THRIVE Mentoring Programme


We, at the University of Oxford's BIPOC STEM Network, are launching our flagship mentoring programme for postgraduate students in partnership with the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division (MPLS).

The overall aim of THRIVE is to support and promote the wellbeing of postgraduate students working within the STEM departments of the University of Oxford who identify as BIPOC/BAME. BIPOC/BAME postgraduate students are likely to face particular challenges during their studies and in their careers due to underrepresentation within academia and systemic racism in society. Mentoring can help to alleviate these challenges by providing:

  • a network of mentors and mentees and improving social inclusion
  • the opportunity to discuss issues and challenges with a receptive individual who can help to identify solutions
  • proactive advice about how to navigate research as a Person Of Colour. 
  • information about how to navigate the Oxford system
  • career and progression advice

The THRIVE programme will run from summer 2022 through the year to summer 2023. We envisage having a first cohort of around 10-15 mentors and mentees. Over the course of the programme, we will encourage networking and socialising between mentors and mentees respectively, and provide training opportunities.

Looking for a mentor? - THRIVE Mentorship scheme

Apply here.


Navigating Oxford as a Person of Colour comes with unique challenges. That’s whythe BIPOC STEM Network, together with the MPLS Division, is launching a flagship mentorship programme, THRIVE, to support postgraduate students within STEM, who identify as BIPOC/BAME. Applications are now open for prospective mentees. We welcome applications from MPLS/MSD  DPhil students with at least 1 year left until thesis submission, and 1st year MPhil students. If you or  people in your network would like to be a mentored apply now! Successful applicants will be paired with a BIPOC mentor who is an excellent professional/academic with a background in STEM, and will also have access to Networking and reception events.

Expand All


Eligible mentors will be academics or professionals working within STEM who identify as BIPOC or BAME. This could include, but is not limited to: 

  • postdoctoral research associates
  • research fellows
  • permanent academic staff
  • consultants
  • industry scientists
  • civil servants
  • employees of NGOs and startups
  • CEOs and entrepreneurs

Mentors do not necessarily need to be affiliated to the University of Oxford to be eligible to apply. For mentors in non-academic institutions, a postgraduate degree is not a requirement to be eligible to apply, but a strong background in STEM fields, either at higher education or professionally, is desired. 

Mentors will receive mentorship training through an in-depth workshop, and will be provided with ongoing resources of support over the course of their mentorship duration. Mentors will be expected to provide support and guidance to their mentees over the 1-year period through meetings held at least every 1-2 months. Meetings might include career and applications advice, sharing experiences of navigating a professional/academic environment as a Person Of Colour, signposting mentees to available resources, and providing information about the Oxford system if applicable. Mentors are not expected to help with student mental health, but will be well-equipped to signpost other resources.

Mentors will be invited to attend a number of talks, receptions and dinners held in Oxford over the course of the programme. While mentors will be formally recognised for their work by the MPLS Division, this is a voluntary role and is not paid. However, mentors will be offered training and networking opportunities within the University. 

APPLY now to be a mentor

Eligible mentees will be DPhil or 1st year MPhil students enrolled and matriculated at the University of Oxford that identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and/or a Person Of Colour), or BAME (Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic), working within either a STEM department in MPLS or MSD Divisions, with the inclusion of the School of Geography within the Social Sciences Division. Mentees can expect to meet with their mentor every 1-2 months and will have opportunities to meet and develop connections with other mentees on the programme. Mentees will be able to periodically give feedback on their mentoring experience and can liaise with the THRIVE organisers should they have any queries about the programme. 

Mentee applications are not yet open. Please check back towards the end of April. 
mentee poster

Launched byText</p>
<p>Description automatically generatedText</p>
<p>Description automatically generated with low confidence