Diversity in UK Polar Science – Resources

Welcome to our DiPSI project resource page. This page is meant to be interactive. We would like you to explore the documents our project team has created: ask questions about them, use them, and help us make them more useful for you. We’ve also gathered links to external reference materials, articles, blogs and networks where others within the Polar community are working towards inclusion. Get in touch with us by emailing us, or join our emailing list if you’d like to hear about our activities, participate in surveys and more.

DiPSI project resource documents

The below documents are a collection of contacts, funding information and lessons learnt from the project team. Do you have an idea that could make us even more effective? Please get in touch!

Promoting career opportunities – Some highlights

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.

The Polar Horizons programme

Launched in March 2020 at British Antarctic Survey’s Aurora conference centre, the inaugural Polar Horizons programme brought together twenty-two STEM students and early career researchers from currently under-represented groups at BAS. The participants were by joined scientists and engineers from BAS and the Scott Polar Research Institute to discover the breadth of opportunities in polar science. The 2020 programme was disrupted by Covid, but it gave us a chance to move our engagement online, and in 2021 we ran the full programme online, bringing 63 participants together and matching them with researchers from across different UK institutes involved in Polar research.

Access the 2020 Polar Horizons report and the 2021 Polar Horizons report to find out more. We are currently evaluating funding opportunities and available resources to find out if the programme could be launched again. If you are interested to find out more or be involved in the delivery, please get in touch with us by emailing Elsa Quinn.

Journeys in Polar Science playlistUK Polar Horizons Programme recorded talks

The below playlist contains talks presented to and by the DiPSI Polar Horizons Programme participants. These talks highlight different journeys, new and seasoned, in Polar Science.

Diversity Leadership

In the below talk, Ben Merrick, Commissioner of the British Antarctic Territory, shares 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’

The role of 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 through this link.





Working with our partners

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

External Networks within the Polar Community

Useful reference materials – engaging communities

The following links provide with a deeper dive into the array of diversity and inclusion work. These resources are hopefully inspiring and can provide with abundant tools to move forward.

Explore opportunities BAS can offer

The UK polar science community receives much of its funding from UKRI-NERC.  British Antarctic Survey works with colleagues within UKRI-NERC to take forward a shared commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.  The Diversity in Polar Science initiative benefits from this association, as well as from its connections with influential polar networks.