Collecting lived experiences of EDI
Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Programme (MIBTP) is a multi-partner Doctoral Training Programme. In 2021-2022, it was awarded funding by the Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council (BBSRC) to investigate Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in relation to postgraduate researchers (PGRs). Their project was achieved in collaboration with the University of Warwick’s Doctoral College (DC) and was led by Dr. Rebecca Vipond and Dr. Pierre Botcherby.
The project included: a series of meetings with EDI stakeholders from across the MIBTP partner institutions, as well as relevant colleagues elsewhere at Warwick; analysis of the quantitative EDI data collected annually by MIBTP at the application/interview/recruitment stage; and a one-day hybrid event with current MIBTP PGRs, centred on collecting their qualitative, personal testimony about various EDI themes.
The project highlighted the need for more funding, time, and people if EDI is to be tackled seriously. It revealed deficiencies in the quantitative data, for instance outdated categories or a high prevalence of prospective PGRs not declaring for certain characteristics. The qualitative testimony showed the difference between equality and equity, the need for PGRs to feel entitled to support for matters of EDI, and the fact that EDI provision (Wellbeing, Disability, etc.) is too focused on undergraduate needs rather than PGR needs. From both the stakeholder meetings and the one-day event, there emerged a clear appetite for a Midlands-wide EDI network, to enable the pooling of ideas and resources. To this end, the project has already fed forward into a wider Warwick EDI project led by the university’s Social Inclusion (SI) team and PGR focus groups run by the DC.
The above summary is from the project final report. This has been shared with MIBTP, BBSRC, and relevant stakeholders at the University of Warwick.
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You can also learn more about EDI at the University of Warwick.
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