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Improving the experience of disabled PhD students in STEM

Improving the experience of disabled PhD students in STEM

A new report investigates the experiences of disabled postgraduate research (PGR) students, a previously understudied group that has increased in size by more than 50% in the last 5 years, today making up 20% of PGR home students (HESA, 2023).

The report, which focuses especially on STEM students working in the life sciences, was created in collaboration between Disabled Students UK, Pete Quinn Consulting and the BBSRC funded Oxford Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership. The researchers found that out of 192 survey participants UK wide, only a third (33%) felt they had received the support they needed to be on an equal footing with their non-disabled peers.

Following doctoral focus groups and structured conversations with doctoral training programme staff and associated colleagues, the report recommends 4 solutions specific to the needs of disabled doctoral students.

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