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Brighton & Sussex Medical School


BSMS > About BSMS > Working here > Inclusivity


At BSMS we are committed to ensuring that our curriculum and values are inclusive and justice oriented, and that our students, staff and broader community feel welcome and respected. We recognise the complex intersecting social issues within which medicine operates, and acknowledge that BSMS has an important role to play in ensuring that medicine is a force for positive change whose benefits are available to all. BSMS is the proud holder of an Athena Swan Silver Award, has recently signed up to the BMA charter against racial harassment and is committed to the broader task of decolonising medicine and building a more diverse academic and professional services workforce.

The school continues to fulfil its commitment to equality and diversity by:

  • Striving to ensure that all staff and students are treated with dignity and with due regard paid to their beliefs and values
  • Challenging oppressive beliefs and behaviours in all aspects of school life
  • Providing and maintaining mechanisms for reporting, monitoring and responding to incidents of discrimination, harassment or bullying 
  • Appointing student and staff representatives as leads for inclusivity
  • Monitoring admissions policies, teaching delivery, school regulations and employment practices to ensure that they take appropriate account of equality and diversity issues
  • Ensuring that the curriculum is decolonised and tackles inequalities across the range of protected characteristics, giving BSMS students a broad and integrated understanding of the social, political and moral determinants of health
  • Working with NHS trusts to help tackle inequalities in its partner organisations. 

(BSMS Equality and Diversity statement, agreed in November 2020)

To support these aims, BSMS has individual subgroups for anti-racism, disability and LBGTQ+ work, which are run as discussion groups and open to all BSMS staff. You can find information about these groups in the separate tabs. Each of these subgroups reports to a wider Inclusivity Committee which is composed of staff and students from all parts of the school. The team promote inclusivity and are integral in devising and implementing initiatives and developing the school’s action plan for the next Athena Swan Charter award in 2022. 

You can read more about the Athena Swan Charter in the Gender Equality section.

Who is involved – staff

BSMS Inclusivity Committee 

Inclusivity is relevant to all staff members and students and is a standing item at the School Management Group meetings. The Equality and Diversity work is run by the Inclusivity Team, in conjunction with the Steering Group. If you are interested in joining the Inclusivity Committee, please contact 

Inclusivity Committee members:

Inclusivity Steering Group

The Inclusivity Committee reports to a Steering Group for decision making, progressing policies and procedures and implementing surveys to the wider school. 

Who is involved – students

Student Inclusivity Reps

We appointed six Student Inclusivity Reps in October 2020 who work closely with the BSMS inclusivity team helping to promote, support and develop inclusivity initiatives across all intersections. 

Adama Fullah – Year 1 (she/ her) 

I am currently a first-year medical student. Prior to studying at BSMS, I completed a Biomedical degree and a Masters in Global Health. I grew up in multicultural East London, and during my Masters focused on the barriers to healthcare access for ethnic minority groups. I am committed to bringing about change by working towards justice and representation for all students and will focus on improving three main aspects of inclusivity at BSMS: race, class and disability. I believe that it is crucial for medical students to have open, unbiased and safe spaces to voice their concerns.  I aspire to work with other student representatives and staff to advocate for medical students and help bring about change through openness. 

Christiana Agyemang – Year 2 (she/ her) 

I am a current second-year medical student and medical science graduate. I’d describe myself as very approachable, down to earth and a great listener. I took on the role as a Student Inclusivity Rep following the Black Lives Matter movement as I felt compelled to challenge institutional racism and other discriminations that are inherent in established systems, processes and cultures. I wanted to work closely with the medical school in tackling and breaking barriers to inclusivity as well as hold the medical school accountable in every aspect. I am committed to proactive efforts to look into ways of making BSMS more inclusive and bring about changes to the curriculum. I believe I am an advocate for all, though my areas of interest include race, religion, gender and sexuality.

Xian Li Brian Feng – Year 3 (he/ him) 

I'm Chinese and I grew up working class in Glasgow before moving to London when I was 10. Having experienced many different environments, I also experience many different sides to people, for better or worse. These experiences, along with learning about philosophy, science and Buddhism, have helped me demystify and deconstruct the wider social forces delimiting my social existence. I hope to do my part in bending the arc of the moral universe towards justice. And, of course, stan Loona for clear skin.

Holly Morley – Year 3 (she/ her)

I am a third-year medical student and have recently been appointed as a Student Inclusivity Rep. I have always been interested in widening access and advocacy, coming into medicine from a non-traditional background myself, and was excited when this role was announced. I have been a student rep for my year group for two years before this, and since joining BSMS I have been involved with various organisations such as Students for Global Health, Homeless Medicine Society and Medact Brighton. Various health inequities have led me to educate myself more about social determinants of health, and particularly during lockdown, the Black Lives Matter movement prompted me to reject complicity with the status quo. In my inclusivity rep role, I hope to advocate for my colleagues and to challenge issues which with their colonial and capitalist roots threaten health and wellbeing of students, members of the healthcare profession and patients. My interests in particular are in economic justice and disability.

