Workplace inclusion

Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is a key priority in the Medical Research Council (MRC) and in 2021 diversity was established as one of the new MRC values. Concerted effort is being made to ensure that EDI is embedded across all MRC work, and we recognise that our success and competitiveness as an organisation depends on the ability to embrace EDI and draw on the diverse skills, understanding and experience of our people.

Our aim is to provide an inclusive culture where individual differences and diversity are welcomed: in our workforce, applicants for jobs and funding, and MRC Council and its advisory bodies. Everyone has a part to play each day in ensuring we foster a fair and respectful environment.

Equality, diversity and inclusion in MRC

MRC is currently conducting an EDI audit exploring four key areas (data, policies, processes and culture). EDI audits are a powerful means of discovering and generating evidence and data to help shape MRC’s EDI priorities and generate recommendations, which will be detailed in a comprehensive EDI action plan to be published in due course.

Read more about MRC’s EDI activities.

EDI Advocates

In 2021, MRC launched an EDI Advocates Programme across Head Office, which has since been opened up to all members of staff across UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

EDI Advocates play a key role, as part of the wider EDI programme of work, in improving the ways of working by acting as visible champions for an inclusive, equitable and open culture that encourages diversity of opinion and background. They will also contribute towards driving positive culture change by challenging behaviours, attitudes and how we talk about diversity and inclusion.

ED and I forum

The MRC Head Office ED and I forum provides an inclusive and supportive environment for all Head Office employees to:

  • discuss ED and I related themes
  • share ideas, knowledge and experience
  • support and influence the wider MRC EDI agenda.

Meetings typically take place monthly and membership is open to all MRC Head Office and Future Leaders Fellowship colleagues.

Listening project

The MRC listening project offers new starters and those returning from long-term leave the opportunity to meet with a volunteer ‘Listener’ and provide feedback on the on-boarding and induction process and return to work experience. Its aims are to:

  • check in with employees, support their wellbeing and ensure that they are settling in well
  • help employees feel valued and listened to, and that they can contribute to organisational development even in the early stages of their employment
  • ensure that any accommodations or other support that has been requested has been provided, and to signpost to other services or support
  • provide a development opportunity for those acting as volunteer Listeners.

Participation is optional and any interested member of staff can volunteer to be a ‘Listener’.

Disability Confident

UKRI is a Disability Confident employer. The scheme identifies those employers who have agreed to meet commitments regarding the recruitment, employment, retention and career development of disabled people.

Find out more information on what this means in practice on GOV.UK.

UKRI staff networks

UKRI currently has eight staff networks:

  • Racial Inclusion and Striving for Equity (RISE) Network
  • Pride Network
  • Disability Matters
  • UKRI Women’s Chapter
  • Parenting Network
  • Carers Network
  • Multifaith Network
  • Early Careers Network.

Each group meets regularly, and all have individual agendas and terms of reference. They are a fantastic way to network with people and build contacts across UKRI and to share experiences, arrange events and socialise with a view to catalysing change within the organisation.

All UKRI colleagues are welcome and invited to join any of the staff network groups, even if they do not fall into any of the ‘categories’ represented.


For further information about EDI in MRC.


Last updated: 20 April 2023

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have feedback or would like to help improve our online products and services.