Skip to main content

Global Race Centre for Equality (GRACE)

Global Race Centre for Equality (GRACE) works to generate new questions and new thinking in relation to modern day challenges relating to racial inequalities across the globe.


Welcome to GRACE, the Global Race Centre for Equality based at the University of Central Lancashire. GRACE is a vibrant, transdisciplinary research centre, committed to quality research and intellectual enquiry that has real-world impact. GRACE is led by academics of colour and benefits from an active membership of colleagues with a track record of race-focused and/or racially inclusive research with a commitment to anti-racism.

The centre operates under four key research themes, reflecting industry, the private, statutory, and voluntary sectors. GRACE is led by four Co-Directors who are experts in their fields.

  • Race and Organisational Development, led by Pradeep Prassi
  • Race and Social Policy, led by Dr John Wainwright
  • Race and Psychology, led by Dr Roxanne Khan
  • Race and Health, led by Professor Gershan Davis and Dr Alexander Montasem

The purpose of GRACE is to explore institutional and societal approaches that lead to enhanced racial justice. We are interested in the interplay between the lived experiences of Black, Asian, and other racialised minorities, power, institutional structures and culture, and the outcomes for racialised minorities across all walks of life.

students walking on campus in front of a modern building

Free membership offer

Are you committed to race equality? Do you believe in the values of anti-racism? Do you have a passion for research and want to see real change?

GRACE welcomes members from the UK and internationally.

Enquire about joining

Research themes

Global Race Centre for Equality is organised into four thematic areas of focus:

The Race and Organisational Development strand is led by Pradeep Passi. Under this theme our area of interest is the exploration of the impact and outcomes of organisational culture, structures and policies on racialised minorities, in terms of staff, service users and/or consumers.

We have expertise in supporting organisations to research and understand these complex relationships, the impact that they have on racialised minorities, and to develop solutions that will advance racial equality.

The Race and Social Policy strand is led by Dr John Wainwright. The areas of interest include exploring the everyday and institutional experiences of people of colour in all areas of social policy including, education, health, social welfare, immigration and asylum, criminal justice, the private, voluntary and third sector.

Researchers can work in collaboration to explore one or more of these systems with a lens regarding how people and communities of colour experience these services. There will be a focus on (anti) racism and how strategies can be developed to enhance the quality of life for people of colour.

Whilst experiences of commonality for people of Asian and African heritage are important, understanding and appreciating the heterogeneity of individuals and communities of colour is critical to develop anti-racism strategies that have meaningful impact.

The Race and Psychology strand is led by Dr Roxanne Khan. This strand is committed to transforming the landscape of existing psychological research by adjusting its dominant focus so that it acknowledges, includes, and explores the experiences of people of colour.

This international, transdisciplinary strand reframes and restructures psychological research teams and investigations, so that people of African, Asian, and other minoritised ethnic heritage are at the epicentre of study design, operations, data collection, analysis, interpretation, publication, and dissemination.

The Race and Psychology strand is uniquely positioned to actively address current issues in psychology, in addition to issues specifically related to racial equality. These include the psychology of race/ethnicity in relation to:

  • forensic (criminological or legal) contexts, such as policing, courts, or prisons
  • intergenerational trauma
  • gender and identity
  • intersectional impact of racism, racial and/or gender discrimination

GRACE Health Research strand is led by Professor Gershan Davis and Dr Alexander Montasem from the UCLan School of Medicine. The Group also incorporates a Biostatistician and Epidemiologist from within the Medical School, a dedicated qualitative research synthesis group, and two postgraduate research students (DProf and PhD). A Centre Research Associate and Graduate Intern also work with this Group.

There is External Research Collaboration with Lancashire and North West Academic and Health Care Institutions including Regional Cardiac Centre, Blackpool, Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and Liverpool University.

The NHS defines Health Inequalities as: “Unfair and avoidable differences in health across the population, and between different groups within society. Health inequalities arise because of the conditions in which we are born, grow, live, work and age. These conditions influence our opportunities for good health, and how we think, feel and act, and this shapes our mental health, physical health and wellbeing.”

Public Health England’s Local Action on Health Inequalities: Understanding and Reducing Ethnic Inequalities in Health – IHE, states that “The need for action on ethnic inequality to be championed by senior leaders at local and national level and to be firmly integrated into health inequalities policies has been repeatedly highlighted in the English context. Unlike several other countries, notably the US, ethnic inequality remains a marginalised issue within much public health, as well as wider social policy in England.”

The purpose of the Health Research Group is to address these current issues, leading or involved in projects including:

  • Role and involvement of ethnic minorities on Public Patient Involvement (PPI) Groups as advisors for Cardiovascular Clinical trials
  • Effect of COVID 19 on lived experiences of Black, Asian and other racialised minorities working in health care
  • Long COVID in the Black, Asian and other racialised minority populations
  • Collaborating with a study of Black, Asian and other racialised minorities community experience with COVID 19 vaccination programme in a Lancashire town
  • Atrial Fibrillation and Hypertension management and uptake in Special Populations
  • HOPE and HOPELESSNESS in CVS Research
  • Work Stress and Cardiovascular Disease
  • Supporting related Health Research Projects such as Breast Screening in Black, Asian and other racialised minority populations

Prof Davis and Dr Montasem are current co-applicants in grant submissions to NIHR and OFs and developing collaborative engaging relationships with local and regional Black, Asian and other racialised minority communities and community networks.

