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Postgraduate Education: Equality

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 76019, tabled on 17 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2020 to Question 64183, what steps the (a) Government and (b) UKRI are taking to encourage diversity in UKRI funded PhD studentships.

Answered on

24 July 2020

The Government is committed to developing a strong, diverse academic workforce. As part of our recently published R&D roadmap, we will be working with stakeholders on a new R&D people and culture strategy. This strategy will examine how we can better attract diverse talent into research and enhance UK research culture.

In addition, UKRI are supporting and promoting diversity of PhD students through a number of initiatives:

  • Research England and the Office for Students are funding a competition to reduce inequalities in postgraduate research study to launch in Autumn 2020.
  • Research England and Office for Students’ Catalyst fund (£1.5 million) will improve support for mental health and wellbeing for postgraduate researchers.
  • The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s £5.5 million inclusion matters call will fund projects on equality, diversity and inclusion with projects looking at recruitment strategies and practices.