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Warwick PATHWAY Programme Launch

Warwick PATHWAY Programme launch event

The Warwick PATHWAY Programme for Career Development of Black Researchers 

The Warwick PATHWAY Programme launch event took place on 22nd November 2023. You can read about our guest speakers below.

The National Centre for Research Culture at the University of Warwick is addressing the issue of under-representation of black researchers and academics in UK Higher Education.

The Warwick PATHWAY programme targets the whole career pathway from undergraduate to postdocs, towards the goal of becoming an independent researcher in universities and other organisations. The programme will create a community of aspiring black researchers, and help establish "a career pipeline that does not leak.”

Applications for the summer 2024 URSS are now openLink opens in a new window.

The Undergraduate Research Support Scheme enables Warwick undergraduate students to carry out a non-assessed, self-directed 6-10 week research project, with supervision from a Warwick academic.

You can apply for a bursary of up to £1500 to contribute to your living expenses and other associated costs whilst carrying out your project.

Read the stories of past URSS applicants here.Link opens in a new window

Starting this year, up to 25 URSS places have been ringfenced for the PATHWAY programme, with successful candidates benefiting from additional mentoring.
Prospective applicants should undergo the usual URSS application route.Link opens in a new window

Please email with any queries, or if you are supervisor interested in hosting a PATHWAY URSS student.

To gain a place on the PATHWAY programme, applicants should identify as

  • Black - African
  • Black - Caribbean
  • Black - Other
  • Mixed - White/Black Caribbean
  • Mixed - White/Black African
  • Other - Any other Black background


Video: Why do we need the PATHWAY programme?
Prof Sotaro Kita, Director of the National Centre for Research Culture and Deputy PVC (Research)

  • We need all talent to achieve the University's research mission to solve profound intellectual questions and pressing societal challenges
  • Currently there is an underrepresentation of Black researchers and we are therefore not enlisting all our talent
  • PATHWAY aims to change our research culture with concrete actions

Video: Pathways to Research, Chloe Osei-Cobbina (UCL) and Dr Maria Kariuki (British Geological Survey)

  • Experiences like URSS are important to understand how different elements of research collaborate with each other
  • URSS experiences can lead to publications and instill a love of research
  • Knowing how to navigate the research pathway can be tricky
  • PhDs provide many transferable skills important to career search and progression such as critical thinking, communication, defending ideas
  • A benefit of the PATHWAY programme will be the additional mentoring support to help navigate the research pathway

Video: Framing the PATHWAY programme, Professor Franklyn Lisk, Academic Director (Africe)

  • We need to consider the qualitative factors behind the underrepresentation of Black researchers
  • Competence is plentiful, but opportunities are not
  • URSS scheme is a gateway to research aspiration and inquisitiveness, and can include international opportunities
  • We need to highlight the benefits of research, for example in tackling global challenges, to spark passion to create a knowledge society with an innovation culture

Who can apply?

Undergraduate students, PhD students, postdocs, and supervisors interested in taking part in the programme can apply or register their interest. Applications will be open shortly.

You can Sign up to receive more information about events and initiatives in the Warwick PATHWAY programme.

What does the Warwick PATHWAY Programme offer?

  • Undergraduate Research Support Scheme URSS (25 places): This scheme provides Warwick undergraduate students with the funds to carry out research in the summer, under supervision of academic staff at Warwick.

  • PhD Studentships (Up to three Studentships available): This scheme will cover both UK and international tuition fees. Students can be hosted in any department, and can pursue any topic. 

  • Early Career Fellowships for recent PhDs at the Institute for Advanced Study (Two Fellowships available): Fellows will be able to take IAS’s highly effective career enhancement training in order to take a next step in the research career.

  • The Warwick PATHWAY career development grant for Research Fellows: This is for postdocs currently employed at Warwick. It is a newly established funding scheme for career development activities (e.g., training courses, travel for networking, developing an application for independent research fellowships) for postdocs employed at Warwick who are not supported by the PATHWAY programme.

If you have any questions about the PATHWAY programme in general or would like to collaborate, please email

Our Guest Speakers

Chloe Osei-Cobbina

Chloe is a current MSc Cognitive Neuroscience student at University College London (UCL). Prior to this, she graduated with BSc in Psychology at the University of Warwick. Whilst she was an undergraduate at Warwick, she carried out research on child development with the URSS scheme.

Maria Kariuki

Professor Ruchi Choudhary

Maria is an Equality and Diversity Officer at the British Geological Survey. She completed her PhD in Chemistry at Warwick. She also founded Warwick Black Chemistry Society, and was the founder and organiser of the inVISBLE Conferences for ethnic minority researchers.

Professor Franklyn Lisk

Doctor Jonathan Smith

Franklyn is a Professor in Politics and International Studies at Warwick, and a member of the International Executive of the University as Academic Director for Africa. His research concerns policy analysis on global health governance focusing mainly on HIV/AIDS responses and on the political economy of African development, in particular employment and labour market challenges and China-Africa relations.