Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The Department has a range of working groups, committees and staff networks that we encourage you to get involved with. Committee/working group membership is a great way to meet other members of the Department and contribute to Department strategy and decision-making. Although membership can be an addition to individual workload, it is a valued pathway for career progression, playing a key role in our Awards for Excellence, PDR, and Recognition of Distinction processes. We aim to achieve a fair and accurate representation of our Department members by gender, staff type and students on all our committees. If you have ideas about how we can do this better, please do get in touch.

Our Department is led by John Geddes (Head of Department) in conjunction with the Senior Management Team (SMT) who meet monthly to discuss strategic issues (including research, information governance, teaching, and Athena SWAN) and to consider applications for honorary membership of the department. SMT decisions are communicated at Head of Department Briefings, hosted by John on the first Monday of the month at 9:30, with pastries, tea and coffee available from 9:15, and Department Meetings.


Members of the SMT are chosen for their leadership roles within the Department as follows:

-          John Geddes (Head of Department)

-          Paul Harrison (Associate Head of Department for Research)

-          Clare Mackay (Associate Head of Department for IT/Information Governance)

-          Moira Westwood (Departmental Administrator)

-          Susannah Murphy (Athena SWAN Lead)

-          Kate Saunders (Director of Medical Studies)

-          Phil Burnet (Director of Graduate Studies)

-          Kia Nobre (Director of OHBA)

-          Katie Breeze (Departmental Communications Officer)

All Principal Investigators (PIs) meet quarterly with the Athena SWAN Lead, Director of Medical Studies, student representative, and administration team to receive updates on SMT activities, infrastructure, communications, HR, Finance, etc. 

The Department has formal criteria for identifying PIs.  There are currently 33 PIs (10 women, 23 men).  Achieving gender balance is a key priority, with a number of actions identified in our 2018 Athena SWAN Action Plan. 


-          All PIs

-          Athena SWAN Lead

-          Director of Medical Studies

-          Student Representative (currently Priyanka Panchal)

-          Departmental Administrator

-          HR Manager

-          Finance Manager

-          Communications Officer


Find out about the formal criteria for identifying staff as principal investigators in this document.

Our dedicated Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team (SAT) meets monthly during school term time to explore and resolve issues around career progression, recruitment, induction, promotion, appraisal, flexible working, parental leave, and Department culture. Susannah Murphy is the current Athena SWAN Academic Lead.

See here for current members.

Membership is reviewed annually by the SAT to ensure appropriate gender balance and representation, according to the Terms of Reference. When needed, new members are identified through Department-wide open calls.

The Athena SWAN SAT is supported by a number of working groups (WGs), recruited from the wider Department with at least one SAT member on each. These WGs divide the workload amongst SAT members and engage the Department more fully in the Athena SWAN process. Each WG assesses, consults, prioritises, plans and implements actions within their topic areas, identifies survey items and reviews responses. They meet at least termly.

The Working Groups exist to help meet the 10 goals of the Athena SWAN Charter. 

Anyone interested in joining one of the working groups should contact Susie Murphy.

Academic Career Working Group

The Academic Career WG focusses on developing and optimising the support given to research staff to develop their careers.  This includes: optimising grant application support (e.g. research meetings, mock interviews); increasing applications for Awards for Excellence and Recognition of Distinction schemes; and increasing dissemination of career development information.

Clinical Academic Career Working Group

The focus of this WG is on supporting people to combine clinical and academic work.  This will include: developing the support given to Academic Clinical Fellows; providing networking opportunities for female clinicians; making seminars more accessible for clinicians.

Professional and Support Staff Working Group

This WG is aimed at increasing support for Professional and Support staff (PSS).  This includes: promoting PSS career development opportunities; organising networking events for PSS; championing and celebrating the work done by PSS within the Department.

Family-friendly and part-time working WG

This WG will focus on developing the support given to staff with family and other caring responsibilities and those working part-time.  This includes: developing support for people taking parental leave; increasing awareness of the Shared Parental Leave; introducing initiatives to support people working part-time.

