MPLS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Fellows
The MPLS Division strives to create an inclusive culture where different perspectives and experiences are encouraged, and each person is respected and treated fairly, so that individuals of all backgrounds can fully contribute their talents to our scientific community.
We recognise that there are incredibly talented individuals across the Division who are passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) and are dedicated to making positive change within our institution. To garner this energy and support this work, in 2020-21 and 2021-22 we have recruited a team of ED&I Fellows to help inform and implement our 2020-2023 ED&I action plan.
We are delighted to announce this year’s cohort of MPLS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Fellows who will help advance ED&I work within the Division.
This is the second year of running the ED&I Fellowship scheme with representation from across our departments. These Fellows will work with the central MPLS ED&I Team, ED&I Steering Group and departmental leads to champion ED&I for the Division. Find out more about them below (listed alphabetically).
If you’re interested in getting involved with our work, please contact email@example.com.
I am currently a DPhil student within the Wolfson Centre for Mathematical Biology. Alongside research, I collaborate with many organisations that strive for greater equality within education and believe that MPLS (and the University as a whole) should take a more community driven and proactive approach with how they create and run outreach programs. As an ED&I Fellow, I intend to build projects that share stories and history beyond the cisgender white men of Oxford, and hope to move the focus of discussions beyond just diversity and inclusion, and towards equity and justice in order to enact real change.
Department of Statistics
Pronouns: they (preferred)/she
Hi y’all! My name is Kristina Montserrat Correa. I’m a Master’s by Research student in Statistics. I’m Mexican-American, and I grew up in rural Texas. As a low-income/first-generation student of color, I’ve often found it incredibly difficult to navigate predominantly wealthy and white academic spaces. These personal experiences of struggle drive me to work with the communities I’m a part of to make them more accessible and inclusive for other marginalized people. I’m very excited to be serving as an ED&I Fellow to help push forward changes that make MPLS a space where queer, disabled, and Black and Brown folks can flourish.
Department of Biology
I’m Phoebe, a 5th year PhD student in the Biology Department. My research is on the conservation of crocodylians, especially the gharial in Nepal. Efforts to improve diversity and access must be followed up with efforts to ensure that people of all identities can thrive at Oxford. As an ED&I Fellow I want to help with the necessary rethinking and reorganising of support systems for research students, in order to make support better for people from historically excluded groups. Active decolonisation of research and education is a necessary part of all science, and I want to push for this to be a key component of the framework of research and teaching design in the Biology Department.
I’m Ginger and I recently completed an MSc in Human Resources to follow a new career path. Having recently started at the Mathematical Institute, I’m so grateful to have been selected for this role and I cannot wait to get started. I really care about fostering inclusive work environments that enable people from all backgrounds to thrive and feel safe to be themselves. As an ED&I Fellow and Mental Health champion, I hope to bring about positive change as an advocate for mental health awareness, and I look forward to learning from my peers on other areas of ED&I to help me grow as a HR professional. Having completed my MSc thesis on how organisations can best improve psychological safety for BAME professionals through inclusive leadership practices, I look forward to furthering my findings as an ED&I Fellow.
Department of Chemistry
Currently studying for my final year of DPhil in Interdisciplinary Bioscience at Schofield group, I am an outspoken, friendly and driven individual. I have loved participating in conversations and implementing plans to encourage, support and facilitate a fair and equal environment. I hope we can foster a thriving environment where everybody feels safe and comfortable and are always treated equally and with respect. I hope we are all equipped with linguistic tools and means to recognise, address and initiate a conversation to move towards identifying and resolving such matters. It’s like a suspicious package in the tube. “If you see it, say it and sorting is a process so let’s all work together towards it.” I am also mental health first aid trained and have acquired peer support training so I am very happy to actively listen to ideas, concerns and improved ways to implement them so we can enjoy and establish a positive milieu for us and for others to come.
Dr Alex Ramadan
Department of Physics
I am a postdoctoral researcher in Condensed Matter Physics where I work on novel semiconductors for the next generation of solar cells. I have worked as the researcher representative for MPLS on the Race Equality Task Force and within Oxford Physics I co-founded and co-organise the group “Challenges and Changes in Physics”. I’ve experienced and seen the impact that working in spaces which aren’t diverse, inclusive, or welcoming has on people’s mental health and wellbeing. As an MPLS ED&I Fellow,
I want to help build a culture at Oxford where everyone is embraced and celebrated for who they are.
