Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility (EDIA)


When writing about equity, diversity, inclusion and Accessibility (EDIA) in a funding application, the text should demonstrate reflection and recognition of the existing or perceived barriers experienced by underrepresented groups.

Each research area faces different challenges and opportunities related to EDIA. Researchers are encouraged to analyse the EDIA context in their own field of research, examining diversity at all levels from trainees through to PIs, to think about the barriers that underrepresented groups might be facing and how these barriers might be addressed.

In addition to EDIA in research team composition and leadership, attention should be given to research design, methodology, and epistemological inclusiveness. Equally important is the impact (direct or indirect) of the research process and outcomes on underrepresented populations.

In all cases, EDIA should be integrative and transformational and not treated as an additive element.

Below are examples of resources available to support and promote EDIA in research:

Government of Canada and Tri-Agency EDIA Resources

Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC): Strengthening Indigenous Research capacity. The strategic plan, Setting new directions to support Indigenous research and research training in Canada 2019-2022, published by the federal research granting agencies and fulfills a priority of the CRCC to co-develop with Indigenous Peoples an interdisciplinary research and research training model that contributes to reconciliation.

Canada Research Chairs Program Unconscious Bias Module: The Canada Research Chairs Program provides a training module on unconscious bias, to help understand what unconscious bias is, its impacts, and how to integrate methods for mitigating the influence of unconscious bias.

Canada Research Chairs EDI: A Best Practices Guide for Recruitment, Hiring, and Retention. This guide is provided as a tool for institutions to use as they determine how best to address areas for improvement identified when assessing their work environment, and to develop their equity, diversity and inclusion action plans.

Canada Research Chairs Program: Best Practices for Reference Letter Writing. This resource identifies best practices associated with reference letters and provides several guidelines to help limit unconscious bias in letters of recommendation.

CIHR Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in the Research System. CIHR provides information on implementing and promoting EDI practices in health research. In addition, there is a comprehensive list of EDI resources that address how to integrate EDI in research, including resources on gender diversity, Indigenous communities, and unconscious bias.

CIHR Online Training Modules: Integrating Sex & Gender in Health Research. CIHR provides training courses to learn how to distinguish and define sex and gender in health research, identify sex and gender differences within a study, identify methods for integrating sex and gender variables in health research contexts, and assess a research protocol or publication based on the integration or omission of sex and/or gender.

Dimensions. The Dimensions program supports transformation of post-secondary institutions to increase EDI and help drive deeper cultural change within the research ecosystem. Dalhousie University was one of the first to endorse the Dimensions charter.

Introduction to Gender-Based Analysis +. This course introduces participants to GBA+, an analytical process used to assess how policies, programs and initiatives may affect women, men and non-binary people.

NFRF: Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in Research. This guide provides examples of concrete practices related to EDI in team composition and recruitment processes, training and development opportunities and inclusion. Additional resources are available within related to systemic barriers in academia.

NFRF EDI Webinar recordings and slides. This webinar provides an introduction to EDI as well as considerations for incorporating EDI into NFRF applications, and research practices more broadly. Click here for the English Slides and French Slides. Click here for the English Recording and French Recording.

NSERC – Equity, diversity and inclusion considerations at each stage of the research process is a reference document that includes relevant questions and concrete examples to guide scientists and engineers.

NSERC Framework on EDI. This framework identifies the actions NSERC has taken to improve EDI in science and engineering. It also includes the NSERC Guide for Applicants: Considering Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in your application.

Tri-Agency EDI Action Plan for 2018-2025 outlines measures to increase equitable and inclusive access to granting agency funding opportunities. It also details how the granting agencies can influence the achievement of an inclusive post-secondary research system and culture in Canada.

Dalhousie EDI Resources

Dalhousie Diversity & Inclusiveness Strategy. Inclusiveness and diversity are inherent in Dalhousie’s strategic plan. Strategic Priority 5.2 is to foster a collegial culture grounded in diversity and inclusiveness.

Dalhousie's first Community Equity Data Report has been compiled using data from the faculty, staff, and student censuses. The report provides a detailed breakdown of the demographics of the Dalhousie community. It presents areas where Dalhousie has improved its representation of equity groups, while also highlighting areas of under-representation. This report may be of use for researchers when building teams and applying for funding.

