Equality, diversity & inclusion (EDI)


We’re committed to embedding EDI in everything we do.

Medical research often excludes people from certain backgrounds or people in some circumstances. We want to change this.

To do this, we want to increase the diversity of:

  • People taking part in our research
  • People who help design and shape our research
  • Researchers carrying out our studies

We also want the way we do our research to be more inclusive. We will do research aimed at reducing unfair and systematic health differences between different groups of people. We will work with different communities to make sure they have a strong voice in planning and delivering research. We want our team to be made up of staff from different disciplines, specialisms, and backgrounds.

We have developed a strategy to help us make changes that improve diversity. This has been agreed with National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) and we will need to report our progress to them regularly.

This page has a summary of our plans. For a more detailed overview, you can read the full version of the strategy and see our action plan for information about our goals and planned actions.

Commonly used terms

  • Equality is making sure everyone has equal opportunities to make the most of their lives and talents
  • Diversity is recognising the benefits of different values, abilities and perspectives, and celebrating people’s differences
  • Inclusion is creating an environment where everyone feels welcomed, valued and able to contribute
  • Health inequalities are avoidable, unfair and systematic differences in health between different groups of people
  • Under-representation is where some individuals or groups of people have had fewer opportunities or been excluded
  • Under-served refers to groups of people who may have high healthcare needs but aren’t included in research as much as their needs suggest they should
  • Research culture is about the behaviours, values and attitudes of the research community, and how these affect the people who work in research


The Bristol area covers urban, rural, and coastal populations from a range of heritages and backgrounds. Some of these areas are affected by significant deprivation, health inequalities and differences in health and care provision.

Bristol is a city where racial and ethnic disparities are common and long-standing. It is a city that continues to grapple with its history in the slave trade, as many of its public buildings were built using money from the sale of tobacco, sugar and enslaved African people. This includes the University.

Bristol has a history of civil rights activism, including the Bristol Bus Boycott of the 1960s and the Black Lives Matter protests of 2016 and 2020.

What we are going to do

We have five goals in the areas of data, people, processes, culture and working with others. We will:

  • Explore ways to collect diversity data – this will help us understand where there are barriers and biases that have resulted in some groups being under-represented
  • Encourage more diverse people to work with and for us – this includes our staff, public contributors and research participants
  • Make sure all the processes and policies we use improve EDI and don’t discriminate
  • Encourage inclusive attitudes and behaviours
  • Work with our partners and other groups to extend the reach and impact of our EDI plan

We want to achieve these goals in three areas:

  • Our workforce
  • Patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE)
  • How we carry out our research

We have set some objectives to help us keep track of our progress, with a series of actions which will help us achieve them. We will review these objectives and actions every year to see what we have completed and what new objectives we should add.

We will work with existing groups in our organisations and across the region to make sure our objectives are appropriate and to co-develop plans for how we meet them.