7 Oct 2016

Athena Swan Silver Award for IGH

In the latest round of ECU Athena Swan Awards, the Institute of Infection and Global Health (IGH) was conferred with the Silver Athena SWAN Departmental Award – 1 of only 24 Silver awards announced for this round.

The Institute has been committed to advancing women’s careers in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine) since its inception in 2010 and this achievement is a mirror of IGH’s Athena SWAN team effort through the years.

Professor Mathew Baylis, IGH Research Strategy Lead and head of the current Athena Swan team, said about this award: “I am absolutely delighted that the changes being implemented in IGH to encourage, support and promote women scientists have been recognised in this Silver Award. I am grateful to the entire IGH Athena Swan team for their hard work”.

In recent years the Institute has employed a series of measures to ensure that women across the Institute are encouraged and supported in their career progression. At the time of application towards this Athena Swan Silver Award women constituted at least 50% of all Institute Committees, including its Management Team. Additionally, women at the institute have been successfully using initiatives such as a mentoring programme and leadership training which have led to an increase in the number of female academic postgraduate students and staff at all career progression levels. Ultimately, for all members of the Institute, it is clear that IGH foments a positive atmosphere for women. This is reflected in family-friendly policies, allowing staff to bring children to meetings when necessary and the implementation of the “Maternity Mentors” initiative to support staff and students planning or returning from maternity leave.

Professor Tom Solomon, Head of the Institute, added: "I would like to congratulate everyone who has worked so hard on this over several years, from Jane Hodgkinson who initiated our application, all the way through Matthew Baylis, Jo Parker and the current team. It is a well-deserved achievement that truly reflects our many activities to support our women in science."

The Institute continued efforts to champion women in STEMM will not stop here and more positive initiatives will be implemented in the coming period through their Silver Action Plan. One of the main focus of this being the ongoing support of women transitioning from post-doctoral researcher to lecturer through the FLIGHT (Fostering Liverpool Infection and Global Health Talent) programme and the continued investment in initiatives such as the Institute’s highly successful tenure-track programme.

5 Oct 2016

IGH Summer School class of 2016

In July 2016 we hosted the second edition of the IGH Summer School, after a very successful first installment last year.

The event took place between the 11th and 15th of July and 12 local students participated, ages ranging from 16 to 19. This project was supported by the Wellcome Trust's Institutional Strategic Support Fund. Once more, our aim was to provide STEM students with a week-long work experience placement. Through talks, meetings and even practical experiments, all participants were able to take part in ongoing studies which, for some of them, was their first contact with structured scientific research.

Below,  Hugh Takemoto from Barrow Hall college tells us about his experience:

"The whole week was thoroughly enjoyable. The staff from the Institute were all brilliant, I met a great group of students and had a lot of fun."

“For me, the most enjoyable and useful session was the lab session where we prepared serial dilutions of Streptococcus pneumoniae and examined the effects of the bacteria on horse blood. This was the first time I had conducted an experiment in aseptic conditions and I learned techniques to ensure reliable experiment results such as using a Bunsen burner to kill any bacteria in the immediate vicinity. I was also able to practice pipetting techniques, which was a useful skill.

I really enjoyed our visit to the Leahurst Animal Disease Investigation Unit too. The tour of the unit was very interesting and I was surprised to learn that pigs like to listen to Capital radio! During the visit, we helped filter vet reports on diseases in animals brought to the UK from the other European countries and entered the data in spreadsheets.  This showed me another side of biological research and the importance of maths and ICT in biology.”

We hope the week has been inspiring and motivating for all participants and wish them all the best in their future endeavors!
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