Gender, Technology, and Makerspaces

Gender, Technology, and Makerspaces PhD Research

Who am I?

I am a PhD student in the Department of Science & Technology Studies at University College London funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC).

What am I researching?

This project will contribute to my PhD research on improving gender diversity in makerspaces. I am particularly
interested in how some technology-focused makerspaces have been able to engage a higher proportion of women and non-binary people than others. I will be conducting fieldwork in several makerspaces in Europe and North America.

What does participation involve?

I will be observing what happens in different makerspaces and would like to speak to makerspace users and organisers about their personal history and their experiences of the makerspace. I will be making field notes and, with participants’ express permission, would like to audio record contributions and potentially take photographs or video recordings of makers at work. I would also appreciate your comments and feedback on the results of the fieldwork before they are made public.

What are the possible benefits or risks of taking part?

I foresee no direct benefits or risks to taking part in this research, but I hope that the results will be able to provide guidance to makerspace organisers and supporters on how to develop more equitable engagement practices.

How will the results be used?

  • The research material will be kept strictly confidential and will be available only to myself.
  • Extracts or summaries of your contributions to the research may be published publicly. You will have the
    opportunity to review a summary of your contributions to the research before they are published.
  • You have the option to request that your contributions are attributed to a code name. If you choose this option, all reasonable attempts will be made to conceal your identity in accordance with the BSA Statement of Ethical Practice.

What are your rights as a participant?

I would like to reassure you that as a participant in this project you have several very definite rights:

  • You are free to refuse to answer any question at any time.
  • You are free to refuse any request to be photographed, video recorded or audio recorded.
  • You are free to have your contributions to the project attributed to a code name by request.

This research project has received ethical approval in accordance with the UCL Department of Science & Technology Ethical Research policies and procedures, application reference number STSEth143. If you have any concerns about the way in which the research has been conducted, please contact the supervisors of this project Dr Emily Dawson ( or Dr Carina Fearnley (

Thank you and please do not hesitate to contact me at any stage of the project at