Our joint strategy for equity, diversity and inclusion

This joint strategy between the NIHR GOSH Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and the Clinical Research Facility (CRF) sets out our commitment, vision, and priorities for promoting an equitable, diverse and inclusive research culture at GOSH and beyond. This strategy aligns with the NIHR’s commitment to EDI and the NIHR Equality Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2022-2027.

As a world leading research institution, we want to ensure equity, diversity and inclusion are enacted throughout all of our NIHR GOSH BRC and CRF activities. We will ensure everyone can get involved with the research and work we do, including our staff, our patients and the public, regardless of protected characteristics, career stage or profession.


Our Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy has been developed and will be delivered in partnership between the NIHR GOSH BRC and the NIHR GOSH CRF.

This strategy will apply to research at GOSH and UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (UCL GOS ICH), and best EDI practices developed will be shared across our PEI Partners.

It is built on and aligns with the NIHR Equality Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2022-2027; areas of other related GOSH strategies including GOSH PPIE; GOSH BRC Career Development Academy (CDA) and GOSH Research Communications.

Where are we now?

The GOSH Research & Innovation Directorate aims to accelerate translational research and innovation to save and improve lives. To achieve this aim, we recognise that equity, diversity and inclusion are essential to research excellence.

Both organisations, GOSH and UCL GOS ICH have established EDI frameworks and initiatives. At GOSH this includes the ‘Seen and Heard Framework’, The Allyship Toolkit, which was the result of a series of listening events aimed at raising awareness and building allyship, and the GOSH staff networks, focusing on gender, race, disability and sexuality.

UCL GOS ICH holds a Gold Athena Swan Award, a national charter mark recognising commitment to advancing gender equality and involves an extensive action plan focusing on career development and mentoring, diverse staff and student recruitment and research culture amongst other relevant issues. The UCL GOS ICH EDI Committee, which includes representation from the NIHR GOSH BRC, and several focus groups lead on the implementation and monitoring of the Athena Swan Action Plan. A dedicated Race Equity Group also has its own Action Plan and drives the conversation around racial and ethnic inequality at the Institute.

As the NIHR GOSH BRC and CRF, we are aware that we are in the early phases of our EDI journey. We have identified gaps in our data and practices and are committed to working towards embedding equity, diversity and inclusion into our systems, policies and processes.

Where do we want to be?

Our key priorities and goals are outlined below.

  1. Evidence-led change - We will embed processes of data collection, starting with achieving a baseline from which to monitor, analyse and inform our actions.
  2. Diverse leadership - We will ensure diversity of representation on all our key governance and decision-making structures, where possible, and in line with our population statistics.
  3. Opportunities for all - We will ensure equitable access to career development and funding opportunities regardless of gender, ethnicity, profession or career stages.
  4. Inclusive participation - We will create appropriate opportunities for underrepresented groups to participate in research at GOSH.

The focus of our strategy goes beyond the protected characteristics to areas of underrepresentation identified within our workforce, but also across the sector. In its Best Research for Best Health strategy, the NIHR identifies nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals as underrepresented in academic careers. Therefore, we will consider the diversity of professions across the research landscape to include these wider healthcare professions, non-clinical careers such as data scientists, and the specific career development needs of research delivery staff. We also feel career stage is important to consider throughout this strategy, as our Junior Faculty Committee has identified a gap in support for early career researchers. In its Saving and improving lives documents the Department of Health & Social Care highlight the importance of making research more diverse and more relevant to the whole of the UK. We will consider how through research delivery we can increase research in more diverse and underserved populations and actively engage with underserved communities.

Our main points of focus will be:

  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Profession
  • Career stage

How are we planning to get there?

1. Evidence-led change

Short-term goals

  • Create a diversity data monitoring form in line with NIHR guidelines and embed within all research application forms.
  • Analyse the data collected and establish a baseline dataset, which can be used as a comparator to identify targets.
  • Publish data on our awardees and application on our website annually.
  • Work alongside GOSH and UCL GOS ICH HR partners to monitor workforce equality data and identify areas of underrepresentation in the research workforce

Long-term goals

  • Establish targets based on areas of underrepresentation identified in the data.
  • Implement actions based on areas on underrepresentation identified through data monitoring and evaluate the impact of these actions.

2. Diverse Leadership

Short-term goals

  • Review composition of our key boards and decision-making committees – NIHR GOSH BRC Science Board, External Advisory Board, CRF Board
  • Establish an EDI Steering Group
  • Appoint a GOSH Research & Innovation EDI Lead
  • Analyse demographic data of review panels and develop actions to address any underrepresentation

Long-term goals

  • Consider EDI in succession planning for leadership positions, committees, and boards

3. Opportunities for all

Short-term goals

  • Review staff recruitment processes, considering advertising, job descriptions, shortlisting criteria and panel membership to ensure EDI best practice approaches are followed.
  • Review advertising and selection processes for allocation of resources through competitive funding calls to identify groups who are underrepresented or may need additional support to facilitate successful applications.
  • Review decision making processes around opportunities for championing researchers through presentations at boards, theme engagement events and showcases.

Long-term goals

  • Identify work experience scheme to encourage underrepresented groups in science and research.
  • Increase opportunities for Junior Faculty to observe board meeting and review panels
  • Consider timing of funding calls and applications (people with caring responsibilities).
  • Evaluate impact of anonymisation of review panels.

4. Inclusive participation

Long-term goals

  • Develop and implement actions to mitigate areas of underrepresentation in our research participants.
  • Undertake Equality Impact Assessments for all GOSH sponsored studies
  • Engage with sponsors and collaborative partners relevant to areas of unmet need identified

More detailed EDI activity plans from the NIHR GOSH BRC and CRF are available at the bottom of this page.

How will we monitor progress?

We intend this strategy and action plan to be an iterative document. As we gather the relevant data, establish our benchmarks and review our processes, we will develop further actions. We will review the strategy and action plan annually and make amendments accordingly.

The EDI Coordinator attends and reports to the monthly NIHR GOSH BRC Science Board, NIHR GOSH BRC Management meeting and NIHR GOSH CRF Board.

An EDI lead will be appointed to drive forward and influence change at the senior leadership level.

The EDI lead and EDI coordinator will also sit on the UCL GOS ICH EDI Committee.

Glossary of terms

Our strategies should be understandable for a variety of audiences but we may sometimes use acronyms or technical terms that you may not be familiar with