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Department of Pharmacology




Thury Agustsdottir (, Departmental Administrator), Dr Cathy Wilson (, University Assistant Professor) Sergio Tomey ( Chief Teaching Lab Technician) and Jen Baptista (, HR and PG Coordinator) are the Department of Pharmacology's Wellbeing Advocates. If there are issues or concerns you would like to raise and discuss, please do not hesitate to contact them; everything will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.

Below you will find a brief overview of the support available at Cambridge that can assist you in achieving an optimal work-life balance, as well as the Department's work on gender and race equality.

You can find more information and resources on the University's Wellbeing website, including the University Wellbeing Strategy and Policy, sources of support and links to many activities to promote wellbeing.


Equality and Diversity

The University of Cambridge is committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to a proactive and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture, and values diversity. The University joined the Advance HE's Race Equality Charter in 2016 and received the REC Bronze award in November 2019. You can find more information and resources on the University’s Equality and Diversity webpages and University Diversity Networks.

The Department of Pharmacology has an active Equality and Diversity Committee that organise and run many events that promote wellbeing and Inclusion including: The Women in Pharmacology interview series, a Covid-19 lockdown yoga course, Covid-19 lockdown posture workshop, mental health week photography competition, LGBT+ history month spotlight event, awareness book club, to name a few.

Supporting Parents and Carers

Caring for a dependent, whether they are children, or ill, elderly or disabled family members, friends or partners, is often difficult to balance with today's demanding working schedule. Support and information is particularly useful at those transition points in life, such as becoming a carer for an elderly relative, or becoming a parent and going on maternity or paternity leave, or when returning to work from a career break.

The Supporting Parents and Carers @ Cambridge (SPACE) network is a social network where people have the opportunity to exchange experiences and help each other in an informal but confidential manner.

Relevant information on the following topics can be found on their website:

· Policies (shared parental/maternity/paternity/special leave, graduated return, flexible working)

· Financial Matters (University Support Structures, childcare, independent fellowships)

· Manager’s Guide (Information for line managers and supervisors)

· Flexible Working – Case Studies

· SPACE buddies (Informal peer support network)

The SPACE network also organises regular, free events for all university members. These are usually themed around a certain topic, have an internal or external speaker and provide a good opportunity for discussion and networking.

If you have any questions, need more information or simply would like to chat to somebody about caring related topics, feel free to contact our Wellbeing Advocates.

Parenting and Childcare

The University maternity policy can be found here.

Finding childcare spaces in Cambridge can be challenging.You can find an overview of the University Nursery and Holiday Play Schemes, and a lot of other useful childcare-related links, on the University Childcare Office website.

The council also provides some information on families in Cambridgeshire and advice on how to find appropriate childcare.

Flexible Working

The University acknowledges that a traditional working day with fixed hours might not be conducive to a healthy work-life balance, especially if one has caring responsibilities for either children or adults.

In a recent departmental survey we found that although there is only a small proportion of people on official flexible working agreements, the majority of staff and students work flexibly on a weekly basis.

Although some people have expressed concerns about the possible impact of flexible working on their career, we can show that these are outweighed by the benefits for well-being, work-life balance, work attitude and job commitment.

The department is supportive of all members of staff who need to amend their working hours, whether it is to deal with an emergency or on a more permanent basis. Where possible, we will endeavour to accommodate both formal and informal flexible working requests that benefit all parties involved.

Assistant staff have a window (between 08:00 and 18:00) during which working hours can be arranged subject to agreement. Some roles do, however, require more specific hours.

Research and academic staff have greater flexibility to arrange their hours.

Group Seminars are arranged with other commitments in mind.

The start and end times of main department staff meetings and seminars have been changed to make it easier for those with childcare responsibilities to attend.