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Professor Catherine Harmer delivers Monica Fooks lecture

I’m Catherine Harmer the Associate Head of Department for People and Culture.


On these pages you will find information about our working groups; our upcoming plans and recent events.  People and Culture includes our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity. 

It also includes a focus on people – including facilitating career development, nourishing a positive research and working culture and working together to attract and retain people working in the department for academic, professional and support staff and students.

Our working groups feed into a people and culture oversight committee; each working group has developed an action plan for their focus over the next 12-18 months. Together we have created themed months in the department, to tie into national dates, and to organise our talks, blogs, training sessions and other initiatives around this topic.  

Working Groups 

Racial equality Career development
Family-friendly and flexible working Mental Wellbeing  
 Early Career Researcher social group

On the Committee we also have:


Bullying and Harassment

Our harassment/welfare officers are led by Erdem Pulcu, who is also on the People & Culture Oversight Committee.

Find out more about who the welfare and harassment officers are and how they can help.


People & Culture Oversight Committee members

Professor Catherine HarmerProfessor Belinda LennoxMichael ColwellAngharad De CatesErdem PulcuAmy GillespieDr Beata GodlewskaWendy HowardLisa JonesSusannah MurphyEmma OsborneRaihaan Patel Elizabeth RapaKatherine ShepherdVerity WestgateLaura WinchesterPhilly WhiteMichael Browning 

Also: Moira Westwood


Department Months 2023

January  Menopause awareness

The Mental Wellbeing and Family Friendly/Flexible Working Groups jointly organised a “Menopause in the Workplace” themed month. This included raising awareness of the University’s new menopause guidance, setting up a department Teams channel to facilitate connections/support between those affected by the menopause, promoting menopause training, and holding an informal ‘coffee and chat session’.  More details of these activities can be found here (Internal only)

February - LBGT+ History 

The department was decorated with rainbow flags with a weekly email sharing information and resources about LGBT+ issues and history.

March - Race Equality

We reported back on the results of the surveys and focus groups on racial equality and shared our draft for a departmental action plan to address these concerns. We promoted activities, training and resources around the university aimed at tackling racism and inequality (including this guide on inclusive research), and celebrated the successes of academics of colour. We bought books on racism that now sit in the common room for anyone to access, guided by this anti-racism reading list.

April - Student Wellbeing

Various activities have been run by student representatives to support the wellbeing of research students across the department including: wellbeing cafés, wellbeing noticeboards sharing tips on nurturing wellbeing, and reflective practice groups facilitated by external qualified counsellors. 

May - Neurodiversity

For Neurodiversity Month, members of the Department who are neurodivergent shared their experiences as well as Head of Administration and Finance Moira Westwood on good line management practice. A 'Supporting our neurodivergent community' workshop led by EDI facilitator Hannah Ravenswood was also held and was well-attended.

June - Family-friendly/flexible working


News and achievements

Catherine Harmer's People and Culture round-up of 2022

100 per cent of Psychiatry's research environment rated as world-leading in REF 2021

Athena Swan Silver Award


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