Guidance for equality, diversity and inclusion

Our principles for promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, with links to useful sources of information and guidance on supporting diverse and inclusive research and innovation.

Key principles

  • Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is a critical aspect of a healthy research culture – from how it’s designed, how it’s carried out and who is involved
  • Research and innovation should be ‘by everyone, for everyone’ – a dynamic, diverse and inclusive research and innovation system in the UK is an integral part of society and should give everyone the opportunity to participate and to benefit
  • We need to be diverse to accommodate that research and innovation is unpredictable, is often created through new and unanticipated combinations, and can take many forms
  • By recognising and nurturing all people in the system and diversifying interactions, we will enrich our lives by creating knowledge, enabling us to understand the world around us and empowering us to tackle the many challenges we face as individuals and as communities, nationally and globally
  • The whole workforce are key contributors in the research and innovation system – from the lead researcher or innovator, to those who keep the lights on or maintain the large infrastructure and equipment in our laboratories, small businesses or on our research vessels
  • By valuing all, we recognise that a diversity of ideas, opinions, knowledge and people enriches our work and enlarges our knowledge economy

Guidance on legislation

Equality Act 2010: guidance

The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations.

Gender equality statement for international development research and innovation

Under the International Development Act, it is mandatory for all applications to UKRI-funded Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) funding opportunities, such as the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and Newton Fund, to include a gender equality statement.

The following documents outline UKRI requirements and guidance on points to consider when developing gender-sensitive research and innovation projects:

UKRI policies and guidance

We have published two evidence reviews on equality, diversity and inclusion which have informed our draft EDI Strategy for a research and innovation system that is ‘by everyone, for everyone’. The reviews include:

This glossary aims to provide clarity on the current definitions of frequently-used terms to aid and stimulate engagement. It’s not designed to instruct staff or members of our community on terms they should or should not use. This is not a final document and will evolve further.

Expectations for equality, diversity and inclusion

EPSRC has published an EDI expectations guide to help the engineering and physical sciences community to identify and address EDI barriers in their own environment, taking into account differences such as location, discipline, role, and career stage.

UKRI terms and conditions

If you receive funding from UKRI you need to follow general terms and conditions for research grants or training funding, and any specific funding opportunity conditions.

External guidance

The guidance below has not been developed directly by UKRI, but may be a useful resource. Where this advice conflicts with UKRI-produced policies and guidance, UKRI policies and guidance should be followed.

Toolkit for integrating a gender-sensitive approach into research – The University of Warwick

Toolkit and checklist to ensure gender sensitivity is embedded into your research project.

Guide to inclusive events – University of Oxford (PDF, 3.4MB)

A practical guide for event organisers, drawing on examples of best practice from across the university sector and beyond.

EPSRC’s Inclusion Matters programme include the following resources:

What UKRI is doing in equality, diversity and inclusion

UKRI is taking action on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in research and innovation.

We published the first edition of our EDI strategy in March 2023, alongside action plans intended to create a more inclusive research and innovation system.

See the EDI strategy and action plans

Last updated: 16 January 2024

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