The Diversity Fund

The Diversity Fund is a £70,000 annual fund for the advancement of diversity at Oxford.

About the Fund

The University of Oxford has long been committed to promoting equality and diversity. The University holds an institutional Athena SWAN Bronze Award, is a Stonewall Diversity Champion, and has signed up to the Race Equality Charter mark. The University's published equality objectives and Strategic Plan include specific commitments to increase the proportion of women and minority groups in areas where they are currently under-represented.

From 2017, we have secured £70,000 annual funding to advance diversity at Oxford.

If you have any further questions, please contact

Successful bids 2017-18

We’re delighted to announce the nine successful bids to the Diversity Fund 2017-18. The Fund has been set up to support projects that promote equality and diversity in a sustainable way. This year’s bidding round was very popular – we received 29 bids at a value of over £400,000. Bids were assessed by two panels of diversity and equality experts, who were impressed with the scale and scope of the bids.

The successful bids are:

  • Curriculum Diversity
  • Engaging Chinese students with counselling
  • Engaging BME audiences with GLAM
  • Beyond Boundaries
  • Oxford and Colonialism
  • Assistive software for students in examinations
  • Staff Mental Health project
  • Suffrage Centenary programme
  • Raising awareness of sexual violence in the LGBT+ community

You’ll be able to find more information about these bids in the coming months on these pages: come back soon!

Who can apply?

Anyone! We welcome applications from all academic departments, as well as from UAS and GLAM departments.

  • Contribute to identified institutional and/or divisional objectives (for example, those outlined in the Strategic Plan, institutional Athena SWAN and Race Equality Charter action plans, or divisional five-year plans).
  • Demonstrate breadth of impact, through benefit to staff and/or students across a number of departments/divisions, and/or the scope for good practice to be applied more widely, and/or the scope for external influence.
  • Address challenges identified in new ways.
  • Demonstrate how the impact of the project will be sustained beyond the initial funding period.

Funding is unlikely to be awarded for:

  • A project which benefits only a single department, except where it is for an innovative pilot activity with clear plans for broader application.
  • Activities which form part of the normal day-to-day operations of a department.
  • Activities for which we would normally expect other financial support to exist within the University or externally, including funding for a member of staff

Who will decide which projects receive funding?

Bids will be shortlisted by a panel made up of representatives from the academic Divisions, the Oxford Department for Continuing Education, and the Equality and Diversity Unit (EDU). The final decision will be made by a smaller panel made up of senior representatives of each Division and of the EDU. The panel will be chaired by Rebecca Surender, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Equality and Diversity.

How much money can I bid for?

This fund is smaller than in previous years, and is focused more on pump-priming projects that have sustainability and scalability built into them, but need initial capital to get off the ground and attract further funding. We envisage awarding funds to 4-5 projects every year.

When can the money be spent?

We hope to make funds available to projects in early 2018. In some circumstances, the panel will consider bids for funding across multiple, consecutive years. In most cases, the money must be spent by the end of July 2018.

What evaluation process is there?

Each successful project lead will be required to conduct an evaluation of the project and complete an evaluation template within one year of the end of the project.

Where can I find out more?

Previously, the Vice Chancellor’s Diversity Fund has funded 22 projects. Some of these have been completed and others are still underway.