

We’ll know more about what causes inequality in UK science and health research, and we’ll be working with others to measure, monitor and remove it. There’ll be a greater diversity of people doing or interested in science.

At Wellcome, we’ll have broadened the diversity of people we employ. Diversity and inclusion will be embedded in our culture and the way we work, and having a range of voices will help us make better decisions. We’ll begin to see a ripple effect across other organisations.

In the long-term, this work will lay the foundations for a research culture in which everyone feels able to contribute their ideas. And as a result, more great ideas will help us realise our goal of improving health.

What it really means

  • When we say ‘diversity’ we mean everything that makes us unique – from the categories protected by UK law(opens in a new tab), to our personality types and ways of thinking.
  • 44% of senior lecturers in bioscience are women, compared to only 16% of professors. 
  • Students taking STEM subjects after 16 still fall into the same ethnic and social groups they did 20 years ago.

Sources: The Royal Society(opens in a new tab)King's College London(opens in a new tab)

Funding opportunities 

We support Wellcome grantholders to identify and tackle barriers to diversity and inclusion in their work.

Find out more about our Research Enrichment – Diversity and Inclusion scheme.

Latest news 


The diversity dividend?

A review by a team from the University of Sheffield looking at the evidence for the benefits of a more diverse and inclusive biomedical and health research community.

Read the report [PDF 1.8MB] and briefing paper [PDF 4.1MB].

Understanding mental health in the research environment

Commissioned by Wellcome and the Royal Society, RAND's literature review explores the mental health needs of researchers and the interventions that can be used to support them.

Read the literature review [PDF 3.4MB].

Diversity in grant awarding and recruitment at Wellcome

A summary of research by the Bridge Group on diversity in grant awarding and recruitment at Wellcome, and recommendations for how to turn our vision of diversity into reality.

Read the report [PDF 1.4MB].

Our team 

  • Lauren Couch, Head of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Diego Baptista, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor – Research Culture
  • Emma Molyneaux, Diversity and Inclusion Insight Research Analyst
  • Gemma Tracey, Diversity and Inclusion Programme Manager (Science and Research)
  • Helen Kemp, Diversity and Inclusion Programme Manager
  • Kalaiyashni Puvanendran, Diversity and Inclusion Project Manager
  • Lilian Hunt, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Science and Health (EDIS) Programme Lead
  • Sarah Christie, Diversity and Inclusion Programme Manager (Wellcome)
  • Sophie Bevster, Team Coordinator and PA to the Head of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Tunde Agbalaya, Diversity and Inclusion Project Manager 

Our steering group gives strategic advice to shape our work in this area.

If you have any questions, contact the team: inclusion@wellcome.org

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