D7 - Unconscious bias training. What is unconscious bias: considerations and tips

Day 2 at 13:45 - Unconscious Bias Training. What is Unconscious Bias: considerations and tips


Day Day 2
Session D
Start time 13:45
Strand Research Staff
Code D7
Presenters Sandy Sparks - Learning and Development Advisor, University of Warwick

Workshop overview

Background: Unconscious Bias 

"Unconscious bias refers to a bias that we are unaware of, and which happens outside of our control. It is a bias that happens automatically and is triggered by our brain making quick judgments and assessments of people and situations, influenced by our background, cultural environment and personal experiences" (ECU: 2013 Unconscious Bias in higher education)

The HR Excellence Action Plan & Athena Swan/Gender Equality Mark (GEM) institutional & departmental action plans, improving recruitment & selection and equality and diversity training, this has resulted in an increased demand for training on Unconscious Bias.

There is an increasing need to understand Unconscious Bias and its implications as well as provide a training / learning and development provision.

The workshop will: provide an introduction to Unconscious Bias, discuss the implications for researchers & researcher developers as well as consider the wider context of E&D/ HR etc. Delegates will also experience a taster training session on unconscious bias and then look at a case study of the University of Warwick’s Unconscious Bias training provision.  

This will be an interactive workshop session on Unconscious Bias followed by a discussion on; sharing practice and ideas from other institutions; adaptation of the material for different audiences and also impact of effective training/ workshops on Unconscious Bias.

There will be an opportunity to discuss how other Institutions are addressing this challenge.

Workshop topics covered: 

Unconscious Bias 

This session will cover: 

  • What is Unconscious Bias
  • Implicatitions for researchers and researcher developers
  • Explore how Unconscious Bias is important in leadership and links to E&D
  • Examples / Relevance of Unconscious Bias in HE
  • What can be done to mitigate Unconscious Bias
  • Case study: University of Warwick
  • Share experience/ practice from other institutions and consider alternative training options

Themes covered:

  • New approaches to enabling researchers to reach their potential and make powerful career choices
  • Case study and examples that mainstream equality and diversity for researchers and the research environment
  • Leadership development for researchers

Workshop outcomes: 

Participants will: 

  • Have an increased awareness of Unconscious Bias 
  • Have experienced a short introductory interactive Unconscious Bias training session.
  • Explored alternative approaches / applications of the material for supporting researchers in their development and shares practice.


Information, interaction and discussion and an introductory interactive workshop session on Unconscious Bias.