Department of Materials
I am an MSc(Res) student and a Rhodes Scholar in the Materials Science Department. I am very passionate about improving diversity in STEM, and believe that the best interventions are those that are made in response to a nuanced understanding of the lived experiences of those from marginalized communities in STEM. I hope to bring such an approach to my role as an ED&I Fellow, and suggest interventions based on my work telling the stories of women/folx in STEM via my organization, The STEMinist Chronicles. I also believe that my experience in being a part of a similar committee at UC Berkeley will allow me to suggest solutions that can be practically implemented.
Department of Zoology
I am a 4th year DPhil student in the Department of Zoology, and my research focuses on understanding the social dynamics at play within the landscape of lion conservation. Outside of my research, I am actively involved in several ED&I projects through my college and department, and I am one of the co-founders of the BIPOC STEM Network. As an ED&I Fellow, I hope to be able to use my intersectional perspective as a mixed-race, LGBTQ+ person to continue working towards creating a safer, more inclusive environment for everyone within the University.
Tim G. J. Rudner
Department of Computer Science
Tim G. J. Rudner is a DPhil student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford, where he conducts research on probabilistic machine learning. His research interests span variational inference, Bayesian deep learning, reinforcement learning, and AI safety. As an Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Fellow, he hopes to make STEM subjects at Oxford more accessible to first-generation university students and students from low-income backgrounds. Tim is also an AI Fellow at Georgetown University's Center for Security and Emerging Technology and a Rhodes Scholar. His website is https://timrudner.com.
MPLS Doctoral Training Centre
Olivia is in the 2nd Year of her Computational Biology DPhil working on a robot that can automatically make samples of chemicals to test for their potential as new medicines. Olivia previously studied Biomedical Engineering where she first got involved in ED&I in academia as a member her department’s Diversity Inclusion and Wellbeing committee. Olivia is the Linacre College Common Room Welfare and Equality officer 2021 and she has worked both proactively, and as an advocate on behalf of members, to ensure the college is a welcoming, accessible, and inclusive institution. Olivia is passionate about ED&I across the STEM fields (and academia more broadly) and she looks forward to working on ED&I across the Division alongside the other MPLS ED&I Fellows.
Department of Engineering Science
Sierra is a DPhil student in biomedical engineering in the Engineering Science Department and is a student at Keble College. She has been involved in several ED&I advocacy and outreach initiatives that aim to promote the recruitment and retention of equity-deserving groups in STEM. She is passionate about increasing the number of gender minorities and other underrepresented demographics in STEM, which she believes is something that inherently strengthens these professions and research – having diversity in academic spaces allows for new perspectives and ideas to fuel innovative research. Sierra is excited for the opportunity to work as an ED&I Fellow to create more inclusive and accessible spaces and to show that the MPLS Division has a place for everyone.
We are delighted to announce this year’s inaugural cohort of MPLS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Fellows who have been selected to help advance ED&I work within the Division.
We were overwhelmed by the positive response from applicants across our departments, and reviewed many outstanding submissions. While we initially envisioned selecting four Fellows, given the high number of strong applications, all of our departments have agreed to help fund this scheme to enable us to select 10 Fellows (one representative from each department).
We look forward to working closely with these Fellows this year! Find out more about them below (listed alphabetically). If you’re interested in getting involved with our work, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department of Computer Science
Abdul is a DPhil student in the Computer Science Department working on the application of AI to Law. His principal areas of interest include computational law, digital rights and algorithmic due process. He has a background in Philosophy and Mathematics. Prior to his doctorate studies, Abdul trained as a lawyer with experience in privacy and IP law, working on corporate transactions and the GDPR implementation. He also has advisory experience leading the UK Parliament inquiry into the human rights risks arising from advancements in technology and World Bank projects on improving the effectiveness of DFID aid disbursements.”
