SFI Centre for Research Training in Advanced Networks for Sustainable Societies (ADVANCE CRT) is committed to creating a leading postgraduate research training centre for all our students. We recognise that in order to make this possible, we must first provide equal opportunities to all members of our diverse community where different cultures, views and ideas can meet and be heard.
Our goal is to train the next generation of researchers who strive to create sustainable, inclusive and socially informed technological solutions for our society. ADVANCE CRT caters to a group of researchers operating within the multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary interface between Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS). For that purpose, we strive to generate a research and training environment in which differences of scientific background, professional careers, culture, nationality and gender are embraced and everyone is included. Our community finds value in connecting with each other when we receive training, conduct research or recruit our students.
To reflect this vision, ADVANCE CRT management and governance structures, supervisory body and students currently feature:
- 40%+ female students in our cohort of 101 students;
- An international community of students from 22 countries around the world;
- 70% of our students come from non-EU countries;
- 40% female co-Leads among the CRT academic leadership team;
- Almost 40% female supervisors within our 85 supervisory body;
- 20%+ of our students have a disciplinary background different to STEM;
- A minimum of 30% gender balance is respected within our governance committees.
We believe in promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in everything we do, from how we recruit our students to the types of training our students will engage in, including how we frame our research agenda. To support fair access, equality of opportunity and to enhance participation within ADVANCE, we are implementing the following specific actions:
- We design our training in close collaboration with our students and supervisors, carefully selecting content that is relevant to our diverse community of researchers;
- We ensure that training is accessible and inclusive for all, actively seeking female and other underrepresented minorities in science to participate in the delivery of these training activities;
- We encourage applications from under-represented groups and international students, particularly from female applicants, to build a diverse student body;
- We also welcome applications from those who may be returning to study and will consider all relevant work experience along with any previous academic experience as part of an application;
- We recruit students in an open and transparent manner, reducing potential unconscious bias in the decision-making of our gender-balanced shortlisting and interview panels;
- Where possible, we offer our students flexible approaches to carrying out their projects to allow those students with family, carer or other commitments to have the opportunity to pursue further education;
- We factor gender and diversity in the design and execution of our research projects as appropriate, to avoid gendered innovations;
- We seek involvement in our research and training activities of those societal stakeholders and practitioners from industry and civil society that deal on a day-to-day basis with the research problems that we aim to solve.
We understand that creating an authentic culture of equality, diversity and inclusion is a long-term commitment involving a continuous process of self-improvement and critical self-evaluation. All ADVANCE CRT members are empowered to contribute to this process. As we grow, we must reflect on what we have done that has worked well and what could be improved to make informed decisions on our future direction to improve the experience for everyone.
Each of the ADVANCE CRT partner universities shares this commitment to an open and inclusive environment. They have received award recognition for their involvement as part of the AthenaSWAN Charter. Further information on each of our partner universities’ efforts in EDI can be found below:
University College Cork: https://www.ucc.ie/en/edi/
Trinity College Dublin https://www.tcd.ie/equality/training/
Maynooth University: https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/human-resources/equality
Munster Technological University: https://www.cit.ie/edi
Technological University Dublin: https://www.dit.ie/edi/