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BSI Diversity and Inclusion Award

The BSI Diversity and Inclusion Award recognises outstanding contributions to promoting the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within immunology.

This award acknowledges and rewards immunologists who show a strong commitment to EDI and have carried out exceptional work to either improve EDI within immunology research itself and/or to promote EDI principles and activities within the immunology community. The winner is a role model for all immunologists and will have achieved a demonstrable impact to improve diversity and inclusion within immunology.

In 2023, this award went to Tomi Akingbade at the University of Cambridge and Dr Donald Palmer at the Royal Veterinary College

Tomi Akingbade holding her award
Tomi Akingbade holding her Diversity and Inclusion award

Tomi Akingbade set up the Black Women in Science (BWiS) network in 2018, as a platform for Black women with an interest in a career in the sciences. BWiS has since grown to be a network of over 150 members and 300 subscribers, and delivers high impact initiatives to a wide range of audiences.

Dr Donald Palmer holding his award
Dr Donald Palmer with his Diversity and Inclusion award

Dr Palmer has been a member of the Royal Veterinary College’s equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) committee since its conception, and has supported EDI initiatives in a range of contexts, such as at the Physiological Society. He co-founded the Reach Society, a community enterprise to encourage and motivate young BAME individuals to realise their potential, particularly in STEM careers.

The BSI is committed to ensuring diversity amongst its award recipients. We encourage eligible candidates from all sectors of the Society’s membership to apply, especially those from underrepresented groups.


  • Must be a current BSI member
  • Can be at any career stage
  • Open to individuals working in all fields and sectors within or related to immunology including academia, health service, industry, public organisations and charities
  • Open to individuals only, based in the UK or internationally
  • Retrospective applications are welcome for work carried out in the last 24 months
  • EDI activities undertaken must be related to improving diversity and inclusion within the immunology sector either through a) Improving EDI within immunology research itself (e.g., inclusive clinical trials), and/or b) Promoting EDI principles and activities within the wider immunology community
  • Professional diversity and inclusion officers and anyone working in EDI at 0.5 FTE or higher are not eligible for this award

How to nominate

Nominations are now closed for 2023 and will reopen next year.

To read more about the BSI Immunology Awards and this year's winners, click here.

How are the awards judged?

Once the nomination deadline has passed, nominations that fulfil the award’s eligibility criteria will be judged by a panel of experts. They will be assessing a number of factors including:

  • The quality and impact of the nominee’s diversity and inclusion activities 
  • The nominee’s ability to reach out to and positively engage with diverse audiences
  • The nominee’s ability to engage on challenging/complex areas of EDI
  • The nominee’s track record in being a positive role model and voice for EDI within immunology
  • How the nominee has learnt from, developed and improved their EDI activities over time

The recommendation from the judging panel will be taken forward to the BSI Nominations Committee for ratification.

Further information

If you are nominating someone other than yourself, the BSI will contact the nominee within 30 days of the nomination being received to obtain consent from them to hold their personal information. If we do not receive consent from the nominee within this 30-day period, we will be unable to hold their personal information and we will not be able to process the nomination further.

If you are self-nominating, by submitting an application you give us consent to hold the personal information provided in the form below in relation to processing your nomination for the Diversity and Inclusion Award.

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If you are interested in sponsoring the BSI Immunology Awards Ceremony, please contact our Head of Events, Jane Sessenwein at, for more details.