Equality impact assessments

An equality impact assessment (EIA) is an evidence-based approach designed to help organisations ensure that their policies, practices, events and decision-making processes are fair, do not present barriers to participation and do not disadvantage any protected groups from participation.

It is the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC) policy that an EIA should be completed for major policy changes, calls for proposals and events that we lead. By introducing this policy we hope to:

  • improve our awareness and understanding of disproportionate differences between groups of people in the way a policy or practice has impacted on them in a robust way
  • reduce barriers to participation in our activities by taking action to remove or mitigate barriers
  • better communicate the steps that we take to promote equality and participation in all activities
  • increase EDI awareness amongst EPSRC staff and ensure consistent implementation of mitigation measures
  • demonstrate that decisions are transparent and based on evidence with clear reasoning.

EPSRC’s equality impact assessments highlight the considerations and changes that are beyond EPSRC standard practice. As standard practice across all calls and events, EPSRC is expected to:

  • support flexible working
  • abide by the principles of peer review
  • ensure that staff receive EDI awareness training, including tailored unconscious bias training for peer review processes and clear guidance for assessors to reduce the effects of unconscious bias in panel meetings
  • clearly communicate the timeline and key milestones for funding activities
  • ensure that attendees have opportunities to raise specific requirements in advance (such as in their cover letter or joining instructions)
  • select venues that are accessible and, where possible, accommodate specific requirements, when planning and organising initiatives in order to support wider participation
  • ensure diversity of peer review assessment and interview panels
  • offer support for people with caring responsibilities
  • handle personal sensitive information in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2018.

When invited to an event, there may be additional changes that can be made depending on the type of activity. For example, you may be able to send a representative or join via video conferencing if you are unable to attend in person.

Equality impact assessments can be found on the Funding Finder alongside the relevant funding opportunity.

Last updated: 31 March 2022

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