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Interdisciplinary research collaboration will 'facilitate inclusive research environments'

An interdisciplinary research collaboration has been awarded more than half a million pounds of funding by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to improve equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within engineering and physical sciences.  The project forms part of a broader programme within EPSRC’s Inclusion Matters initiative, launched as part of the collective approach by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to promote EDI.

The Advanced Strategic Platform for Inclusive Research Environments (ASPIRE) project offers an innovative approach to improving EDI within the sector, with a primary focus on long term behavioural and cultural change. The project will develop an evidence based online toolkit to connect best practice with improved ways to measure, monitor and implement EDI initiatives for maximum impact across initially HEI and also business settings.

Emerald Publishing joins the project as an advisory board member, a communications partner, and a test bed to pilot the ASPIRE toolkit and report back on implementation of recommendations.

Vicky Williams, CEO of Emerald Publishing, said: 'We are excited to play a role in this project, both from the perspective of Emerald’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity in the workplace as well as our role as a publisher participating and communicating the results of international research collaborations. We established an internal group, called STRIDE, in 2015 to create positive change in the inclusivity and diverse leadership of the company. We will be using STRIDE to pilot the ASPIRE platform and really embed change. This tangible action is in line with our mission to support the real impact of research.'

The partnership is led by the University of Lincoln and includes Vitae, Oxford Brookes University, the Lisbon Council, Emerald Publishing, University of Sheffield, University of Kent, University of Trento, Aston University, Coventry University and Towards Vision as project partners.

The project will begin in late 2018 and runs for three years.

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