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Race equality

As both a research and higher education institution, we are determined to address the racial inequality and systemic racism in science and the higher education system. 

In 2020, we worked with our Race Equality and Cultural Heritage (REACH) Forum to develop an organisational action plan, Race Equality: Beyond the Statements, which sets out actions and commitments to address the under-representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic staff in leadership roles and in research careers within the ICR.

The action plan sets out the steps we are taking to create an environment where all can thrive, by opening up conversations about race across all aspects of working and studying here, and seeking to understand and address challenges faced by black, Asian and minority ethnic staff and students.

Our Race Equality and Cultural Heritage (REACH) Forum

The REACH Forum brings together our staff and students to meet with other colleagues and learn about each other's experiences.

Jointly run by ICR and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust staff and students, the Forum provides a space to discuss issues and push for initiatives that can help promote diversity and drive greater equality in our workplaces.

The forum meets regularly, both through informal monthly ‘lunch and chats’, and through formal monthly meetings. The Forum also runs regular social events to bring staff together across the whole of our two organisations.

To find out more about the forum, please get in touch at [email protected].

Inspiring the next generation

Reaching those beyond the ICR is also one of the organisation’s commitments to addressing racial equality on a wider scale. School students from minority ethnic backgrounds are at the heart of the ICR’s public engagement strategy, which aims to encourage much greater diversity in science through various outreach activities.

Because certain ethnic groups such as black students are less likely to access and progress into science careers, the strategy aims to help address this shortfall long before recruitment or employment.

Vacation studentships

The ICR’s Undergraduate Vacation Scholarships summer scheme offers ring-fenced studentships for Black British and first-generation students. These students are likely to apply for a PhD in the future.

Like most places, we have work to do as we strive for equity in the workplace - and I am committed to playing our part in tackling systemic barriers in academia, and to make meaningful progress in addressing representation in the workplace.

— Kristian Helin, Chief Executive of the ICR 


Feature: How the ICR is going beyond its statements, and taking real action

In 2020, we made commitments to tackling racial inequality in our organisation and beyond. Gege Li spoke to some of the people involved in our progress to date and discussed the challenges ahead.

Read more

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ICR values

Our values – developed together as an organisation – make it clear how each and every one of us work to meet our mission – to make the discoveries that defeat cancer.