Turing AI Acceleration Fellows - EDI statement

We are proud of the appointed Turing Artificial Intelligence (AI) Acceleration Fellows announced in November, but recognise we have more to do on representation. 

Underrepresentation of women in engineering and the physical sciences remains one of EPSRC’s largest equality, diversity and inclusion challenges and is a known issue across the research community.

We remain resolutely committed to increasing diversity across our portfolio.

Addressing systemic underrepresentation is a long-term challenge and we are aware that fellows who identify as female are underrepresented in the cohort of Turing AI Acceleration Fellows announced.

As part of our work to address the issue, we had implemented additional, proactive measures to facilitate inclusivity in the pool of applicants as part of the call design. 

This included requiring universities to use an inclusive approach in shortlisting their fellowship candidates, and fellows will be required to do likewise in recruiting their research teams.

The call document was tailored to encourage diversity in the pool of applicants, including:

  • not setting standardised eligibility criteria for career stage or career path
  • encouraging applications from those who have taken career breaks or other periods of absence from active research
  • not requiring a list of publications.

We recognise that continued work is required to increase the diversity of those we fund. 

We have implemented new activities and policies to promote inclusion, such as a mixed gender panel policy to improve underrepresented gender diversity in EPSRC’s advisory and peer review bodies; funded research into diversity challenges through the Inclusion Matters portfolio; and introduced new policies around support for people with caring responsibilities, flexible working and alternative working patterns, and we are conducting ongoing work to identify how we address these issues.