NEWS31 January 2023

Researchers to address ‘urgent need’ for research & innovation diversity data

Inclusion News Public Sector UK

UK – UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the British Academy have invested £3.4m in a network of researchers that will explore equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the research and innovation sector.

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The interdisciplinary network, the EDI Caucus, will identify, assess and share evidence on the effectiveness of current equality, diversity and inclusion practices in research and innovation.

In addition to gathering information, the group will undertake its own research in areas where existing evidence is lacking.

Professor Kate Sang, EDI Caucus lead, said: “The barriers faced by underrepresented groups pursuing careers in research and innovation are well established, but there is an urgent need for an evidence base of what enables marginalised researchers and innovators to thrive in their careers.

“Central to the caucus is an intersectional perspective acknowledging the multiple disadvantages facing marginalised researchers and innovators, such as the disproportionately low number of black women professors in UK universities.

“The caucus will use a co-design approach led by those with lived experience of exclusion to undertake and evaluate interventions designed to create equitable workplaces across the research and innovation ecosystem.”

The work will cover all parts of the research and innovation sector, including humanities and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (stem) subjects.

The leadership team comprises individuals from Imperial College London, Heriot-Watt University, the University of Glasgow, Kingston University, Loughborough University, Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers, and Autonomy Research Limited.

Ottoline Leyser, UKRI chief executive, said: “Research and innovation thrive when a diversity of people, ideas and perspectives come together in an environment where they are welcome and valued.

“We need robust, evidenced-based approaches to create these kinds of environments, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to contribute to, and benefit from the UK’s research and innovation endeavour.”