The WGSSS firmly believes that quality research training in the social and economic sciences should be accessible to all, that research should reflect the interests and needs of all communities, and that the PhD journey should be equally enjoyable and valuable for all. This is a key priority area for us and for the ESRC and UKRI. We have established an expert Equality, Diversity and Inclusion working group, including Professor Sin Yi Cheung, (Cardiff University), Dr Kami Koldewyn (Bangor Univeristy), Ms Melissa Martin (Cardiff University), Ferrida Ponce (Bangor University), Dr Amanda Rogers (Swansea University) and Dr Constantino Dumangane Jr (University of York) to advise and implement our strategy for widening participation and improving the experience of all our students.
We are delighted that this initiative is supported by our collaborative partners in the Welsh Government and Health and Care Research Wales, who are using it to develop their own research capacity in relation to formerly neglected communities. We welcome input and advice from WGSSS students and supervisors on this essential work.
We recognize that members of a range of groups face multiple, often compounded obstacles to participation in postgraduate studies. Our EDI working group is engaging with the reality that discrimination and exclusion often tracks the intersection of more than one background or identity.
The WGSSS is working to ensure that the composition and operation of its governance groups (e.g. selection panels) reflect the diversity of the wider community. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is included as a standing item in agendas of all WGSSS governance meetings. We strive to share and promote best practice across the WGSSS.
Historical structural inequalities in education have resulted in underrepresentation of certain racial and ethnic communities in academia. The WGSSS has taken action to begin addressing these issues through an initiative permitting pathways within the WGSSS to put forward up to four studentship nominations rather than three in its general studentship competition, provided that at least one of those applicants is of Black British, Asian British, minority ethnicity British or mixed race British background. Full information on WGSSS studentships, eligibility and how to apply are available on our studentships page.
The WGSSS strives to undertake open, merit-based and transparent recruitment of students, selecting candidate(s) regardless of background or any protected characteristic as defined by the Equality Act 2010. Statistics for recruitment show that students from some racial and ethnic communities are very significantly underrepresented among applicants to and award holders from the ESRC WGSSS. This currently justifies the taking of ‘positive action’ under the 2010 Act, in the form of the opportunity to nominate an extra student as set out in the previous paragraph.
All staff involved in the recruitment of candidates are required to complete and be up-to-date with relevant EDI training provided within their institution. Staff training can be accessed via the links provided below:
Every effort is being made to ensure the diversity of all assessment panels, including gender balance and the involvement of colleagues from Black, Asian or minority ethnic background
We are also asking pathways to report back to the WGSSS at the end of the recruitment process on their compliance with these steps, so that we can improve practice and adapt our strategy for future years.
We are complementing these measures with publicity and outreach activities, including targeting students at a diverse range of universities, contacting student unions and societies, and working with under-represented racial/ethnic groups and other community groups in Wales.
In the following 9 minute video, WGSSS Director Professor John Harrington outlines the WGSSS’s initiative aimed at encouraging those from underrepresented groups to apply for a funded award. Professor Harrington is joined by WGSSS students Henna Nisa and Laura Shobiye, who discuss equality, diversity and inclusion and reflect on their own experiences.
Accessibility and Inclusivity
We recognise the importance of providing a website that is usable and as accessible to as many people as possible, and are always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you experience any difficulty in accessing any of our webpages, or if you have any suggestions as to how we might improve accessibility, please contact us via email@example.com.
AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.
All WGSSS supported events are run in accordance with WGSSS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Guidance for Events and Conferences. Click here to review the document
For all WGSSS-run training events we endeavour to achieve a representative balance of speakers/training providers and to showcase excellence among all staff and students.
Bullying, Harassment and Victimisation
The WGSSS promotes a no tolerance approach to harassment, bullying and victimisation. Within our partner institutions there is support available for anyone who feels that they are experiencing any form of bullying, harassment or victimisation.
Equality Impact Assessment
The WGSSS has completed an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) for its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion initiative in relation to studentship competitions. A copy of the EIA is available on request.