Last year, a workshop organised by Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) in partnership with the Horizon 2020 project ALLINTERACT: Widening and diversifying citizen engagement in science, was presented to a group of twenty-five members of the public, including members of the Oxford and Oxford Health BRCs’ Diversity in Research Group and six facilitators.
The focus of this workshop was to examine the ways in which equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) can help improve the quality of research and to explore ways in which public contributors can help to improve it.
This session was designed and hosted by Pavel Ovseiko, alongside two BRCs’ patient and public involvement leads, Rachel Taylor and Alexandra Almeida:
“To help public contributors become ‘citizen experts’, we have developed a new format for this workshop: instead of giving conventional talks and presentations to public contributors, we facilitated active learning and sharing of knowledge by public contributors themselves.”
The workshop covered a range of topics, including unconscious bias, cultural safety, and the role of public contributors in improving the diversity of research. Participants were also given the opportunity to share their own experiences and perspectives and to discuss ways in which they could contribute to improving equality and diversity in research.
One of the contributors at the event was Susan Thwaite. A member of the patient advisory group at the Church Street Clinic in Wantage, she found the event extremely useful:
“I would like the work that is carried out by our patient advisory group in Wantage to be more reflective of the community we represent.
Today’s event has given me a clearer understanding of what that means and how to approach the subject of inclusion in our work. Today has been a fantastic networking opportunity and important learning experience for me.”
The workshop was part of a wider effort by the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre to promote diversity and inclusion in research. The Centre has a number of initiatives in place to support underrepresented groups, including a mentoring scheme for early career researchers from ethnic minority backgrounds and a program to improve access to clinical trials for people from diverse communities.
Learn more about this workshop here, or view the short explainer video presented by Pavel Ovseiko
In this BMJ talk medicine podcast, Dr. Javier Rodríguez-Carrio talks to Dr. Pavel Ovseiko and Prof. Laura Coates about the recent paper on gender equity in academic rheumatology which emerged from a EULAR task force.