WS2 Pilot Workshop – Sheffield Hallam University, November 2022

Yesterday the YCEDE Workstream 2 team travelled to Sheffield Hallam University to deliver a workshop on equity in doctoral selection and admission.

This full-day workshop was aimed at colleagues in Workstream 2 pilot schools, departments and DTPs, as well as those working in relevant central services and functions. The workshop covered the following topics:

  • Moving on from our July workshops by looking at how we can begin to apply holistic review and other insights to our doctoral selection and admissions criteria and practices
  • Presenting the legal framework for equity in doctoral admissions in English law
  • Reviewing early findings from Workstream 2 research
  • Facilitating pilot plans for review of existing criteria and practices
  • Agreeing how pilot work can best be supported through the workstream and peer networks

We were once again welcomed by Julie Posselt and Casey Miller and we doctoral students from the newly-established YCEDE Scholars Board.

As a reminder, YCEDE’s Workstream 2 aims to reform PGR recruitment and selection to achieve greater equity and diversity, focussing on the representation and inclusion of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic graduates. Analysis of application patterns across the consortium shows that White graduates receive offers at higher rates than those from other ethnicities. Workstream 2 seeks to understand why that is and how our selection criteria and practices could be reformed to remove this offer gap.

In July 2022 we held successful workshops in York with a range of partners from across and beyond the consortium. These were led by our collaborators Julie Posselt (University of Southern California) and Casey Miller (Rochester Institute of Technology) who introduced the model for reforming doctoral selection and admission for racial equity they have developed and implemented in the USA. The concept and practice of ‘holistic review’ for doctoral selection featured prominently. It was clear from the workshops that there is a committed group of colleagues across the consortium who were already thinking hard about these issues and are ready to work together to take this forward.

Building on those workshops, we are now looking to continue and extend Workstream 2’s activities with a set of pilot schools, departments and DTPs/CDTs. Our plan is to create a ‘community of practice’ from this group, working to try out holistic review and associated approaches in school and departmental approaches to recruitment and selection, sharing progress and challenges, and supporting each other in our efforts. The ultimate goal is to develop these new approaches and cascade them across the consortium – and beyond!