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NWO Advancing Equity in Academia through Innovation grant for Anne M. Martinez

12 January 2023

Dr Anne M. Martínez, assistant professor of American Political and Cultural Theory, with four other researchers across the Netherlands has received an NWO Advancing Equity in Academia through Innovation grant for a three-year project entitled Disrupting Sameness in Dutch Academia.

The project will design interventions to address individual, interpersonal, and institutional barriers to equity and inclusion for people from migration backgrounds in selected programs at the University of Groningen, TU-Delft, University of Utrecht Medical Center, and Wageningen University.

Disrupting Sameness in Dutch Academia

This NWO-funded research project, designed with a consortium of scholars and professionals from across the Netherlands, seeks to address inequality and exclusion in Dutch Academia.

Higher education is a means of upward social mobility that may lead to better life and employment chances. Yet, higher education is also a site for the social reproduction of marginalizations and inequities present in society such that some (minoritized groups) have much lower access to and less capacity to remain and thrive within academic settings, whether as students, teachers and researchers, or professionals.

A key mechanism by which universities and similarly elite institutions reproduce privilege and inequity is what we refer to as the reproduction of sameness— a systematic institutional preference for the similar and the same. Despite existing research and EDI measures on sameness in the Dutch context, we do not yet know exactly how to disrupt sameness.

Scholars suggest that only through counter-normative behavior can sameness be disrupted, yet what such behavior and practices would actually look like, and what works, has not been examined.

Therefore, this project focuses on disrupting sameness in the Dutch university setting, through the development and piloting of research-based, context-specific interventions in collaboration with stakeholders from start to finish in medical, teaching, and middle management settings in the Netherlands.

In this research we will: 1) examine how, when, and where sameness can be disrupted through counter-normative behavior, and 2) test and develop institutionally transferable interventions to disrupt sameness in various Dutch university settings.

By targeting and disrupting a key mechanism in the perpetuation of inequity and marginalization for institutions to ultimately valorize equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Last modified:30 January 2023 10.56 a.m.
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