Journeys to Systemic Change: The process of designing evidence-based interventions to improve career progression for marginalised academics

Emily F. Porth, Jean O'Donoghue, Katie Nicoll Baines, Catherine Lyall, Sara Shinton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper describes how the Evidence Base project used a two-stage approach as a foundation for designing systemic policy and practice interventions, with the goal of improving career progression for marginalised scientists at the University of Edinburgh. Stage one involved carrying out qualitative research with new principal investigators in the physical sciences at Scottish universities who had participated in fellowship and career development programmes. Using in-depth interviews to understand the challenges that participants had encountered in regard to their career progression, we share our research results through two ‘personas’ and ‘journey maps’, storytelling and product design tools from consumer research that have rarely been applied to the academic sphere. We used the ‘pinch points’ that were identified through the journey maps as the foundation for creating evidence-based interventions. In stage two of the project, we engaged with a number of stakeholders across the University of Edinburgh to talk about the research results, discuss these possible interventions, and explore the opportunities and challenges to implementing them. We explore why it has been essential for this work to involve engagement with other stakeholders within the
University system, particularly within the context of the major disruption and wide-reaching impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In conclusion, we offer a number of recommendations based on our experience, with the hope that others can use these to better facilitate the process of designing interventions to create systemic change to improve equality, diversity, and inclusion in higher education organisations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInterdisciplinary Perspectives on Equality and Diversity
Early online date21 Apr 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Apr 2023

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