1. Ongoing - Black academics challenge UKRI funding allocation policies

In 2020, I was part of a team of 10 Black women and non binary people who wrote an open letter to UKRI about 0 Black academic leads getting funding for research into why Black and Asian people were disproportionately dying of COVID-19 from a £4.3 million funding pot. Further investigations also revealed that the panel deciding the funding allocation had 1 member who was linked to all 6 successful applications, and had himself also been allocated funding. 

In research integrity, the appearance of impropriety matters and there were a lot of questions that still persist about how panels are created/operate by UKRI. One key question is whether it is ethical or fair for a panel member to also have submitted a proposal which will be judged and ranked (whether or not they are present in the room for the discussion of their own proposal).

The open letter to UKRI was signed by over 3000 other academics and interested parties, urging UKRI to take action and invite Black academics to discuss and develop solutions to inequity in funding. UKRI took 390 days (over a year) to reply to the open letter. A freedom of information request revealed that in 2020, all other letters, that were not about racial justice, received a response from UKRI in 24 days on average. There is therefore a pending question about whether EDI at UKRI is treated with the urgency that it requires.

There has been extensive press coverage of this ongoing challenge. This has been led by Sophie Inge at Research Professional News -  and Pallab Ghosh of BBC -


2.  Behind the Tweets

I have some ongoing work that I will publish following over 600,000 views to this tweet about the current state of data reporting in academia where BAME and Black are used interchangeably, yet quite often there are different outcomes for Black and Asian academics. 

Original tweet here -

3. Upcoming Events in June/July 2022

- Independent observer at the RCPCH conference panel discussing racism from caregivers of patients in paediatrics . I have written a related response to a BMJ article advising that critical assessment is necessary for formation of policies related to tackling racism -

- The UKRI has made a call for an EDI Caucus worth £4.5 million - I will be attending the opening meeting and will also be observing/reporting the processes that follow. Academics are keen to not see a repeat of the 2020 fund (see above). A good outcome would be the deliberate inclusion of Black and other marginalised academics as leads with a comprehensive package that also includes Black and other marginalised academics/organisations.