PhD project

Exploring cultural and structural factors that support equity, diversity, inclusion and respect in medical schools.

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Application deadline

28 February 2024

There is growing recognition of the importance of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Respect (EDIR) issues captured formally in medical schools by the requirements of the Athena SWAN award, Stonewall and the Race Equality Charter. Embedding equality, diversity and inclusion into our work is an integral aspect of the University of Dundee’s newly published strategy (2022-27; University of Dundee, 2022). According to organisational research, those working in an academic environment can experience (often unintentional) discriminatory practices related to protected characteristics (e.g., only 28% of UK professors are female and only 1% of UK professors are Black, HESA 2021; Bourabain, 2021; Sliwa et al, 2022). Given the seriousness of these findings, it is important to explore and understand the culture and structures might lead to these experiences.

The aim of this study is to develop an in-depth understanding of the aspects that facilitate and inhibit a diverse, inclusive and respectful environment for staff within medical schools. Whilst the PhD candidate will design their own study supported by the supervision team, the types of research questions the PhD might ask are: (1) How is EDIR perceived by staff in medical schools (clinical and non-clinical); (2) What EDIR-related experiences (both positive and negative) have participants had or witnessed; and (3) In what ways do the medical schools, their staff, their students facilitate or inhibit these EDIR-related experiences? To begin, the prospective PhD candidate will undertake in depth analysis of a qualitative data set recently collected from medical school staff. This analysis will inform further study designed by the PhD candidate. Ultimately, this work will support cultural change within medical schools (and other Higher Education Institutions) toward becoming more equal, diverse, inclusive and respectful places.

How to apply

  1. Email Dr Lisi Gordon to
    • Send a copy of your CV
    • Discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).
  2. After discussion with Dr Gordon, formal applications can be made via our direct application system. 
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