Diversity in UK Polar Science Initiative – Delivery Plan

Diversity in UK Polar Science Initiative – Delivery Plan

The first 18 months of the DiPSI project have come to an end in Spring 2021, and the first stage report of this project is now available. The below table lists out the main outputs and activities created by the initiative between September 2019-March 2021. The detailed key-outcome evaluation is available from page 5 of the first stage project report.

MARCH-DEC 2021Underrepresented students connecting programme – Polar Horizons 2021Delivered online
OCT 2020-FEB 2021Race Impact survey and report October 2020 – February 2021Full report available via DiPSI website
MARCH 2021Underrepresented students networking event – Polar Horizons March 2021Delivered online
OCT-NOV 2020Support and engagement for inaugural Polar Pride Day November 18thPolar Pride social event for polar community
2020Diversity in UK Polar Science Initiative logo and the ‘line of diverse polar people’ graphicVisual assets created by BAS communications team
AUG 2020Presentation and chair of panel session at Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) conference—HobartDelivered online: DiPSI Research analyst invited as panel chair
MARCH 2020Presentation to Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) conference—IcelandDiPSI Research analyst invited as keynote speaker
SUMMER 2020 ONWARDSSupporting UK polar committees and groups with EDI expertiseUK Polar Network (UKPN), among others
MARCH-DEC 2020Engage with key role models and keynote speakers for seminar series – Dr Karen Salt, Ben Merrick, Dr Ana Pereira-O’Callaghan, Dr Melissa Burt, Nicole Logan-Park, Dr Stephen Roberts, Camilla NicholRecorded talks available on the DiPSI website
MARCH-DEC 2020Underrepresented students’ engagement programme – Polar Horizons 2020Online seminar programme
SPRING 2020Polar funding starting points document 
SPRING 2020Polar community contact listAvailable on DiPSI website
SPRING 2020Underrepresented students’ engagement programme – Polar Horizons 2020: Launch & shadowingLaunch day delivered in person at BAS
DEC 2019Development of EDI 101 values and language presentation for BAS and polar community 
DEC 2019Citizen science project to target local BAME students – ‘Seals from Space’Delivered in person at BAS
OCT 2019Polar interest and inclusion calendar for engagementSee appendix A
SEPT 2019Data research comparison to UK Higher Education Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students and UK Society 
SEPT 2019Data analysis from BAS Head count 


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.