Applications for panellists are now closed but you can still register to attend the symposium here.

Date and Location: Saturday 5th October 2019, Institute Of Education, London

Keynote Speakers: Dr Arianne Shahvisi and Dr Christine (Xine) Yao

We welcome and encourage submissions from early career academics, activists, and an amalgamation of the two, from inside and outside of STEM and related fields, who are currently engaging in the ‘decolonising’ agenda. We seek to reclaim and utilise our shared knowledges as well as our lived experiences as early year academics in a time of political, social, and environmental change.

We are accepting applications (of no more than 300 words) to take part in one of the two panels below. Panellists will be asked to give 5 to 10-minute responses to the topic of the panel, which will then open up into a chaired discussion.

Panel 1: Experiences in STEM: Strategies of Survival

This panel will centre on the lived experiences – past and present – of those working within or engaging with STEM institutions, exploring strategies of survival within the coloniality of STEM. Panellists may wish to draw upon and to share personal narratives of navigation, resistance and survival within STEM.Panellists may want to consider basing their responses on any of these deliberately open-ended topics:

  • Thoughts, feelings and lived experiences within STEM: e.g. Laboratory life, academic departments, exclusion from these spaces etc.
  • Navigating institutions: How do they operate? What opportunities and challenges do they present? Can we change them? (Or do we need something different?)
  • Encounters, struggles and/or successes: How can we resist? Are there stories of resistance? (Is leaving/staying an option?)
  • Personal choices and collective struggles (What are allies? Do they (really) exist?)

Panel 2: Decolonising STEM

This panel will provide the opportunity for academics to present responses to the topic of decolonising STEM. Whilst we don’t wish to narrow the scope of possible discussion in advance, potential topics for consideration might include but are not limited to:

  • How is the history of STEM colonial?
  • What does it mean to ‘decolonise’? Can we decolonise STEM?
  • What does the coloniality of STEM look like in contemporary contexts?
  • How is colonial power maintained through STEM?
  • How does this sustain or materialise systems of oppression based on race, gender, nationality, indigeneity, disability, sexuality?

We are looking for imaginative and open responses – not formal abstracts! – and are interested in hearing what applicants can contribute to each panel. We therefore welcome applications from a range of backgrounds, and in particular, we encourage responses from early career and unaffiliated researchers.

Our ethos is one of respect, nurture and radical care. As such, it is our priority to make the symposium accessible; if you have any queries or need advice, please do not hesitate to email us at


The deadline to submit proposals is 17th August 2019.  To submit your proposal, please click on the link to the application form. A decision on all proposals will be made by 1st September 2019

Authors of accepted proposals will be invited to take part in a panel at ‘Decolonise STEM: Resisting, Unlearning and Imagining’ held in London on 5th October 2019. The symposium will be free to attend and panellists presenting at the 2019 symposium will also be eligible for funding to cover travel expenses. For any queries, please contact:

Join the Movement

We want to empower and cultivate a community that allows as many voices as possible to be heard, across disciplines, inside and outside of the academy.  

We will mobilise and facilitate this transformative environment through town hall meetings, reading groups, workshops, colloquiums, blogs, YouTube, Skype and open access resources. To join the movement, follow us on Twitter @Decolonise STEM.

We look forward to reading your submission!