Funded by NERC, our EnDISC project focused on improving the inclusion of early career disabled and neurodivergent researchers based in natural or environmental sciences. The interdisciplinary project is rooted in the social model of disability, which recognises that neurodivergent researchers are disabled by neurotypical working environments, not by the condition that they may have.

Neurodivergence includes but is not limited to autism, including Asperger’s, ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and Tourette’s syndrome. This list is not exhaustive. Much of the existing research has focused on autism in young people or adults and the role of the environment.

During our six-month project, we performed:

  • a rapid evidence review to ascertain the extent of peer-reviewed research on neurodivergence, focusing on literature investigating disclosure, recruitment experiences, and the challenges that neurodivergent individuals face.
  • a survey that asked neurodivergent researchers about their experience accessing laboratories, field work sites, and office space. We also asked about disclosing neurodivergence, career progression, and how Covid had impacted them.
  • synchronous and asynchronous focus groups and interviews that discussed solutions for improving support for neurodivergent individuals and the changes universities can make to attract and retain neurodivergent staff.

We have co-designed a set of recommendations with neurodivergent early career researchers, which managers, human resources and institutions can implement: to create neurodivergent, inclusive, and accessible workplace cultures. You can view our recommendations via a series of videos below.

You can download our full report here.

You can view our three videos here via YouTube: