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AISSR researcher Olga Sooudi (Anthropology) will conduct research on breaking with 'uniformity'. The project is part of a new research programme on equity and inclusion in academia, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

NWO is investing 1.3 million euros in a new research programme that promotes a culture change on equity and inclusion in academia. With the research programme ‘Advancing Equity in Academia through Innovation’, NWO wants to contribute to a more inclusive culture, where everyone is valued, regardless of background. 

The four research projects now underway will develop, implement and study interventions in academia to promote diversity and inclusion. The projects focus on effective perspective integration, a co-creation platform to share expertise and knowledge, breaking through sameness and implementing inclusive quotas.

Breaking through the sameness

Olga Sooudi, as associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, will start her project entiteld 'Breaking through the ‘sameness’ of Dutch academia'. 

When organisations talk about equality, diversity and inclusion, they mainly focus on helping minority groups. But what about the norm group? This project examines what individuals and organisations do to maintain the norm, or ‘sameness’ (uniformity), by perpetuating privilege on the one hand and reproducing marginalisation on the other.

The research will take place in different academic and professional settings where ‘professionalism’ is taught: in classrooms, middle management and the medical profession. It will reveal imagined similarities in values, attitudes and approaches to professionalism and develop concrete methods to break through them – to create more equal and inclusive Dutch universities.

Dr. O.K. (Olga) Sooudi

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group: Moving Matters: People, Goods, Power and Ideas