The BBSRC White Rose DTP knows that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact. We are working to bring down barriers and promote equity in access to our DTP and as a part of our DTP we work to the following ethos:
- Equality means that everyone has the opportunity to succeed.
- Diversity means that differences are recognised and valued.
- Inclusion means we are creating a research environment with attitudes that value difference and practices that allow everyone to succeed.
The White Rose BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) is committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive environment within its postgraduate research programme. We are working to increase diversity by recruiting widely and encouraging applications from all backgrounds to apply for a Diverse Talent Scholarship, a fully-funded 4-year PhD studentship as part of the White Rose DTP. The application process is distinct from the standard DTP allocation: for the DTS a student applies to the programme and then chooses their project from a range of labs after they are selected. Selection will be based around a statement of research interests, a contextual statement, and academic references that commend a candidate’s potential. We are awarding 3 DTS studentships for the October 2022 intake.
As well as embedding Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) practice within our DTP, we are working in partnership with initiatives across Yorkshire to address inequalities in access to postgraduate research:
GenerationResearch (GenRes) is a new summer studentship/ internship programme for undergraduates across our region that is designed to recruit talent and potential from all backgrounds. GenRes is developing a sustainable, equitable approach for student recruitment that facilitate greater inclusion by offering STEM internships at the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York.
The importance of undergraduate summer internships:
Summer internships offer an exciting chance for undergraduates to experience research. Access to these programmes is important if students want to be competitive with their peers when applying for funded PGR studentships. It also offers the student a chance to gain authentic experience in a scientific lab while undertaking a novel research project, work alongside current PhD students and get a feel for what postgraduate research is like. In this way a student develops confidence and can visualise themselves as a PGR.
These valuable experiences need to be promoted to students with protected characteristics, who often do not apply or do not win these opportunities due to financial restrictions, lack of support, or problems with the usual selection procedures. This can result in more barriers to undertaking postgraduate research. GenRes and YCEDE summer internship programmes are working to change this by creating processes that encourage applications from all backgrounds, provide training and mentoring to support all appointed students, and create visibility of the programme to ensure equity to all current and future participants. Working with GenRes and YCEDE, the BBSRC White Rose DTP is playing a role in supporting, promoting and providing these valuable experiences.
Yorkshire Consortium for Equity in Doctoral Education (YCEDE) is a new initiative funded by the Office for Students, Research England and the Universities of York, Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield Hallam University. This consortium also offers internships to undergraduates across the region in all subjects and our interests overlap with their focus to improve access and participation of BAME people in postgraduate research study across Yorkshire.