Plastic Electronics CDT Equality and Diversity Strategy

Male and female student discuss scientific posterThe PE-CDT values the diversity of our staff and students and the benefits that this brings. We're always looking to increase diversity! We have recently drafted our first Equality and Diversity strategy (outlined below). Feedback and suggestions are welcomed - please contact the PE-CDT/CPE Science Coordinator Dr Lisa Bushby.

The Plastic Electronics CDT aims to attract, recruit and retain the most talented applicants, irrespective of background.


Gender: the number of applications that we receive from female applicants is currently about 25-35%, and the percentage of female students who join the PE-CDT programme is around 30%. This is significantly greater than the UK average for postgraduates in Physical Sciences, which is 19% female (from HESA data). But we want to reach 50:50!

Age: we receive a few applications each year from people who are already in employment, and we'd love to increase this number! People who graduated less recently have additional experience and skills, which are highly valued. Remember, you don't need to have a Masters degree already to apply for the PE-CDT.

Ethnicity: our cohorts are very diverse - we really value this! People from different backgrounds, cultures and countries have different ways of approaching challenges and solving problems, which makes for stronger cohorts, better collaborations and more exciting research.

Disability: currently we receive very few applications that declare a disability (including "hidden" disabilities such as medical conditions and dyslexia). We are very happy to provide any additional support required! There is a wealth of information and support available at Imperial College, Oxford University, andQMUL.

Equality & Diversity Strategy

Institutional Strategies

All three host institutions have published equality & diversity objectives, policies and strategies/action plans – all members of the institutions are expected to act in accordance with these:

PE-CDT Strategy

The PE-CDT has developed a targetted approach to increase diversity and ensure equality:

  • Photographs used for promotional purposes (e.g. on PE-CDT website) must demonstrate diversity of the students: a significant proportion of individuals featured should be female, and BAME individuals represented.
  • At least one member of the PE-CDT student recruitment interview panel must be female.
  • Gender Equality Network: monthly meetings with informal talk by female fellow/academic about their career path, followed by a discussion session.
  • Aim to increase the number of projects with industrial sponsorship to encourage applicants from more diverse backgrounds.
  • Explicitly indicate on PE-CDT website the support available for disabled and BAME students.


  • Annual evaluation of cohort students by the four protected characteristics, as part of formal reporting to EPSRC and report to external advisory board.
  • Additional annual evaluation of applications received and cohort students by gender, age, fees status, previous institution, and previous industrial experience – to include in report to EPSRC and external advisory board.
  • Annual review of PE-CDT equality & diversity strategy and updates as required, informed by applicant/cohort data trends and feedback received.