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Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience


The Department has a duty of care to ensure that all staff, students and visitors to the Department are treated with respect and consideration. We therefore take any form of harassment or sexual misconduct very seriously and can provide support and guidance. Anonymity is the cornerstone of this policy and we encourage anyone who has been affected, along with those who are aware of any misconduct to 'break the silence' and put a stop to all forms of harassment. So what is bullying and harassment?

Harassment usually refers to behaviour which is offensive or intrusive, and which has a sexual, racial or physical element directed at the recipient.

Bullying is not usually linked to a particular characteristic of the recipient, but may involve offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, of misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure.

If you think you have been, or have observed someone else being, bullied or harassed, there are a few routes you can take.

  • Speak to one of the Wellbeing contacts. You may find this helpful in itself, but it may also help you decide what has happened, whether you wish to take the matter further, and what route you should take. A good place to seek guidance about sexual harassment is the University’s Breaking the Silence webpage.

  • Speak to the PDN Departmental Administrator ( who, as well as being the Department’s expert on these matters, would probably be an important point of contact should you decide to progress to step 3:

  • The University has clearly defined procedures for when people have been, or have observed others being, bullied or harassed. These are available at this link on the University’s main HR site.

  • you can also report directly via this link.

Even if something has happened in your workplace which you think is more ‘poor behaviour’ or ‘difficult working relationships’ than bulling or harassment, the University and Department still seek to tackle these problems where they occur. In this case, we advise you to consider following the fist two steps listed above. Beyond those, the University also provides a mediation service for disputes between its staff.