UKRI publishes equality, diversity and inclusion strategy

UKRI has published the first edition of its EDI strategy, which outlines our ambition for a thriving research and innovation system, by everyone, for everyone.

Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are integral to UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) vision and mission. They are essential to realise the extraordinary potential for research and innovation for our economy, our society and our environment.

To do this, we must work together to foster a research and innovation culture where people, creativity and ideas flourish.

A system by everyone, for everyone

The UK has a highly talented research and innovation workforce. Our new EDI strategy outlines UKRI’s role in building a thriving, globally attractive research and innovation system where everyone feels included, and can participate in, contribute to, and benefit from our investments.

Delivery of our strategy is essential to fuel economic growth, transform our public services and create high quality jobs across the UK, turning challenges, from net zero to healthy ageing, into opportunities for all.

The strategy has been developed with input from the research and innovation community, and we are grateful to those who have committed time to the discussion and engaged in the consultation last year.

Read the EDI strategy.

Diversity of people and ideas

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, Chief Executive of UKRI, said:

Harnessing the power of research and innovation for national prosperity requires a shared national endeavour to turn the challenges we face into opportunities for all.

To fuel thriving, high-productivity businesses and public services we need a research and innovation system that captures the benefits of different ideas and approaches to discover creative and transformative solutions to the many challenges we face.

The UK’s research and innovation workforce is highly talented and is a tremendous national asset. But we know that its full power will not be realised without a wealth of currently untapped talent and potential.

This is why equality, diversity and inclusion are integral to UKRI’s vision and mission. Our EDI Strategy outlines our ambitious plans to foster change.

I’d like to thank all those in the sector and beyond who took the time to contribute to its creation.

Boosting productivity and growth

As the largest public investor in research and innovation in the UK, our EDI strategy is focused on our role as a leader, a funder and partner, and as an employer.

The EDI strategy’s objectives are to:

  • foster a world-class research and innovation system, ‘by everyone, for everyone’
  • include and support a diversity of people and ideas through our funding and partnerships
  • create a more inclusive and fair organisational culture, where everyone can contribute and participate, and feels valued and respected
  • advance and grow knowledge and capability to support a thriving research and innovation system by being a creative, evidence-based and evidence-informed organisation

A fully inclusive research system

In March 2022 UKRI’s five-year strategy was published. It sets out our ambition to “transform tomorrow together”, by supporting a thriving, creative and agile research and innovation system that creates opportunities and benefits for all.

It comprises four principles for change:

  • diversity
  • connectivity
  • resilience
  • engagement

The EDI strategy will enable UKRI to deliver on these ambitions.

We will monitor, assess, and share our progress using UKRI’s performance framework.

EDI action plans

Our strategy will be a framework that anchors, tests and supports a suite of action plans, tailored to different parts of the research and innovation community. Today we are also publishing four of these action plans.

The action plans will be living documents that will evolve to respond to changing needs and reflect continuous engagement:

Action plans of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) are already available.

UKRI published its EDI action plan for its own workforce in January 2023.

Research England, the Medical Research Council and Innovate UK will publish plans for action later this year.

This suite of action plans is designed to respond to the different disciplines and domains that UKRI covers. We plan to bring the action plans and the EDI strategy together in one document for future publications.

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