Frequently asked questions about UBC's participation in the pilot project for the federal Dimensions program.
What is EDI?
EDI stands for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Definitions established by the federal Dimensions program are outlined below:
- Equity: the removal of systematic barriers and biases enabling all individuals to have equal opportunities to access and benefit from the program;
- Diversity: differences in race, colour, place of origin, religion, immigrant and newcomer status, ethnic origin, ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and age;
- Inclusion: the practice of ensuring that all individuals are valued and respected for their contributions and are equally supported.
Is Dimensions a research funding program?
Although Dimensions is an initiative led by the three major national research funding agencies (i.e., the Tri-Agencies), there is no funding associated with it. Participation in the Dimensions pilot project is voluntary. By choosing to endorse the Dimensions charter, institutions such as UBC commit to adopting its principles throughout their practices and culture to achieve greater equity, diversity and inclusion. Institutional commitment is understood to reflect ongoing and productive engagement with their community.
How is Dimensions different from the UK’s Athena SWAN program?
The Athena SWAN program focuses on advancing the careers of women in sciences, technology, engineering, maths and medicine, in higher education and research fields in the United Kingdom. Building on this, Dimensions seeks to represent Canadian realities, including all disciplines, at both colleges and universities. In addition, the program intends to address obstacles and inequities faced by underrepresented and disadvantaged groups including, but not limited to, women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities/racialized groups, and members of LGBTQ2+ communities.
How long is the Dimensions pilot project?
Institutions participating in the pilot were announced in September 2019. The UBC Dimensions project team was assembled in March 2020, submitting a full application to the federal Dimensions program in October 2022. Results of the federal Dimensions pilot recognition program are anticipated for spring 2023.
What is the purpose of the pilot?
The pilot has been an opportunity for the initial cohort of 17 institutions to identify and address barriers and obstacles experienced by underrepresented and marginalized groups in their own research communities while helping to co-develop the final federal Dimensions program.
Which UBC offices or administrative units are leading UBC's participation in the Dimensions pilot?
UBC's Dimensions pilot project is managed by the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation and the Equity and Inclusion Office, in close collaboration with a self-assessment team comprising faculty, staff and students, which includes representation from equity-deserving groups.
How will institutional pilot projects be assessed for federal Dimensions recognition?
At the conclusion of the pilot project, UBC submitted a full application to the federal Dimensions program for recognition. Applications will be subject to peer review and assessed using an inclusive assessment framework
Institutions can be recognized at the level of one of the four stages of the Dimensions recognition program, which are intended to reflect the journey of carrying out EDI work:
Stage 1 — Foundation
Stage 2 — Construction
Stage 3 — Consolidation
Stage 4 — Transformation
What happens following the pilot?
Informed by, and stemming from, UBC’s Dimensions Action Plan, the Inclusion Action Plan and the Indigenous Strategic Plan, and other key institutional initiatives, the university will build upon these existing efforts and/or enact new initiatives to address systemic barriers and inequities identified in the pilot that are experienced by members of underserved, marginalized or excluded groups within UBC’s research ecosystem.
The plans above set the foundation for long-term, continued efforts across the university’s departments, faculties, institutes and research support units. Furthermore, UBC’s Dimensions action plan will be evaluated regularly to gauge its effectiveness and impact on UBC’s research community. These efforts underscore the university’s commitment to ensuring equitable access to funding opportunities, increasing equitable and inclusive participation in research and embedding EDI-related considerations in research design and practices.
Can Dimensions help me integrate EDI into my research program?
Dimensions is about creating transformational change in UBC’s research culture by adopting sound EDI-informed analyses, policies and practices that improve the university's ability to attract and retain qualified researchers and other staff and students, strengthen research outputs, and increase overall excellence in research. It is anticipated that one of the outcomes of the UBC pilot project is the development of more formalized resources and services that will help enable researchers to integrate EDI practices into their work. For existing resources related to EDI in research, visit the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Resources
How can I get involved in UBC's Dimensions initiative?
The engagement period for the 2022 self-assessment has now closed. If you have any further feedback or questions about the Dimensions project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Still have questions?
Contact the UBC Dimensions team.