IP4 - Disability Inclusive Science Careers

Day Day 1
Session Poster presentation
Start time 18:10
Code IP4

 Katherine Sang, Professor of Gender and Employment Studies, Heriot-Watt University


Led by Heriot Watt University, this 2 year project aims to improve recruitment, retention & progression of postdoctoral disabled scientists through the co-design of a suite of open access web based tools and immersive virtual reality gaming technologies (Disability Inclusive Science Careers - DISC). Pilot research funded by EPSRC Institutional Sponsorship, revealed disability and chronic ill health as barriers to remaining in a STEM academic career in the lead & partner institutions and other comparable HEIs (Sang, 2017a,b). PhD -> PDR / PDR -> lecturer or university graduate -> industry career were the career stages at which disabled scientists indicated they felt they had to exit research. Specific challenges were: shared offices and labs (e.g. for autistic researchers), field work (e.g. for mobility impaired researchers), high workloads (e.g. for those with mental health problems) inaccessible toilet facilities (e.g. for women with debilitating gynaecological health conditions), the adequacy of extant organisational policies and line managers/supervisors’ understanding and awareness of relevant legal/policy frameworks.