UBC recognizes that equity, diversity and inclusion strengthen the research community, the quality, relevance and impact of research, and the opportunities for the full pool of potential participants in the research ecosystem.
UBC endorses the Dimensions Charter, which outlines the principles that institutions commit to, to foster increased research excellence, innovation and creativity through greater equity, diversity and inclusion.
UBC's Dimensions pilot project will leverage existing UBC strategies and action plans in the area of EDI, and focus on the following objectives in service of the federal program goals:
A diverse team from across UBC’s research community will carry out the self-assessment and, later, develop the action plan. The team comprises faculty, staff and students, and includes representation from equity-seeking groups identified in the Dimensions program; these include, but are not limited to: women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities/racialized groups, and members of LGBTQ2+ communities.
With the goal of identifying systemic barriers and inequities within the UBC research ecosystem, the UBC Dimensions pilot team will coordinate a scan of available EDI-related data in collaboration with numerous university offices. The UBC Dimensions pilot project may draw upon data sources including, but not limited to UBC's:
- Employment Equity Survey: administered to all new employees,
- Workplace Experiences Survey: administered every three years since 2009 by UBC Human Resources;
- Undergraduate Experience Survey: administered annually by Vice-President, Students Office; and the
- Academic Experience Survey: led by UBC's Alma Mater Society.
In addition, the UBC Dimensions project team is collating EDI-related policies, reports, initiatives and services currently available on both UBC campuses, and will collect first-hand accounts from key informants with lived experiences related to EDI. Examples of sources of qualitative data include UBC’s:
- Inclusion Action Plan: developed by the UBC Equity & Inclusion Office, which serves as a guide to identify priority goals for inclusion at UBC;
- Canada Research Chair Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan: developed to advance the university's efforts to sustain the participation of underrepresented individuals among Canada Research Chair allocations; and
- Indigenous Strategic Plan: which guides the university’s commitment and actions towards implementing Indigenous Peoples' human rights.
The self-assessment team’s collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data will help to inform the university's comprehensive, in-depth, and intersectional understanding of the contexts, manifestations and experiences that result from inequities, underrepresentation and exclusion among members of UBC's research community. From this, the team will develop an action plan to address identified barriers and inequities within UBC’s research ecosystem. The action plan will complement and build upon existing UBC strategies, such as the Inclusion Action Plan and Indigenous Strategic Plan.
The Dimensions action plan, as well as the completed self-assessment, will form the basis of an application to the Tri-Agencies for the recognition of UBC as a Dimensions institution, to be submitted after the two-year pilot project. Recognition by the Dimensions program acknowledges that UBC’s action plan and efforts to address equity, diversity and inclusion in the research ecosystem are aligned with the federal program’s goals.
4. SUPPORT A MORE DIVERSE, INCLUSIVE AND EQUITABLE RESEARCH ECOSYSTEM AT UBC
Informed by, and stemming from, UBC’s Dimensions Action Plan, the Inclusion Action Plan and the Indigenous Strategic Plan, the university will build upon existing efforts and/or enact new initiatives to address systemic barriers and inequities identified in the pilot that are experienced by members of historically underserved, marginalized or excluded groups within UBC’s research ecosystem.
The university’s efforts to further equity, inclusion and diversity within the research ecosystem will not cease at the end of this pilot project. The action and strategic plans above will 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.