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Women in Science

This is a collection of 56 interviews with women scientists all working at the University of Oxford. The aim of the project is to provide support to women making career decisions, by offering them the opportunity to explore a broad range of experiences shared by other women through video interviews.

The original project focussed mainly on women working in the Medical Sciences Division, and 39 women were interviewed in 2014/15. The project team acknowledged that there were many inspiring women working in scientific disciplines across Oxford and in 2017 an update to the project was funded to include additional interviews from 17 women working in Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division.

The women scientists talked about many issues, including the culture of science, publishing, obtaining fellowship funding, having a mentor and Athena SWAN. The project update integrated content from the new interviews into the existing topics, and added two new topics on experiences of ‘Leadership, everyday working and administration’ and ‘Building spin-off companies and collaborating with industry’.


The project was delivered by the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, the Radcliffe Department of Medicine and the Medical Sciences Office. Funding for the original project was obtained from the Vice Chancellor’s Diversity Fund, and the project update was funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). To find out more about equality and diversity at Oxford, visit

The grant holders are Chris Price and Sue Ziebland. Alison Chapple conducted the original interviews. She also analysed the data with Sue Ziebland.

The interviews collected in 2017-2018 for the project update were conducted by Sara Ryan and John MacArtney. Sara Ryan and Carol Dumelow analysed the new data and John MacArtney and Sara Ryan wrote two new topics and updated the existing topics.

We would like to thank Daisy Hung with all her help in securing funding for the project and recruiting for the project update.

We should like to thank the women who took part in the interviews, and also Professor Dame Sally Davies, Professor Louise Richardson and Professor Alison Noble, who introduce the website, and our advisory panel and user group.


Alison Banham , Professor of Haemato-oncology, Nuffield Division of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Radcliffe Department of Medicine

Alison Brindle , Divisional Communications Manager, Medical Sciences Division

Laurel Edmunds , Senior Research Fellow, Radcliffe Department of Medicine

Adrienne Hopkins , Senior Equality Advisor, Equality and Diversity Unit

Chris Price , Head of Strategic Planning and Projects, Radcliffe Department of Medicine/ Medical Sciences Division

Sasha Shepperd , Professor of Health Services Research, Nuffield Department of Population Health

Alison Woollard , Associate Professor and University Lecturer, Department of Biochemistry

Sue Ziebland , Professor of Medical Sociology, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences


Claire Carson , University Research Lecturer, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health

Yujin Chung , DPhil Student, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics

Joanna Crocker , Postdoctoral Research Fellow, NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre and Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

Katie Jennings , Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics

Abigail McNiven , Qualitative Researcher, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

Rachel Rowe , University Research Lecturer & Senior Health Services Researcher, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health

Charlotte Smith , Athena SWAN Facilitator, Department of Biochemistry


Project support was provided by Nathalie Marten. Video and text editing was undertaken by the team at the Health Experience Research Group and DIPEx (Ruth Sanders and Adam Barnett). The site was put together by the Medical Sciences Division Communications and Webteam (Anne Bowtell, Nicole Harris) using the Haiku website platform. Communications for the site launch were co-ordinated by Alison Brindle and Dan Richards-Doran.

The Advisory Panel and User Group were assembled for the original project only, not the project update.