We seek to promote a diverse, inclusive community of staff and students with a particular focus on promoting access to higher education for underrepresented groups.

Athena Swan and gender equality

We are proud of our Athena Swan Bronze Award, achieved in 2020, which recognises our efforts to promote gender equality and introduce organisational practices that create a better working environment for everyone. Our Athena Swan submission and a detailed action plan are available here.

The work is overseen by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, led by Professor Nandini Gooptu, EDI Lead.

Advancing equality and diversity in teaching and research

Members of the department are implementing a variety of activities to advance equality in teaching and research. Resources will be added as they become available.

  • Teaching

    Piloting workshops to explore identity in the classroom

    Workshop materials were developed to support MPhil students to explore their identities and how this impacts discussions in class.

    Student MSc induction

    The RSC has developed a new induction programme for the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies on the Ethics of and Historicising Forced Migration (SSO required). The programme engages students in a discussion of the ethics of studying forced migration and our positionality as researchers working in this field, a renewed focus on reading and writing skills, and an introduction to historical approaches to the study of forced migration that centres post-colonial and anti-racist scholarship.

    The induction was developed by Catherine Briddick, Course Director in 2021/22.

  • Graduate Access

    Access initiatives for refugees and displaced scholars

    The Refugee-Led Research Hub, an initiative of the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC), offers academic programmes that support graduate access and career development for aspiring researchers with lived experience of displacement through training, mentorship and funding. It has established a paid graduate access fellowship programme, an online course in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies for displaced learners and mentorship for 25 prospective Oxford graduate applicants. It has also developed a portfolio of research projects led by researchers with lived experience of displacement.

    Its work to widen participation was recognised by the University of Oxford VC Diversity awards in 2022.

  • Research

    DPhil workshop series 

    The department has introduced a new workshop series for DPhils, 'Preparing for the Academic Profession’, designed to create a platform for a set of cutting-edge discussions about the academic profession in the 21st century and the challenges of research in international development. It aims to create a space where students and faculty learn from each other, while facilitating opportunities for intellectual exchange and mentorship with the faculty.

    Privilege walks 

    The Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) conducted a hybrid privilege walk exercise at a research away day to examine the experiences of different stakeholders within the research group.

    Review of image policy

    The department is currently reviewing its image policy to think about how it commissions and uses photographs in its work.