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Dr Katy Petherick

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In 2019 I became Co-Lead of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) for the School of Life Sciences, while retaining my role as Public Engagement Coordinator. 

My interest in EDI has grown throughout my career, as I became increasingly aware and frustrated by various inherent inequities in both academia and society. I shaped my Engagement role to incorporate a large element of EDI, before being offered the Co-Lead position. As part of this role, I spend a large proportion of my time improving the policies, procedures and culture in the School, building relationships across the institution to do this effectively.

I have been the Wellcome Trust ISSF Public Engagement Coordinator at the School of Life Sciences since September 2015. Prior to this position, I trained and worked as a scientist (cancer research) for 6 years (PhD, University of Bristol, 2008-2012; Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Dundee, 2012-2014). During this time I worked with Cancer Research UK Research Engagement teams. I have experience in running workshops for primary school children, having worked with Mad Science (Bristol) and Curiosity Hub (Brighton). I am also familiar with overseeing mass participation events, having managed components of Race For Life events during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. 




Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) 

 • Oversee implementation of the School EDI strategy

• Coordinate and chair the School EDI committee

• Chair the student BAME attainment gap committee

• Manage the School Support Network

• Represent EDI on the School Senior Management Team

• Represent the School at University EDI committees

• Liaise with the University EDI team and external stakeholders over initiatives

• Manage EDI budget

• Generate EDI action plans and lead initiatives, applying for external funding where relevant

• Build a culture supportive of EDI

• Promote participation in EDI staff training, coordinating EDI workshops with the Staff Development Unit

• Maintain a working knowledge of equality legislation and institutions (e.g. The Equality Act 2010, Access HE, Disability Confident, Stonewall), providing expertise and advice to the School

• Write and update School policies in line with new legislation and advice

• Ensure that School and University policies regarding EDI are adhered to

• Coordinate and submit School applications for charters and accreditations as required

• Ensure implementation of initiatives included on submitted charters and accreditations

• Coordinate collection and analysis of data to analyse progress of EDI initiatives

• Monitor the state of opinion of School members concerning EDI issues and policies through surveys, focus groups or other tools

• Communicate EDI initiatives and concerns with the School and Senior Management Team, making recommendations to improve performance where appropriate

• Disseminate information to staff regarding EDI initiatives and information

• Increase the profile of EDI initiatives, including writing news articles

• Ensure EDI information on the internal and external websites is up to date

• Ensure organisation of events that celebrate/encourage EDI

• Provide support to those requiring confidential discussions


Public Engagement (0.5FTE Sept 2015 – Dec 2016, 1.0FTE Jan 2017 onwards)

• Manage public engagement activities and initiatives

• Line manage the Communications and Events Officer

• Develop the public engagement strategy, aligning stakeholder priorities and current national engagement focus areas

• Manage Public engagement budget

• Supervise funding applications for public engagement projects

• Manage engagement events (where applicable)

• Coordinate the School Widening Participation strategy and activities

• Chair the Engage for Change committee, and act as secretary for other meetings as applicable

• Build a culture supportive of public engagement (e.g. recognition for participation in staff appraisals)

• Produce internal and external communications to promote initiatives, including using social media

• Design, deliver and source training for researchers, including founding a university-wide Public Engagement Network

• Responsible for broadening audience demographic through building local partnerships with community and youth groups

• Provide internal funding for community projects to work with underrepresented audiences

• Implement systems to monitor public engagement activities, including through qualitative and quantitative evaluation, producing associated reports to agreed deadlines

• Comply with legislation and organisation policy on health, safety and risk

• Ensure GDPR compliance for all activities

• Facilitate public focus groups and similar meetings, ensuring confidentiality where necessary

• Use online technology for training and meetings, e.g. Zoom, Panopto and Microsoft Teams

• Commission work where appropriate (e.g. evaluation consultants, artist collaborations)

• Liaise with suppliers for material production

• Work flexibly to support team members and School priorities

Community and Business

In addition to my current role, I support science in the local community through various volunteer activities:

Co-founded and a Trustee for the Charitable Incorporated Organisation Curiosity Sussex. 

Co-founded the British Science Association Brighton and Hove branch, organising events such a SciScreens (film screenings with related science activities) and community events

Co-founded STEMbusters, a social meet-up for people who are involved in science communication.

Co-founded Soapbox Science Brighton, promoting Women in STEM.

Supporting the initiative Out and About STEM, promoting LGBTQ+ in Life Sciences.