External Advisory Group to help shape UKRI's equality, diversity and inclusion agenda

External Advisory Group to help shape UKRI's equality, diversity and inclusion agenda

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has announced the appointment of 11 members to a new External Advisory Group for equality, diversity and inclusion.  

The group will work with UKRI to identify and prioritise areas to make the most progress on equality, diversity and inclusion and improve outcomes in this area. 

Announcing the appointments, Professor Jennifer Rubin, UKRI Executive Champion for equality, diversity and inclusion and Executive Chair of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), said:  

“UKRI is committed to developing and sustaining the culture and conditions for students, researchers, practitioners and research and innovation staff to thrive. 

“The membership of the External Advisory Group spans a range of sectors and career stages, and its collective experience and expertise will be invaluable in shaping UKRI’s development of an ambitious, long-term strategy for equality, diversity and inclusion.” 

Professor Rubin will act as Chair, and Dr Karen Salt of the University of Nottingham will act as Deputy Chair.  

Full membership of the group is: 

  • Dr Dina Belluigi, Queen’s University Belfast  
  • Zamila Bunglawala, Cabinet Office  
  • Dr Rosanna Duncan, Palladium 
  • Zabeen Hirji, Strategic Advisor, Canada 
  • Professor Wendy Loretto, University of Edinburgh Business School  
  • Simon McKeown, Teesside University  
  • Dr Claire Murray, Diamond Light Source  
  • Dr Eugene Oteng-Ntim, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust  
  • Professor Giovanni Razzu, University of Reading  
  • Dr Karen Salt, University of Nottingham 
  • Professor Tom Welton, Imperial College London  

Professor Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive of UKRI, said: “I welcome the appointment of the External Advisory Group for equality, diversity and inclusion.  

“This is important for UKRI and the members will help us to identify and prioritise areas where UKRI can make the most progress, and work with us to ensure that we improve outcomes.” 

UKRI’s commitment to furthering equality, diversity and inclusion is illustrated by recent projects and initiatives that have been announced. 

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has announced funding for 11 projects through the Inclusion Matters initiative, designed to improve equality, diversity and inclusion in engineering and the physical sciences. Innovate UK has launched the Women in Innovation Awards 2018 to support women with exciting, innovative ideas and ambitious plans that will inspire others.

Biographies of the External Advisory Group members

Dr Dina Belluigi 

Dina Zoe Belluigi is an academic of Higher Education Studies currently based in Northern Ireland at Queen’s University Belfast. Previous to this, she was a Senior Lecturer at Rhodes University in South Africa. Her research and teaching concerns are to do with issues of agency and social justice in the academy, in the larger ecology of authority and critical citizenry, and in contexts grappling with legacy issues, particularly inequality. She is an Associate Fellow of the George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice and a member of the British Academy Critical University Studies network.   

Zamila Bunglawala 

Zamila Bunglawala is a Deputy Director of the Cabinet Office. Through her extensive national and international policy, strategy and programmes experience in senior roles – including No.10 Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, Cabinet Office, central Whitehall departments, Open Society Foundation, Young Foundation, Brookings Institution, United Nations in Darfur, Sudan and Kathmandu, Nepal – Zamila has led a wide range of policy and program projects including the Race Disparity Audit and specialises in education and employment, gender, SGBV, ethnic and faith minority groups, humanitarian conflicts and development. She is widely published and is an international public policy speaker on gender and minority equality issues and appears regularly in print media and TV.

Dr Rosanna Duncan 

Dr Rosanna Duncan joined Palladium in 2016 to lead on the development and implementation of their Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) strategy. Rosanna draws upon more than 20 years of experience of working within the field of D&I that includes embedding D&I contractor requirements into Europe’s largest infrastructure project, High Speed Rail (HS2) Ltd. Underpinning and enhancing her experience are a PhD that explored the implementation of D&I within the construction process and chartered membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), as well as a significant body of research and internationally published work on a range of D&I related topics. 

