December 12, 2010
The Impact of Social Media on Careers of Underrepresented Groups in Academia?
I am busy writing a grant, while not procrastinating on Twitter, that will fund a large number of well-funded PhD and early postgraduate positions. It is important to both me and the prospective funders to show that we provide adequate support for Fellows from underrepresented groups, such as ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, or female researchers. (I know, it sounds like Equal Opportunities bingo, but I’m trying to be both realistic and comprehensive.)
Given the recent debate on tuition fees, I might expand this definition to include other groups (working class, non-academic family, etc.) – any suggestions for a good phrase to use or further groups to include?
One of the ways in which we hope to help people from underrepresented groups is social media. From what I have seen, blogs / twitter / facebook and related networks are a great way for people to connect and support each other. Are there any formal studies (qualitative or quantitative) that I could cite to support the argument, and any good summaries of strategies that have been shown to increase the percentage of people from underrepresented groups that will stay on after their first degree?