Frequently asked questions

Who is doing this research?

This research is being lead by kat cecil, a PhD candidate in the Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS) at University College London and the Centre for Sociology of Education and Equity (CSEE) at the Institute of Education (IOE). kat is a sociologist of race and education who has expertise in science capital -- which is a concept that provides valuable insight into why and how some people participate and engage with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and why others don't. Critical Race Theory β€” which is theoretical framework that critically interrogates race, power and white supremacy in society. Social moral epistemology -- which is a type of applied ethics that interrogates how social institutions and practices aid or impede certain moral beliefs and justifications, and feminist STS --  which is a trans-discipline that underlines how science is intrinsically linked to society. kat has had direct experience in the social justice sector, she spent two years in the Middle East and North Africa working on projects surrounding psychosocial care, and access to education for women and children from displaced groups. kat’s research is designed to be a theoretical compliment to progressive social movements.


No. It is up to you if you take part. If you do decide to take part you will be asked if you can be audio-recorded, and to sign a consent form to show that you agree to take part in the research project. This happens by signing a form in person. You will have the opportunity to review, and comment on the audio file of our conversation. If you do agree to take part and then change your mind later, you will be free to withdraw your data from the research until two weeks (14 days) after a data recording has been sent to you for review. All you need to do is tell the researcher.

Will I be named in the research?

No! Our conversation will be fully anonymised, and your involvement in the project completely confidential. If you choose to participate in the research conversations, you will be asked to pick a name you are happy with, and you will be referred to by that name in the research write up. Any identifiable information about you (including signed consent forms, notes, recordings and other documents containing personal information) will be preserved in a secure place to which only the lead researcher will have access. If you are quoted please note this will be attributed only to the name you have given, not to your real name.

What will I have to do?

You will have a ethnographic, in depth conversation with the lead researcher about your current experiences in STEM, your journey to the place you are at now, and your childhood and teenage years. These conversations will last between 30-90 minutes. The amount of conversations will be between 1 and 3, so please consider being interviewed up to 3 times.


No, I will travel to a location of your choosing, anywhere in the UK πŸš‚

Will I be paid?

No, but I will bring biscuits to our conversations 😊

What are the benefits of taking part?

From an extensive literature review there is a substantial gap in voices from Black women of African and Caribbean descent about their experiences in, and journey through, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, who are working in higher education in the UK today. Our collaborative research, lead by you, will be a chance to share epistemic resources and strategies for resistance so as to productively add to the conversation regarding epistemic and social injustice within science and academia more generally.

The results of our conversations will be the lynchpin to my doctoral thesis, which will be completed by September 2019. It will then be disseminated in journal articles and presentations for academic and general audiences. 

What if there is a problem?

If you have concerns surrounding the way this research has been conducted, you can speak to the lead researcher, who will do her best to help you, or you can contact the supervisors of the project, Dr Emily Dawson:, or Dr Chiara Ambrosio:

Does this project have ethics approval?

This research project has received ethical approval in accordance with the UCL Department of Science and Technology Ethical Research policies and procedures (, application reference number: STSEth11x.

If I want to take part, what should I do next?

For a more in-depth overview of the project then click here

For a more information on the research methodology then click here. 

Download the project poster here

If you want to take part, then contact katherine on, or fill in the contact form below. 


Name *