Eight researchers supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) have attended the first dedicated training session on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) for BRC Senior Research Fellows.
The NIHR Oxford Senior Research Fellowship, an initiative run jointly by the Oxford BRC, the Oxford Health BRC and the ARC Oxford & Thames Valley, supports individuals with the potential and trajectory to become future leaders in translational research.
This face-to-face EDI session was one of a series of career development workshops that the Senior Fellows take part in as part of the programme; others include leadership, change management and entrepreneurship.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is considered to be important because the long-term strength of UK research depends on harnessing all the available talent. Grant funders expect EDI to embedded at all levels and in all aspects of research practice and funding policy, and the importance of including EDI in research funding applications, as well as recruitment, was a key topic of discussion.
Among those presenting at the workshop was Adrienne Hopkins, Head of EDI at the University of Oxford, who led discussions on the meaning of EDI, challenges and resources available to researchers.
The Oxford BRC’s PPIE Training and Inclusion Manager, Angeli Vaid, led a section of the workshop on the importance of reaching underserved groups, while the BRC’s Training and Education Manager, Karen Bell, touched on the importance of considering diversity in terms of access to vaccinations.
BRC Senior Manager Dr Lorna Henderson highlighted the importance of EDI for the BRC and the importance of partnership to drive sustainable change in EDI.
One of the Oxford Health BRC Senior Fellows who took part in the training, Dr Jennifer Wild, said it was a “fantastic workshop. I valued the opportunity to ask awkward questions. I discovered that these were shared by other researchers and that there were answers. I also discovered a whole range of useful resources to tap into. Thanks to all the facilitators and my fellow researchers for making this masterclass an excellent experience.”
Oxford BRC Senior Manager Dr Lorna Henderson, who set up the workshop in partnership with the University of Oxford, highlighted the importance of EDI for the BRC and the importance of partnership to drive sustainable change in EDI: “The Oxford BRC is committed to supporting and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion because we recognise delivering world class research requires diversity of people, patients and research participants. It is recognised that it strengthens translational research and innovation.
“As part of this we wanted to set up a dedicated training session to support senior fellows with resources on EDI to support their leadership skills, and reach underserved groups for their research programmes.”