Equality and diversity

Athena SWAN gold award At the John Innes Centre we are committed to the career development of all our staff and to an equal opportunities agenda that encourages flexible working to support career development and work-life balance.

We value the diversity of our staff, and are committed to the creation of a positive environment which is fair, welcoming and inclusive and where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

We believe that equality of opportunity is key in achieving our mission and are committed to the positive promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion amongst all members of the Institute and to the principles of the Equality Act 2010.

An Inclusivity and Diversity Committee meets quarterly to ensure that we maintain the inclusive nature of the institute and that best practice is shared across partner institutes on the Norwich Research Park and beyond.

We are proud to have been the first research institute awarded the Athena SWAN Gold Award.

The Athena SWAN Charter was originally established to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths, and medicine (STEMM).

The Charter now includes addressing gender equality more broadly, not just the barriers to progression that affect women.

For more information about the Athena SWAN charter, and the award criteria, visit our Athena SWAN page or the Athena SWAN website.

Parents and Carers

We offer generous maternity/paternity pay in addition to adoption pay, parental leave and dependency leave.

We offer a flexible package of support which includes flexible working hours, access to a family support fund, salary sacrifice child care vouchers, dedicated breastfeeding rooms and optional keep in touch days for staff members who are on maternity or adoption leave.

We understand that each case is unique, and our flexible support considers what is best for individuals on a case by case basis.

We have an on-site Nursery, available for staff and students. A proportion of places within this Nursery are reserved for use by the Norwich Bioscience Institutes of which the John Innes Centre is one.

We offer a range of initiatives, in addition to parental leave and childcare vouchers, aimed at supporting staff who maintain responsibilities as a carer alongside their job. These include:

  • A Family/Dependant Support Fund - providing help with caring costs to support participation in training and conferences, workshops and training events
  • Extending the Tenure Clock following parental leave or where a key member of the research group is absent for an extended period that may impact on a tenure-track Project Leader’s trajectory
  • Additional staff resource for Project Leaders whilst on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave
  • Institute support for the extension of Fixed Term Contracts following Parental Leave in certain circumstances
  • Parent and Carers Group that serves to provide a support network for parents and carers
  • A welfare suite including facilities for nursing mothers
  • Organising key events and meetings at a times that allow carers to complete the ‘school run’ and usually outside school holidays

Disability Confident

We are proud to have been assessed as a Level 2 Disability Confident Employer

Other Equality and Diversity activities

Our commitment to achieving a truly inclusive and diverse workforce where both individuals and teams succeed is also demonstrated through our varied support for equality and diversity activities and initiatives such as: 


Programmes and initiatives

Pay decisions

  • Our job evaluation processes ensure pay and grading decisions are based on objective criteria
  • Procedures are in place to monitor pay decisions on appointment, before the award of special bonus or expectational performance awards and on promotion.  These include gender balanced remuneration panels, unconscious bias training and regular analysis of pay decisions by a number of factors including gender
  • We undertake an annual review of pay and bonus payments

Multi-faith room

Staff and students from all over the world contribute to the unique vibrant multicultural community at the John Innes Centre.

Understanding the needs of a wide range of religions and beliefs is crucial to maintaining a positive environment, and our multi-faith room, which is available to those of any or no faith, offers flexibility and freedom to everyone at the Institute.

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