NTU awarded funding to improve access in postgraduate research

NTU awarded funding to improve access in postgraduate research

 December 06, 2021

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Nottingham Trent University has been awarded funding as part of a joint Research England and Office for Students (OfS) programme, which aims to improve access and participation for Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in postgraduate research (PGR) study.

The programme, worth nearly £8 million, will take place over the next four years, and is said to be innovative in scope, scale and focus. 

Enhancing research participation for minority groups 

As well as improving access into research and enchancing the research culture, the projects will also divesify and enhance routes into a range of careers. 

The projects range from targeting recruitment, admissions and transition, increasing the number of Black, Asian and minority ethnic female professors, and generating new admissions practices to creating longitudinal, systemic, and structural change at several English universities.

Addressing racial inequality in doctural education 

Nottingham Trent University Rebekah Smith McGloin

Project lead, Rebekah Smith McGloin, Director of Doctoral School and Research Operations, highlighted how ensuring equity and diversity in doctoral education is important to the vitality and sustainability of UK research. 

She continued, "I’m pleased to be leading one of only 13 projects funded to increase participation of black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in doctoral education. I’m very much looking forward to working in close partnership with Liverpool John Moores and Sheffield Hallam universities and the NHS trusts across the three cities of Nottingham, Liverpool and Sheffield to address barriers to inclusion in recruitment, admissions and transition into the doctorate.

"Over the next four years, the project will see the establishment of a new part-time PhD programme for NHS staff from racialised groups across the three cities. Additionally, there’ll be development of a novel framework for doctoral admission that could help to overturn degree classification as the principal route and major barrier to entry onto a doctorate and the co-creation of a bespoke coaching programme for PGR from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, supervisors and professional service staff to address causal factors for disparities in PGR success between ethnic groups.

"I’m delighted that, through this project, NTU will be at the forefront of work to ensure a more inclusive approach to setting future research agenda and to diversifying the talent pipeline into research."

Creating a collaborative approach to research 

Talking about the projects, panel co-Chairs, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE and Maisha Islam, said, “Over the course of 2020-21, the longstanding urgency for racial equality was incredibly obvious. We are confident that this competition will be a significant step of tangible action, investment and commitment to support these aims in the context of English Higher Education.

“We have sought to back projects that have demonstrated authentic engagement and partnership work with their students and colleagues of colour, and a commitment to continue this as part of their own ongoing evaluations.

“This is only one of many first steps, as systemic inequalities will not disappear overnight. We are acutely aware of how much further the sector needs to travel to be in a position to allow people of all backgrounds to flourish and establish the most outstanding research and innovation sector with a formidable research culture to match."

Do you want to work for a University dedicated to tackling racial inequality?

Nottingham Trent University is a progressive university, which is commited to championing equality for all. 

Read about the range of careers this inclusive employer has to offer.


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