New action plan focuses on opportunities to increase equity, diversity and inclusion in research at UBC

April 27, 2023

UBC's Dimensions Action Plan for EDI in Research, published today, comprises 24 objectives and 43 actions to improve equity, diversity and inclusion in UBC’s research community.

The plan was developed as part of UBC’s participation in the federal Dimensions: equity, diversity and inclusion Canada pilot program from 2020-2023 and will be integrated into UBC’s Strategic Equity and Anti-Racism (StEAR) Framework. The action plan addresses several policies, programs and initiatives relating to the university’s:

  • Research services;
  • Internal funding and award opportunities;
  • Research culture;
  • Hiring, promotion and retention practices for research faculty and staff; and
  • Recruitment, admissions and funding for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and undergraduates involved in research.


The Dimensions Action Plan builds upon, and complements, UBC’s ongoing initiatives to address and enhance equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism at the university, including the Inclusion Action Plan, the Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence (ARIE) Task Force Report and recommendations, UBC’s Employment Equity Plan, and UBC’s Canada Research Chairs EDI Action Plan.

“UBC’s Strategic Equity and Anti-Racism Framework will provide the avenue through which our Dimensions Action Plan for EDI in Research will be implemented and evaluated,” says Dr. Arig al Shaibah, Associate Vice-President, Equity and Inclusion. “The Dimensions plan’s focus on our research ecosystem is an important component in building a coordinated roadmap to change throughout the institution.”

As part of the federal Dimensions pilot, the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation and the Equity and Inclusion Office coordinated a diverse, cross-campus team that led an assessment to identify systemic barriers and inequities experienced by historically, persistently or systemically marginalized people in the UBC research community. The assessment sought to leverage lessons from UBC’s existing action plans and initiatives relating to EDI in the research ecosystem, and included feedback, testimonials, and lived experiences. It then examined university policies, programs, practices and initiatives for potential barriers and inequities, and invited members of the research community to engage with the assessment’s findings and share their feedback. An action plan was then developed to address identified institutional barriers and inequities in UBC’s research ecosystem.

In October 2022, UBC submitted its Dimensions action plan for peer review and evaluation for recognition by the federal Dimensions program. The peer review panel awarded UBC a "Construction" designation, the second of four stages in the federal program’s cycles of transformational change, recognising the strategic, coordinated and ongoing nature of UBC’s efforts to enhance EDI.

“The federal Dimensions program’s designation acknowledges UBC’s commitment and actions to enhance equity, diversity and inclusion to date, while acknowledging that there is still work to be done to make the research environment a more welcoming place.” says Dr. Naznin Virji-Babul, Senior Advisor to the Provost on Women and Gender-Diverse Faculty and Chair of UBC’s Dimensions advisory committee.

“I would like to recognize the work of all those involved in the self-assessment process and in developing this action plan,” says Professor Gail Murphy, Vice-President, Research and Innovation. “The resulting plan provides a lens on EDI that addresses broad issues that relate to the university as a whole, as well as research-specific programs and support. I am particularly grateful that it details deliverable actions and objectives that can drive us towards a more equitable and inclusive research ecosystem.”

Implementation of UBC’s Dimensions Action Plan for EDI in Research will be coordinated by the Equity and Inclusion Office.

Thursday, April 27, 2023