UKRI has published a response to an open letter authored by Dr Addy Adelaine, Dr Chisomo Kalinga, Dr Furaha Asani, Dr Ruth Ngozika Agbakoba, Natasha Smith, Dr Olumide Adisa, Janine Francois, Dr Michelle King-Okoye, Paulette Williams and Dr Ruby Zelzer.
The letter raised issues and potential actions in tackling under representation and active participation in research, particularly of Black people.
The letter from this group and our subsequent conversations with them, alongside other discussions and engagements across diverse communities, has been very constructive in helping evolve our approach and actions on this fundamental issue.
We decided to delay publishing an open response to the letter during this active and ongoing dialogue. As a result our public response has taken much longer than is desirable and we apologise for any negative consequences of our decision.
The group who authored this letter has also played a vital role in ensuring the issue remains at the top of the agenda and in ensuring public accountability and scrutiny of our work. This remains an essential element in making progress.
Progress will require changes and improvements made by everyone across the sector. We are continuing to put in place measures that will have impacts within UKRI and beyond, and will be updating our website as this programme progresses.
Equity, equality, diversity and inclusion are essential to a successful research and innovation endeavour. To achieve this, we must ensure that the full range of voices are heard, including those who consider themselves to be part of the research and innovation system, and those who do not.
This will require diverse channels of communication and a significant time investment by all concerned, creating additional demands on already stretched communities. We are grateful to all those contributing to these crucial discussions, including colleagues across UKRI.
We are committed to working together to make the transformative changes needed.
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