Dr Matson Lawrence

Equality And Diversity Manager

Equality & Diversity


Personal statement

I am the acting Equality & Diversity Lead, supporting equality, diversity and inclusion across the University of Strathclyde.

Between 2018-2021, I was a researcher with the NORFACE-funded CILIA-LGBTQI+ study, examining intersectional lifecourse (in)equalities among LGBTQI+ people in four European countries.

Prior to this, I was the Research Associate for the TransEDU Scotland research and wider TransEDU project at the University of Strathclyde (2016-18). Funded by the Scottish Funding Council, the research examined the experiences of, and provision for, trans and non-binary students and staff in Scotland's colleges and universities. The project was awarded a Guardian University Award, a Herald Scotland Diversity Award, and a Strathclyde Medal. Our guidance bookSupporting Trans and Non-Binary Students and Staff in Further and Higher Education – was published with JKP in 2019.

I have led Creative Scotland-funded research on young disabled and D/deaf people’s access to the arts in Scotland (2015-16), and I have worked extensively with LGBTQI+ communities in the third and arts sectors through roles at LGBT Health & Wellbeing and CCC! Intersectional Arts. I am co-Chair of StrathPride, the LGBTQI+ Staff & PGR Network at Strathclyde.

In 2018, I was seconded to the Scottish Funding Council as a Senior Policy Analysis Officer, with responsibility for overseeing implementation of the Gender Action Plan across Scotland's colleges and universities. While at Durham University, I was a Research Assistant with several gender-based violence research projects.

Qualifications I hold an interdisciplinary Doctorate in Law and Applied Social Sciences from Durham University, and a 1st Class Honours degree in Combined Social Sciences also from Durham University

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Prize And Awards

Herald Diversity Award
Strathclyde Medal Team Award
Guardian University Award

More prizes and awards


  • PhD Law and Applied Social Sciences, Durham University
  • BA Combined Honours in Social Sciences, 1st Class Hons, Durham University
  • PGCert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Strathclyde (Ongoing)
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Professional Activities

Neurodiversity Research Hub (Event)
Blog: 'It gets better? Intersectional LGBTQI+ (in)equalities and the UK Government’s LGBT Action Plan
From Section 28 to LGBTQI+ Inclusion? Legacies, tensions and trajectories in Education
How to help trans and non-binary students and staff - Tes Blog
How can staff in higher education support trans & non-binary people during transition? - JKP Blog
Transgender: Intersectional / International
Member of programme committee

More professional activities


Comparing Intersectional Life Course Inequalities amongst LGBTQ People in Five European Countries
Taylor, Yvette (Principal Investigator) Lawrence, Matson (Researcher)
01-Jan-2018 - 30-Jan-2021
Empowering leadership to support transgender students and staff within higher education
Mckendry, Stephanie (Principal Investigator) Lawrence, Matson (Principal Investigator)
There is increasing evidence that trans people face
significant challenges studying and working in higher
education (ECU, 2009; LGBT Youth Scotland, 2018; NUS,
2014; Stonewall, 2018a,b). Research undertaken at the
University of Strathclyde to explore the experiences and
challenges of this diverse group discovered a far greater
proportion of students considering or having left their
course, and issues around learning and teaching,
placements and confidentiality (Mckendry and Lawrence,
2017; Lawrence and Mckendry, forthcoming 2019). While
staff were often keen to support trans students, there was a
lack of awareness or training to provide background
context, a wider understanding of terminology or the
support requirements that might improve their student
experience. Similarly, trans and gender diverse staff
encountered barriers in relation to applying for roles and a
range of aspects of daily working life.

Building upon the University of Strathclyde research, this
project explored how to raise awareness effectively and
promote change and leadership. The project worked with
a sample of institutions to determine what materials would
be effective in increasing awareness of the transgender
population and building capacity and motivation to improve
support. Engagement also focused on developing
practical resources to enable positive change. The
TransEDU research team – Dr Stephanie Mckendry and
Dr Matson Lawrence – created and evaluated training
materials, policy templates, mapping documents and
multimedia resources that will inform university leaders
and practitioners about the lived experiences, support
needs and perspectives of trans students and staff.
The project developed the support website trans.ac.uk
as a free, open-access resource for those in higher
education supporting trans, non-binary and gender
diverse people. It includes training resources and
materials, case studies of best practice, animated
videos and guidance.
01-Jan-2017 - 01-Jan-2018
Developing Trans+ Policy and Provison in HE
Lawrence, Matson (Principal Investigator)
KE Partnership and Training Exchange with Trinity College Dublin
18-Jan-2017 - 25-Jan-2017
TransEdu Scotland: Investigating the experiences of, and current provision for, trans applicants, students and staff in Further and Higher Education across Scotland
Mckendry, Stephanie (Principal Investigator) Lawrence, Matson (Researcher)
27-Jan-2016 - 29-Jan-2017
Investigating the barriers faced by young disabled and D/deaf people in accessing youth arts provision in Scotland
Lawrence, Matson (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2015 - 01-Jan-2016

More projects

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Dr Matson Lawrence
Equality And Diversity Manager
Equality & Diversity

Email: matson.lawrence@strath.ac.uk
Tel: 548 2401