All posts by Joseph

Student Equality and Diversity Bursaries: An Invitation to Inclusion

To find out about another great project which has been funded by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Fund (EDIF), I spoke to Dr Laura Delgaty and student, Jenny Peal, about Student Equality and Diversity Bursaries.

The project, led by Laura Delgaty, who’s part of the School of Medical Education, aims to “support and encourage student led small scale equality and diversity research at Newcastle University”. 

The project had been awarded £2,500 from the EDIF, which was distributed between 6 students in the form of bursaries.

Three bursaries of £250 each were awarded to Undergraduate students from each of the three Schools, and a further three scholarships of £500 were awarded to Postgraduate students, again one from each of the three Schools.

One of the students who was provided with an Equality and Diversity Bursary was Postgraduate student Jenny Peal, from the School of Medical Education.

Jenny’s project was aided substantially by the bursary she was awarded. She studied 15 female cardiologists who worked and trained in a male-dominated environment, focusing on the impact this environment had on their success and development. The process of writing up the interview transcripts could take up to 5 hours at a time. This lengthy process, alongside full-time work, was only made possible thanks to the £500 bursary Jenny received.

If you’d like to find out more about other projects funded by the EDIF, click here to see our other blog posts about them.

Or, if you’ve got a burning idea for a project that you’d love to make a reality, apply for some money from the EDIF before the 23rd November! To find out more about the application process, click here, or email us at 

Highlighting the Under-Highlighted

In this instalment of our blog series on projects within the University that have been supported by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Fund (EDIF), I spoke to Dr Joanna Matthan and Agne Krisciunaite about their project: Highlighting the Under-Highlighted.

The main aim of this project is to highlight and celebrate the unsung  staff and students who have helped champion the values of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, those who perhaps haven’t received the full recognition they deserve for their invaluable work surrounding EDI. This will be done through a series of high-profile vlogs.

The project, which received £3,000 from the EDIF, works by allowing staff and students to nominate someone who has shown commitment and passion for the EDI agenda. Those nominated (either by others or by self-nomination) will be invited to discuss their work as part of a vlog, which will be run as a weekly feature across the NU homepage and through University social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.

There have currently been 3 ‘unsung heroes’ who have taken part in the project and filmed vlogs. There are plans to post these videos throughout the autumn term, with a video every two weeks.

Agne Krisciunaite, a key member of the team who helped set up the project itself, gave me some valuable insight into the work currently going into Highlighting the Under-Highlighted: “overall, as a member of the team, I can say that this so far has been a very enjoyable experience, meeting people from different backgrounds and different roles across campus. One could never imagine what an interesting story most of the staff have to tell!”

Make sure to keep an eye out for the vlogs that will be posted on both the NU homepage and through Twitter. If you would like to nominate someone who you feel needs recognition for the valuable work they’re doing, or someone who symbolises the values of EDI, make sure to send your nomination details to Joanna Matthan or Agne Krisciunaite.

Alternatively, if you think you’ve come up with an idea for an EDIF project  to promote engagement with the EDI agenda at the University, click here to find out more about EDIF, or email us at before the call closes on the 23rd November!

Sweetening the Message

As part of our blog series highlighting projects within the University which have been supported by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Fund (EDIF), I spoke to Dr Ann Fitchett, who came up with the idea of Sweetening the Message.

Sweetening the Message aims to raise awareness of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, across our Faculty and the wider University. Packets of jellybeans displaying the message “supporting all to reach their potential”, have been distributed throughout the University.

Thanks to the EDI Fund, Sweetening the Message received £5000 to buy 5,000 packets of jellybeans!

The idea came from Stonewall, when Newcastle signed up as a Stonewall Global Champion back in 2016. When representatives from Stonewall came to Newcastle, they handed out packets of sweets with a message about their work attached, to raise awareness about what they were doing.

Dr Ann Fitchett, who is responsible for the Faculty’s engagement and outreach, alongside Dr Tom Smulders, the Chair of the Equality and Diversity Committee of the Institute of Neuroscience, embraced Stonewall’s sweet idea.

Sweetening the Message will help spread the message of support, and the ambition both FMS and Newcastle University have to support all students and staff in reaching their full potential.

Keep an eye out for students handing out jellybeans around the Faculty and campus soon!

If you’re a student or a member of staff at Newcastle University and you think you’ve got a great idea for a project to promote engagement with the EDI agenda at the University, click here to find out more about EDIF, or email us at Funding closes on the 23rd November, so hurry up!

Creating an Equality and Diversity Calendar

As part of our blog series focusing on projects funded by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Fund (EDIF), I spoke to Dr Laura Delgaty about the project she got funding for: Creating an Equality and Diversity Calendar.

The aim of the calendar is to help keep staff and students up to date and informed about any upcoming EDI events they may wish to attend or participate in. It has been made easily accessible through the University Intranet (it can be found here).

The project received £1,500 from the EDIF, to cover costs such as a focus group, to determine what people wanted from the calendar, and IT support, to have the calendar professionally developed. They also employ an intern, who is responsible for ensuring relevant events are added to the calendar across the year.

Laura hopes that the calendar will “promote and celebrate equality and diversity in the region”, and encourage staff and students across the University to engage more widely with EDI issues.

Laura also highlighted the importance of the calendar for innovation within the University: “this calendar is an example of staff innovation in action, potentially generating further innovation within the staff and student body, a core academic objective outlined in the E&D strategy”.

To see the new calendar and check out upcoming EDI events, please click here.

Or, if you’re a student or a member of staff at Newcastle University and you think you’ve got a great idea for a project to promote engagement with the EDI agenda at the University, click here to find out more about EDIF, or email us at 

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Fund (EDIF)

It’s that time of year again! Applications for the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Fund (EDIF) are open and will close on the 23rd of November. 

The EDIF is an internal funding scheme available to all staff who’ve got an innovative idea for a project, scheme or event that helps promote the EDI agenda at Newcastle University. Up to £5,000 is available, but applications from projects requiring less are particularly encouraged.

On the run up to the deadline (23rd November 2018) we’ve been speaking to a number of staff who’ve made successful applications to the EDIF about their projects. These projects are:

So, if you’re still not sure about applying, or need some motivation to push on with your application, keep an eye on this page over the next few weeks to read all about these projects!

For more information about what kind of projects will be considered, and to access the application form, please click here.

Or, for more information about the EDIF, email us at or contact Judith Rankin​.