Shadow Program Committee: Designing for Diversity and Equity within Academic Communities

Delvin Varghese, Hafeni Mthoko, Jessica L. Watterson, Pranav Kulkarni, Dan Richardson, Shaimaa Lazem, Patrick Olivier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The development of early career researchers (ECRs) and their induction into academia has traditionally been a process that is at best obscure, and at worst, cronyism laden. Arguably this is especially true for cross-disciplinary fields like HCI, where relatively fragmented specialisms co-exist. With COVID-19 and its negative impacts on ECRs as the backdrop, we explored the design of a 5-month virtual training program for ECRs worldwide (with particular emphasis on the Global South). Through an action research approach, the program was executed in collaboration with the organizers of a cross-disciplinary conference. Eighty-one participants from 26 countries took part. The program created a collaborative learning experience for attendees and provided opportunities for networking and learning the nuances of the peer-review process. This article details our experiences and provides reflections on design opportunities to (1) develop professional development spaces for underserved researchers, and (2) leverage ECRs’ unique capacity for contributing to inclusive conference spaces.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Number of pages24
JournalACM Journal on Computing and Sustainable Societies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

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