Author: Ivana Drdáková (she/her), QUADRAT Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Project Coordinator 

The QUADRAT DTP launched a brand-new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Hub earlier this year! Here, you can find our DEI statement, our recruitment strategy, learning resources, wellbeing resources and list of liberation networks at each partner institution. This has been part of my wider work as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Project Coordinator (kindly funded through a NERC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion CDT/DTP Flexible Funding Award in March 2022). In this blog post, I would like to walk you through the work I have been doing over the past 10 months.

I have been working for QUADRAT since July 2022 and I will be finishing up in this role in the middle of June 2023. While in this role, I reviewed all of QUADRAT’s practices and researched the best practices within the sector. I have implemented changes which arose from this review. QUADRAT was already doing many great things for DEI in recruitment, such as the preparedness statement and equality statement, gender-balanced interviews panels and running fully online interviews for accessibility.

All of these great practices feed into our ‘whole person’ approach to recruitment. QUADRAT wants to ensure that we recruit the best talent, and we encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and academic pathways. Our preparedness statement ensures that applicants can state how they gained their skills which makes them a suitable candidate for working towards a doctorate degree, such as research experience, communication, teamwork and collaboration. If a candidate has been working for a while, the whole person approach ensures that this is picked up and taken into account.

In my review, I found some of the key areas that needed to be modified were around advertising our opportunities – the where and how we advertise, the reach of our advertising, the EDI monitoring form, and the training staff undertake before longlisting and shortlisting candidates through each stage of the recruitment process. The applicants can now also ask for reasonable adjustments to their interviews.

We also wanted to improve the experience of our students once they become part of QUADRAT, so I have worked on creating accessibility and inclusion guidelines for events, fieldwork and presentations. You can find these in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Hub. I have also developed the aforementioned hub, which should help with locating information for candidates, staff and students alike. Further, students and staff have the option to include pronouns and phonetic name spelling on their profiles. 

We have also arranged training for our staff and students. One course focused on how to be an active bystander. These sessions gave us some actionable steps on what we can do to be active bystanders. The second course focused on anti-racism and allyship. This training introduced us to racial literacy, allyship and historical and current context of race and racism. Based on the feedback from our staff and students, we know they proved to be very useful. We hope to provide more DEI training sessions in the future.

Again, there were many things that QUADRAT was already doing well for students on the programme which will continue. For example, the option to study part-time, funded sickness leave, and providing support for students with caring responsibilities so they can attend conferences and fieldwork.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a continuous process and QUADRAT is working hard to make the programme accessible and inclusive to all. If you believe there is something that needs to be changed, you can reach out to me at before 15 June 2023 or you can talk to one of the QUADRAT team members by emailing


Photo by Richard Loader on Unsplash