Equality and diversity


The long term strength of the UK research base depends on harnessing all the available talent.

As a funder of research, we remain committed to attracting the best potential researchers from a diverse population into research careers.

The Research Councils have together developed the ambitious UK Research and Innovation Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, launched on 04 May 2016.

EPSRC Associate Director, Dr Alison Wall, responsible for EPSRC's Building Leadership strategy, provides her thoughts on the data and outlines EPSRC's strategy and future direction on the EPSRC blog, Increasing the talent pool in Engineering and Physical Sciences.

EPSRC activities include:

  • Working towards the equality and diversity target set by Council - of over 40% of the membership from the under-represented gender for our Council and Strategic Advisory Network by 2020 and a 30% target for the membership of the under-represented gender for our College and across all SATs by 2020
  • Reviewing our own peer review processes to ensure they are consistent with our equality and diversity approach
  • Delivering an unconscious bias training programme for staff, peer reviewers and strategic decision-makers to raise awareness, ensure fair and inclusive funding processes and reduce the impact of bias
  • Undertaking discussions with universities to share data and understand successful interventions to feed into our future plans
  • Working with partners to identify the most effective actions to bring about long term change to develop a diverse research base in engineering and physical sciences

The publication of the Diversity Data followed on from the UK Research and Innovation Statement of Expectations for Equality and Diversity, in January 2013.

The statement outlined a commitment to ensuring that the best potential researchers from a diverse population are attracted into research careers as well as to bring about cultural change in the management of equality and diversity in universities and institutions in receipt of Research Council funding.

Data on equality, diversity and inclusion

We have published and analysed high level data on diversity and update this annually. We will monitor the data at a more in depth level to identify any specific areas of concern for future action.

The data, alongside data from other Councils, can be found in this Diversity document (PDF) on the UK Research and Innovation website, as well as HESA data on the UK's research population.

We are now publishing further diversity data related to peer review to highlight the progress made to date to improve diversity in our peer review process, and the opportunities to continue to work with our communities to make further improvements.

For further information, please refer to the full report "EPSRC diversity data on peer review" (PDF).

Funding equality, diversity and inclusion

This provides information regarding how EPSRC specifically promotes equality and diversity in research by co-sponsoring fellowships and working in partnership with other organisations.

Grant terms and conditions relating to equality, diversity and inclusion

This provides information regarding

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