College of Life Sciences

Call for abstracts and guide to submissions

UK Medical Schools Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Network Meeting 2022

  • Wednesday 12 October 2022 10.00am-4.00pm
  • Deadline for submissions: Tuesday 30 August 2022
  • Submissions should be made via our online form


This is the fourth meeting of the UK Medical Schools EDI Network, which began in 2018 in Newcastle with a focus on the Athena SWAN Charter in Medical Schools. Over the last 5 years, we have seen a broadening of the EDI agenda and much progress. The Medical Schools Council formed its ED&I alliance in 2021 to provide practical guidance and support.

In 2011, the Chief Medical Officer announced that the National Institute for Health Research would only shortlist medical schools that had attained a ‘Silver’ Athena Swan award for funding. This link to funding was broken in 2020. In the same year, the BMA launched a charter to prevent racial harassment [See note 1] after an investigation found that only half of medical schools collected data on students’ complaints about racism and racial harassment [See note 2]. Despite first learning about it in 1995, there remains an attainment gap for medical students from ethnic minority groups [See note 3]. In 2018 the BMJ published a lexicon for gender bias in academia and medicine and in 2021 it published the experiences of Webb et al of sexism as medical students. Recent work has shown that more students are declaring disabilities than previously and that these are not generally barriers to progression [See note 4].

Medical schools now have a wealth of charters that they can choose to adopt, however none are linked to funding. In addition, the announcement of the Education Minister Michelle Donnelly, that the Race Equality Charter was “in tension” with universities responsibility to maintain free speech has the potential to further erode progress. The GMC Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: targets, progress and priorities for 2022 also call on universities to submit organisational action plans describing how they will improve outcomes for ethnic minority learners and to monitor fairness and exam outcomes. The report asks ‘that all educational organisations contribute to building the evidence on ‘what works’ by evaluating pilot initiatives. We ask that they share their findings with others across the system so that initiatives can be scaled up and applied in different environments more quickly’ [See note 5]. In this ever-changing landscape, the need for medical schools to work collectively to share best practice and make tangible progress on EDI for their students and staff has never been greater. We hope this meeting will be an opportunity to further advocacy and collaboration and share knowledge of what works so that we can move forward together.

Meeting outcomes

The meeting will:

  • Provide a space to make connections with colleagues from other institutions.
  • Share best practice on ‘what works’.
  • Review the progress we have made in the last 5 years and ways forward for medical education and EDI.

About the meeting

The meeting will be of interest to anyone working in the field of equality, diversity and inclusion within medical education.

Our primary audience is staff, but we welcome students to join the event and submit abstracts.

Meeting themes

We want to maintain a broad focus for the meeting and welcome submissions on all aspects of EDI and medical education We are keen to hear about EDI research and teaching activities as well as initiatives that have been implemented.

Our themed panels will be:

  • Working within the wider EDI landscape (linking all the charters, including the transformed Athena Swan Charter).
  • Disability, including hidden disabilities.
  • Practical solutions for tackling racism and developing an inclusive curriculum.

Meeting structure

The meeting will be online from 10.00 to 16.00 with a soft start/end for networking. Recorded presentations will be released at intervals and available on our website. Live online discussions and workshops will take place throughout the day. Posters and networking will be available in our interactive online area.

Microsoft Teams will be used for the main meeting and a simple networking software will be used for the networking and posters.

Abstracts/session type options

Abstracts are sought on any aspect of EDI and medical education, which fits within the meeting overview and outcomes.

  1. Interactive workshops (40 minutes)

    Interactive workshop/ breakout sessions engage participants with peer-learning activities and discussions. Please be as inventive as you can using Teams. Some examples of workshops topics you may consider are:
    • Allyship and active bystanders in Medicine
    • Developing and delivering SMART action plans
    • Measuring impact
    • LBGTQ+ equality in medicine and Health
    • Inclusion of all staff groups, especially Professional and Technical Services

    When submitting your workshop abstract please ensure you include 2 or 3 brief learning outcomes. Abstract word limit for a workshop is 500 words.

  2. Ignite-style sessions (5 minutes)

    We would also like to invite showcasing of innovative EDI practices via Ignite-type presentations (5 minutes) in any area of EDI, as well as those related to the topics shown above. Once accepted, you will be asked to send a recording of these presentations to ensure we keep to time, but we would like you to be available for live questions on the day.

    When submitting your abstract please include a key learning point you would like people to take-away. Abstract word limit for an ignite presentation is 300 words.

  3. Posters

    We welcome posters demonstrating good practice/ progress or research relating to the themes of the meeting. We would particularly like to see posters from students. Posters will need to be submitted as a PNG or JPEG. These sessions are informal with a chance to describe your poster and discuss its content in greater depth with individuals or groups in our virtual space.

    When submitting your abstract, please include a title and short description of no more than 400 words.

Submission guidelines

Submissions should be made via our online application form

Deadline for submission: 5.00pm Sunday 28 August 2022

The following provides an outline of the information required in your submission.

Contact details

Please include names and institutions for the lead presenter and all contributors who intend to co-present. Please provide a contact name and email for correspondence.

Session type

Please tick which session you wish to deliver. Please complete a separate form if you wish to deliver more than one session.

Poster/presentation title

Please give your poster or session a name that describes it concisely and attractively to audiences. On request, the title can be changed ahead of the meeting, but as standard this will be the title used for the programme and all publicity of your session online.


The abstract will be used for publicity purposes to promote your session. This should set out the aims and objectives of the session or a key learning point. Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words for a workshop, 300 for an ignite presentation and 400 for a poster.

Tips for making a good virtual poster

  1. Horizontal/landscape layout will fit in the space better but vertical/portrait layout will also work.
  2. Font size should be larger than it would be for a normal poster. Visitors will be able to zoom in on each poster image within the virtual room, but the zoom is limited. Once uploaded, the poster image can easily resized, so ABSOLUTE font size does not matter, only font size RELATIVE to the poster's overall dimensions. But to ensure good resolution, and for convenience, we recommend designing your poster at life-size dimensions and using correspondingly large fonts.
  3. Typical body font is 24 point and title font is 72-100 point.
  4. Keep the file size small with a resolution of no more than 2000 pixels.

Review criteria

Each abstract is subject to review by a panel of peer reviewers against the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the meeting themes.
  • Implications of the work for the medical school EDI community.
  • Clarity of the proposal.
  • Originality/ innovation of the subject matter.
  • Anticipated interest.


[1] BMA.Racialharassmentcharterformedicalschools. Updated13Nov2020.

[2] Kmietowicz Z. Are medical schools turning a blind eye to racism?BMJ 2020;368:m420. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m420 pmid: 32051116

[3] Woolf K. Differential attainment in medical education and training BMJ 2020; 368 :m339 doi:10.1136/bmj.m339

[4] Murphy MJ, Dowell JS, Smith DT. Factors associated with declaration of disability in medical students and junior doctors, and the association of declared disability with academic performance: observational study using data from the UK Medical Education Database, 2002–2018 (UKMED54)BMJ Open 2022;12:e059179. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-059179

[5] Equality, diversity and inclusion: targets, progress and priorities for 2022, Published March 2022,, GMC/ED&I22/0322

Back to top