Every Researcher Counts: Mainstreaming Equality and Diversity in the Research Environment

Vitae logo Scotland and Northern Ireland Hub

Where are we now and where are we going?

Dynamic Earth, Thursday 26 June 2014


As part of the Every Researcher Counts project funded by RCUK, SFC, HEFCE, HEFCW, and DELNI, Vitae is pleased to announce this conference which will consider the current climate for Equality and Diversity in the Research Environment.

The importance of addressing equality and diversity in the research environment has never been clearer.  It is essential that the sector enables all researchers to maximise their potential.  During the last few years there have been a number of sector drivers , for example the Concordat to support the career development of researchers, the Research Councils UK statement of expectations, funding criteria linked to equality of opportunity, and the expansion of initiatives such as Athena Swan, alongside upcoming initiatives such as the Race Charter mark. 

This conference provides an opportunity to consider where we are now and what we need to do next as a sector in order to embed equality and diversity in the research environment, and support PIs and research leaders to embrace all protected characteristics and ensure that every researcher counts in pursuit of research excellence.

Event Overview

  • Keynote speakers will set out the landscape of policy, challenges and expectations from different perspectives including Scottish Funding Council, Equality Challenge Unit, Research Councils UK and an institutional perspective. 
  • Participants will discuss the challenge question: ‘in what innovative ways could we together address the challenges in equality and diversity to make a difference within the research environment?’
  • The first session will focus on the aspiration of mainstreaming equality for all, whilst the second session will look at practical actions such as using the Every Researcher Counts resources, mentoring and dealing with unconscious bias in the research environment.
  • Participants will gain a broader understanding of the benefits, challenges and opportunities around implementing equality and diversity in the research environment, from funder, institutional, staff developer, Principal investigator and researcher perspectives, and a range of practical actions that can be applied at all levels to contribute to success. 




Mainstreaming equality and diversity

The conference will explore the notion of mainstreaming equality and diversity and how it can be achieved within institutions.  It will also review the policy drivers and initiatives to support this.  Participants will be invited to analyse where they believe we are as a sector, to examine the main challenges that still exist in creating a fully embedded equality and diversity climate in the research environment, and to explore possible actions, solutions and ways forward. 

Practical Actions including Every Researcher Counts resources, Unconscious Bias

The afternoon sessions will focus on more practical initiatives within the research environment and conclude with an open session, allowing this important audience to consider what they now need to do as a sector.   There will be presentations on unconscious bias, mentoring and initiatives from Stonewall. 

Participants will have the opportunity to work with new additional resources that enhance the Every Researcher Counts project, funded through Vitae by SFC, HEFCE, HEFCW, DELNI and RCUK, and consider how to embed them within their own institutions. New guidance information has been added by ECU and new resources are available  for research staff to compliment the existing resources targeted for research leaders and PIs. For more information on the Every Researcher Counts project (www.vitae.ac.uk/everyresearchercounts )

The final interactive session will ask participants to consider how to address this from the perspectives of a Principal Investigator, and messages they would give to Principal investigators about managing equality and diversity in the research environment, along with actions they need to take in order that this agenda continues moving forward at sector, institutional and departmental levels. 

Who is it for?

Human Resource Managers

Equality and Diversity Managers

Researcher Developers

Pro Vice Chancellors

Directors of Centres of Doctoral Training

Directors of Graduate Schools





Programme available here.