Research team leads

Director, Global Race Centre for Equality (GRACE), University of Central Lancashire.

Pradeep is Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Central Lancashire and is responsible for leading its institutional approach to EDI work. He chairs the University’s EDI Taskforce and is also Director of the Global Race Centre for Equality GRACE), a transdisciplinary research centre which works across disciplines to generate new questions and new thinking in relation to modern day challenges relating to racial inequalities.

His interests lie in organisational approaches to creating change through inclusive approaches, drawing on his extensive experience in working across the public sector, including crown prosecution service, NHS and local government. Pradeep’s research interests lie in seeking out approaches that will lead to the elimination of awarding gaps and is a founding member of the North West Awards Gap Group, a collaborative of higher education institutions from across North West England.

Other Key Roles:


Co-Director and Lead for Race and Social Policy, Global Race Centre for Equality (GRACE), University of Central Lancashire.

Dr Wainwright is a qualified and registered social worker who has practiced for several years with children, mainly in the care and youth justice system, young people and their families.

Dr Wainwright’s research focuses on anti-racism, social work and social policy. He is committed to working in partnership with Black, Asian and other racialised minority-led organisations and communities to strive towards Race Equality.

He is also Youth and Justice strand Lead for the Criminal Justice Partnership and is involved in several co-participatory projects with children in the youth justice system. He is keen to work on an inter-disciplinary basis across agencies and communities to develop research in the intersection of race and criminal justice. Dr Wainwright is Director of Studies for two Black, Asian and other racialised minority studentships and welcomes interest in PhD studies in the fields of Race, Social Work and Social Policy.

Other Key Roles:

Access Dr Wainwright’s publications


Co-Director and Lead for Race and Psychology, Global Race Centre for Equality (GRACE), University of Central Lancashire.

Dr Khan is a Chartered Psychologist and Course Leader in Forensic Psychology. She is a multi-award-winning author and researcher who has published extensively on the issue of interpersonal violence.

She has been invited to act as Associate Editor for a new journal, Equity in Education & Society published by SAGE, with issue 1 due in April 2022.

Dr Khan is founder of HARM network, an international consortium that conducts research and develops culturally inclusive, evidence-based strategies to improve policymaking and practice to protect victims of violence. Dr Khan has 20 years’ experience of working with victims and perpetrators of abuse and delivers conference presentations to national and international audiences.

Other key roles:

Access Dr Khan’s publications


Co-Director and Lead for Race and Health, Global Race Centre for Equality (GRACE), University of Central Lancashire.

Gershan Davis is Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK and Consultant Cardiologist at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust, UK. He is Lead for Academic Integrity and academic lead for the UCLan West Lakes phase 2 MBBS programme and Course Lead for Hospitalist Medicine MSc programme.

Professor Davis trained in Clinical Cardiology at Regional Cardiac Centre, Blackpool and in Auckland, New Zealand and Boston, US. He did a research travelling fellowship at Harvard Medical School, Boston US.

Besides his clinical cardiovascular research, Professor Davis has a special interest in ethnicity and racial equality as it applies to medical education, the attainment gap and cardiovascular health particularly in light of the COVID 19 pandemic. He is a supervisor for one of the UCLan ‘’Race in Focus’’ PhD studentships assessing COVID-19, Cardiovascular diseases and lived experiences in Black, Asian and other racialised minority healthcare workers and a UCLan Medical School Representative on the Medical Schools Council EDI Alliance.

Other key roles:

Access Professor Davis’s publications


Deputy Lead for Race and Health, Global Race Centre for Equality (GRACE), University of Central Lancashire.

Chartered Psychologist, British Psychological Society.

Senior Lecturer in Social and Behavioural Sciences & Theme Lead for Evidence Informed Practice of Medicine (EIPOM), School of Medicine, University of Central Lancashire.

Dr Montasem is a trained behavioural and health promotion practitioner and chartered psychologist with the British Psychology Society (BPS). He has built, over the last ten years, a strong expertise in medically related topics including social determinants of health and psychological health.

Before joining UClan’s School of Medicine, Dr Montasem taught, researched and worked globally, including in the Department of Psychology at the University of Hong Kong and Harvard School of Medicine, where he co-led the clinical leadership and management programme in the Department of Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology. He obtained his Mersey Deanery funded PhD from the University of Liverpool’s Faculty of Medicine.

Within the GRACE health research stream, Dr Montasem is co-supervising a funded PhD project on the relationships between Cardiovascular health, COVID-19 and lived experience in the Black, Asian and other racialised minority populations. He is also an active member of a wider Northwest/Liverpool research network on Black, Asian and other racialised minorities related topics, including a recent NIHR initiative aiming to understand the underlying factors that can improve inclusion, protection and well-being of Black, Asian and other racialised minorities in the Health and Social Care Workforce.

