Partners and collaborators

Our principal partners and collaborators, including Blueprint for All, The Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) and Rare, are innovators in their respective fields and are bringing essential fresh perspectives, expertise, and experience.

Blueprint for All

Blueprint for All works with young people and communities to create an inclusive society in which everyone, regardless of their race, ethnicity or background can thrive. As experts in inclusive selection practices, Blueprint for All is working as a partner with Close the Gap specifically during Phase 2, which is concerned with the co-creation of selection model Prototypes for testing with the respective academic departments, and associated training.

CRAC logo

Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC)

CRAC provides research, intelligence and innovation services for all those who support the career development of people of all ages and in all sectors. One of its main activities is Vitae, a programme that supports the career and professional development of researchers in higher education, in the UK and increasingly around the world.

As experts and developers of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF), a professional competency development framework for researchers, CRAC is contributing as a partner in Close the Gap, predominantly during Phase 2, which is concerned with the co-creation of selection model Prototypes for testing with the respective academic departments, associated training and advisory input to evaluation.

Leading Routes

Leading Routes is a pioneering initiative that aims to prepare the next generation of Black academics. Leading Routes’ work is carried out acknowledging that much work needs to be done within the sector to improve the outcomes and experiences of Black students and staff.  Black students’ accomplishments have been overshadowed by troubling admissions figures particularly in the Russell Group; disparities linked to attainment when compared to peers; poor retention rates; and unbelievably low numbers of Black professors.

Leading Routes is supporting Close the Gap by providing coaching to the project team and participating departments. 


Rare was established with the aim of making the elite professions more diverse, and today roughly one in five Magic Circle trainees was a Rare candidate. Using their pioneering Contextual Recruitment System (CRS) that measures candidates' achievements, including academic performance at university, against the Rare in-house classification systems, Rare is able to put candidates' achievements into context, and identify outperforming candidates that other recruitment systems may miss.

In Close the Gap, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge are working with Rare as Contextual Recruitment Partners. The Rare CRS approach will be applied for the first time in a Higher Education context as a pilot, contributing to Phases 1, 2 and 3 of the project.

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Contact us

For more information, please contact the project team.