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The Invisible Wall/The Clean Slate

Led by Renuka Kudva, Nafisa M. Jadavji and Gabriela Gaona

We envision a mutual support-driven platform for early-career researchers by early-career researchers. We believe it is time to have open conversations about bullying and harassment in academia, and that this will lead us towards a systemic change in the long term.


Workplace bullying strongly contributes to attrition and poor mental health amongst academics, and the most vulnerable amongst victims of bullying are trainees (graduate students, postdocs), research associates, untenured professors, and minority groups. This can result in reduced diversity and negatively impact the academic ecosystem in the long term. Results from our recent international survey on bullying show that most respondents do not know how to report bullying at their university or institution. We would like this to change. We are driven and motivated to build an online resource, where individuals who have experienced bullying can anonymously share their experiences and access resources that would support them through their difficult situation. We envision this to be a mutual support-driven platform for early-career researchers by early-career researchers.

Work at the Sprint

The Invisible Wall/The Clean Slate’– an online platform for individuals who have experienced bullying and harassment in academia. This platform would serve to enable scientists to post their stories anonymously and seek support from a group of volunteers. They would also be referred to available resources in the countries where they are based and be actively encouraged to seek professional help in dire cases. 

We envision discussing our ideas with the Sprint community, building the platform together, and leaving the Sprint with:

  1. A skeleton of the platform that might be ready to be tested 
  2. Executable Work packages towards further building the resource 
  3. Collaborations with other Sprint participants if they would benefit from anything we have to offer 

We are looking for…

software and web developers, designers and users with domain experience. It would also be extremely invaluable to have good communicators and other members of the community to help us reach our intended audience. We would also like to understand the financial aspects of developing and managing a resource of this kind, and hope to be guided on this too.