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Physics Inclusion Award

The IOP's new inclusion award, developed in partnership with the physics community, supports university physics departments to be welcoming and inclusive to all.

Physics can build a better world – and it’s the people working in physics who make that better world a reality. To realise the incredible potential physics offers society, we need a growing, diverse, sustainable physics community which drives the physics of today and attracts the generation of tomorrow.

The new Physics Inclusion Award, developed by the physics community with the Institute of Physics, helps us make sure physics welcomes and supports people from all backgrounds to thrive in our brilliant field.

The successor to the IOP’s respected gender equality award, Project Juno, it supports university physics departments, where many physicists start their careers, to be welcoming and inclusive to those from all backgrounds.

It offers guidance, tools and support to help departments attract, retain and support the diverse talent and ideas that make physics great – and power a better future for us all.

Award overview

The Physics Inclusion Award is a portfolio award that enables departments to submit annual updates and evidence the progress in their equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) work over a five-year time period.  

To gain the award, departments work towards criteria that has been categorised into four overall themes, with associated strands within each theme. 

Award themes

  • Welcoming and inclusive framework - An organisational framework with clear governance structure and accountability for EDI.
  • Inclusive culture - Promoting a culture that is open, inclusive and transparent through networks, training, retention and guidance.
  • Inclusive leadership - Evidence of inclusive leadership and senior management commitment to EDI.
  • Policies and processes - Awareness and implementation of policies and processes at departmental and university level.

Based on feedback during the development of the award, the steering group agreed that the key areas of professional conduct and intersectionality should be embedded as strands within the four themes.  

Award levels

The award is structured in the following progressive levels:

Level 0 – Committed to working towards the themes:

  • Register, express interest  
  • Complete your Physics Inclusion Award self-assessment using the tool provided  
  • Access to resources including intersectional case studies
  • Confirm your intention to submit to Level 1 (recommended by the time your current Juno Award expires) 

Level 1 – Establishing structures to support all physicists and develop knowledge of EDI issues:

  • Expanding knowledge of diverse identities and developing understanding of intersectionality
  • Building an inclusive culture which includes professional conduct and expected standards of behaviour
  • Developing actions working towards each theme

Level 2 – Embedding the learning and strengthening EDI knowledge and structures:

  • Structures are in place to promote equality and an inclusive culture
  • Some evidence of success as a result of actions implemented, whilst also reflecting on any challenges in more detail
  • Evidence that good practice is starting to be developed and knowledge of intersectionality applied
  • Identifying specific EDI areas within local context and focusing actions  

Level 3 – Implementing leading practice and sharing good practice:

  • An intersectional approach to EDI is embedded within the department and continues to be improved
  • Demonstration of continued progress against actions within the department
  • Widely championing EDI and collaborating with the wider physics community to share and improve your EDI work

Applying for the Award

Applications for the Physics Inclusion Award will open in late 2024 and will be submitted through an online platform.

In your application, your department will be asked to submit evidence demonstrating how you have met the criteria in the four themes.  

The IOP has a range of tools, guidance and support available to help you with your application, including:

  • Self-assessment tool and guide - a unique resource for departments to assess where they are currently in their EDI journey against the defined criteria within the four themes
  • Physics Inclusion Award business case
  • Intersectional case studies 

If you’d like more information about applying and the tools available, please sign up to our contact list or get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Award assessment

A test panel will be held in 2024 to assess the pilot participants’ submissions.

Following a review of the test panel and participants' feedback, the assessment process will be designed in full.

Opening of application rounds

The IOP expects the first round of applications for the Physics Inclusion Award to be open in late 2024, with an assessment panel held in early 2025.

More information will be shared in the summer of 2024. 

Read our blog on working in partnership to develop the Physics Inclusion Award, from Professor Nicola Wilkin, University of Birmingham, and Sarah Bakewell, IOP. 


Find out more about the journey from Project Juno to the Physics Inclusion Award.

Read about how the new award was developed

Pilot scheme

The Physics Inclusion Award pilot scheme ran from September 2023 to January 2024 with 11 physics departments that varied in size, geographical location and research intensity.

Find out more about the pilot scheme


Physicists explain why Project Juno has had such a positive impact and how the Physics Inclusion Award will expand this impact even further.

Hear from physicists on Project Juno and the Physics Inclusion Award


The Physics Inclusion Award was developed by a steering group.

Find out more about the steering group