A consortium – led by Durham University – of eight universities and eight companies was awarded almost £600,000 in December 2018 aimed at boosting the representation of women, disabled and LGBT+ people, and people from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds in Engineering and Physical Sciences in the North of England. The project is generously supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
On 26 May 2021 we held an End of Project Workshop, where we shared the initial findings of the research. The workshop was an informative day that had a range of speakers and interactive discussion sessions for HEI staff, industry professionals and Early Career Researchers. The workshop shared findings from the project’s EDI in STEM research, a keynote speech from Susan Johnson OBE, an interactive professional development session for ECRs with Simon Rees from Durham University’s DCAD department, a panel discussion, and a closing talk by Peter Caine from Stanley, Black and Decker. For information about the day visit Inclusion Matters Workshop.
The full title of this EPSRC funded, multi-partner project is 'Northern Power: Making Engineering and the Physical Science a Domain for All in the North of England‘
The overarching aim of the project is to shape an actively inclusive culture in the Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) community (academic and beyond) in the North of England. This project intends to support, drive and sustain a greater equality for all, including traditionally underrepresented groups (e.g. women, disabled people, LGBT+, and black and ethnic minority (BAME) researchers).
Having identified seven critical challenges to this vision (lack of role models; a leaky pipeline; inequity in opportunities; lack of synergy in initiatives; lack of understanding of barriers by some senior leaders; poor data; and poor analysis of progress), we outlined key activities designed to address them: shared-characteristic mentoring; reciprocal mentoring; an on-line networking platform; leadership and networking development; collaboration with industry; better data capture; and better analysis. The critical feature of this bid is to pool opportunities and experience across our consortium to better meet the needs of groups underrepresented in EPS. As a result of this inclusive culture, a wider pool of talented individuals will be able to successfully progress within the EPS community and these resulting diverse perspectives will ultimately produce better science to address complex and important global challenges. There are eight activities in total:
The project site contains resources and information, and can be accessed here.
The project Platform has an open Guest area. Here you will find resources, activities and courses centred around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Subjects include diversity, discrimination, imposter syndrome, mentoring, neurodiversity, unconscious bias and more! Log in as 'guest' and then click on resources.
We are delighted to be working with a number of Northern Universities and Industry partners in the Engineering and Physical Sciences sector.
The universities involved are: Durham University, Lancaster University, Leeds Beckett University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Teesside University, University of Huddersfield, University of Hull, and University of Leeds. Industrial partner organisations include: Arup, Atom Bank, Stanley Black and Decker, GTN Limited, IBM, Northumbrian Water Ltd., Siemens Gamesa and SAGE.
A key component of this project is evaluation. The project will be evaluated to understand the impact of the project for participants and institutions and the ways in which participants engaged with the various initiatives on offer.
Data will be collected using surveys, interviews, observation of training sessions and analysis of documents and policies to identify whether there have been changes in attitudes and practice and to investigate which elements of the project worked well or faced challenges during implementation.