I’m really excited to announce we’ve launched our Black Researchers’ Hub to support our Black students to get the most from their research-led Essex Education and fulfil their potential.

Since 2021 we’ve been leading on a really important project to break down barriers and support the next generation of Black research talent at Essex, called “Transitions and Transformations: Black Researcher’s Journey”.

If you are a Black student who aspires to a career in research, we want to make sure we’re giving you the best support possible right from the start, from when you join us as an undergraduate through postgraduate taught study to success as a postgraduate researcher. 

Then as you move into your research career, we want to make sure you have all the help and advice you need.

This is where the Black Researchers’ Hub comes in and I am really thrilled to see it now launched so our Black students can start using it and giving us their feedback.

The Black Researchers’ Hub is a digital platform which gives our Black students access to the learning, training, advice and support they need to hone their research skills. 

These skills will help you in any career and will be particularly vital if you are interested in a research-related career at a business or a university.

We’ve integrated the Hub with our Chart My Path careers platform so it’s as easy as possible for you to access your Black Researchers’ Hub. Once you are in the Hub, you’ll find extra help and guidance including everything from activities to help you hone your skills and understand your unique talents, to opportunities for further study, job opportunities, and training.

I’m really proud of all the work from our staff and partners which has gone into creating this resource and I hope our Black students will really value it.  

How to get started on the Black Researchers’ Hub

You can access the Hub anywhere using your Essex email address and password as its integrated with our careers platform Chart My Path. You just need to log into Chart My Path via your Gradintelligence account.

Hopefully you are already familiar with Chart My Path which helps you find those crucial extracurricular opportunities that help support you to achieve your career goals, but if not, now is a great time to start.

Help and support

We’re here for you and want to support you to success. We want to hear your views and feedback about the Hub. You can contact us via email at: blackresearchershub@essex.ac.uk or brh@essex.ac.uk.

Transitions and Transformations

The Hub is part of our four-year Transitions and Transformations: Black Researcher’s Journey project. We were really thrilled to be one of just 13 projects across England which were funded by Research England – part of UK Research and Innovation – and the Office for Students.

These projects are seen as absolutely vital to tackling persistent inequalities that create barriers for Black, Asian and minority ethnic students to access and take part in postgraduate research and research and scientific careers.

We created “Transitions and Transformations” in partnership with Black academics and alumni, to specifically address the challenges and barriers faced by Black students.

We felt this project was so important that we provided matched funding alongside contributions from external partners – bringing the total investment in this initiative close to £1m.

Transitions and Transformations aims to be a model for other university leaders to follow and to inspire other institutions around the world.  By using the Hub, giving us feedback and by sharing your experiences, you’ll help us refine and develop our approach.

To support the Hub, we’re developing targeted training for students and staff, funding opportunities, mentoring, and career and professional development opportunities. The project will also fully evaluate the impact of this project with the view to make important and more permanent institutional changes over the years and beyond.

If you are a member of staff or a section within the University that wishes to engage with this initiative by offering training, or promoting bespoke events and pushing forward opportunities for our Black students and early career researchers, please reach out to the Black Researchers’ Hub team at brh@essex.ac.uk.

Other related-projects on equality and inclusivity: our work on the Race Equality Charter

Even before this project, we’ve been a member of the Race Equality Charter (REC) since 2017 and we’ve been developing initiatives and solutions to support our institutional application which we anticipate submitting in July 2023. As part of this process, we’re undertaking a full evaluation of race equality across the University and working with the University community to develop a four-year institutional action plan.