Online Researcher Education and Development Scholarship Conference

Hosted by the University of Leeds. Thursday 14th October 2021

The 7th annual REDS International Conference 2021 online

Inclusive research cultures: How do we develop them?

Researcher Education and Development Scholarship (REDS) Conference: Online 14th October 2021 (10:00 -16:00 GMT+1) (Follow us on twitter)

Click here to book to attend (REDS is online and free to attend)

Click here to see the abstracts for our conference presentations

 ‘Research culture encompasses the behaviours, values, expectations, attitudes and norms of our research communities. It influences researchers’ career paths and determines the way that research is conducted and communicated’. – The Royal Society[1]

The 2021 Research Education and Development Scholarship Conference asks:

  • How can personal and professional development for researchers impact upon change in research culture?
  • How do we develop and support agents and drivers of change across all the stages of a research career?
  • What role is played in change, by those working in the professional development of researchers? How do we provide strategic support for the development of ‘behaviours, values, expectations, attitudes and norms’ for researchers?
  • What lessons can be learnt from online working? Which approaches help to create more inclusive environments?

[1]  (accessed 12th January 2021)

REDS 2021 Keynote: Dr Jessica Gagnon, University of Strathclyde

Innovation without limits: Imagining a possible inclusive future for researchers

Universities are eager to celebrate diversity – at least in their marketing campaigns. As Ahmed (2012:153) has written, diversity work is often just ‘a branding exercise, a way of reimagining the organization as ‘being diverse’ through the inclusion of those who embody diversity’ rather than the expression of a genuine commitment that is reinforced with measurable, accountable action. How many of our universities, with published statements praising their own commitments to diversity, have hiring, promotion, or pay gaps for staff and withdrawal or attainment gaps for students based on race/ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual identity, or caring responsibilities?

Multiple studies have shown that more inclusive working environments lead to better innovation, more resilient organisations, and greater economic growth. Inclusive work places can lead to higher productivity of underrepresented staff. It should come as no surprise that students and staff who are fully included, feel like they belong, believe that their voices are heard, know that their contributions are valued, are likely to be more innovative and productive.

This keynote presentation will build upon my two-part post for Supervising PhDs focused on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) in supervisory practices. I will explore a possible future in which institutional diversity statements are accompanied by robust evidence of accountability for those promises of equity. I ask us to consider: What might the future of research look like if work environments and research communities were fully equitable and inclusive? What kinds of innovative break-throughs could be made if systemic barriers were no longer a burden? How might the world benefit from an academia where everyone is welcome and included?

Keynote presenter biography: Dr Jessica Gagnon (@Jess_Gagnon) is an educational sociologist, focused on inequalities in higher education. She has worked in higher education in the US and UK for more than 20 years. Jessica is a first-generation student from an American working-class, single mother family. She currently serves as co-chair for the Gender and Education Association, an international, intersectional feminist academic charity founded in 1997, focused on achieving gender equality within and through education.