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Inclusion and Diversity Forum 2022

6 December 2022 10:00-17:00, London, United Kingdom

The Royal Society of Chemistry Inclusion and Diversity Forum 2022 will take place in person on 6 December at the Royal Society of Chemistry in Burlington House, Piccadilly, London.

Through talks and interactive discussions with our invited speakers, we will continue to advance progress on inclusion and diversity in the chemical sciences – together. 

There will be a plenary discussion with Dr Karen Salt (UKRI) and Professor Iyiola Solanke (University of Oxford) celebrating the joy of inclusion and diversity. We will also hear from plenary speaker Professor Sara Rankin (Imperial College London) on her advocacy work in neurodiversity. Dr Zoë Ayres (Figura Analytics) and Dr Marc Reid, (University of Strathclyde) chemical scientists and recent book authors, will discuss their motivations behind their books on mental health and the imposter phenomenon.

We will hear from participants of our new programmes addressing racial and ethnic inequalities (Destination STEMM – Chemical Sciences and Broadening Horizons in the Chemical Sciences), and highlight our recent work in improving the inclusion of disabled chemists. 

The winners of the RSC 2022 Inclusion & Diversity Prize will be formally presented with their medal, and we will hear about community-driven projects financially supported through the RSC Inclusion & Diversity Fund.

The Forum is our annual opportunity to make and enable progress on inclusion and diversity in the chemical sciences by bringing together stakeholders, topic experts and members of the chemical sciences community.

Your voice can make a difference. We encourage attendees to participate in the discussions and to share their views, helping us to advance inclusion and diversity as a community.  

Travel support and virtual viewing

Please see 'Bursaries' below for information about financial support to attend in person.

For those who cannot join in person, the Forum will also be available for live and on-demand viewing to registrants. 


If you have any accessibility requirements, please let us know through the registration form. British Sign Language interpretation will be provided. 
Nonna Asihan, Bedford Modern School, United Kingdom

Nonna is in her final year of A-Level studying Chemistry, Biology and Maths. She loves learning about all things related to proteins, and aspires to study Biochemistry at University

Dr Zoë Ayres, Figura Analytics, United Kingdom

Zoë is an analytical scientist by background, is currently Head of Research and Development at Figura Analytics, and is the President Elect of the RSC Analytical Community Council. After spending several years in academia post-PhD, she moved to industry, and has worked in the water industry for the past 4 years. Zoë is also a mental health advocate, working towards improving mental health and research culture in research settings, primarily focusing on academic mental health.

Taran Bedi, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

Taran is a 4th year PhD candidate at the University of Nottingham. He completed his BSc in Chemistry at the University of Nottingham in 2019.
His PhD is about using Vibrational spectroscopy (FTIR and Raman) to understand the microstructure of biscuits. His PhD is sponsored by Mondelez International, and he is a member on the Mondelez CTP board representing 11 PhD students.
His interests include characterising amorphous and crystalline sugar phases, and confocal Raman microscopy.
Taran is a participant of the recent RSC “Broadening horizons in the chemical sciences” programme and is a keen supporter of a truly diverse and inclusive workforce in the chemical sciences.

Funmi Marquis, GSK, United Kingdom

I am Funmi Marquis BSc MSc CSci CChem MRSC currently working with GSK as a Senior Auditor within Clinical Quality Assurance of the Global Quality Assurance department.

I am a QA / QC Management Professional and advisor with broad skill set of more than 23 years in Pharmaceutical, Biopharmaceutical, and Fast-Moving Consumer Healthcare (FMCH) industries.

Throughout my career, I have established a track record of success by leveraging a collaborative work style to accomplish all short- and long-range objectives. A small selection of my experiences and qualifications includes,
Skilled in guiding cross-functional teams through project management.
Proficient at applying cGxP’s regulations, Business Global Quality Policies, Processes & Procedures.
Talent for training and leading high-performing teams.

I am currently training as an RSC CSci assessor and training to become a QP.I am currently a Destination STEMM - Chemical Sciences Mentor with Windsor fellowship in partnership with RSC. I have led the GSK science in education work experience (for ages of 14 to 18 years) and have recently helped in GSK and Oxford university work experience for A level students.

I love to give back to the society by networking with likeminded scientists, educating and mentoring Future Scientists.

