Collaboration: Exploring the Postgraduate Researcher’s superpower for addressing inequalities within academia

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Inequalities within academia are rampant. Sexism, racism, classism and discrimination impose huge barriers to those entering academic work or study. These issues are amplified in times of crisis, such as COVID-19. As postgraduate researchers, we can often feel powerless to address these inequalities. We possess little status in academic power structures, and as such it can be difficult to ‘rock the boat’ or diverge from normalised patterns of discrimination within our fields. In this essay, I argue that while we may lack status, postgraduates can adapt and diversify our collaborations with others to effectively address inequality. I outline how collaboration can be a vital tool for elevating underrepresented voices within and outside academia and examine how students with funding in particular can play an important role in this. In diversifying our citations, networks and methods of collaboration, we can ensure increasing opportunities are available for underrepresented groups throughout the academic pipeline. As the next generation of scholars, postgraduate researchers can change the game for underrepresented groups, and ensuring we collaborate diversely is our superpower for doing so.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages8
JournalThe Open Review (SWDTP)
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020


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