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Barriers for underrepresented Early Career Researchers in STEM

Understanding the barriers for Early Career Researchers from underrepresented groups in Computer Science, Engineering, Maths and Physics

Event details

Pipelines, gaps and bridges: Understanding barriers to succeed for Early Career Academics and Researchers from underrepresented groups in Computer Sciences, Engineering, Maths and Physics.

About this event

Despite the advances and efforts in terms of equality in the fields of Computer Sciences, Engineering, Maths and Physics, challenges remain, especially for groups that, historically, have been underrepresented in these disciplines. In this event, we will share the findings of a systematic scoping review of literature looking at barriers for early career academics/researchers from underrepresented backgrounds – specifically in terms of gender, race/ethnicity and social class – in these four fields. The review has been synthesized into a working-draft report which will be shared and discussed with the event participants, who will have the opportunity to contribute towards the final report’s recommendations. It is anticipated that participants will leave the event with an improved understanding of the barriers to retention and success faced by these groups and guidance for good practice to address these issues. The event and lunch are free, and we very much hope that you can join us. Please RSVP so we can ensure the catering requirements are met and to reduce waste.

As part of our inclusive practice, support to cover reasonable expenses related to attending the event is available. Please contact for more information. 

Keynote speaker: Dr. Sumi David

Dr. Sumi David is Assistant Director of Research and Impact (Strategy, Policy and Performance) at Exeter. Her team supports the implementation of strategic research initiatives, research and impact performance and national assessments and internal research governance structures. One of her responsibilities included managing Exeter’s REF2021 submission which included co-delivering sessions on mitigating bias in decision-making to senior research leaders at the University. Research and EDI is of particular importance to the University’s Research and Impact Executive Committee (RIEC) with a working group now established. The group is supported by a Research and EDI manager, a role which sits within Sumi’s team. Sumi was previously Head of Strategy, Evidence and Impact at the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and, prior to that, Senior Research Analyst for the PVC (Research) at the University of Cambridge. She has a PhD in Medieval History from the University of St Andrews and has taught in St Andrews and Edinburgh.


This event will be of particular interest to:

• Academic staff – especially, but not limited to, those within Computer Sciences, Engineering, Maths and Physics.

• Staff from relevant professional services teams e.g., Researcher Development

• Senior leaders/institutional executive members

• Those involved in ED&I policy and practice

• Those involved in improving research culture.


Register for a place via Eventbrite.   You can register to participate in person or online. Online attendance includes the presentation of the report and Q&A.


As part of our inclusive practice, support to cover reasonable expenses related to attending the event is available. Please contact for more information.

If you have any trouble registering for this event, or any questions, please contact Daniela Fernandez.



Reed Hall