Equality, Diversity, Inclusion

The DTP is committed to embedding awareness of equality, diversity and inclusion issues at every level of the organisation. 

We are at the beginning of a process to review the entire DTP. We are developing a 3-year plan to address Equality, Diversity and Inclusion issues. Establishing this plan involves consulting with a range of communities and stakeholders, auditing our processes and practices, and closely examining how we do things. It involves reorienting the DTP, reviewing what we think is important about doctoral study, and being open to new ways of working. Once this plan has been established, we will work towards its goals.

If you would like to be involved in this process, please get in touch with our NWCDTP Director, Professor Jerome de Groot (Jerome.degroot@manchester.ac.uk).

The NWCDTP particularly welcomes applications from students from backgrounds that are historically underrepresented in Higher Education. We have committed to supporting those communities that often have been marginalised. We are beginning a process that we hope will address the underrepresentation and inequalities within our organisation. At the NWCDTP, we are working to address imbalances and promote equality of opportunity.

We want to challenge the language around and assumptions about PhDs, encouraging inclusivity in our cohort of students. We want to ensure that our doctoral researchers are ethical, responsible, and leaders in their communities. We want to encourage the next generation from around our communities and to widen participation in doctoral research.

Our foundational aspirations are part of every decision we make:



Recognition of complexity

Recognising different models of research and types of study

Good communication

Inclusion and transparency

Recruitment commitment (see below)

Ethical awareness


Our actions:


We have established an EDI committee which will meet 3-4 times a year to advise on EDI issues, introduce new initiatives, and ensure that the EDI Action Plan is on course.

If you would like to be part of this committee, please get in touch with us.

Organisation reform

We have outlined an EDI Action Plan, which over the next three years, will reform the institution from the ground up. This plan covers governance, representation, recruitment and supervision.

Ring-fencing of studentships

Our strategic aim is to encourage students with protected characteristics to participate in our programme at a level commensurate with these characteristics in the wider population. Our aspiration is that the representation of studentships mirrors the diversity of the UK population by 2024. Our commitment to diversifying participation at the programme level also assists in helping to address underrepresentation in the wider academic community, with our students commonly taking up teaching positions in the sector (see further discussion of this below).

Partnership with the Stuart Hall Foundation

We have recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Stuart Hall Foundation, an organisation devoted to addressing issues of inequality within society. The SHF will advise us, contribute to our ring-fenced recruitment discussion, and provide training for staff and students.

Student Representation

We are expanding our student representation into a Student Voice Committee, ensuring that more of our students can contribute and have their thoughts heard.


We are committing funding to projects that will drive our EDI agenda, including targeted funding around themes (EDI, Widening Participation, and Sustainability) and recruiting two ECR positions to work on EDI and Widening Participation projects.

Mentoring and support for the application

We are developing a mentoring scheme and working with our alumni on this. In addition, we are offering more support for potential applicants, particularly CDAs.


BAME and Disabled students

We have identified a range of positive action measures to support addressing the disproportionately low participation of BAME and Disabled students in our cohort. These measures are designed to enable and encourage BAME and Disabled students to participate in our programmes.


  • Advertising in October 2020 and allocation in early 2021 of two ring-fenced studentships to begin in September 2021 (of c.50 allocations per year) for one BAME and one disabled student.
  • Advertising in October 2021 and allocation in early 2022 of two ring-fenced studentships to begin in September 2022 (of c.50 allocations per year) for two BAME students. This higher increase (2 students) will be aligned with our advertising strategy.


  • Significant work on advertising and marketing to raise application numbers
  • Reflection upon efficacy and impact of ring-fencing activity
  • Development of EDI committee for NWCDTP
  • Unconscious Bias training for everyone involved in studentship allocation
  • EDI advocate on Academic Management Committee and Strategy Board
  • EDI briefing for all Pathway Leads


  • EDI Development plan/ strategy for 2021-4, to be prepared by June 2021
  • Better data collection and comparison with national data
  • Mentoring programme