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Reimagining Recruitment

Driving culture change surrounding academic recruitment, especially at early career stages.



Project status

In progress


1 Oct 2018 to 28 Feb 2022

The Reimagining Recruitment project conducted a programme of research into the experiences and attitudes of early career academics and their potential future employers, funded by the EPSRC Inclusion Matters scheme. This scheme had the aim to improve equality, diversity and inclusion within the engineering and physical sciences. Our proposal, explored how to drive culture change surrounding academic recruitment, especially at early career stages and from this we are making evidence-based policy change recommendations.

The research was embedded within, and disseminated through, the centrepiece activity: an innovative programme of collaborative incubator events. Incubators are domain-specific workshops, run by experts in that field, attended by academics at all career stages who formulate and/or solve interesting problems. The Covid-19 pandemic severely affected the programme of incubators and, although some moved to an online format, the number and scope were curtailed.

Trailblazer incubators

Two "trailblazer" incubators were delivered by the University of Bath as a proof of concept.

Incubator 1: Probability meets biology, 29 April - 3 May 2019, Bath

Incubator 2: Light@Bath, 16 - 17 May 2019, Bath

Partner-led incubators

Ten further Incubators were delivered by partner institutions, supported by the project team.

Neuroscience Data Challenge 9 - 13 September 2019, Bristol

Growth and division in mathematics and medicine 4 - 6 November 2019, London

Star formation across the universe 22 - 24 January 2020, Herts

Beyond the car: Future mobility in Bath 3 - 5 February 2020, Bath

Open hardware from academia 3 - 5 February 2020, Bath

Healthy aircraft journeys: bio-effective surfaces for aeroplanes 22 - 26 June 2020, an online event hosted by University of Exeter

Mental Health Datathon 22 - 24 March 2021, an online event hosted by Ulster University

Automata in the wild 21 - 23 April 2021, an online event hosted by Warwick University

Enhancing the future of transport and urban infrastructure: How to engineer smart, sustainable and healthy cities? 26 - 28 April 2021, an online event hosted by Oxford Brookes University

Microalgae and micro-technologies 4 - 6 May 2021, an online event hosted by Heriot-Watt University

Media and publications

Academic workshops: how we build back better, Times Higher, May 2021:

Reimagining Recruitment team

Advisory Board

  • Christina Guindy (Royal Academy of Engineering)
  • Eugenie Hunsicker (London Mathematical Society)
  • Alejandra Palermo (Royal Society of Chemistry)
  • Mark Smith (University of Lancaster)
  • Sharonjeet Virk (GKN)


This project was funded by EPSRC.