"The RSC Missing Elements report has identified racial inequalities in the chemical sciences and the lack of progression of individuals from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) heritage to positions of seniority in academia and the chemical industry.
"Through a partnership between the London-based universities Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), Imperial College London (ICL) and Greenwich University (GU), this project aims to create permanent changes in culture in the UK chemistry sector by improving the recruitment, retention and progression of undergraduate students from BAME communities ensuring a ‘pipeline’ of outstanding chemists that will significantly increase the diversity of the chemistry community.
"We believe that the involvement of more individuals from a BAME heritage to positions of seniority will lead to enrichment, a greater collision of ideas, better science and improved high-level decision-making."
As well as Dr Sheriff, there will be three other leads on this project - Dr Giorgio Chianello from QMUL, Professor James Wilton-Ely from ICL and Dr Sweta Ladha from GU. Dr Sheriff believes that by working together and utilising each university's strengths, they can create a 'toolkit that highlights the contributions of STEM individuals currently overlooked and provide students with a holistic perspective in their curricula and show how the chemical sciences can provide solutions to the big global issue'.
He added: "We hope to provide insights into research and provide role models to inspire undergraduate students, especially from minority backgrounds, to achieve higher and pursue studies beyond a first degree to PhD programmes and to senior positions in academia and in society."