Dalhousie Accessibility Plan includes information on six priority areas and updates on projects. The resource pages contains information for students, faculty, and staff.  

Canada Research Chairs Institutional EDI Action Plan. Prepared for the Canada Research Chairs program, this action plan addresses institutional EDI goals and initiatives at Dalhousie.

Human Rights and Equity Services (HRES). HRES provides trauma informed, survivor centered confidential advisory service to members of the Dalhousie community seeking advice and support related to human rights, discrimination, harassment, sexualized violence, equity & inclusion, accommodation & accessibility, and conflict.

Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine. The faculty is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion in its recruitment, programming, and training. Their EDI Guidelines can be found here.

Dalhousie Black Faculty and Staff Caucus. The Black Faculty and Staff Caucus was established to promote a greater sense of community among Black faculty, staff and students at Dalhousie University. The webpage includes various community and employee resources.

Black Student Advising Centre (BSAC). The BSAC offers resources, support, and events to foster success for Black students at Dalhousie.

Queer Faculty and Staff Caucus (QFSC). The QFSC offers resources and support for LGBTQ2S faculty and staff at Dalhousie.

Indigenous Student Centre (ISC). The ISC helps create a sense of belonging to support Indigenous students’ success while at Dalhousie. The Indigenous Student Advisor provides support and advocacy for all of Dalhousie’s Indigenous students.

School of Social Work Diversity and Equity Committee. This committee offers resources and events that may be of interest to the broader Dalhousie community. 

Additional Resources

Equity, diversity and inclusion at Canadian universities – Report on the 2019 national survey. Universities Canada launched a comprehensive national survey in February 2019 to make EDI data available for benchmarking and to better understand the current EDI institutional landscape.

Chaire pour les femmes en sciences et en génie au Québec/Chair for Women in Science and Engineering in Quebec EDI Resources. This page offers several resources for supporting EDI in the research environment. These resources include a guide to identifying equity, diversity and inclusion challenges experienced by members of a research team, and a White Paper on EDI in Higher Education and Research. They cover topics including writing inclusive job advertisements, assessing the EDI challenges faced by members of a research team, and incorporating GBA+ into research project design.

Quebec Interuniversity Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Network (RIQEDI). This organization’s resources page includes EDI information relevant to the Tri-agencies. There are slide decks on EDI in research from CIHR, NSERC, CRC, and NFRF.

University of Guelph Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Resource for Researchers. The University of Guelph’s Office of Research Services has developed an EDI resource document for researchers to use as a tool in the development of their grant applications and proposals.

NIH Scientific Workforce Diversity Toolkit. This resource outlines how to promote EDI by diversifying the talent pool, avoiding biases, establishing outreach initiatives, and creating mentorship programs.

Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science & Technology (WWEST): White Papers. The mission of WWEST is to engage industry, the community and students to increase the awareness and participation of women and other under-represented groups in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields of study and careers. White Papers are available relating to diversity, social identity, unconscious bias, and microaggressions, as well as strategies to overcome biases.

Harvard Implicit Association Test: Unconscious Bias Assessment Tool. This test measures implicit attitudes and beliefs that people are unwilling or unable to report. The test can be done to identify biases related to age, race, sexuality, skin-tone, gender, countries and weight.

Conflict Resolution in your Research Group. This article in Science offers four strategies for resolving conflict in the lab.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion-Minded Practices in Virtual Learning Communities. This document was developed by the Nova Scotia Community College within the COVID-19 context of ‘emergency remote teaching’, but may serve as a helpful guide for all virtual environments, including research settings.

Sex and Gender Equity in Research (SAGER). This article discusses the importance of accounting for sex and gender differences in research design and reporting, and details the development of a procedure for addressing and writing about sex and gender in research. A simplified overview of the guidelines can be found here.

Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. Several inclusion and education guides are provided addressing diversity and inclusion in the Canadian Workplace. The Centre also offers toolkits.

For resources related to Indigenous research, please visit the ORS Indigenous Research Resources webpage.