Implicit bias workshops

Most people have heard of implicit (or unconscious) bias, but may not have reflected on what it means specifically for them or for their working environment. Yet we all have implicit biases, whether or not we are aware of them or act on them.

We have developed research-informed training specifically for staff at the University of Oxford: you can choose whether to request a face-to-face workshop to be run in your department, to access the online course, or both.

Implicit bias workshop

The workshop will give an overview of the origins of implicit bias, consider how implicit biases might play out at the University of Oxford, and, crucially, include a discussion on practical steps that individuals and teams can take to reduce the probability that implicit bias will manifest itself in their decisions and actions.


A team of volunteer facilitators has been trained to deliver the materials. Departments may have a team member who has undertaken the training specifically to deliver it locally (there will be opportunity to make this clear when booking a workshop); or may wish to request a facilitator to be allocated. Some facilitators will be delivering the workshop in pairs. After submitting a workshop, you will be allocated faciliatators from the central pool.

Cost of workshop

The workshops are free. The department or team requesting the workshop is asked to provide the venue and refreshments and to cover any associated costs.


The workshops are 2 hours long with no break.

Who should participate

The workshops have been designed for all staff, and can be adapted to suit various groups. An open invitation to all members of the department usually attracts those who are already the most concerned about, or dedicated to addressing problems of bias. However, to have a meaningful effect workshops should include those who may not recognise that their own behaviour or underlying attitudes may be potential issues. The workshops are suitable for all staff, but priority will be given to managers and those in student-facing roles.

There is an ideal maximum group size of 16, so you are asked to think carefully about who would benefit most from the training and when (since we are unlikely to be able to accommodate requests for e.g. multiple workshops to be run for a whole department at once). Your divisional co-ordinator will discuss your needs and priorities with you as part of the booking request process.

Role of department

Workshops must have the support of the Head of Department, sub-department, or team in which the workshop is being run. It is strongly advised that they also attend a workshop. The role of the Head of Department is to signal top-level commitment to addressing implicit bias and/or race awareness, to mediate in any contentious discussion issues that arise specific to the department and to hear the views of staff on a sensitive topic.

Once a date has been confirmed for a session, departments are required to provide the relevant administrative support. This includes booking a suitable meeting room (and refreshments if appropriate), ensuring it has AV and PowerPoint, issuing the invitation from the Head of Department and keeping an attendee list complete with email addresses. It is especially requested that the AV equipment is set up and tested prior to the session as the content includes short video clips accessed via the internet.

Updated! Implicit bias in the workplace: online course

The revised online course introduces the principle of implicit bias and its origins, considers how it might manifest itself in our behaviour, and provides practical tips and reflections to help you reduce the risk of bias in your own work. To take the online course visit: Oxford Learning Institute