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Queen Mary expands studentship programme for postgraduate students from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds

Queen Mary University of London will offer four studentships for talented UK applicants from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds applying for PhD study in 2021.

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Queen Mary postgraduate students having a conversation. Credit: Queen Mary.
Queen Mary postgraduate students having a conversation. Credit: Queen Mary.

The Faculties of Science and Engineering and Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen Mary will each offer two fully-funded PhD studentships to UK applicants who identify as BAME* for September 2021 entry.

The studentships build on the success of existing UK BAME studentship programmes for postgraduate degrees in the Humanities, which have been awarded to postgraduate students within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences since 2019. 

Together these initiatives will help contribute to Queen Mary’s commitment to become the most inclusive research-intensive university in the world by 2030.

Opening the doors of opportunity 

The studentships will be awarded on the basis of excellence of the application and the competition is part of a wider set of measures being implemented across Queen Mary to increase the representation of UK BAME PhD students at the University.

Professor Wen Wang, Vice-Principal and Executive Dean for Science and Engineering at Queen Mary, said: “Within our postgraduate research student body we have identified an under-representation of BAME applicants, particularly in the fields of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Through this initiative we plan to ring fence studentships for BAME students, building on the work of existing programmes within the Faculty, such as our DeepMind Scholarships, that aim to support under-represented groups to pursue postgraduate education in Science and Engineering.”

Professor Matthew Hilton, Vice-Principal for Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen Mary, said: “The Faculty is committed to increasing the representation of, and opportunities for, UK BAME applicants who wish to pursue postgraduate degrees. It’s great that we’ve been able to extend our fully funded studentships to cover talented individuals looking to pursue PhD study at Queen Mary for September 2021 entry and to see this initiative being adopted more widely across the University.”

Sheila Gupta MBE, Vice-Principal for People, Culture and Inclusion at Queen Mary, said: “Who you are, or where you are from, should never be a barrier to realising your ambitions and fulfilling your potential. Whilst we know there is still much more to do in order to achieve our goal to become the become the most inclusive research-intensive university in the world by 2030, I’m excited by the progress we are making towards realising our ambitions and opening the doors of opportunity for UK postgraduate applicants who identify as BAME”

More information

* The acronym ‘BAME’ stands for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic. It is a term currently used by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA) and broadly across the Higher Education sector to refer to people who identify as Black, Asian, Mixed and Other ethnicity categories. This is broken down as: Black/Black British: Caribbean, African or Other Black background; Asian/Asian British: Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese, Other Asian background; Other: Arab, Mixed - White & Black, Caribbean Mixed - White & Black African, Mixed - White & Asian, Other Mixed background.

ONS and HESA do not include any White ethnicities, including Gypsy, Roma and Traveller groups in the BAME groups.

At Queen Mary we currently use the term BAME, as this reflects the way we collect and store staff and student data and it aligns with our reporting obligations and the majority of other Higher Education institutions. However, we are aware that this term is considered by many to be problematic and we will therefore be reviewing our use of language around race and ethnicity, through our new Race Equality Action Group.


For media information, contact:

Sophie McLachlan
Faculty Communications Manager (Science and Engineering)
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