In 2018, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded 11 Inclusion Matters projects. These ambitious and inspiring projects aim to accelerate culture change with respect to equality, diversity and inclusion. The call aimed to incentivise behavioural and long-term culture change. Over the course of the grants, the projects have promoted a more diverse, fair and inclusive engineering and physical sciences community, and disseminated their findings and embedded good practice more broadly in the community.
The projects focus on the development and implementation of new approaches aimed at tackling and accelerating culture change. The approaches taken by each project vary but, broadly, the projects have three aims.
Undertake new research to understand more about specific challenges and issues and what actions might be taken. Learning from others, engaging nationally and internationally and engaging a broad spectrum of relevant stakeholders.
Try new or different approaches, based on available evidence.
Broaden activities already in progress, across either the institution or the sector.
To ensure impact beyond the immediate institutions involved, the grants:
- collaborate beyond their local department and institution, and reach out to work together and share information with other organisations
- communicate, capture, exchange, disseminate and embed good practice across individual institutions, between institutions and more broadly across the sector, sharing best practice, advocacy, consultation and celebration
- take the lead in promoting new approaches and, in doing so, raise awareness of equality, diversity and inclusion issues across the sector, acting as ambassadors
- evaluate, building on the existing evidence base, drawing relevant learning from other sectors, and ensuring that the impact of funded activities on equality, diversity and inclusion is appropriately assessed and benchmarked.
These shared commitments focus on the best way to achieve culture change and dissemination of the projects.
These highly collaborative projects include universities working across the UK and a range of project partners including business and learned societies.