In SGSSS, we believe that all students that have the potential to progress to doctoral study should have equal opportunity to do so, and that all doctoral students should have equal opportunity to succeed in their studies. We aim to facilitate the widest possible applicant pool into doctoral study; and, value the diversity of our population by minimising any potential barriers to participation throughout the PhD experience
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 are using to develop a widening access strategy and action plan. We will publish more about our intentions in this area the coming months.
Many of the recommendations are applicable to supporting widening access generally, in particular for those working in Doctoral Training Partnerships DTPs or with doctoral students. We use the term widening access to refer to access both into PGR and to the opportunities available through the PGR journey.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people who contributed to this report: prospective and current doctoral students, academic colleagues, widening participation professionals, fellow DTP colleagues and partners from SDS and SFC. Most of all we’d like to thank Hannah for her meticulous and thought provoking work, which will have a significant contribution to the widening access agenda within SGSSS and further afield.
We hope you enjoy Hannah’s report and if you would like to follow-up on any of the content within it or would like to talk more about widening access (either within SGSSS or more generally), please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
Diane Gill, Head of Strategy and Operations, SGSSS