The British Science Association is currently scoping a potential report into equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives within UK STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) businesses. We are looking for a freelance research professional or small agency to provide support for this project.

The Request for Proposals (RfP) closes at 09.00 on Monday 31 August 2020. Please find further details in RfP document or below.

Download the Request for Proposals document (pdf)

About the BSA  

The British Science Association (BSA) is a charity with a vision of a world where science is at the heart of society and culture. Our mission is to transform the diversity and inclusivity of science, reach under-served audiences, and increase the number of people who are actively engaged and involved in science.  

The BSA has three core pillars of work: education, public engagement and thought leadership.  We deliver major UK-wide programmes including the British Science Festival, British Science Week, CREST Awards, the Huxley Summit and bespoke activities for science communicators, the media, policymakers and business.  We seek to influence and collaborate with stakeholders from across science, business and policy. 

The BSA has an annual income of approximately £3.1 million and is managed by a professional staff of around 30 people based in London.  

We have a Council which forms the board of trustees. We are funded by a mix of grants, sponsorships, donations and earned income.  

About this project 

The BSA is currently scoping a potential report into diversity and inclusion within the UK STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) workforce. We have commissioned initial qualitative desk research into D+I within the STEM workforce, which has given us a topline literature review, but we need further support with our understanding of the wider picture through data. 

The BSA takes a broad view of STEM and STEM businesses – we include a wide range of fields such as computing science/technology, chemicals, food, textiles, craft, design, engineering, graphics and applied technologies including those relating to construction, transport, the built environment, biomedical, microbiological and food technology. Reports by organisations such as WISE, show that businesses in STEM are particularly affected by an unbalanced representation of gender, ethnicity and disability.  We are interested in how internal policies, working culture, and government/national policy impact the diversity and inclusivity of STEM organisations.   

What we need  

We are looking to create a short ‘State of the Nation’ study on the current diversity statistics of the STEM workforceThe aim of this analysis is to help inform the scope of our research questions for the report, through identification of gaps and highlighting of stories within the data. This data collected will also form a section of the final inquiry, supporting the qualitative evidence.  We are looking for data that helps reveal how the STEM workforce compares with the UK population on measures such as the Protected Characteristics identified in the Equality Act (2017). We intend to define the STEM workforce based on the ONS definition of STEM occupations and SOCs. 

We will provide further details on the data we are intending to use, but envisage it will include ONS Labour Market Statistics Time SeriesAnnual Population SurveyLabour Force Surveyand we would appreciate any additional suggestions you may have.  

We are looking for a data analyst/quantitative researcher(s) with 

  • A track record of using public data sets to inform research and producing analysis reports. 
  • A solid knowledge of the workforce data landscape in the UK. Awareness of D+I and/or STEM industries is beneficial but not essential.    
  • Confidence in advising which data sets would work best for our needs.  
  • Ability to meaningfully analyse data, rather than just collecting it. 
  • Strong ability to communicate findings and suggest methods to clearly communicate to lay audiences. 
  • Experience of building knowledge quickly.  

We will provide guidance on specific themes to focus on but would also like the chosen candidate to cast the net wide with their data collection and analysis. We need a confident analyst who can thoroughly scan the available data for insights, and present them in an easily digestible format.  Once we have this analysis, we will be able to identify trends or highlight gaps, to inform our research questions for the main report. 

The chosen candidate will produce a data analysis report, compiling all relevant figures with accompanying commentary on statistics that stand out, and what the numbers may suggest.  

This work should take approximately 5-10 days, in September of 2020This work will be done remotely, and the candidate should be available for video call briefings and updates throughout the work.  

Your proposal 

Please include the following information in your response. 

  • A biography or CV 
  • A short summary of your approach 
  • Your track record (a summary of your relevant experience) 
  • Names of one or more previous clients & a brief description of your work for them 
  • Budget breakdown (including whether you will charge VAT) and your availability to take this project on during Autumn 2020. We recommend providing a day-rate and the number of days you think this may take. 


w/c 17 August 2020    Request for proposals released 
20 – 28 August 2020  Opportunity for exploratory conversations on brief 
9am, 31 August 2020  Deadline for submissions 
w/c 31 August 2020 Submissions reviewed and phone calls with shortlisted respondents 
4 September 2020  Contract offered 
4  30 September 2020  Work undertaken

How to apply 

Please submit your proposal by 9am, 31st August to Abigail Hilditch, Policy Partnerships Manager, BSA: [email protected]. 

Any enquiries in relation to this invitation to RfP can contact Abigail Hilditch via email to organise a call or meeting. 

Please note that any responses given may be circulated to other potential bidders. If you require this information in a different format for accessibility reasons, please contact Abigail Hilditch.  

Appendix 1: background information on subject  

A small selection of related literature.