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Black Advisory Hub


The Black Advisory Hub regularly recruits students to work on projects, most often as paid research assistants or content creators. We also sometimes seek students as participants in research projects, representatives on relevant University committees, or as speakers at University events. 

APP Participatory Action Research Project: Research assistants

This five year staff-student partnership project investigates the awarding gaps, or differential degree outcomes,  that have historically impacted Black students at the University of Cambridge (see the Access and Participation Plan 2020-25 for more information on this). Each year since 2020, the Cambridge Centre for Teaching & Learning has recruited ten students to contribute as research assistants to investigate the obstacles to the academic success of Black undergraduates, in order to develop knowledge and evidence that can inform and catalyse meaningful progress and practical steps forward.  You can access the full set of reports and presentations for each project across three of the project five cycles of the project.  Topics include: supervision (Black student perspectives), decolonising the curriculum, mentoring, anti-racist glossary and so on.   Here is a snapshot of one project from Cycle 2: 

 Curricular Representation (a sample student project)

  • Research Question: "How much choice should be given for students / supervisors to discuss and explore non-white-centric material and ideas, and how much should be designed-in as core to the curriculum for all?"
  • Rationale: Our research objective was to open up more discussions about Black scholarship within different Cambridge undergraduate degrees, and highlight the level of choice given to students and supervisors to study material and scholars that are non-white-centric. We conducted research to find out more about what students and staff thought about representation within their curricula, and about their own experiences with the level and types of representation.
  • Sample finding: “Contrary to what has often been assumed, previous efforts to 'decolonise the curriculum' and increase the representation of Black thought and scholarship - while there has been some positive change - have not been enough to drastically improve Cambridge curricula”
  • Sample recommendation for action:  the appointment of a specific role within each Faculty / Department to oversee decolonisation and representation efforts, and to develop partnerships between students and staff to review the process of developing representation within a curriculum.

Cycle 4 is currently underway from December 2022 to February 2023.   Recruitment of student research assistants for Cycle 5 will start in October 2023.