BME (Black Minority and Ethnic) Early Career Researchers' conference
‘How To Stay in Academia’ is theme of BME conference
The University of East London will host the third annual BME Early Career Researchers’ conference on the 26 April. The aim of the conference is to encourage and empower BME (Black Minority and Ethnic) early career researchers to stay within the academy.
The lack of ethnic diversity among academics working in UK universities is well documented - out of almost 20,000 professors, only 110 are black.
Writer, academic and equality and human rights campaigner Professor Gus John will be one of the keynote speakers. Professor John is among the veteran black academics hoping to inspire a new generation at the conference.
Dr Bernadine Idowu-Onibokun, a lecturer on the Intercalated BSc course at the Dental Institute at King’s College London, and a diversity and inclusion champion at that university, organised the conference series.
She said, “The feeling amongst colleagues is that universities are not doing enough to enable talented early career researchers to make the transition to become lecturers, hence they are leaving academia. And for those that are on the ladder, not enough is done to secure promotions to senior positions like readers and professors, and also management.
“This conference is needed to empower individuals by hearing from academics that have gone through the process, so they know what they should be doing from a very early stage.
“Those who are following the ethos of the conference, which is to be ‘positive, practical and pragmatic’, will need to start thinking about what strategies are required to be in place to make the transition and get a promotion. This might be having a mentor, or investigating if the college has a Race Equality Charter mark, or holding the school responsible for assisting your career progression, so it’s not just a tick box exercise.”
University of East London vice-chancellor and president, Professor Amanda Broderick, will open the conference.
Professor Broderick said, “It is a pleasure to host the third BME ECR at the University of East London. Core to the values embedded within our Vision 2028 strategic plan is the recognition that our diversity affords us an undisputable strength. We are currently expanding our breadth and depth of industry-focused, inclusive engagement to provide a platform and launch-pad for all of our students to reach their potential in their academic career and in their life goals.”
The Third BME Conference takes place on 26 April at the University of East London, University Square Stratford, 1 Salway Place, London E15 1NF - You can register online here