Student and Staff Support

The School of Chemistry recognises the value and importance of a diverse community of students and staff.

We strive to provide an equitable work and study environment for anyone, at all levels within the School, and recognise that proactive approaches are required to achieve this. This page summarises what support is being offered to students and staff within the School, as well as the wider University.

If you don’t see support on these pages that you or your colleagues or friends need – let us know!

Links and Resources

Flexible Working and Family Policies

The School encourages a healthy work/life balance amongst staff and students.

Flexible working arrangements, e.g. off-site working, working part-time, and parental leave are available to those who may need it. The University has developed an extensive suite of policies supporting staff who are parents or have other caring responsibilities, and extra support (including coaching) is offered to parents returning to work after parental leave or adoption/surrogacy leave.

Links and Resources

Mentoring and Pastoral Support

Student Support

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught (Masters) students are offered extensive mentoring and support through our student support model, where each student is assigned a Student Adviser. If your degree is with another School but you are taking a School of Chemistry course, please contact your nominated Student Adviser who is based at the School of your degree programme

You Student Adviser is you first point of contact for pastoral issues, and they work closely with colleagues in the School and wider University to ensure students are supported.

Postgraduate students at the School of Chemistry have access to PG Advisors who can provide support in addition to your supervisor for pastoral issues.

In the School of Chemistry, early-career researchers are supported by our dedicated post-doc champion, Steve Thomas.

Staff Mentoring

All staff have access to the University-wide Mentoring Connections scheme to provide an opportunity to discuss issues at any stage of their career, e.g. work/life balance or career development. Support is offered to all stages (early-career staff to senior post holders) and all types of staff (academic/research/teaching staff and professional services staff).

Mentoring Experience

I joined the Mentoring Connection scheme in 2016 primarily to try and work out what my next career move should be. I have been a researcher in the past, but now I’m a professional services staff member and I was unsure about career progression and what I could do next. I was matched with a great mentor who allowed me to ramble on about my career thoughts and started to help me identify means of progressing. By speaking with him and teasing out my interests and experience, I really feel I have a clearer idea of where I’m headed. Mentoring forces you to carve out time for yourself and is a great way to think about your career

Dr Jean O'Donoghue (Head of Student Experience)

Disability Support

The School of Chemistry is dedicated to supporting disabled students and staff.

In addition to universally accessible laboratories and teaching spaces, support can be offered by personal assistants when necessary. Lecture notes and materials are made available to students online, as are video recordings of delivered lectures.

The School of Chemistry supports the Sunflower Scheme. If your disability is not particularly visible, you can obtain a Sunflower Lanyard from the CTO or Health and Safety Manager’s office. For more information on this you can contact Jean O’Donoghue

Links and Resources


The University of Edinburgh is proud to be a Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champion, meaning all LGBT+ persons are accepted and valued within the University.

Dedicated support networks for students and staff are available. From 2017, University of Edinburgh rainbow lanyards have been used by LGBT+ students, staff and allies to increase visibility and celebrate diversity across the University. The School of Chemistry has established gender-neutral facilities in our buildings.

Links and Resources

International Community

The School of Chemistry attracts students and staff from all over the world.

Our internationally diverse community organises highly popular events within the School, showcasing culture and chemistry from across the globe. The wider University offers further support and opportunities to international students and staff, and there is a wide range of EUSA-affiliated international societies.

Links and Resources

Mental Health

The School of Chemistry recognises the importance of promoting wellbeing and good mental health amongst students and staff.

Awareness of these issues is raised through an annual Wellbeing and Mental Health Week run by the University and EUSA. Within the School, students are supported by our students upport model, which involves a dedicated Student Adviser for each student. Student Advisers work closely with other members of staff at the school and wider University to provide students with the best possible support. See the Student Support section above for details.

The University also offers an independent counselling service for staff as well as students, and students can also seek support from The Advice Place at EUSA.

Links and Resources


The School of Chemistry welcomes anyone regardless of faith. To accommodate this, flexible working arrangements are available to members of the School who might need it.

Many religions and denominations have dedicated EUSA-affiliated groups, and the University Chaplaincy provides a welcoming and safe space for people of all faiths and none. The Chaplaincy has facilities which include a kitchen, two common rooms and two Muslim prayer rooms close to the Joseph Black building in the Mary Brück building, King’s Buildings campus.

Links and Resources

Harassment and Bullying

Harassment and bullying have no place in the School of Chemistry, and we have developed School of Chemistry specific guidelines, to supplement the University’s Dignity and Respect Policy.

The University provides a range of training and support, including high profile campaigns (such as “Don’t Cross The Line”) and a network of Dignity and Respect Advisors for staff.

Students can contact the Student Support Team and dedicated Student Adviser for help.

Links and Resources