Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion
The SGSSS believes in the benefits that come from having a diverse population and is committed to facilitating the widest possible applicant pool into doctoral study; and, valuing the diversity of our population through minimising any barriers to participation throughout the PhD experience.
You can find out more about the various ways in which we do this below.
EDI Committee and Research
In September 2020, we commissioned Hannah Gormley, a PhD intern from the University of Edinburgh, to undertake research with key stakeholders in the social science doctoral community in Scotland with the aim of contributing to an evidence base that would support SGSSS to develop effective policies and interventions to widen access to funding for underrepresented groups and to minimise barriers to participation both into and during postgraduate research study.
Hannah’s research, key findings and recommendations are presented in this report, which we used to develop our widening access strategy and action plan. The SGSSS EDI committee oversees the implementation of the action plan. For further information on our current progress, please contact the SGSSS.
Current EDI Policies
Rather than have a specific EDI policy, we try to ensure all our activities and policies support participation and minimise barriers, for example, all our studentships and many of our internships are advertised as either full-time or part-time opportunities. Our expenses policy provides financial support for those travelling further than 30 miles to attend an event and includes additional provision for those with caring responsibilities. Our online community platform Social has a dedicated training repository where recorded versions of training activities are collated.
If you are an ESRC-funded student, please see the SGSSS Student Handbook for full details of our current policies.
A Whole Person Approach to assessing PGR potential
We are trialling a new student applicant marking framework for the allocation of studentships in 2021/22 (starting in 2022/23). The purpose of the new framework is to contribute to attracting and recruiting a wider set of applicants, particularly those traditionally underrepresented. It does this by more explicitly assessing potential to flourish within the PhD in ways that go beyond academic achievements. Please see the SGSSS Student-led Open Competition for details on the new marking framework.
PhD funding and applications are complex and there is often lots of information to digest. As such, we are trying to simply our guidance as much as possible and continue to welcome feedback on ways in which we can do this. To support this, we have created some short videos which explain the basics of PhD funding and how to get started with applying for a social science PhD.