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Equality & Diversity

AHRC Commitment to Equality & Diversity

The UK Research Councils are committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity and good relations across and between the defined equalities groups in all of their relevant functions.

Accordingly, no eligible job applicant, funding applicant, employee or external stakeholder including members of the public should receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of: gender, marital status, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment, race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins, religion or similar philosophical belief, spent criminal conviction, age or disability.

Equally, all proposals must be assessed on equal terms, regardless of the sex, age and/or ethnicity of the applicant. Proposals must therefore be assessed and graded on their merits, in accordance with the criteria and the aims and objectives set for each scheme or call for funding.

Equality & Diversity in Public Engagement

In many areas of the arts and humanities, issues of gender and difference are central to the approaches used.  However, reviewers should raise any concerns that a proposed project has not fully taken issues of diversity into consideration, where these are felt to be appropriate.  This is particularly the case where there is an element of public or community-based participation in the research.

Public engagement describes the myriad of ways in which the activity and benefits of higher education and research can be shared with the public. Engagement is by definition a two-way process, involving interaction and listening, with the goal of generating mutual benefit.”

Source: NCCPE

Reviewers are encouraged to consider whether, if the project involves public engagement in the research, consideration has been given to ensuring appropriate equality of opportunities for engagement, or appropriate diversity of participation?

Who should be involved? Given the purpose of the proposed research, are there certain people or groups with expertise, experience or interest in the topic who should be invited and what might be the barriers to their participation? Is there a group of people that deliberately or unintentionally excludes others for no good reason? Some people may have the capacity and desire to be heavily involved whereas others may dip in and out. Anticipating and managing the different levels of involvement is important to ensure nobody feels either pressured to contribute, or deliberately excluded.

From: Community-based participatory research: A guide to ethical principles and practice (NCPPE 2012)

For further information, see also:

UKRI External Advisory Group for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

UK Research and Innovation are working with an External Advisory Group to identify priority areas and improve outcomes in the area of equality, diversity and inclusion.  Chaired by ESRC's Executive Chair, Professor Jennifer Rubin with Dr Karen Salt as the Advisory Group Deputy Chair, the group brings together national and international experts from the public, private and charitable sectors.

UKRI Evidence Reviews

As the largest public funder of research and innovation, UKRI are committed to transforming research and innovation environments in order to ensure that they are safe, open and inclusive.  In December 2019, UKRI published two evidence reviews on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.  Conducted by Advance HE, these will inform the evidence-based approach we take to this area.

Read the UKRI UK EDI Evidence Review

Read the UKRI International EDI Evidence Review

Diversity data for all seven research councils

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has published its first set of harmonised diversity data for all seven research councils for the past five academic years.  This data will continue to be published annually, replacing the previously published individual datasets.

The dataset contains data on four protected characteristics (sex, age, ethnicity, disability) for

  • Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Investigator grant applicants and awardees
  • Fellowship applicants and awardees
  • PhD studentship starts

Find out more and access the data