Policy: UKRI Publishes First Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy

The new strategy sets out UKRI’s ambition for a more diverse and inclusive research and innovation system.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has published its first Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy, setting out how the organisation will foster a more diverse and inclusive research and innovation system in the UK.

The strategy was developed following extensive engagement with many people and organisations. This included feedback from a consultation into the draft version of the EDI Strategy, which helped UKRI refine the strategy and develop its action plans.

The strategy sets out UKRI’s ambition for EDI and how it will achieve this, and provides a framework for the actions it will take. The strategy aims to cover all of UKRI’s functions as a leader, a funder and partner, and as an employer.

At the strategy’s core are the following four objectives:

  1. Foster a world-class research and innovation system, ‘by everyone, for everyone’.
  2. Include and support a diversity of people and ideas through UKRI funding and partnerships.
  3. Create a more inclusive and fair organisational culture, where everyone can contribute and participate, and feels valued and respected.
  4. Advance and grow knowledge and capability to support a thriving research and innovation system by being a creative, evidence-based and evidence-informed organisation.

The strategy acts as a framework for a suite of action plans, which set out what UKRI will do and the outcomes it expects to see. These are living documents that will continue to evolve in response to new insights and knowledge. Individual action plans over 2022 to 2025 are as follows:

Research England, the Medical Research Council and Innovate UK will publish plans for action later this year.

In addition, the UKRI workforce EDI plan 2022 to 2026 sets out how UKRI will build a more inclusive culture at UKRI, offer opportunity for all, and develop the diversity of people and thought necessary for it to be a world-class organisation.

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, Chief Executive of UKRI, said:

“The UK’s research and innovation workforce is highly talented and is a tremendous national asset. But we know that its full power will not be realised without a wealth of currently untapped talent and potential.

“This is why equality, diversity and inclusion are integral to UKRI’s vision and mission. Our EDI Strategy outlines our ambitious plans to foster change.”

The strategy can be accessed in full at the UKRI website.

(This report was the subject of a ResearchConnect Newsflash.)