Culture Working Group

This working group has a broad remit to improve the working culture of our Department.  This includes: reviewing Department-wide social events; promoting gender balance in outreach activities; reviewing and developing the support given to staff experiencing bullying and harassment; reviewing potential discrimination experienced by BME and LGBT staff.

The Safety Committee meets biannually to review health and safety in the Department. Any decisions are communicated to staff via the Monthly HoD briefings, Department Meetings and News Digest emails.  It includes staff representatives from each Department building. Membership is advertised through open-calls to the whole Department.


-          Klaus Ebmeier (Department Safety Officer)

-          John Geddes (Head of Department)

-          Margarita Chibalina (Biological Safety Officer)

-          Wayne Davies (Fire Officer, building works management, Cottage representative)

-          Moira Westwood (Departmental Administrator, Main Department)

-          Linda Carter (DSE Assessment Co-ordinator)

-          Sven Braeutigam / Sebastian Rieger (OHBA)

-          Valerie West (Wellcome Building)

-          Clare Williams (Clinical Safety, Neuroscience building)

-          Aitor Rovira (POWIC)

-          Laura Winchester (Lab Wing)

-          Charlotte Dempsey (Oxford Mindfulness Centre, Kellogg College 

-          Julie Hamilton/Graham Ross (Divisional Safety Officers)


-          Phil Burnet (Director of Graduate Studies)

-          Tracy Lindsey (Graduate Studies Administrator)

-          Julie Richards (Student Finances Representative)

-          Priyanka Panchal (Departmental Student Representative)

-          Alexander Kaltenboek (Athena SWAN Student Representative)

-          Eloise Stark / Riccardo De Giorgi (Student Social Representatives)


The Department's Education and Training Committee meets termly to co-ordinate training and education across the department to reduce duplication, identify interdisciplinary events and complementary funding opportunities.


Members of the committee are chosen for their relevant roles within the Department as follows:

-          Phil Burnet (Director of Graduate Studies)

-          Kate Saunders (Director of Medical Studies)

-          Liz Tunbridge (BRC Training Lead)

-          Susie Murphy (Athena SWAN Academic Lead)

-          Moira Westwood (Departmental Administrator)

-          Katie Breeze (Department Communications and Public Engagement Officer)

-          Tamara Lewin (BRC Training Coordinator)

-          Andrea Cipriani (Network Meta-Analysis Course Director)

-          Oxford Neuroscience representative (tbc)

-          Graduate student representative (tbc) 

The IT Users Group is made up of representatives from every research group in the department to share best practice for information governance and inform department policies.  Members of the users group have been responsible for co-ordinating an information asset register for their research groups. The users group has a dedicated mailing list to coordinate the group's activities, as well as to exchange IT and governance questions or tips that members have and that may be answerable or of interest to other members of the list. Representatives for each research group are nominated by PIs. Staff wishing to be involved in the IT users group should discuss with their PI.


-          Clare Mackay (Associate Head of Department for IT/Information Governance)

-          Paul Semple (Information Systems and Governance Officer)

-          Matt South

-          Moira Westwood (Departmental Administrator)

-          PI representatives

The Social Committee organises an annual programme of Department-wide social events with the support of the Departmental Administrator and Head of Department so that staff feel integrated into Department social life. The committee aims to be as inclusive as possible, hosting a variety of events to suit staff with different interests and needs, and inviting staff to help out with organising events and activities. We welcome your input and suggestions. Contact Moira Westwood if you would like to join.

Early Career Researcher Network

The Early Career Researcher (ECR) Network is an informal group that organises regular networking events to create a stronger community between ECRs within the Department.  To get involved contact

Personal assistant and research administrator Network

The Personal Assistant and Research Administrator Network meets each term and communicates via a regular group email to ask questions and share information. To join contact  

Postgraduate Network


Do you have an idea for a new network?  Contact the Departmental Administrator.