To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the short term project funding model on the diversity of early years researchers.
The Research Councils monitor and publish annually the diversity data of their applicants which has been extended to include data for successfully appointed students since 2015-16. The data is used to track progress and inform policy. With the creation of UKRI, we recognise there is a real opportunity to build on this data collection and we aim to extend this to include a similar dataset for Innovate UK. UKRI has recently launched the recruitment for establishing an external advisory group and will be developing an equality, diversity and inclusion action plan.
The UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers 2008 provides a single, unambiguous statement of the expectations and responsibilities of research funders and institutions with respect to the management of researchers/contract research staff. In accordance with this, diversity and equality must be promoted in all aspects of the recruitment and career management of researchers. Vitae leads on its management and implementation, reporting to the Concordat Strategy Group which includes representatives of all the main UK funders and employers of researchers. The Concordat Strategy Group is currently carrying out a ten-year review of the Concordat. The review will be carried out by an independent expert review panel, with a secretariat provided by UKRI and Innovation. A report will be published in September 2018.