Vice-Chancellor's Diversity Awards

vc awards branding

Across the University there is a tremendous amount of effort being put into advancing equality and diversity, but in an institution as large and devolved as Oxford these efforts can often go unnoticed. The Vice-Chancellor’s Diversity Awards were established in 2018 to make initiatives – and individual commitment – more visible.

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2020 VC’s Diversity Awards.

Champion or Role Model

Hannah Ravenswood, Organisational Development Advisor, People and Organisational Development (POD)

Hannah has inspired others by her willingness to talk openly about her own experiences as an LGBT+ member of staff and of living with mental illness and Type 1 diabetes and has been the driving force behind establishing the University’s growing network of LBGT+ role models and allies.

Lamis Hamdi, Medical Student, Green Templeton College

Lamis has been committed to equality and diversity from the start of her time at Oxford. She has been Chair of Oxford SU’s Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality (CRAE), involved in the St Hilda’s Feminist Festival and a peer supporter for BME students through the Peers of Colour scheme.

Inclusive culture

LGBT+ Role Models and LGBT+ Allies Workshops, submitted by Hannah Ravenswood, POD

Through the workshops that Hannah has designed and facilitated, the University’s has built a network of 60 LGBT+ Role Models and 160 LBGT+ Allies, all committed to taking action to build a safe and supportive environment for the University’s LGBT+ community.

Diversifying participation

Multaka-Oxford, submitted by Nicola Bird, Oxford University Museums

A joint project at the History of Science and Pitt Rivers Museums which has created inclusive volunteering opportunities for 64 people who arrived in the city as forced migrants or asylum seekers.

Promoting awareness

Beyond Boundaries, submitted by Daisy Hung, MPLS Division

A science-inspired art competition which has increased the visibility of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) scientists and mathematicians, broken down the perceived division between science and art, and shared exciting research and relatable BME role models with young people.  

See a full list and read more about all of the shortlisted individuals and projects at: and in the 2020 VC’s Diversity Awards booklet (see right-hand menu).

The VC’s Diversity Awards will next be celebrated in 2022.

Awards will be made to individuals and projects or initiatives in five categories:

  • Champion or Role ModelStudent: Recognises students at all level who have inspired others through their actions and commitment to equality and diversity.
  • Champion or Role ModelStaff: Recognises staff in any role and at any level of the institution who have demonstrated leadership on equality and diversity and influenced change within their department, faculty or college or the wider University.
  • Inclusive culture: Recognises work to create a working, research or learning environment which values difference and in which everyone feels that they belong and can thrive.
  • Diversifying participation: Recognises work to increase the participation of under-represented groups, for example in the workforce or student body, or to extend the reach of the University’s work to new audiences, including through outreach and public engagement.
  • Promoting awareness: Recognises work to raise awareness and promote understanding of equality and diversity issues among the University community or work to influence public perceptions of the University as an institution committed to equality and diversity.

Nominations in the Champion or Role Model category are made by others. Nominations in the three project categories should be submitted by individuals or groups with direct involvement in implementing the piece of work.

The awards are open to any current student or member of staff from any part of the collegiate University.

The awards are intended to recognise the work of individuals and groups to promote equality and diversity at the University. Activities may be undertaken in a voluntary capacity or take place outside of the University’s premises but their impact should be on the University’s policy, practice or reputation.

For the purposes of the awards, the definition of diversity is not limited to the protected characteristics under the Equality Act: other characteristics, such as socio-economic diversity, are also recognised.

Nominations in the role model or champion category will be assessed purely on the strength of the supporting statement made in the nominations form.

Nominations in the project categories will be assessed against the extent to which they demonstrate:

  • Relevance - What issues(s) did the initiative seek to address and what evidence was there to indicate that action was required?
  • Reach - How many people benefitted from and/or engaged with the initiative, either directly or indirectly?
  • Impact - What has the initiative achieved and how will this impact be sustained?

Judging will be in two phases:

  • An advisory panel, chaired by the Head of Equality and Diversity, and comprising equality and diversity professionals from each of the four academic divisions and GLAM will assess all applications against the criteria and draw up a long-list.
  • A judging panel, chaired by the Advocate for Equality and Diversity, and comprising senior academics and representatives of Oxford SU and the University’s staff networks, will select the final short-list and category winners.