• EPSRC – Women and spinouts (L King, S Manfredi, AL Humbert, K Clayton-Hathway, et al)

    The project is coordinated by Oxford Brookes University in collaboration with the University of Oxford and Vitae. The project vision is to achieve a step change in institutional capabilities to increase the participation of women scientists, engineers and mathematicians in university spinouts and to mainstream gender in the ecosystem which drives innovation. The overall project will last 24 months and will be in two stages.

    Stage 1

    Stage one will aim to acquire new knowledge by undertaking research to understand the causes of women's underrepresentation in spinouts and any enabling factors that can help them into entrepreneurial leadership, both from an institutional/structural and an individual perspective. Its specific objectives are:

    • Map a pathway to spinouts to include institutional initiatives to building entrepreneurial capacity, and engaging with innovation
    • Map women's participation in spinouts through a sex-disaggregated overview of individuals involved in spinout companies over time
    • Create an understanding of how gender and, in so far as possible, other equality-related characteristics, especially age (e.g. different generational cohorts) affect the experience of scientists and engineers involved in setting up spinout companies. This will include: their motivations; impact on their academic careers; factors which they have perceived either as barriers or considered as critical to their success.

    Stage 2

    Stage two will aim to develop interventions to build institutional capabilities. These interventions will be informed by the findings from stage one research and they will also draw from international best practice and methodology to create tools that promote organisational learning on how to practically and effectively mainstream gender in innovation and the spinout process. During this stage, the project will also seek to develop joint initiatives with industry. Specific objectives in this stage are:

    • Build institutional capacity through resources, e.g. Development Frameworks that can be adapted to support women scientists and engineers and tackle cultural and structural barriers, e.g. mentoring/buddy initiatives
    • Develop women's entrepreneurial skills through collaborative initiatives with industry and potential investors utilising the project partners and drawing on the project teams' existing networks
    • Identify role models and develop case studies of women scientists and engineers who have successfully founded spinout companies
    • Raise awareness of the importance of embedding a gender perspective in research and innovation in the pursuit of scientific excellence and economic growth.

    For more information on this project, including how to get involved, please see our dedicated Women and Spinouts project webpage.

  • Get involved: join us

    Would you like to become a friend of the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice? We are grateful to our Centre friends for their support, which covers a vast range of activities.

    How you can help

    • Speak at one of our conferences or share your expertise at events
    • Sponsor an event or research project
    • Provide access to an organisation for research purposes
    • Provide prizes for best students’ dissertations on equality issues
    • Mentor our students
    • Sponsor a PhD student

  • Please contact us to find out more

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    Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice
    Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane
    OX3 0BP
    Tel: +44 (0)1865 488108

    Research Fellow 

    Dr Kate Clayton-Hathway
    Email: kclayton-hathway@brookes.ac.uk 


    Dr Anne Laure Humbert 
    Email: a.humbert@brookes.ac.uk

    Founding Director

    Professor Simonetta Manfredi
    Email: smanfredi@brookes.ac.uk

    Research Administrator 

    Mieke Tyrrell
    Email: mtyrrell@brookes.ac.uk