Diversity in UK Polar Science Initiative

Diversity in UK Polar Science Initiative

Start date
1 September, 2019
End date
31 December, 2020

The Diversity in UK Polar Science initiative was conceived and funded by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, specifically from the Polar Regions Department, to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the sighting by British sailors of the Antarctic continent.

This initiative celebrates existing diversity in UK Polar Science and aims to further encourage the inclusion of groups that are currently underrepresented, such as people from ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ+ community or people with a disability. It is recognised that people representing UK Polar science do not reflect the diversity of the current British society. The initiative seeks to deliver a more diverse and inclusive future for Polar science.


Percentages of minority groups in UK society, STEM higher education and Polar Science

Improving diversity and inclusion is associated with increased productivity, enhanced problem solving as well as recognising and valuing different perspectives. This is why the FCO, in partnership with BAS and the wider UK Polar Science community, are keen to explore how diversity in Polar Science can be nurtured and increased. Underpinned by quantifying and understanding current barriers, the initiative is looking to pilot positive action and develop recommendations to boost diversity in UK polar science.


Further information:

DiPSi Initiative: Organisation

DiPSi Initiative: Delivery to Date

DiPSi Initiative: Future Events

DiPSi Initiative: Get Involved


UK Polar Science Diversity Initiative Aims:

  • To quantify and analyse the current diversity data for ethnic background, disability and LGBTQ+ orientation within UK Polar Science.
  • To develop and collate tools and resources for the Polar community to foster an inclusive culture.
  • To deliver 4 – 6 engagement projects that are planned to have multiple impacts.
  • To influence Senior Leadership and UKRI policy to be aware of institutional barriers to diversity.
  • To deliver positive cultural and behavioural change through UK Polar Science staff engagement and engagement with the wider UK Higher Education community.
  • To enable relevant and timely discussion of the current state of race and gender diversity across the UK Polar landscape, in the context of the current BAME population (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) in UK STEM Higher Education.