University of Nottingham

Developing diversity and inclusion in postgraduate research

Online (Microsoft Teams)
Thursday 18th March 2021 (15:00-16:30)
Rachel Van Krimpen
Registration URL

This panel session, hosted by the Researcher Academy, brings together a range of individuals who have worked to embed diversity and inclusion within postgraduate research. It will feature three short presentations and an opportunity for Q&A and discussion.  

Part 1:   Rachel Van Krimpen and Samuel Asamoah

Title: ‘Practical interventions to increase diversity in PGR recruitment’  

Drawing particularly on examples of recruitment practice developed within the Nottingham BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership since 2019, this presentation will focus on the practical steps that can be taken to increase diversity and inclusion in PGR recruitment. The role of co-creation of these interventions with PGRs will be considered, with a PGR perspective from DTP researcher Samuel Asamoah.  

Speaker Biographies:  

Rachel Van Krimpen works in the Researcher Academy at the University of Nottingham as a Doctoral Training Partnership Manager. Her interests lie at the intersection of EDI, student support and wellbeing and doctoral training management. She has led the development of a range of practical interventions to improve diversity in recruitment within DTPs and has a strong professional interest in widening participation at the PGR level.   

Samuel Asamoah is a PhD Researcher at the University of Nottingham, as part of the Nottingham BBSRC DTP, working in the School of Biosciences on host-mediated interactions between aphids, Fusarium and wheat. He is one of the DTP’s PGR mentors on the AMPlify applicant mentoring programme.  

Part 2: Dega Sian Rutherford and Natasha Bailey  

Title: ‘Moving beyond performance, embedding anti-racism and inclusion.’  

This presentation will focus on how individuals and institutions can move beyond performative actions to achieve more lasting change. This involves being much more ambitious, not setting arbitrary targets and recognising that inclusion is never finished or done; it is a constant process that involves everyone. It also means having uncomfortable conversations with staff and students at all levels, about how they interact with difference particularly when related to race and inequality. To transform the academy honesty about the realities of student experience and discrimination is required. Drawing on the anti-racist workshops funded by the Midlands4Cities DTP in January 2021, it will also outline the importance of anti-racist practice when it comes to embedding inclusion and improving the system for everyone.  

Speaker Biographies:   

Dega Sian Rutherford is a Midlands4Cities DTP PhD Researcher at the University of Birmingham in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures. Her thesis examines the evolution of, and meanings behind representations of imperial power in the urban landscape of Hong Kong 1841 – 2019.  In January 2021 Dega led the organisation of a series of workshops called ‘Becoming: An Anti-Racist in the Academy’, this was delivered by a human rights and equalities organisation called brap and funded by Midlands4Cities.  

Natasha Bailey is a final-year Midlands4Cities DTP PhD researcher in History at the University of Leicester. Her work examines the role of traditional alcohol production in the social and economic lives of Indigenous communities in early colonial Mexico (16th and 17th century). Natasha benefited greatly from the "Becoming an Anti-Racist" workshop series, and hopes to use what she has learned in considering her position as a white scholar who researches Indigenous history.  

Part 3:  Jeanette Woolard  

Title: ‘Doctoral training schemes and a Team Science approach.’  

The presentation will introduce the Centre for Membrane Proteins and Receptors (COMPARE) and Nottingham activities aimed at promoting Team Science; an initiative that has focussed on promoting a culture of collaboration, developing cross-institutional and multi-disciplinary interactions, recognising the contribution of early career researchers and developing the careers of those who may be considered ‘outside’ the PI track. This Team Science approach has been well received by the Academy of Medical Sciences, the European Laboratory Research and Innovation Group (ELRIG) and the Royal Society. The talk will then focus on the implementation of Team Science within the Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Programme within a competitive academic environment; highlighting some successes, and considering the future challenges associated with this change in culture.  

Speaker Biography:   

Jeanette Woolard is Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology and Pharmacology and Director of COMPARE at the University of Nottingham. Her work has focussed on elucidating the molecular pharmacology of growth factors involved in blood vessel growth during tumour development, where she has been involved in developing novel approaches to monitor ligand/receptor interactions. Prof Woolard is lead of the Nottingham Haemodynamic Laboratories, where her team works to investigate the safety pharmacology of drugs in order to better understand why, and how, some drug treatments for cancer cause significant side effects in the cardiovascular system. Her work has been supported by an MRC Programme grant, project grants from BBSRC, BHF and MRC, and collaborative grants with Heptares, Promega and AstraZeneca. 

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