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Are you passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion?

Are you keen to make real positive change within MPLS and the University?

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, we are pleased to announce for the fifth year our ED&I Fellowships for 2024-2025 to work alongside our divisional ED&I team and ED&I Steering Group (which includes academic, professional services and student representatives across our departments) to help develop and deliver our 2023-2026 divisional ED&I action plan, along with other departmental and divisional priorities. 

We are looking for enthusiastic and proactive researchers (including DPhils and postdocs) and professional service staff members – specifically those with experience, knowledge or interest in issues of racial justice, mental health, disability and neurodivergence, LGBTQ+ equality, and/or gender equality – and their intersections. You can meet our previous ED&I Fellows here

Fellows will receive an honorarium of £1000 which will be available to be used for personal and professional development. This will be an excellent opportunity to meet, work with and learn from other dedicated colleagues in the Division, and make a contribution to our ED&I activities.

The role involves the following responsibilities:

  • Participate in our ED&I Steering Group meetings – official general meetings once per term (planned hybrid meetings, dates to be confirmed), and optional informal meetings once per term focused on specific topics for in-depth discussion.
  • Help implement the divisional ED&I action plan by providing input and ideas, and contributing to specific actions, initiatives or work packages of interest to you.
  • Consult with relevant groups within the Division and University as needed to advance our ED&I activities (e.g. researcher committees, staff networks and advisory groups, etc.).
  • Meet with the cohort of ED&I Fellows, the MPLS Associate Head for People and the MPLS ED&I Team once per term to discuss ideas, progress and any issues arising.
  • Raise awareness of ED&I principles and activities within your local environments, and commit to enhancing self-awareness and learning in ED&I areas.


If you are interested in joining us as an ED&I Fellow, please submit an expression of interest including your CV and a supporting statement which answers the questions below to by 30 August 2024. The MPLS Associate Head for People, MPLS Head of ED&I and Divisional Registrar will review and select the new representatives. (Depending on the number of applications received, a short informal conversation may be arranged to discuss the role further.) You may also wish to contact your departmental ED&I lead or former ED&I Fellows to get a better understanding of the role and to see where departmental priorities lie.

For your supporting statement (up to 500 words; bullet points are fine), please include information addressing the following:

  1. Why you are interested in serving as an ED&I Fellow and what you hope to contribute or ideas that you currently have.
  2. Describe any ED&I related experience and/or knowledge that you can bring to the role. You may wish to include examples from work, study, volunteering or lived experiences.
  3. Any connections you have with internal or external groups or networks that would be useful for the role (e.g. postdoc networks, professional societies, etc.).

If you have any questions, please contact Jo Knights, MPLS ED&I Coordinator, at


See what Fellows in previous years have run or been involved with...

Cross-cutting activities

  • General inclusive culture work, including training, departmental events, reviewing departmental documents and webpages, personal advocacy of experiences, creating new inclusive networks.
  • Review and development of induction documents.
  • Inclusive/EDI training and fieldwork, reviewing processes and advising on improvements.
  • Assessment accessibility on webpages.
  • Support for working parents.
  • EDI Reverse Tutorials in Zoology (now Biology).

Disability and neurodivergence activities

  • Disability focus group work – both delivery of focus groups and development of questions, scripts etc., in partnership with the MPLS ED&I team.
  • Disability Awareness actions, including reviewing divisional provision, accessibility (both online and in-person), raising awareness with training, talks and events.
  • Accessibility

Gender Equity actions

  • Active engagement with or running of ‘Women in’ Networks.

LGBTQ+ activities

  • Inclusive language and culture – specifically around LGBTQ+, including online communications, departmental forms and emails, inclusive fieldwork practices, advocacy.
  • Events, including Pride, LGBT History Month.

Mental Health activities

  • Coordinating and hosting Mental Health Awareness Week.
  • Trained as Mental Health First Aiders.
  • Mental Health Awareness activities within departments, including developing action plans, being and working with Mental Health First Aiders, postdoc and graduate student support and mentoring, regular mental health awareness events and training etc., and personal advocacy.

Race Equity actions

  • Active contribution to Race Equality Task Force, including sitting on the task force or providing feedback and advice.
  • BAME/BIPOC Mentoring Scheme.
  • Mfano-Africa Mentoring Programme.
  • Black History Month events.
  • Outreach as part of Beyond Boundaries.