Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

NIHR Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2022-2027

In 2021, we published Best Research for Best Health: The Next Chapter, outlining our mission to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Essential to the success of this endeavour is ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are embedded in everything we do. In recognition of EDI’s importance, we have developed a new, complementary EDI strategy to sit alongside it. Our EDI strategy 2022-2027 will ensure we deliver on our commitment to EDI through the collaborative implementation of inclusive practice in our research, culture and systems. It will at once enable us to address issues across the entire NIHR people framework (see Appendix 1), whilst empowering better health outcomes for the national and global community.

NIHR Diversity Data Report

Welcome to NIHR’s second Diversity Data Report. This year’s report marks an important step in developing an evidence based approach to our equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) work. It consolidates our understanding of the diversity challenges we face at the NIHR. It also helps us to establish a benchmark which we can use to measure our progress against in the future. This year’s report also includes analysis of application value and geographical location for the first time. This year our findings paint a similar picture to last year:

  • Applications from female researchers decline with higher career stage; from 71% for pre-doctoral programmes to 37% for senior investigator programmes.
  • Applicants from ethnic minority groups are less likely to be successful than white applicants. People from ethnic minority groups are also underrepresented on our funding committees.
  • The proportion of applicants, award holders and professional committee members who have declared a disability is low.

In the last year we have however begun to take action to improve our diversity. We will continue to do the work to address the barriers faced by our research applicants and our committee members, but we know this work will take time.

NIHR Research Design Service Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit

This resource has been developed to support researchers to better understand how to embed equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in research design and to meet the NIHR’s EDI requirements. The toolkit advocates for best practice which goes beyond the NIHR’s current requirements. Its main authors are Dr Rebecca Barnes and Dr Christopher Newby at RDS East Midlands, but it has been developed with valuable and broad input from the RDS EDI Group and other RDS and NIHR colleagues, researchers and public contributors. Particular thanks go to our public contributors, Pam Rees, Cecily Henry, Beauty Tshuma and to RDS East Midlands’ Patient and Public Involvement Lead, Naina Patel, for their commitment to and support of this work. The toolkit is structured around eight domains, or areas of the research design journey, stretching from inception through to dissemination, implementation and impact. Some domains will be more pertinent to a particular funding application than others. You may wish to dip into selected sections or to download the toolkit and read it cover-to-cover.

If you have any questions or would like to offer any feedback about the toolkit or experiences of using it in your advising, please email rds.em@nihr.ac.uk