Posted on: 31/05/2023

The importance of understanding our Fellows

By Katie Nicoll Baines, FLFDN Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager 

The FLFDN provides a comprehensive leadership development programme for its members. To enable us to do this more insightfully we are launching a survey to gather data on our Fellow demographics. You will likely recall that some level of demographic data is collected through the UKRI Je-S system when you applied for your fellowships, but this data is limited to insights on gender, race and disability. The FLFDN recognises that our Fellows consist of many more characteristics that shape your identities and the way you experience the environments you operate in.  

 By completing this survey, you will enable us to develop a valuable resource that can be used to develop insights into how our deliveries are received. It will contribute towards us being sector-leading in understanding our cohort.

Prior to my involvement with the FLFDN, I completed a 9-month secondment with EPSRC to analyse survey data that gathered perspectives on access to research funding alongside project managing 3-year Inclusion Matters research grants, investigating barriers to career progression in the engineering and physical sciences. This experience taught me the value of gathering comprehensive demographic data so that detailed analysis is possible. I have designed the survey questions in consultation with our EDI consultant, Dr Udeni Salmon, using a framework of best-practice recommendations collated by EDIS that is designed to ensure the quality of quantitative data gathered about your demographics. Know that your data will be treated in the strictest confidence and our reporting methods will be designed sensitively to ensure your anonymity.  

 Measuring the diversity of the FLF cohort is also something UKRI are keen to gauge as a metric of how the programme is functioning to be representative of the potential diversity in our research community. The approach to recruiting FLFs was unique in many ways and while it may not be possible to infer causation from the data, it is still valuable to capture any potential correlations or gaps in diversity that might be evident. So, please take the time (it should be no more than 10 minutes) to complete the demographic survey. 

Image: Future Leaders Fellows at Crucible, Simon Vine, 2022

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