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Promoting diversity

The Biochemical Society is committed to ensuring equal opportunities in the molecular biosciences. We believe that a lack of diversity across the scientific community represents a loss of potential talent to the UK.


Read our Diversity in the Science Sector position statement.


Grants and schemes

We award and support a number of grants intended to promote diversity in the molecular biosciences.


Diversity in Science Grants

Our Diversity in Science grants offers three grants of up to £500 to individuals, groups, charities or businesses to support and address issues relating to diversity in science. Find out more and apply for a Diversity in Science grant.

Stay Connected Bursaries

Many bioscience professionals experience a career break; for example, because of  the need to focus on caring responsibilities, illness, unemployment or a change of career path to an area outside their field. Often extended career breaks are cited as a reason for the lack of women in senior positions in the scientific community.


Our Stay Connected Bursaries recognize that science moves at a rapid pace, and keeping up with the latest developments is pivotal in returning to a scientific career. They make it easier for people on a career break to remain engaged with the science community and return to work, if they wish. Read more about our Stay Connected Bursaries.


In2science Scheme

We sponsor In2scienceUK, a non-profit organisation which provides placements for gifted A-level students from low income backgrounds. The scheme works to leverage the commitment, passion and experience of scientists to ensure the brightest pupils have the opportunity to experience research science first hand, regardless of their wealth. Find out more about the In2Science placement scheme.

Promoting women in science


The Biochemical Society has a strong  history  of  working  in  the  area  of  women  in  science.    

The Athena SWAN Charter 

Launched in 2005, the Athena SWAN Charter works with its partners to develop and disseminate good practice in science, engineering and technology (SET) higher education and research, with the aim of the advancement of women. The Biochemical Society was a founding sponsor and co-funded the Charter, which makes awards to universities and SET departments based on their gender equality practises. See the current Athena Swan award holders.


WISE CEO Charter 

The Biochemical Society is a signatory of WISE’s Chief Executive Officer Charter. In doing so, our senior management makes visible its commitment to embedding support for gender equality.  Find out more on the WISE website.


Women in Biochemistry Year 

 In 2013, we celebrated the centenary of the admission of female members of the Society with a series of initiatives. These included supporting Ada Lovelace Day 2013, organising a series of high school lectures given by female Biochemists and sponsoring Women in Science sessions at the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) annual conference 2013. Other projects are indicated below. 


Sponsorship of a Daphne Jackson Fellow 

The Biochemical Society have sponsored a two-year Daphne Jackson Fellowship to enable a biochemist to return from a career break of two years or more to an academic research career. Read more about the Daphne Jackson Trust.

History of women in biochemistry research projects


Women in Biochemistry cover

The Biochemical Society appreciate the value of reporting and cataloguing our rich history of biochemistry in the UK. As part of our centenary celebrations in 2011, research was undertaken in conjunction with the University of Warwick to provide an insight into the work and lives of women biochemists in Britain from the inception of the Biochemical Journal in 1906 to the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. This work was led by Professor Robert B. Freedman (Biological Sciences), Dr Vicky Long and Professor Hilary Marland at the University of Warwick.  Read more about our collaborative project with the University of Warwick

To continue our exploration of the role of women in biochemistry in the 20th century, we undertook a research project to investigate the lives and work of female biochemists from 1945-1975. This involved the collection of data from 35 years of Biochemical Journal archives, obituary and biographical databases, published books and institutional archives. It also involved the identification of living women authors and gaining insight into their experiences first-hand via questionnaires and interviews. 

Diversity research

In November 2008, the Biochemical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the UK Resource Centre for Women in SET launched two reports examining the retention of women with PhDs in chemistry or molecular biosciences - 'The chemistry PhD: the impact on women's retention' and 'The molecular bioscience PhD and women's retention: a survey and comparison with chemistry'.