Other key roles:

Access Dr Montasem’s publications


Latest news

  • Annual Equity in Education Conference – 2021. Dr Roxanne Khan will deliver a keynote speech at this conference on the theme: Race, Gender and Identity – Event times: 16:00 - Wednesday July 14
  • The new panel for the transformed UK Athena Swan Charter – 2020. Pradeep Passi is appointed as a UK Athena Swan Charter panel chair
  • COVID-19 and the heart with Professor Gershan Davis – 2020. Professor Davis features in educational audio-visual for Royal College of Physicians (RCP)
  • The ‘known knowns’ and ‘known unknowns’ of heart disease in the BAME population- What doctors are not taught at Medical School, UCLan – 2020. Professor Gershan Davis
  • Enhancing International Student Attainment, AACSB Diversity and Inclusion Summit, New Orleans – 2019. Pradeep Passi
  • Factors affecting the BAME attainment gap, PG research Conference, UCLan – 2019. Pradeep Passi
  • Place and Space – Race and Mental Health 12th Annual Critical Perspectives Conference. Cork – 2019. Dr John Wainwright
  • Echoes of Frantz Fanon in the place and space of an alternative black mental health centre. Liverpool Hope University – 2018. Dr John Wainwright

Pradeep Passi

  • Race in focus: PhD studentships (2020-2024). Funded by UCLan (circa £280,000)

Pradeep secured funding to support 5 PhD studentships to research areas of racial inequality in higher education. Research areas include (i) the Black student award gap; (ii) Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic experiences of being early careers researchers, and (iii) the relationship of Black communities with higher education. Further details under tab ‘Race in focus: PhD Studentships’

Dr John Wainwright

  • Post Prison Support – Young Muslim Men (2021). Funded by Lancashire BME Network (£3,000)

Dr Wainwright is Principal Investigator on this pilot project to explore the experiences of young, south Asian, Muslim men when trying to reintegrate into their local community. To explore the possibilities of pathways to enable change and encouraging the young men to desist from offending, Citizen’s Juries have been established to discuss alternative methods and projects for them to take up as they reintegrate.

  • Support 360 Project (2018-2021). Funded by the National Lottery via Lancashire BME Network (£12,000)

Dr Wainwright was Principal Investigator on this project which was delivered by four local community organisations. It focused on providing welfare, immigration, and other services to the local communities to enable individuals who service-users to develop resilience and other skills to encourage socio-economically growth.

Dr Roxanne Khan

  • Harmful traditional practices: workplace guidance for best practice. (status: awarded, £12,000). Research England (Quality Related-Strategic Priorities Funding). November 2019.

Professor Gershan Davis

  • Recent Applications-NIHR Heart Failure/Office for Students -Attainment Gap in Post Graduate Research
  • DISCHARGE TRIAL PI funded by 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission
  • Salma Qasim. PhD student (2021) Stigma of schizophrenia in Black and Asian people in the UK in relation to help-seeking and intervention participation. Supervisors: Professor Mick McKeown, Dr Roxanne Khan, Dr John Wainwright.
  • Beth Hall. PhD student (2021) Social Status, Social Media & Gang Activity. Supervisors: Dr Roxanne Khan, Dr Mike Eslea.
  • Victoria Ibizem. PhD student (2021). Topic- Mind the Gap: The Black student award gap. Supervisors, Dr John Wainwright, Dr Roxanne Khan, Professor Mick McKeown.
  • Suntosh Kaur. PhD student (2021). Race in Research: The contribution of Women of Colour to HE (and Race). Supervisors: Dr John Wainwright.

Dr Hassan Awan

Dr Awan is a GP and Research Associate with Global Race Centre for Equality (GRACE) and Campus Day Facilitator for UCLan’s 3rd year medical students. His research interests include health inequality, particularly of vulnerable populations, community mental health. He is also undertaking a part-time Wellcome PhD exploring emotional distress in South Asian males with long term conditions. Clinically, Dr Awan works as a GP at the Robert Darbishire Practice, a diverse GP Practice in inner-city Manchester.

Race in focus: PhD Studentships

GRACE secured funding from the University of Central Lancashire for 5 PhD studentships to investigate a number of research areas, including challenges faced by early careers researchers of Black, Asian and other racialised minorities heritage, and why a proportionately lower number of good honours degrees are awarded to black students.

The areas of enquiry include:

  1. The Black student award gap
  2. The experiences of Black, Asian and other racialised minorities heritage early careers researchers
  3. Connections between Black communities in the North West and higher Education
  4. Experiences of Black, Asian and other racialised minorities heritage communities and Degree Apprenticeships
  5. Lived experiences of frontline healthcare workers who have been impacted by Covid-19.

“Almost a quarter of UCLan students come from a Black, Asian and other racialised minorities background. The University has a long and proud history of creating academic opportunities for all and this is one great way for us to respond to the barriers Black, Asian and other racialised minorities communities may face in Higher Education.”

Pradeep Passi, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, University of Central Lancashire

The collective and individual learning that will stem from this research will be shared across UCLan and the sector as it develops.


Director: Pradeep Passi


Enquire about joining us today