City partners with UCL and social mobility charity for new In2research programme

By City Press Office, Published

City, University of London, in a project co-led by University College London (UCL) and social mobility charity, In2scienceUK, will be addressing inequality across the postgraduate research student lifecycle and barriers that exist for students from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME)* groups through a new programme funded by Research England and the Office for Students.

The programme, In2research, is receiving a £790,000 grant as one of 13 projects announced this last week by UKRI as part of an £8m funding call to improve access and participation for BAME students in postgraduate research study.

Other partners include the University of Cambridge, Leading Routes and the UK-Pakistan Science and Innovation Global Network (UPSIGN). Dr Diana Yeh

The project, which will be led at City by Dr Diana Yeh, Associate Dean (EDI), School of Arts and Sciences, has a particular focus on supporting UK-domiciled students from Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds, who are most under-represented in postgraduate research study and academic careers. It aims to strengthen students’ routes to postgraduate programmes, increase networking opportunities, and extend support through an alumni community. It seeks to address local and systemic barriers to BAME PGR access, participation and progression and promote institutional change.

Dr Yeh [pictured] said:

“We are excited to be a partner on the In2research programme. While City has a majority of global majority (BAME) undergraduate students, we need to improve representation in postgraduate and doctoral research.

“This project will enhance university-wide work already taking place to take forward institutional change. It opens the opportunity for City students to engage in a 12-month mentoring and development programme, including an 8-week paid research placement with experienced academics and mentors across the partner network. It also enables City to build strong partnerships to share effective practice across the higher education sector."

Dr Jessica Jones Nielsen [pictured], Associate Vice-President (EDI – Race Equality) at City said:Dr Jessica Jones Nielsen

"City has taken several positive strides recently in ensuring that equality, diversity and inclusion practice is central to our work. With particular focus on improving our diverse students’ lives and opportunities, our commitment to tackling racial inequalities that persist in the academy is more important now than ever and we still have much more to do.

"The In2research programme offers us a great opportunity as an institution to strengthen our commitment by significantly shaping and enhancing opportunity for BAME postgraduate researchers, thereby increasing the diversity of talent into the academy and beyond in the future."

Professor Sasha Roseneil, UCL Pro Provost (Equity & Inclusion), said:

“While UCL’s UK undergraduate students have become increasingly ethnically and racially diverse over recent years, our PhD student community, and, even more so, our academic staff are far less representative of the UK population.

“We urgently need to address the social processes and cultures that maintain the academy as a white, majority ethnic space. The In2research programme offers a really exciting opportunity to take forward evidence-based interventions that will open up postgraduate research and academic careers to Black, Asian and minority ethnic students.”

Paulette Williams, Founder & Managing Director of Leading Routes, said:

“We are delighted to be a partner on the In2research programme. The pipeline to academic careers begins way before the PhD application stage and this programme aligns with our aspirations to support Black students on that journey as early as possible.”

Professor David Bogle, UCL Pro-Vice-Provost (Doctoral School), said:

“The PhD student cohort, which is the pipeline to research careers within and beyond the academy helping drive innovation in society, needs to be more diverse and representative. This project will help accelerate our actions to achieve this and build a strong partnership to embed change.”

*At City we currently use the term BAME, as this reflects the way we collect and store staff and student data and it aligns with our reporting obligations and the majority of other Higher Education institutions. We are aware that this term is considered to be problematic and are reviewing our use of language around race and ethnicity

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