This document was published in July 2023 with input from the pro2 Steering Group and Advisory Board, as well as drawing on a variety of voices and resources for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion including UKRI’s EDI policy and guidance. It is not a final document and will continue to evolve over time. We welcome feedback on our EDI policies at email@example.com.
2. Our commitment to inclusion
The pro2 Network+ is an EPSRC funded network that aims to improve the transition from prototype to product of digital devices. We believe that the success of our network relies upon collaboration between, and contribution from, a diverse group of individuals and organisations, representing a broad array of interests, backgrounds, and perspectives. We believe that this diversity will enrich the work that we are doing and ensure that it is carried out in a way that is beneficial to society.
To facilitate this, we aim to incorporate equity, diversity and inclusion in all that we do.
3. Our approach
We will carry out the following measures to ensure that EDI has been embedded in all pro2 activities. This document is not an exhaustive list but instead a description of some of the key actions we’re taking.
– Transparency: we strive to make pro2 processes and decisions transparent to members and the broader community wherever possible.
– Feedback: we remain open to feedback from a diverse range of sources, with the aim to learn and improve over time.
– Equality: All pro2 activities, especially funding calls, will aim to be fair to all applicants, taking into account the potential for bias wherever possible and working to mitigate it.
– Inclusive Language: it is important to us that the language we use in communications about the pro2 network be inclusive of everyone.
– Accessibility: the pro2 team will work to offer events, activities, and content that is accessible to all. We will strive to ensure that the results of projects funded by the pro2 network are widely accessible and beneficial to society.
– Accountability: periodically the pro2 team will review the network’s EDI performance and seek ways to further improve in any areas that are deemed insufficient.
– Continuous Improvement: the pro2 team will appoint an EDI Champion for the network, who is a member of the Steering Group or Advisory Board. The Champion will advocate for EDI policies and best practice going forward, ensuring that the network remains equitable and inclusive for all.
In all pro2 communications, we will strive to use language that is inclusive of all, especially marginalised groups including women and gender minorities, people with disabilities, the LGBT+ community, and racial and ethnic minorities. We remain receptive to feedback about the language we use in our communications, so please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if there is anything you would like to discuss.
Additionally, we will provide all virtual communications in accessible formats, including the pro2 website, social media channels, and our key documents. This includes but is not limited to the following actions:
– Website content such as text and hyperlinks are accessible to individuals who use screen readers.
– Key documents like the Theory of Change chart and funding call guidance are provided in a text-based format.
– Social media posts include alt text for images and follow accessibility best practices with regard to written content.
– Virtual events like webinars will be hosted on platforms that offer captioning, and captioning will be added to video content wherever possible.
We will use a variety of social media platforms and other outlets (such as newsletters and direct messages to specific groups and organisations) to engage with a diverse audience. We have a research designer on the team who is able to create content in a variety of formats to maximise accessibility. At live events the network will aim to invite a diverse array of speakers and attendees. Whenever personal introductions are made, network members will be encouraged to share their pronouns.
Where appropriate, the pro2 network may recognise important dates such as International Women’s Day, LGBT+ history month, Black History Month, and others.
Network events will be organised with an aim to be as inclusive to as many attendees as possible. We will take into consideration the barriers which may be faced by those with caring responsibilities when selecting dates or times for events. Consideration will also be given to venue accessibility and accommodations will be made wherever possible to improve access.
We appreciate that different event formats appeal to different people, therefore we will aim to hold events in a variety of formats (e.g. hackathons, workshops, conferences) and through different mechanisms (e.g. online, in-person and hybrid). We also aim to cover various regions of the U.K. over the 5 year period that we are currently funded for.
Events with catering will be inclusive of diverse diets, including plant-based options and meals that accommodate religious or ethnic practices. Dietary needs such as allergies will be accommodated whenever possible.
The process for pro2 funding calls will incorporate equality and transparency at all levels. Applicant eligibility will be in line with EPSRC requirements. Selection criteria and decision making will be carried out in a transparent manner, with key documents shared publicly via the pro2 website. Documentation will be provided in accessible formats.
To account for systemic bias, a focus will be placed on applicant potential to deliver rather than on past experience and awards.
The pro2 team will strive to accommodate the needs of applicants both during the application process and post-award, with consideration given to those who may be impacted by such things as caring responsibilities, a disability or illness.
Wherever possible, deadlines will be set at times that do not conflict with major holidays or school holiday periods. Applicants who have a need for flexible deadlines for reasons such as a disability, caring responsibilities, or illness are welcome to contact the pro2 team to discuss this.
Outcomes resulting from pro2 funding awards can be disseminated in a variety of ways, including creative and non-traditional formats. This may include things like visual media or virtual showcases, and will not require awardees to travel for the purpose of disseminating outcomes. We recognise that travel can be a barrier to some groups such as those with caring responsibilities, an illness, a disability, or LGBT+ people and thus we are open to alternative means of communicating project outcomes. pro2 will provide support for creative methods of dissemination by offering awardees the opportunity to collaborate with the pro2 research designer. In addition, we recognise that awardees may come from various linguistic backgrounds and some may require additional support if English is not their first language. This support may include things like proofreading services for the purpose of disseminating results.
The results of projects funded by the pro2 network should be widely accessible and beneficial to society. The needs of end users should be considered early on in the project to ensure satisfactory results.
The pro2 team will periodically review the network’s funding process with regard to EDI, using anonymised and voluntarily provided protected characteristics data from award applicants. If there appears to be a lack of diversity among applicants, actions to improve in this area will be undertaken following feedback from applicants and guidance from the Steering Group and/or Advisory Board.
7. Membership of network and strategic groups
The application form to join the pro2 network requests data about protected characteristics, which is provided voluntarily and stored separately from identifiable information to ensure anonymity. The storage of all personal data related to network members follows GDPR regulations.
Data related to protected characteristics will be used to carry out periodic reviews of the network’s membership with regard to diversity and representation. Where diversity and representation seems to be lacking, the pro² team will endeavour to recruit a more diverse pool of members by broadening recruitment campaigns and may carry out surveys to see where any barriers to membership may lie.
Membership within the pro2 network will be based on compliance with a code of conduct which will be made available in written form via the pro2 website. In the case that a member violates the code of conduct, steps will be taken to address the issue in accordance with the severity of the violation. If appropriate, membership in the network may be revoked due to severe or repeated violations of the code of conduct.
The network will also strive for diversity among its Steering Group and Advisory Board members. This may include using practices like open recruitment when selecting new members, to ensure a diverse pool of applicants. Where a lack of diversity is apparent, steps will be taken to address this which may include the recruitment of new members.
Steering Group and Advisory Board members will be expected to positively represent the pro2 network. In the case that a Steering Group or Advisory Board member’s actions are in conflict with the values of the network or harmful to another member, steps will be taken to address the issue in accordance with the severity of the action. Any problems of this nature should be first raised with the network manager and/or the network’s principal investigator.
An EDI Champion will be appointed within the Steering Group or Advisory Board. This individual will be well-informed about current best practices related to EDI and will offer guidance and friendly criticism to the network as needed.
In summary, we will continue to research the ways in which we can maximise inclusivity for the pro² network, but we appreciate that we don’t have all of the answers. We will be reaching out to people in a variety of formats to gather insights on how best we can work with people in this space to achieve a shared goal.
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