Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

The CDT in Biomedical AI is committed to fostering an inclusive and accessible environment where everybody feels supported and respected.

The principles of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) underpin all our practices, policies and vision. We aspire to build a community based on the values of integrity, collegiality and inclusivity, where every individual is able to develop to their full potential and to be treated with dignity and respect.

The CDT, together with its partner Institutes at the University of Edinburgh, has put in place various resources and initiatives to support its continuing commitment to equality and diversity for both students and staff. We regularly review our efforts and introduce improvements based on collected feedback, key indicators and latest best practice.

Student Recruitment

Our recruitment practices are designed to ensure we attract a diverse mix of candidates with different backgrounds and life experiences.

  • All our recruitment materials meet accessibility standards and use inclusive language and images, emphasizing the diversity of our community. The CDT programme is promoted via dedicated networks for underrepresented groups in STEM.
  • The CDT encourages applications from candidates returning to academia and takes steps to ensure they are properly supported in the process. We provide detailed guidelines and advice on preparing the supporting documents to demystify the PhD application process, and curate a list of suggested self-study materials that can be used by candidates wishing to catch up on some topics relating to the CDT.
  • All shortlisted applicants receive interview questions and suggested reading materials in advance of the interview. This ensures a level playing field for candidates from different disciplines and makes the interview process better adapted for neurodivergent candidates.
  • We make sure that recruitment panels are balanced at every stage of the selection process.
  • We monitor EDI indicators at each selection stage to ensure no potential bias are introduced during the recruitment process.

EDI training

  • All students undertake an EDI workshop during the Induction week. It covers EDI challenges in academia and importance of taking EDI aspects into account when designing biomedical AI research projects. The workshop is delivered by the CDT EDI Champion and Deputy Director, Prof Meriem El Karoui.
  • All supervisors, selection panel members and other staff undertake training on Challenging Unconscious Bias and Equality & Diversity Essentials. The university also offers training modules on disability awareness, mental health support and other topics designed to help staff better support students with different needs.

Student Support

The CDT, and the wider University community, has many provisions in place to support students throughout their studies. CDT programme offers tailored support and flexible working patterns to meet individual student needs. Studies can be undertaken on a part-time basis to accommodate students wishing to combine their research training with work or personal responsibilities.

We arrange individual career coaching sessions for students from underrepresented groups to support their PhD journey and post-PhD career choices.

The CDT set up a carers fund to cover student expenses for dependant care incurred due to participation in events outside of normal working hours.

The University of Edinburgh has a range of support structures and policies aimed at helping you get the most of your studies. These include Student Disability Service, Counselling Service, support for student carers and student parents, Dignity and Respect Policy, Equality and Diversity Strategy, Outcomes and Action Plan, Student Maternity and Family Leave Policy, and others.

There are many informal student societies and support networks at the University dedicated to creating and maintaining a safe and welcome space for their members. These include LGBTQ+ Society, Edinburgh University Women in STEM Society, Mental Health and Wellbeing Society, Student Carers group and many others.

The University of Edinburgh is a recognised Stonewall Diversity Champion and Carer Positive Employer, a signatory of the Social Mobility Pledge and a member of the national Race Equality Charter. The School of Informatics, which hosts the CDT programme, has a dedicated Equality and Diversity committee and has achieved an Athena Swan Silver Award in recognition of its commitment to advancing the representation of women in STEM.

University policies and resources