I was an athlete up to university days in 100m, 200m & High Jump. I currently like to play badminton.

Dr Axel Ekani Nkodo, Skin Care R&D Strategy & Operations Senior Manager Unilever, United Kingdom

Dr. Axel Ekani Nkodo is currently Unilever Skin Care R&D Strategy and Operations Senior Manager. In this role, he supports the Head of Skin Care R&D in defining and executing the category strategy as well as driving and improving the team operational efficiency. Since joining Unilever R&D, he has held a variety of positions, as Technology Platform Leader in Science & Technology, where he led the development of new technologies for Hair Care, Skin Care and Deodorants as well as innovation Technical Project Leader, where he led the launch of new products for brands such as Dove, Sunsilk or Tigi. In addition to these roles, he has also led teams of scientists and R&D managers in UK and in China, where he spent four years on assignment. Prior to joining Unilever R&D, Axel obtained a PhD in Physics from the Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at University of California, Santa Barbara, USA.

Professor Sara Rankin, Imperial College London, United Kingdom

Professor Sara Rankin FRSB has a first-class hons degree and PhD in Pharmacology from Kings College London. Having undertaken postdoctoral work at UCSD and CRUK she joined Imperial College London in 1995 where she is now Professor of Leukocyte and Stem Cell Biology. She is currently working in the field of Regenerative Pharmacology.

Throughout her Scientific career she has been committed to societal engagement that promote diversity and inclusion in science. She has won awards for Leadership, Collaboration and Innovation in Societal Engagement and has worked collaboratively on projects ranging from science pop-up shops, to the first National Black Graduates Career Conference. 
Prof Rankin is dyslexic and dyspraxic and her most recent project “2eMPower” seeks to make STEM accessible for students with learning disabilities throughout their education.

She was featured by Royal Society in an on-line feature “celebrating scientists with disabilities

Dr Marc Reid, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom

Marc was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland.
He completed his Masters in Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde in 2011. In 2015, he completed his Carnegie Trust-sponsored PhD in Chemistry at Strathclyde. From 2015-16, Marc was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Edinburgh. During that time, he was inducted into the SciFinder Future Leaders in Chemistry programme.
In 2016, Marc won the prestigious Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship and rejoined the Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry at Strathclyde from 2017-20. This position was supported by GlaxoSmithKline, and he was thus the first Strathclyde-GSK Early Career Academic. In 2018, Marc was selected to participate in the Scottish Crucible leadership program, the Merck Innovation Cup, and was part of the Converge Challenge Entrepreneurship Competition Top 30. In 2020, Marc became a CPACT-supported Research Fellow and then Lecturer for Innovation in Education at the University of Bristol.
Most recently, Marc was awarded a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship, joining the Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry at Strathclyde in 2021.
He holds a visiting lectureship at the University of Bristol, and a visiting Enterprise Fellowship in the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde. In 2021, Marc completed Seth Godin’s altMBA.
Outside academia, Marc is the founder of the safety culture and accident readiness company Pre-Site Safety. He is the author of the book You Are (Not) a Fraud: A Scientist’s Guide to the Imposter Phenomenon.
His interests include physical organic chemistry, computer vision, cheminformatics, virtual reality, process safety, and the psychology of the imposter phenomenon.

Dr Elizabeth Rowsell OBE CChem FRSC, Director, Johnson Matthew Technology, United Kingdom

Liz is Director of the Johnson Matthey Technology Centres, the Corporate R&D function of JM. She received her PhD in 1993 from the University of Essex, in collaboration with the Nitrogen Fixation Unit at Sussex University, investigating charge interactions in Fe co-ordination complexes using Mössbauer spectroscopy.
Liz joined Johnson Matthey in 1993 as a Research Scientist, developing metal-based therapeutics for the treatment of sepsis. During her career with Johnson Matthey, Liz has worked on the development of catalysts for use in pharmaceuticals, food and personal safety, as well as programmes in biomass processing, gas purification and materials for energy production. She is responsible for a diverse team of talented scientists and engineers delivering cross-sector science to create a cleaner and healthier world.
Liz is a Member of the RSC Board of Trustees and Chair of the RSC audit and risk committee.

