Equality, diversity and inclusion – EPSRC

EPSRC aims to support a diverse and inclusive research environment where there is equality of opportunities. Our objective is to embed equality, diversity and inclusion in all that we do, ensuring that the activities and people we support and the research that we fund drive change in our community, and supports a system that is inclusive for everyone. We are working towards achieving an equal, diverse and inclusive environment where all individuals are able to thrive by adapting and monitoring our current processes and trialling new and innovative approaches.

Action plan

We are committed to a long-term plan of action around equality, diversity and inclusion, and have developed an equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) action plan that sets out our priorities for 2022 to 2025. We have detailed initial actions and expected outcomes across five action sets.

Our action plan sets out why EDI is important for the engineering and physical sciences. It also sets out the context to our activities by outlining the composition of our community and the known challenges that are encountered as people progress their research and innovation career pathways.

We have developed our action plan in the context of the development of the first edition of the UKRI EDI strategy and associated UKRI-shared EDI actions. Find out more about UKRI’s commitment to EDI.

You can read more about the EPSRC action plan to improve equality, diversity and inclusion in the engineering and physical sciences research and innovation community and our approach.

A key component of our action plan is working in partnership, to share ideas and approaches and learn from each other’s experiences, empowering people within our community to take action. We will continue to work with our stakeholders, colleagues and partners to build on this appetite for change. Together we will seek to create a culture within engineering and physical sciences that values individual differences and enables everyone to thrive.

Read more about how we draw from our EPSRC advisory groups to provide us with strategic advice on equality, diversity and inclusion.

We aspire to ensure EDI for all who work in EPSRC. Our actions on internally facing EDI work are included within the UKRI workforce plan and the EPSRC people plan. We will actively listen and value everyone who works for and with EPSRC and demonstrate respectful and inclusive behaviours to each other and everyone we work with.

Contact EPSRC about EDI

Email: inclusionmatters@epsrc.ukri.org

Collecting and analysing diversity data

Every year EPSRC publishes diversity data on applications, awards and award rates along with UKRI partner organisations. In addition, we publish diversity data on our peer review process including the EPSRC Peer Review College, reviewers and panel members.

Evolving and upholding fairness in peer review

Peer review is an integral part of EPSRC’s work as a funder of research. We are continually evolving the peer review process to ensure fairness, and have made a number of changes to improve access to funding opportunities.

Inclusion Matters

To accelerate the pace of culture change and challenge current thinking, EPSRC works with partners through our innovative inclusion matters projects. These ambitious and inspiring projects aim to support change across the sector.

Gender diversity in our large grant portfolio

Underrepresentation of women in the engineering and physical sciences remains one of our greatest EDI challenges, with gender diversity in our large grant portfolio an area of particular concern.

Ethnicity and race equality in our portfolio

Underrepresentation of researchers from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds in the engineering and physical sciences and, in particular, in our grant and doctoral training portfolio and in our advisory and governance groups, is one of our major EDI challenges.

Expectations for equality, diversity and inclusion

Our EDI expectations guide aims to help the engineering and physical sciences community to identify and address the specific EDI barriers in their own environment by taking into account differences such as location, discipline, role, and career stage.

Equality impact assessments

We use equality impact assessments (EIAs) as part of an evidence-based approach to help ensure our policies, practices, events and decision-making processes are fair and do not present barriers to participation.

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