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MPLS Oxford: Call for BAME Role Models for Beyond Boundaries Project

The MPLS Division’s new Beyond Boundaries project, funded by the Oxford Diversity Fund, is a science-inspired art competition for secondary school students aimed at increasing the visibility of Oxford’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) scientists and mathematicians, bridging the perceived divide between science and art, and further connecting schools and local communities with the University.

The project involves showcasing 10 BAME researchers and academics from a diverse range of backgrounds (one person from each of our 10 academic departments in MPLS*), and producing short and engaging descriptions of their career paths and research along with photographs, and informal videos where possible. The profiles will be placed on an Oxford Sparks webpage, and students will be asked to select one of the role models and create an artistic representation of that person’s research (e.g. painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.), along with a short statement explaining their creation.

Winners and runners-up, and their associated schools, will receive prize money and recognition at an awards ceremony and exhibition in a museum or other suitable public space (likely in December 2018); and their art will be shared online through the webpage and social media.

We are seeking nominations (including self-nominations) for academic and researcher role models within MPLS. We are looking for people who:

  • Self-identify as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME);
  • Conduct exciting research of interest to secondary school students, particularly research which has a positive societal impact;
  • Have intriguing and relatable life and/or career stories – for example, individuals who have overcome challenging life/work circumstances, have been the first in their family to pursue a science/maths career, took an unconventional path to STEM, etc.

Please email me your suggestions by 9th May (, with a short paragraph on why you’ve nominated that person and a bit about their background (related to their career and research) and how they meet our broad criteria listed above. Self-nominations are welcome and please feel free to send this to others who may be interested. The selected role models will be asked to provide descriptions of their career and research, photographs, and possibly short videos. If you have any questions, please let me know.