Zabeen Hirji 

Strategic Advisor, Private and Public sector, on Future of Work, Diversity and Inclusion, and Talent Management.  Former Chief Human Resources Officer, Royal Bank of Canada.    

Professor Wendy Loretto 

Professor Wendy Loretto  is Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Dean at the University of Edinburgh Business School. She has previously held several leadership roles in the School, including Director of Research and Director of Undergraduate Programmes. Her main research field is age and employment, with a particular focus on changes in employees’ and employers’ attitudes and practices in extending working lives. She is especially interested in the ways in which gender, age and health interact to affect work and retirement experiences amongst older men and women across Europe.  Her work has received funding from research councils, industry partners, government and EU and is published widely in leading academic journals. She is on the Boards of Edinburgh Innovation and Standard Life Foundation. 

Simon McKeown 

An award-winning and internationally exhibiting disabled artist renowned for his work which touches on and considers disability.  Mckeown is also Reader and researcher at one of the UK's leading universities for digital innovation and practice, Teesside University. McKeown exhibits internationally as far afield as the Smithsonian International (USA), The DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague and Cork, Ireland.  

Dr Claire Murray 

Dr Claire Murray is an early career chemist working at Diamond Light Source. Alongside her research interests in catalysis and supramolecular chemistry, she has developed and delivered events promoting diversity in science to primary and secondary students, focusing on raising the profile of female scientists, and encouraging young people to experience science. Her recent national schools engagement project, Project M, engaged students at over 100 schools with synchrotron science, and has won awards from the RSC and Costa Foundation.  She has contributed to the successful Athena Swan Bronze award application at Diamond Light Source and is regularly a panellist for the peer review assessment process. 

Dr Eugene Oteng-Ntim 

Dr Eugene Oteng-Ntim is a consultant Obstetrician at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, a Reader at Kings College London and Honorary Associate Professor at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr Eugene Oteng-Ntim graduated in Medicine at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Medical School and University of London in 1991. He became a consultant in his Alma mata hospital since 2004. He had gained further knowledge and valuable experience from working in other institutions such as Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals. After becoming a consultant, he embarked on a PhD in epidemiology and population health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and was awarded his doctorate in 2015. He has a significant research portfolio with grants from MRC, NIHR and Big lottery all with a focus on women’s health, population health and inequality.  His specific clinical research interest has focused on sickle cell disease in pregnancy, obesity in pregnancy and addressing inequality in outcomes for women. He has mentored diverse group of medical students into academia and overcoming the barriers and challenges they may encounter. 

He is a fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and sits on the Royal society of Medicine committee, section on Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He is a medical advisor to the charity Sickle Cell Society. 

Professor Giovanni Razzu 

Giovanni Razzu is Professor of Economics of Public Policy and Head of the Department of Economics at the University of Reading. He has served as the UK representative on the Expert board of the European institute for Gender Equality and on its working groups on the Gender Equality Index and the Benefits of Equality. Before joining the University of Reading, he has worked in the Cabinet Office where he has been lead analyst for the Equalities Review led by Trevor Phillips, which set the foundations for the Equality Measurement Framework now used by the EHRC and for the Government Equalities Office, where he has led the Secretariat to the National Equality Panel, which produced and Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK. 

Dr Karen Salt 

Dr Karen Salt is the Director of the Centre for Research in Race and Rights at the University of Nottingham. She is an expert on sovereignty, politics and the ways that discourses regarding difference influence narratives, decision-making and systems of governance. Years of considering the impact of racial and political discourses in the Atlantic world has led to a broader interest in the ways global minority communities marshal their collective power and participate in local, national and international governance structures. She continues to advise and research these topics, especially as they relate to inclusive practices and racial equity, with organisations. She is also a member of AHRC's Advisory Board.  

Professor Tom Welton 

Tom Welton is Dean of the faculty of Natural Sciences at Imperial College where he is a longstanding champion of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. He has worked with many universities and departments to help to build their EDI action plans.