an image from a word cloud for the decolonising research guide

Decolonising research guide for PhD researchers

Grantham Scholars created a guide to help decolonise PhD research. Split into 3 parts, the guide covers: Colonial history, Present legacies, and Coloniality of sustainability. It is available online and is free to read.

Jocelyne Sze, who led the work on the decolonising guide.
Jocelyne Sze, who led work on the decolonising guide.

Jocelyne Sze and Ella Hubbard, Caterina Cosmopolis, Maria Wang Mei Hua, and Suma Mani worked together on the guide. It developed out of a reading group set up by Jocelyne to explore decolonising research.

We encourage all Grantham Scholars to read the guide, and hope that researchers across the University of Sheffield will engage with it.

Why create the guide?

The team believes that learning about the histories and inequities of research have helped them make sense of the academic system.

Plus understanding these issues helps to develop thinking as critical researchers, improve research impact, and contribute to sustainable and equitable outcomes in society.

Why read the guide?

Though written primarily for Grantham Scholars and other PhD students, anyone in academia should read it. People unfamiliar with the links between research and colonialism, and how that relationship persists into the present day, should definitely have a look.

Rather than another thing to check off the list, the team see it as part of a journey of un-learning and re-discovering possibilities. As a result, research may have a greater and more meaningful impact on society.

Jocelyne Sze

Jocelyne, who led the work on the guide, explained why decolonising research is so important.

“The issue of lingering effects of coloniality on Higher Education and academia has been discussed for a long time, but is really coming to the fore at present.

I’m glad we had strong support from the Grantham team (especially Deborah Beck) when I first brought up the possibility of running a reading group with fellow scholars and subsequently when we decided to produce the guide.”

Launch of the guide

At our Symposium 2022: Towards Climate Justice the team launched the guide. After laying out some of their aims, Ella Hubbard led a conversation with Grantham Centre Director Rachael Rothman.

Where to find the guide

You can read the guide for free online. It is easy to navigate around relevant sections and the team have provided a glossary of terms.