Diversity and inclusion: a collective enterprise - article FAQs

We will keep updating these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) so if we haven’t answered your question here, please do get in touch by emailing CEOoffice@iop.org.


What is IOP doing to address the lack of representation in IOP Awards and Honorary Fellowships?

  • IOP would like to see more women, more people from the Black community and from other underrepresented groups become Honorary Fellows and win IOP Awards. The physics community can really help with this.
  • All our awards, including honorary fellowships, work through a competitive process where exceptional individuals and organisations are nominated by members of the physics community and then selected by their peers.
  • IOP works hard to ensure that our nominations process is inclusive and that the criteria is clear, but we rely ultimately on the UK and Ireland’s physics community to nominate their peers for these awards.
  • If you would like any further information about our awards and the nominations process, please visit https://beta.iop.org/awards
  • As we at IOP prepare to open our calls for the 2021 awards and honorary fellowships this autumn, we strongly encourage everyone in the physics community to think about individuals who they feel deserve recognition and meet the criteria to put those individuals names forward. You can sign up for an email reminder to notify you when nominations open.
  • If you would like to raise any concerns or suggestions, please get in touch with our Awards team at awards@iop.org.

There were no Honorary Fellows from BAME backgrounds and only one woman in last week’s announcement, why was this?

  • IOP would like to see more women, more people from the Black community and from other underrepresented groups become Honorary Fellows and win IOP Awards. The physics community can really help with this.
  • IOP relies on the physics community to champion others by putting forward their peers who they feel deserve recognition. Across our awards, the more nominations of qualifying candidates from underrepresented groups we receive, the greater the likelihood of their success.
  • Our Honorary Fellowships are nominated by members of the physics community and then by their peers. You can find out about our awards and the nominations process here: https://beta.iop.org/awards
  • We were delighted to be able to appoint our first ever technicians to Honorary Fellowship. 
  • If you would like to raise any concerns or suggestions, please get in touch with our Awards team at awards@iop.org.

What is IOP doing to address diversity and inclusion in physics?

  • We have started to move towards better representation of women in physics, but there are other groups that have historically also been under-represented within the physics community, including people who are Black and from other minority ethnic backgrounds, LGBT+ people, people who have a disability and people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. So there is a long way still to go.
  • Our strategy identifies three key challenges that present the greatest barriers to unlocking the potential of physics and its impact in society, the first of which is diversity and skills.
  • We want to build a diverse physics community by ensuring everyone has access to world-class physics education and training.
  • This aspiration is core to our strategy, which we set out here: https://beta.iop.org/strategy.
  • If you would like any further information about our diversity work, please get in touch with our Diversity team at diversity@iop.org.