Unconscious bias - The Royal Society

Adapted by Professor Uta Frith DBE FBA FMedSci FRS from guidance issued to recruitment panels by the Scottish Government


All panels and committees for selection and appointments at The Royal Society should be carried out objectively and professionally.

The Society is committed to making funding or award decisions purely on the basis of the quality of the proposed science and merit of the individual. No funding applicant or nominee for awards, Fellowship, Foreign Membership, election to a post or appointment to a committee should receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of: gender, marital status, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment, race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins, religion or similar philosophical belief, spent criminal conviction, age or disability.

Equally, all proposals or nominations must be assessed on equal terms, regardless of the sex, age and/or ethnicity of the applicant. Proposals must therefore be assessed and graded on their merits, in accordance with the criteria and the aims and objectives set for each award scheme or call for funding.

The Royal Society provides research funding to individuals to support high quality scientific research, with the expectation that these individuals are able to reach their full potential. The Royal Society therefore expects all organisations hosting Royal Society Research Fellows and Research Professorships to provide supportive workplace structures to ensure equality and diversity within the scientific workforce. Evidence of a commitment to improving the culture in this area, such as Athena Swan accreditation, may be taken into account in making awards.

This short briefing is meant to alert you to potential difficulties around unconscious bias and prompt you to consciously revisit them before making a decision. Think of them as the safety instructions that you are given every time you are on an airplane. You may think you know them already, but it is good to rehearse them just in case.


Full paper here: https://royalsociety.org/~/media/policy/Publications/2015/unconscious-bias-briefing-2015.pdf