University of Reading: Major Funding For Project Opening Doors For Bame Researchers

A project co-led by the University of Reading, aimed at increasing the number of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) female professors in higher education, has won a share of nearly £8m in funding.

Reading and five other universities will work together as a consortium to lay the foundations for this long-term change by improving access and progression opportunities for BAME students to go into postgraduate research and academic careers at institutions across England.

The Generation Delta project was awarded £797,264 as part of an investment by Research England, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and the Office for Students (OfS). The funding will support 13 projects, which will be delivered over the next four years.

These projects supported by the UKRI and OfS funding will tackle inequalities and barriers that contribute to the current attainment gap between BAME and white students and relatively low numbers of BAME postgraduate researchers.

Professor Uma Kambhampati, Head of Politics, Economics and International Relations at the University of Reading and one of those co-leading the project, said: “There are clear inequalities in higher education, with BAME students and academics facing more struggles in their studies and career progression.”

“This project seeks to change that by understanding the challenges faced by BAME students and opening doors that have slowed the progress of BAME students and researchers. It will also provide valuable training opportunities that have been lacking.”

The Generation Delta project will be led by six BAME female professors and will address both institutional and individual barriers to access and progress experienced by BAME women at different stages of postgraduate research and academic careers.

Steven Hill, Director of Research at Research England, said: “PGR students are also researchers and teachers, and play an important role in supporting the research and academic talent pipeline.

“Supporting access and successful participation for Black, Asian and minority ethnic PGR students through these 13 innovate projects is crucial, both to improve opportunities for current generations, and to increase the diversity of talent into academic careers, which has been identified as important to addressing attainment gaps.”