EPSRC Publishes Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan

The EDI action plan sets out priorities and desired outcomes for 2022 to 2025 and beyond.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has published its three-year equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) action plan for 2022-25. The plan sets out short, medium and long term priorities and expected outcomes across five action sets.

The action plan was developed in the context of the creation of the first UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) EDI Strategy and associated UKRI shared EDI actions. It was informed by engagement with groups and individuals from across the research and innovation sector, including inputs to EPSRC gender and race ‘have your say’ surveys.

The plan covers the following five actions sets:

  • Action set 1: Foster an inclusive and diverse research and innovation system and work in partnership with the EPSRC research community to support action.
  • Action set 2: Embed inclusive practices in the way EPSRC works to reduce inequities across its portfolio and improve trust.
  • Action set 3: Encourage and enable participation in engineering and physical sciences research careers through embedding EDI practice in EPSRC’s portfolio and the wider research community.
  • Action set 4: Increase diversity of voice in EPSRC advisory groups.
  • Action set 5: Investigating the barriers to greater access and participation to provide better support for people in the EPS community.

Short-term priorities identified in the plan include the following:

  • Investigating barriers and challenges for researchers with disabilities to access and participate in an engineering and physical sciences research career.
  • Embedding inclusive practice in peer review, including working with panel members to strengthen fair and objective decision-making, creating the role of observers at panels and taking action to increase diversity of panel membership and EPSRC’s peer review college.
  • Establishing new partnerships for coordinated action, and new communities of practice.
  • Creating a funding opportunity for an EDI sharing hub to harness existing resources and EPSRC investments including EPSRC’s Inclusion Matters portfolio and our EDI expectations.

EPSRC Executive Chair Professor Dame Lynn Gladden said:

“Creating an inclusive and diverse environment ensures that we attract and support the widest possible group of people and achieve the best research outcomes for the UK.

“Our action plan is the result of extensive engagement with our communities, whose ideas, approaches and experiences have shaped the way we will approach these challenges.

“Working in partnership is key to achieving improved outcomes throughout the engineering and physical sciences system and we will continue to empower people in our communities to take action.”

The EDI action plan is available on the EPSRC website.