Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Rachel Cowen, Professor of Inclusive Researcher and Academic Development

University Academic Lead for Gender and Sexual Orientation Equality

The ICAT programme and its partner organisations are committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). Without diversity of thought, perspective and background, and a responsible and inclusive culture and approach to research and academic clinical career development we are restricting ideas, standards, the quality of our research and the range of evidence based solutions and health and social care challenges we can address.

We are working towards 3 EDI priorities to ensure an inclusive environment and culture, training and support to enable diverse careers and inclusive research to thrive; Diversity and Equity across our Community through our inclusive policies, practice and guidance in recruitment and training; and Inclusive practice by monitoring the impact of the programme and meaningfully listening to the experiences of our diverse community.

All ACFs should undertake University of Manchester mandatory EDI training and research integrity training and will be supported through the ICAT programme to embed EDI in their research approach.

We have a zero tolerance of bullying, harassment and discrimination re-enforced through the University of Manchester Dignity@Work and Study Policy. All ACFs should read and understand the policy. If you or someone you know has experienced or witnessed any form of bullying, harassment, discrimination, gender based violence, hate or micro-aggressions, or have a safeguarding concern, you can report it anonymously or get support from a trained advisor through our confidential report and support system: Report + Support – University of Manchester

Other useful University EDI related information

NIHR and external EDI related links

Coaching and Mentoring Support

ACFs can access training and career development support via our coaching and mentoring service, provided by Dr Tracy Briggs.

Tracy has extensive experience and knowledge of an academic clinical career, having previously been Academic Clinical Fellows lead for ICAT, an NIHR Clinical Lecturer and a Welcome Trust Clinical Fellow, all at The University of Manchester.

Tracy said, “I am passionate about supporting current ICAT fellows to maximise their experience as clinical academic trainees and I have experience in both mentoring and coaching to support this. Beyond support and mentoring as ACF lead, I was the Mentorship lead for the 4Ward North WT Clinical Fellowship -15- programme, I was a member of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Mentorship Advisory Group member (2015-2022) and I have a role in the Fellowship Academy at the University. In 2022 I obtained a diploma in Coaching (ILM level 5 equivalent) and have undertaken my coaching since, working with clinical academics and academics.

Through mentoring and coaching, in a safe, confidential space, I work to inspire coachees to reach their personal and professional potential”.

As an ICAT leadership team we support ICAT fellows through group and individual coaching and mentoring.  Fellows will be offered group coaching via ICAT, whilst individual coaching and mentoring will be offered as required and following discussion and via request from ICAT team leads or APLs.

ICAT trainees are also encouraged to link with supervisors, APLs and ICAT leads for mentoring as required.

Health & Wellbeing Referral

If you are a HEE NW trainee doctor who requires Health and Wellbeing support a referral to the lead employer should be made directly via the Cohort system.  To make the referral you will first need a Cohort account which will be set up by following the instructions below:              

  1. Please register on Cohort.
  2. Once your account is set up you will be able to refer to Occupational Health via the Cohort system.

If you experience any issues accessing your account once it has been set up please contact  Amanda.allen@sthk.nhs.uk who can assist in answering any questions you may have.

If you are in a crisis & require immediate support

  • It is recommended where possible to go via Lead Employer (LE) helpdesk so that the LE as employer is aware and can ensure you get the support you need 0151 430 1985


  • The SH&K Employee Assistance Programme (Insight Healthcare) offers 24/7 support- 0300 131 2067 and other support signposted on the LE website.
  • In cases of immediate risk to a trainee, the Host could take necessary local action, but would need to refer back to the Lead Employer via either the helpdesk or Cohort system afterwards, to ensure trainee gets support in the medium to long term.

MFT Employee Assistance Programme for immediate risk/crisis situations

  • Local MFT Trust support in emergency/crisis situations where you feel a trainee is at immediate risk can be sought via MFT Employee Assistance programme 0800 028 2047
  • In addition it is important to email  Haque@mft.nhs.uk Group DME & Sharmila.gopisetti@mft.nhs.uk ADME for Trainee Support updating them on the situation to ensure the appropriate support is provided via an educational route.