The CDT in Applied Photonics values inclusivity and is committed to creating and sustaining a positive and supportive environment for all our applicants, students and staff.

We recognise that as we work in a STEM area, positive action has to take place to promote equality and to enable all affiliated with the Centre to thrive and reach their maximum potential. The CDT will promote good practice and will take steps to:

Promote an inclusive culture, fostering good relations between our staff and students

Make our students and staff, collaborators and training providers aware of our policies and their responsibilities to adhere to them

Take positive action wherever possible to support our equality and diversity aims

A selection of our positive action initiatives are highlighted below:


We will actively encourage applications from groups that are underrepresented in our CDT and will feature gender diversity on all of our advertising material.  We will also ensure that we will make reasonable adjustments to support applicants and make sure there is always gender diversity on the student selection interview panels.

Flexibility & Support

We understand that the structure of our programme could pose potential barriers to some candidates.  We care about wellbeing and  will support students and staff with disabilities and caring responsibilities by offering flexible learning and working tailored to their individual needs.

Our CDT Executive share responsibility for providing pastoral care and supporting our students with additional needs, or changing circumstances. We do this by treating student information sensitively and securely, meeting with students for discussions on their needs, referring them to specific support offices. Pastoral support is also recognised as an integral part of our Training Programme Manager’s role.

CDT Applied Photonics Conference and Summer School

We will encourage diversity at our conferences and summer schools by inviting high profile women in photonics as speakers. Our aim is that at least one third of speakers at our CDT Conference and CDT Summer School are women.

Equality and Diversity Training

The CDT programme creates future leaders of industry and we recognise that we have a responsibility to provide our students with the skills they need to be positive promoters of equality and diversity in STEM. We will provide all of our students with training in:

  1. Unconscious bias
  2. Micro-inequalities and intersectionality
  3. Being the manager of tomorrow and leading on equality
  4. E&D thinking in a STEM environment

Discrimination & Unfair treatment

We will not tolerate discrimination on any grounds and will treat any instances of discrimination or unfair treatment seriously. We will record all occurrences on our incident log and action taken to prevent a recurrence of the incident.  

The CDT in Applied Photonics is a partnership between Heriot-Watt University and the Universities of Dundee, Glasgow, Strathclyde, Edinburgh and St Andrews. The equality and diversity objectives of our partners are embedded within our practices and statements of all our partners can be reached at the links below.