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Post-Doc representatives on Departmental Committees

Research Committee – Liz Rylott (since March 2017)

Liz Rylott‌The Biology Research Committee usually meets 5 times per year. Its remit is “to facilitate and promote basic, strategic and applied research of the highest international quality within the Biology Department”.  The Committee is very important and amongst other tasks makes decisions on allocation of resources within the Department, for example pump priming or bridging funds for post-docs. You can find more detailed information on the terms of reference and membership structure (the current Chair is Neil Bruce) as well as the minutes of previous meetings at:

 The post-doctoral representative on this Committee takes part in the discussions and decisions taken representing the post-doctoral community of the Department.

Biology Board of Studies – Roxana Teodor (since November 2014)

The Board of Studies comprises all academic members of staff, as well as myself, two postgraduate student reps and several undergraduate reps. The board meets quarterly to discuss all aspects of teaching, including joint degrees with Environment and Chemistry. The postdoc representative’s role as required by the BoS is fairly minor, voting on motions where required. Postdocs currently are allowed to teach tutorials (after attending a course). They may also co-supervise undergraduate and masters projects, but are not expected to do any marking or to give lectures.

Feel free to drop me an email if you want to discuss any issues that concern the Board of Studies.

Concordat Implementation Group – Liz Rylott (since October 2011)

‌The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers is a document put together by Research Councils UK and Universities UK following wide consultation with relevant groups in the Higher Education sector and sets out to help the career development of researchers.  At The University of York, the Concordat Implementation Group (CIG) has been set up to 'bring to life' the statements in the Concordat so that researchers here have the support they need for their work and professional development. My role on the CIG is to represent the views of researchers. I have over a decade of experience as a post-doctoral researcher working at York, and I am happy to discuss any issues relating to implementation of the concordat, with other researchers and, if necessary, raise issues at the next CIG meeting. The CIG meets three times a year and reports to The Steering Committee. Details can be found here:


Outreach Committee - Audrey Romano (since Dec 2016)

‌ The remit of the Biology Outreach Committee is to develop, co-ordinate and promote the Department’s outreach  activities. The committee meets normally once per term (3 times per year) and is chaired by John Pillmoor  with committee members drawn from a wide range of staff and students. The outreach resources are coordinated  and organised by Adrian Harrison. Amongst the activities of Outreach and Schools Liaison of the Biology Department  are workshops covering various subject areas, a newsletter for schools (edited by students in the Department of  Biology) providing an insight into the world of science, and visits to the department.

 Specific Functions are:

  1.  To develop and maintain the Departmental policy and guidelines for those involved in outreach;
  2.  To develop and maintain a database of outreach activities;
  3.  To develop and publicise the outreach resources available within the Department;
  4.  To provide summary data regarding outreach activities within the Department;
  5.  To prioritise and allocate bids for the outreach funds provided by the Department;
  6.  To liase with other outreach and CPD committees / working groups within the University (e.g. the National Academy  for Education in Science Teaching);
  7.  To identify and facilitate applications to obtain external funding to support the outreach activities of the Department.

 More info can be found at:

Equality & Diversity Committee – Katie Davis (since Autumn 2017)

Our Department is a broad spectrum Biology department. We received an Athena SWAN Silver Award in 2006, and this was renewed in 2010 and upgraded to Gold Award in 2015.  We have a strong collegiate ethos with an emphasis on inclusive decision making, and we are proud of our excellent reputation in both high-quality research and teaching.  We recognise that bad working practices disproportionately affect women, but that good practices benefit all members of the Department regardless of gender. Thus we are committed to recognising and implementing good practice, and ensuring that this culture permeates all sections of the Department in relation to teaching, research and administration. The Biology Equality & Diversity Committee (formerly Athena SWAN Working Group) meets regularly, and minutes of its meetings will be published periodically on the Equality & Diversity website.


Staff Committee - Andrew Suggitt (since March 2016)

The Staff Committee remit is to consider matters relating to the recruitment, organisation, management, development and well-being. The Committee aims to ensure consultation takes place with staff regarding planned changes to their terms and conditions of service and other employment matters. Additionally, the Committee acts as a consultative body regarding national initiatives of relevance to all, or to sections of our staff. We consider and recommend responses to employment legislation, University policy, local agreements and Departmental research and teaching policy with respect to their impact on staff. The Committee stands in an advisory capacity to Strategy Group and will make recommendations there or directly to the Head of Department. The Committee will take account of equal opportunity in its work. The Staff Committee consults with the Resources Board, the Head of Department and Staff consultative forums and receives reports from sub-groups including the Athena Swan Working Group and Ad-hoc working groups. The Committee has representative members of staff at administrative, academic, professional, research and technical levels and meets termly. As the post-doctoral representative on the Staff Committee, my role is to consult with other researchers on matters relating to those described above and report these back to the Committee to inform changes within the Department that relate to post-doctoral research staff. If you have any specific concerns related to this remit, please feel free to contact me. 

