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30 November 2021, 1:36 UTC Share

Surfacing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within Academic-Policy Engagement

Today UPEN has launched a report that looks at the challenge of bringing about positive change for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in academic-policy engagement.

The report, ‘Surfacing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion within Academic-Policy Engagement’ provides evidence from UK Higher Education Institutions, looking at the challenge from a knowledge broker perspective and surfacing what institutions should be doing to ensure there are more diverse academic voices contributing to public policy.

The report provides evidence from a survey in 2020 of UPEN institutional members, completed by knowledge brokers and advisers at the interface between policy and engagement:

  • The vast majority of brokers do not collect EDI data relating to policy engagement
  • When considering which academics to support brokers overwhelmingly took a research‑first approach and prioritised researchers on track to be included within Research Excellence Framework (REF) impact case studies
  • Where efforts to identify researchers from diverse backgrounds were noted, significant structural barriers existed
  • Diverse participation is possible in policy-engagement training, with some members directly targeting under‑represented groups in their promotion of sessions and utilising diverse examples within training programmes
  • EDI considerations have not been comprehensively integrated into the allocation of impact funding

Based on the review and survey results, we have made recommendations to the UPEN Network and UPEN member institutions in order to deliver more diverse and inclusive academic‑policy engagement.

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