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

QUADRAT Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) is a partnership between the University of Aberdeen and Queen’s University Belfast. The doctoral training partnership offers studentships covering three themes: Biodiversity, Earth Systems and Environmental Management. In 2023, we are going to welcome our fifth group of students.

Ivana Drdakova (she/her) has been working as QUADRAT’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Project Coordinator since July 2022.

The role of DEI Project coordinator has been kindly funded via the DEI Flexible funding Award from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). In this blogpost, I would like to walk you through some of my work as QUADRAT’s DEI Project Coordinator.

Big part of my role revolves around implementing NERC’s Best Practice Principles in Recruitment and Training. For example, the recommendation states that we should broaden our advertising routes to ensure better reach of underrepresented groups on doctoral level in environmental sciences. Therefore, one of the things I have done in this role is I created a list of different organisations that may help us advertise and broaden our reach. These were all contacted and some of them shared our opportunities.

Further, some of my work focused on improving the QUADRAT website. One of the changes made is the creation of a brand new DEI hub which includes different resources and information for applicants and for our current staff and students. One of the resources which I created for this hub are the accessibility guidelines for posters and presentations. I have also created accessibility and inclusion guidelines for events and fieldwork.

Last, but not least, the funding also allowed us to deliver training for our staff and students. We had two training courses delivered. First was active bystander training which was delivered by the Active Bystander Company. This training gave us some actionable steps on what we can do to be active bystanders. The second training was delivered by Changemakers Unltd. The title of the training was ‘Talking Race’ at University – Diversity and Belonging. This training introduced us to racial literacy, allyship and historical and current context of race and racism.

While my time with QUADRAT is slowly coming to an end, I believe that the diversity, equity and inclusion work being done at SBS and QUADRAT will carry on through the work of many passionate staff members.