Dr Karen Salt, UKRI, United Kingdom

Dr Karen Salt has over 27 years’ worth of experience engaging and co-creating solutions with communities, organisations, charities and governmental bodies. An expert on governance, systems and transformative change, she has led and managed interdisciplinary research centers, collaborative research teams and large research projects, including those focused on producing evidence-informed interventions and policies. She is currently the Deputy Director of R&I System Diversity and Security within UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the UK’s largest public funder of research and innovation. She has the challenging but rewarding task of driving UKRI’s cross-organisational strategic thinking and policymaking on system diversity and Trusted Research and Innovation. A sought after thought-leader and speaker, Salt works closely with leaders across Government, academia, civil society and industry and contributes to numerous international initiatives focused on embedding inclusive policymaking.

Asma Sheikh, University of New York, United States

Asma Sheikh is a proud Deaf female scientist from Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is a first year PhD student at New York University in the Woerpel group and her research focus is organic synthesis. Her big ambition is to lead a team in a pharmaceutical company and expand job opportunities for skilled Deaf chemists, breaking barriers-against odds. She is a recent graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences and a minor in Chemistry. During her undergraduate career at RIT, she joined Dr. Christina Goudreau’s synthetic chemistry lab to work on the synthesis of a monofluorophore and she worked with a group of Deaf peers to develop signs for chemistry vocabularies. The endeavor has led to an enormous project with the intention of making the language of STEM more accessible to Deaf individuals. Thus, Sign Language Incorporation in Chemistry Education (SLICE) was born. 

Rehana Sidat, GSK, United Kingdom

Rehana Sidat is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) with over 24 years of senior leadership experience in the Pharma industry, spanning across commercial supply and various groups in R&D. A focused, assertive, empathetic leader who holds high standards and has proven experience of transforming team performance (matrix and direct line), across diverse disciplines within and outside of her immediate domain. Rehana is an incredibly passionate, advocate, ally, sponsor, coach and mentor of DEI, both within GSK and outside of GSK. For example, Rehana is on the RSC Inclusion & Diversity Committee (Jul 2020- Present, Appointed), RSC Nominations Committee Member-Representing the RSC I&D (July 2022- Present, Appointed), GSK R&D Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council Member (Jun 2018- Present, Appointed), Active Sponsor, Mentor & Coach to many staff (support ca. 25-30 individuals per year).

Professor Iyiola Solanke, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Iyiola Solanke is Jacques Delors Professor of European Union Law at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of
Somerville College.She was previously Professor of European Union Law and Social Justice at the University of Leeds Law School and the Dean for EDI for the University.
She is a Visiting Professor at Wake Forest University School of Law and Harvard University School of Public Health and a former Fernand Braudel Fellow at the European University Institute. Professor Solanke is also an Academic Bencher of the Inner Temple.

Her research is socio-legal and empirical. Her books include a textbook on EU Law!(CUP 2022), monographs - "Discrimination
as Stigma - A Theory of Anti- Discrimination Law"!(Hart 2017) and #Making Anti-Racial Discrimination
Law"!(Routledge 2011) - as well as edited volumes and articles in peer reviewed journals.

She founded the Black Female Professors Forum to promote visibility of women professors of colour, and the Temple Women"s Forum North to promote engagement between legal professionals and students in and around Yorkshire. In 2018 she chaired the Inquiry into the History of Eugenics at UCL and she is currently leading two research projects: Co-POWeR, an ESRC-funded project looking into the impact of COVID on practices for wellbeing and resilience in Black, Asian and minority ethnic families and communities; and Generation Delta, a RE/OfS-funded project promoting access to PGR study for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women.

Registration for in person attendance is now closed but you can still register to access the live streaming.
Book now

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Travel support

For those who wish to join us in person but require financial support to do so, we are offering enabling grants of up to £150 towards travel expenses to London. For more information contact 

Grants for carers

With our Grants for carers, you can apply for up to £1,000 per year to help you attend a chemistry-related meeting, conference or workshop or a professional development event. This money would be used to cover any additional costs you incur, paying for care that you usually provide.  Please visit the website for further information and eligibilty criteria.

Accessibility grants

With our Accessibility grants, you can apply for up to £1,000 per year to help with the cost of specific support to attend a chemistry-related meeting, conference, workshop or professional development event. This support might be any form of equipment, service, or other personal expense associated with meeting your access needs.
The Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA, United Kingdom

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