Co-creating a Research Culture Plan for Mechanical Engineering  Co-creating a Research Culture Plan for Mechanical Engineering 



Historical approaches to inclusion within the Engineering discipline have focused on filling the pipeline and training minority groups to fit into a culture, rather than change to the culture itself. Minority groups continue to be less represented at senior levels and are more likely to hold research-only contracts. Through this project we aim to co-produce a research culture action plan by initiating dialogue and listening to the challenges faced by early career academics (ECAs). This will initiate an iterative process of prioritising, acting, reviewing, and adapting. 

In collaboration with the Geraldine Connor Foundation, a series of artist-led workshops will surface and explore the local challenges and how we might address these. Benchmark data will be collected through development of a school-wide research culture survey and used to measure progress annually. A variety of qualitative and quantitative data will be captured, as well as participants engaging in creative processes. This will be used to develop an action plan and artistic response to the lived experience of the workplace environment and the imagined possible futures. 




Geraldine Connor Foundation 


University of Leeds 


Research England 



  • Briony Thomas, Principal Investigator and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Lead 
  • Prof Sophie Williams, Co-Investigator and Director of Research 
  • Dr Sepideh Khodaparast, ECA Lead for International 
  • Dr George Jackson-Mills, ECA Lead for Progression 
  • Jane Wilcox, Co-Investigator, Research and Innovation Service 
  • Dr Kyle Griffith, Co-Investigator, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion data and policy 
  • Francisca Mayambala, Research Assistant 
  • Tanya Williamson, Library Research Support  
  • Khadijah Ibrahiim, Associate Artist, Director, Geraldine Connor Foundation 
  • Selina McGonagle, Director, Geraldine Connor Foundation 
  • Dan Waters, Adarak 
  • Paolo Feroleto, FERO Studio 
  • Sarah Jenkins, Jenesys Associates 


This work was supported by Research England under the Enhancing Research Culture and Participatory Research funding streams.