Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I)

The Water-WISER Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) aspires to achieving excellence in terms of equality, diversity and inclusion.

Water-WISER hopes to influence future research culture towards greater inclusivity, by ensuring that any person who meets our eligibility and entry requirements, and has the right potential, is supported and encouraged to participate, and enabled to contribute. Our intention is to ensure that the Water-WISER CDT is a place of security and creativity for people of any gender, sexual orientation, race or nationality, and at any period of their lives, to work and to excel.

Current indicators and processes in support of achieving diversity

  • Diversity within both our student cohort, and our management and interview team, by age, ethnicity, background and gender split. Our student diversity has been commended by EPSRC, our funding council.
  • We actively monitor the diversity of our applicants; we review this at our Management Board meetings and Advisory Group (external members) meetings.
  • The interview team does not consider age, ethnic origin or other protected characteristics of applicants, the exception being caring responsibilities so we can better decide how the student can be supported.
  • We continually develop and review our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion plan and achievements.
  • We have successfully supported a number of students with very young children through maternity leave provision and subsequent workload flexibility.
  • We have helped students from non-traditional backgrounds to start the programme despite significant practical challenges.
  • We have supported students with long-term/chronic health issues to take time out and return to their studies successfully.

Intended measures to improve Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (as of 2020)

  • We interview all candidates who meet our entry requirements and are eligible for full EPSRC funding, where practicable.
  • We monitor the diversity of staff (particularly staff of BAME origin) in the management team, supervisor pool and interview panels.
  • We survey applicants to find out their views of our applications process, in order to make improvements to the fairness of our processes and to improve our marketing to better attract applicants from non-traditional backgrounds.

Commitment to ongoing review

We are committed to continually reviewing the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity of our CDT, as we recognise that the postgraduate research sector is inherently biased against applicants from minority backgrounds, non-traditional backgrounds and those with disabilities. This is often because it is harder for these applicants to secure high grades, or relevant work experience, at University or earlier in the education system.

We therefore particularly encourage applications from these candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit but candidates should also note that we are working with leading groups looking at implementing contextual admissions strategies.

We welcome feedback about our commitments (including feedback relating to the content of this website). If you would like to give feedback, please contact our EDI lead Emily Bryan-Kinns e.bryan-kinns@leeds.ac.uk.

Case Studies

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