Justyna Wroblewska – Year 5 (she/ her)

I chose to become a Student Inclusivity Rep because I have experienced a multitude of injustices during my time in medical school, and because I knew that it should not and does not have to be like this. My personal life experience as a female migrant, as well as academic and grass-roots political education have taught me that the social, economic and political power lies in the hands of a very narrow demographic of our society. This power, by default, is exclusive of all and everyone it dominates – and as such, to create inclusive spaces, we need active recognition of what made our lives so exclusive to start with, and work to change that. I believe that part of that change is bringing the marginalised voices to the forefront, uninterrupted. My areas of interest are sexism, racism, xenophobia, classism and ageism. 

Student drop-in sessions

The student inclusivity reps offer Microsoft Teams drop-in sessions to enable students to reach out and discuss any inclusivity concerns or issues. All discussions will be treated as confidential. Please visit the student platform My Studies for further information or contact one of the student inclusivity reps as above. 


Student Report and Support Tool

BSMS is committed to challenging racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, transphobia and all forms of harassment and discrimination. We encourage students to report incidents they have experienced or witnessed. Ideally, we hope that students will approach the Student Support Team; however, we recognise that sometimes students prefer to report anonymously.

This tool is not a replacement for Student Support and if you have any urgent concerns or issues you must use our Student Support channels as your first point of contact, for more information please visit our Student Support pages:

View our Student Support pages here >

The Report and Support tool is for students who would like to anonymously report an incident. However, please note that we will not be able to identify you or contact you directly and therefore it is unlikely that we will be able to initiate an investigation or formal process about your concerns.

If you would prefer to report an incident anonymously to tell us about any form of bullying, harassment or discrimination experienced or witnessed within BSMS, please complete the form below. Anonymous reports will be regularly monitored and, where possible, acted upon. These reports will help us to gather data and to capture patterns of behaviour within the medical school.

Complete the report and support form here >


If you're not sure which is the most appropriate course of action to take, please consult the below flow chart.

View our reporting flowchart 2021 here >


Student Support services offered at the Universities of Brighton and Sussex

University of Brighton  

Disability Coordinator - email 
Careers Service - email 
Counselling Service - email  
Chaplaincy - email 
Students’ Union - email 

International Support team - please click here for further information

University of Sussex 

Careers Service - email 
Psychological & Counselling services - email 
Chaplaincy - email 
Students’ Union - email  

Gender Equality work

Athena Swan Charter

The Athena Swan Charter is an international framework which promotes and supports work undertaken to address gender equality within higher education and research. The charter recognises commitment to advancing the careers of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM) employment. A key principle of the Athena Swan structure is to support the promotion of inclusive working practices that can increase the retention of valued academics and professional and support staff, demonstrating the institution’s commitment to an equitable working environment.

BSMS are committed to the Athena Swan Charter and have received the following awards: 

2014 - Bronze Athena Swan Charter Award submission. The document is available to download here >
2017 - Silver Athena Swan Charter Award submission. The document is available to download here >  

Find out more about the Athena Swan Charter here >


International Women's Day 2021

On 8 March 2021, International Women's Day, BSMS hosted a virtual talk with Dr Rageshri Dhairyawan, Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV Medicine at Barts Health NHS Trust, who discussed how gender may affect health outcomes for women in all of their diversity, from research to experiences of healthcare. Watch her talk in full below. 


Inspirational women of BSMS

Read the interviews and view the photobook that celebrates the inspirational women who work at BSMS.

READ MORE here >


Resources list

Women in Higher Education Network

The Women in Higher Education Network (WHEN) hosts a platform for women including self-identifying women, trans women and non-binary people from all backgrounds, who work in any role in the higher education sector. WHEN recognises and celebrates women’s differences and is dedicated to equity of opportunity for women in higher education. 

If you would like to find out more about the WHEN network and how to join, visit the website below. 

visit the WHEN website here >  

students in dissection theatre

Anti-racism work

Read about our anti-racism work being developed within the school and our commitment to the BMA Racial Harassment Charter.

Read about our work here >

Disability banner

Disability work

Read more about how the Disability Subgroup aims to make BSMS more progressive and inclusive to our staff and students living with any sort of disability. 

Read more about our work here >


Mentoring opportunities for staff

Mentoring plays a key part in career progression so we encourage all staff to take part. BSMS offer a one-to-one mentoring scheme for academic and research staff which is open for applications from both mentees and mentors at the start of each academic year. Please email for further information. 

As well as the internal BSMS scheme which caters for academic and research staff, all staff can apply to be mentees or mentors in the University of Sussex or University of Brighton mentoring schemes. Full details are available via the links below.

University of Brighton Mentoring >

University of Sussex mentoring >