EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Leveraging Digital Technology to Improve EDI in Geosciences: GeoCoLab

Munira Raji1, Clare Bond2, Elliot Carter3, Sian Davies-Vollum4, Ginger Butcher5, Edd Lewis6, Brian Thomas6, and Rebecca Williams1
Munira Raji et al.
  • 1University of Hull, Department of Geography, Geology and Environment, Cottingham Rd, Hull HU6 7RX, UK
  • 2University of Aberdeen, Department of Geology and Geophysics, School of Geosciences, Meston Building, Aberdeen University Aberdeen AB24 3UE UK
  • 3Trinity College Dublin, Department of Geology, Museum Building, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • 4University of Derby, School of Built and Natural Environment, Kedleston Rd, Derby DE22 1GB
  • 5Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London. SW7 5BD, UK
  • 6British Geological Survey, Nicker Hill, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK

Geoscience research is inequitably distributed within the UK and worldwide due to a lack of access to analytical facilities and associated funding. This disproportionately affects minority and marginalised researchers. Geoscience research relies on access to analytical facilities to create fundamental datasets; however, lack of analytical facilities access negatively affects success and retention in research, impacting diversity in geoscience. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) issues in analytical geoscience were investigated through participating in a recent NERC’s Digital Technologies to Open Up Environmental Sciences Digital Sprint hackathon, including an online survey to understand how different groups access analytical facilities globally. Analysis of the survey data revealed a lack of funding to cover analytical costs and prohibitively competitive national schemes as barriers to accessing analytical facilities. The analysis also suggests that a lack of access or perceived lack of access to facilities has stopped 77% of respondents from pursuing an avenue of research, and 71% have switched research topics. To address the access gap, we are developing an app - GeoColab, a digital technology platform to break down barriers in analytical geoscience. The GeoCoLab App funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) aims to solve the lack of access by ‘match–making’ underserved geoscience researchers who need analytical services, with collaborating laboratory facilities that have agreed to offer a quota of pro-bono services.

How to cite: Raji, M., Bond, C., Carter, E., Davies-Vollum, S., Butcher, G., Lewis, E., Thomas, B., and Williams, R.: Leveraging Digital Technology to Improve EDI in Geosciences: GeoCoLab, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12869,, 2022.


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