Shaping the future of equitable conferencing
Research conferences have a huge impact on career development. But do all researchers in the UK have equitable access? We want to hear from you!
Wellcome Connecting Science is a provider of high-quality conference events as part of an extensive learning and training programme based around genomics. We are aware that attending research meetings, such as our conferences, can have a direct impact on how a scientist’s career may develop; and many of us have stories based around fortuitous discussions during a refreshment break or at a poster session.
Delegate feedback from our own conferences indicates a high-level of satisfaction with the overall experience – with events meeting expectations around knowledge sharing, collaboration, and career development. This is great if you are one of the researchers ‘in the room’. But what happens if you’re not in the room? And are some people more likely to be in the room than others? We are interested in seeing if we can start to address some of these questions, and deepen our understanding of both our own events and the broader conference sector.
We have commissioned an independent research agency (Sea-Change Consultancy) to help us explore the experiences of researchers, across a range of career stages, who have attended research conferences; and to provide insights on barriers to participation in life science conferences in the UK, including financial, professional or cultural aspects. The first phase of their research is based around a survey, and we would like to hear from you!
We are especially interested in hearing from:
- Researchers from minoritised groups in the UK, with a particular focus on race and ethnicity;
- Researchers who have not attended conferences, whether Wellcome Connecting Sciences conferences or otherwise.
You can find the survey here: https://edinburgh.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/experiences-of-black-asian-and-minoritised-ethnic-groups-3
We intend to use the findings from this project to develop and implement tangible measures to improve access to our conference events, to create more inclusive meetings, and to increase the diversity of our delegate audience.
Improving research career experiences and the conference sector relies on us hearing a range of perspectives, from PhD students to Professors, so please do try and find 20 minutes to share your views with us. There are incentives for participating, and you could win the chance to attend one of our conferences for free!
We will share the outcomes of the completed project, and if you’d like to stay in touch and find out more, please leave your details at the end of the survey. Please contact Michelle Bishop firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tinu Cornish email@example.com from Sea-Change Consulting if you have any questions.
If you’d like to know more about Connecting Science’s approach to diversity and inclusion, visit the Wellcome Sanger Institute blog.