Departments of Earth Sciences and Zoology
Gwen is a 4th-year DPhil student in Earth Sciences and St John’s College whose research investigates species’ responses to environmental change in past periods of Earth history. Gwen’s work to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion aims both to inspire scientific innovation and to pursue social justice. This advocacy draws on values of intersectional feminism, queer collective organising, and the disability activist principle that there should be ‘nothing about us without us.’
Dr Maria Christodoulou
Department of Statistics
Postdoctoral Researcher in Biostatistics
I am a Postdoctoral Researcher in Biostatistics in the Department of Statistics. As an ECR representative in one of the smallest departments in the Division, I had to be a Jill-of-all-trades to support my fellow postdocs, and through this I learned extensively about their primary concerns and the reasons many chose to leave the academic environment. My primary motivations for wanting to serve as an ED&I Fellow are to actively effect change that will reduce the dropout of talented diverse researchers, and to ensure that the unique needs of researchers in smaller departments are adequately represented.
Department of Materials
Hello! My name is Shazeaa, I am currently a DPhil Student in Materials Science. I am so grateful to have been offered this new role and ecstatic to get started! I have been involved with ED&I initiatives at the college, department, and divisional level, using my experience of being a women of colour in STEM. I hope to continue to work on making Oxford a more progressive space in the hopes people feel like they belong here. Oxford is the people who are here, and we deserve to all feel included.
Department of Chemistry
Hi! I’m Ndi, a final year organic chemistry DPhil student from South London. Being a working-class British-Nigerian, Oxford is a far cry from the environment I grew up in. So naturally, adapting to the university’s competitive setting was more difficult. As an ED&I fellow I hope to bring more awareness to issues faced by students from underrepresented demographics. I believe this is crucial for fostering an inclusive environment where students from all backgrounds can thrive.
Departments of Zoology and Plant Sciences
Communications, Alumni Relations, and Outreach Assistant
Aym Maidment works in the Communications teams across the Departments of Zoology and Plants Sciences. They have an intersectional perspective as a queer disabled person, and are particularly keen to advocate for a more equal system for neurodiverse students and staff members, and for a more compassionate harassment procedure. They believe that ‘accessibility is choice’, rather than providing binary solutions to intersectional problems, and are consistently working to provide as many access options to the academics and students they support as possible.
Geoffrey is a DPhil candidate in algebraic geometry at St Peters' College and the Mathematics. He is the immediate former DPhil student representative in the Mathematics Departmental Committee where great strides were made on Equality policies including an action for 2020/21 year to consider target scholarships to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion. He is the founder and director of Mfano Africa, a mentorship scheme targeting pre-doctoral Africa Mathematics students. He holds the idea that improved outreach policies and revamped collaboration strategies will go a long way in making Oxford a more accessible study and work destination.
Dr Izzi Floyd Mear
Department of Engineering
Teaching and Design Engineer
I am part of the teaching support group in the engineering department. I spend most of my time teaching coding and other technical skills in undergraduate laboratories, supporting the next generation of engineers. I’m an LGBT+ Role Model, as in the words of Sally Ride, I strongly believe ‘you cannot be what you cannot see’. As an EDI Fellow I plan to draw on my experiences of navigating academic spaces as a non binary, mixed race person and implement changes that improve the experiences of marginalised members of staff and students.
Dr Lucy Taylor
Department of Zoology
Junior Research Fellow
I am a Junior Research Fellow in the Department of Zoology. My route into academia was not a straight line. Amongst other things, I did not complete my A-levels and became allergic to my study species half way through my DPhil. These experiences underlined the importance of good support and training. I set up and now coordinate the Zoology Graduate Support & Mentoring Scheme in my Department. I’ve also written three career columns for Nature. As an MPLS ED&I Fellow, I would like to focus on improving mental health in all levels of academia.
Dr Aprajita Verma
Department of Physics
I am a Senior Researcher in Astrophysics and am interested in the complex situations that can give rise to inequities in academic environments. Having acted as a confidante or mentor for dozens of early career researchers, I am aware of how inequities and bias can affect careers and well-being. As a MPLS ED&I Fellow, I am keen to contribute to positive cultural change in our division. Some potential targeted actions include facilitated learning circles to encourage open discourse on discrimination and bias that can develop empathy and allyship, and to introduce safe spaces for BAME staff to discuss inclusion issues such as workplace advisors and discussion fora across MPLS departments.