Research Away Day Organising Committee - Raquel Carvalho (since March 2017)

Raquel Carvalho

‌This committee organises the yearly Department of Biology Research Away Day. The post-doc representative recruits post-doc attendance for the day and also facilities the opportunity for post-docs to present their own research either as a poster or a formal research talk during the day. 

Making the Difference Award – interim Amanda Barnes (since July 2015)

‌‌The Making the Difference scheme is intended to reward those who have demonstrated outstanding achievement or excellence in the short-term which has been of such a high standard that it has made a difference to students, customers, colleagues, the Department or the University as a whole.  The exceptional contribution may have been made within the normal role of the individual or team but at a level demonstrably greater in the short-term than would normally be expected or it may have been made through taking on short-term responsibilities or tasks outside the individual’s or teams normal role.

There are representatives from all areas of the Biology department. We meet quarterly to discuss the nominations and determine whether they fit with the criteria and whether the awards should be given.

Enterprise Group – Thilo Winzer [non-electable position] (since October 2011)

‌CNAP Representative on the Biology Enterprise Group Committee

 ‌‌‌The ‌terms of reference of the Biology Enterprise Group is:

‎- to review and develop the strategy for promoting the commercial exploitation of our research discoveries and capabilities through:

- commercialisation, contract work and commercially funded research collaborations,

- to ensure alignment of commercialisation projects, contract work and commercially funded research collaborations with the Departmental and University strategies and policies,

- to take an overview of the international research and commercial contacts within the Department.

 My role on the committee is to provide input and perspective from a CNAP context and to update the committee on any relevant developments in CNAP. I also report back to the CNAP Director on any relevant issues.


Environmental Performance Group - Amanda Barnes (since March 2017)

amanda barnesRemit

To monitor the Environmental Performance of the Department of Biology, to make members of the Department aware of the need to improve the Department’s environmental performance, and to advise the management and members of the Department on ways in which the environmental performance could be enhanced.


The group will draw its members from the whole constituency of the Department and will seek to provide a representation of all groups, taking into account the need to keep the group to amanageable size. Members will be sought via the Departmental Bulletin, Departmental staff meetingsand Student Liaison Group. Additionally, there will be representation from the University Energy & Environment team and it is expected that non-members of the group will be invited to attend some meetings where specific expertise or advice is needed.


Meetings will be held once a term, or if needed or desirable, more frequently and the Minutes of the meetings, and any major discussion documents produced on behalf of the group, will be accessible to all members of the Department via the web.

Health and Safety Committee - David Mentlak (since May 2017)

This committee meets termly to discuss all aspects of safety:

  • There are 3 meetings of the committee per year, usually week 6 of each academic term
  • Calls for items for the agenda are made in the Biology Bulletin
  • The agenda is included in the Biology Bulletin
  • Safety committee meetings are open to everyone in the Department
  • All Safety Monitors are encouraged to attend as a representative of their area




Social Committee – Andrew Suggitt (since Dec 2016)

Andy Suggitt

The social committee has members from across the whole department. It meets informally and organises events such as the annual biology wine tasting and mulled wine and mince pies.

Biology Ethics committee - Jenny Hinley (since Feb 2017)

The University has a devolved model for the scrutiny of research proposals, comprising an overarching University Ethics Committee and a number of Departmental/Subject-level Ethics Committees, one of which is the Department of Biology Ethics Committee (BEC). Biology staff and postgraduate students are required to apply to the BEC for ethical approval:
  • If their work involves human tissue
  • If they are working with information gathered from people, including opinion based questionnaires
  • If they are working with or creating genetically modified organisms that have potential of environmental impact
  • Any other activity that has potential of environmental impact
  • Any work which carries reputational risk to the Department, Faculty or University
The BEC meets twice a year to consider applications and conduct any other relevant business. In between meetings, applications are dealt with by email correspondence, either by the full committee or by a sub-committee (e.g. for projects which have already received ethical approval from an external organisation).
More information can be found on the BEC webpages at