Diversity in UK Polar Science Initiative – Delivery Plan

Diversity in UK Polar Science Initiative – Delivery Plan

Report: Race Impact Survey for the UK Polar Community

The Diversity in UK Polar Science Initiative have conducted a Race Impact Survey for the UK Polar Community to gather key insights to racism and lack of inclusivity and to move the response to racism forward in the UK Polar community. We have asked for people in the community to share their experience and thoughts, so we can collate best practice responses and consider the next stage of development of the DiPSI programme. The survey report is now available via this link. Check out our other publications and outputs on the Diversity in UK Polar Science Initiative resource page.

Our delivery plan includes a series of events and activities to promote and explain opportunities in UK Polar Science. The Diversity in UK Polar Science Initiative engagement campaign aims to tell personal polar stories that will help attract and engage a wide range of people at a series of events, webinars and citizen science activities including:

Promoting career opportunities

You do not have to be a scientist to have a successful career in polar science.  There are a multitude of opportunities for scientists, engineers, technicians, support staff and administrative roles. We will publish guest blogs and videos to showcase the people behind the jobs.  Our aim is to demonstrate the wide variety of backgrounds and skills across the polar science community and give you a glimpse of how some people have progressed their careers.  We want to inspire people who are about to make career choices.

Polar Horizons – events and talks series

Launched in March 2020 at British Antarctic Survey’s Aurora conference centre, twenty-two STEM students and early career researchers from currently under-represented groups joined scientists and engineers from BAS and the Scott Polar Research Institute to discover the breadth of opportunities in polar science. Read the event report here.  Access to BAS Cambridge is restricted because of Covid-19, however, as series of inspirational webinars will run throughout the initiative.  Special guests tell their stories and answer audience questions.

Contact Donna Frater for details of upcoming talks.


Ben Merrick, Commissioner of the British Antarctic Territory, shared the experiences of his journey as a blind person and leading disability role model in ‘Diversity, Leadership and how to bring people on the journey with you – even to Antarctica’

Working with partners

Our colleagues at UK Research & Innovation share our ambition to enhance equality, diversity and inclusion.  Watch this video to find out more.

Citizen science – counting seals from space

PhD student Prem Gill counts seals from space. In December 2019 ten UK undergraduate students took part in a volunteering project to count seals from space. Social media and non-traditional pathways were used to reach out to BAME STEM students who had not been in touch with polar science before, and invite them to participate.

Volunteers at BAS as part of counting seals from space project in December 20192019
Student citizen scientists learn about Antarctica and why it matters

Monitoring Antarctic seal populations can indicate changes in the Antarctic ecosystem’s status and health. Using a database of satellite images of sea ice and seals, a group of non-expert volunteers conducted seal counts. They were compared to the expert counts to determine variance and confirm the suitability of applying citizen science at larger scales.  Find out more about the research here.