Who we are

The project is being delivered by a core Project Delivery Group (PDG) drawn from matched functions, academic and administrative, in both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. The role of the PDG is to maintain the strategic direction of the project and to ensure its implementation, in line with the project’s operational plan and in compliance with all funding rules. 

The project is guided by an external Advisory Board, a joint Oxford and Cambridge Student Consulting Group, and an academic Project Reflective Group. We also work with a number of key partners and collaborators, including Blueprint for All, Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) and Rare. The project engages more widely with the Higher Education sector through a Sector Network.

Our Project Delivery Group


Portrait photograph of Professor Sara Baker

Professor Sara Baker 

Sara is Professor of Developmental Psychology and Education at the University of Cambridge. She leads the doctoral programme at Cambridge's Faculty of Education, and is a Vice-Master of Darwin College (a postgraduate college). She is also Secretary to the Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Working Group at Darwin College.

Professor David Gavaghan

David is Professor of Computational Biology at the University of Oxford. David's other roles within the University include acting as chair the Oxford University’s Graduate Access Working Group, and as Director of the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division Graduate School.  He also led the original Athena Swan award submission and its renewal for the Computer Science Department.

Portrait of Kerri Gardiner

Kerri Gardiner

Kerri is the Head of the Postgraduate Research Office at the University of Cambridge. Kerri has an overview of all matters relating to postgraduate research students and their supervisors and her team is responsible for related policy and for supporting the University’s Doctoral Training Programmes and Centres for Doctoral Training.  

Portrait of Tanne Heathershaw

Tanne Heathershaw

Tanne is a Postgraduate Widening Participation Project Coordinator in the University of Cambridge Postgraduate Admissions Office. Before starting at Cambridge, Tanne worked at the University of East Anglia’s Students’ Union coordinating the Postgraduate SU department. In particular, she worked on student voice, activities, and opportunities.

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Dr Sonia Ilie

Sonia is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge. Sonia researches inequalities in education, looking at the impact of deprivation on educational access and outcomes through the life course, and building evidence about effective interventions that address these inequalities.




Dr Kelsey Inouye

Kelsey is a Research Associate at the University of Oxford, Department of Education. Prior to her work at Oxford, Kelsey was a Senior Researcher at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland. Her research areas include doctoral education, scholarly writing, and PhD career trajectories.

Margaret James

Margaret is the Graduate Access and Widening Participation Project Coordinator, University of Oxford.

Before moving to Oxford, Margaret was responsible for directing and managing a range of programmes and projects in the fields of integration, migration and equalities for the European Commission and for UK government.

Portrait of Maya McFarlane

Maya McFarlane

Maya McFarlane is a PhD Sociologist at Jesus College, University of Cambridge. Her research analyses the racialisation of 'elite' university spaces. Alongside her studies, Maya has also held various student representative roles, including those of SU BME Campaign Women’s and Non-Binary Officer and Pembroke College Ethnic Minorities Officer.

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Nuala Murray

Nuala is a Postgraduate Widening Participation Manager Cambridge Admissions Office. Before starting work on the Close the Gap project, Nuala worked in undergraduate widening participation.



Dr Nadia Pollini

Nadia is Director of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment at the University of Oxford and has implemented several innovative graduate access and widening participation programmes including the UNIQ+ graduate research internship programme, which offers more than 100 places to students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds, and the pilot on selection procedures, which has introduced contextual flags in graduate admissions. Nadia has also helped to steer the Academic Futures programme which offers fully-funded scholarships to support underrepresented groups including Black Academic Futures, refugees and care leavers. 


Dr James Robson

James is Associate Professor of Tertiary Education Systems, Co-Director of SKOPE (Centre for Skills, Knowledge, and Organisational Performance), and leads the MSc in Higher Education at the University of Oxford Department of Education. He is also a Co-Investigator on the ESRC Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE). His research focuses on the political economy of tertiary education systems with a particular focus on research and innovation ecosystems, social and epistemic justice, and the intersection between education and training and the economy.


Portrait of Paulina Rodriguez-Anaiz

Paulina Rodriguez-Anaiz

Paulina is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford, based at the Centre for Skills, Knowledge, and Organisational Performance (SKOPE). Her research focuses on the dynamics of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. Specifically, she is interested in exploring social inequalities and exclusions within elite universities. Her work aims to promote more equitable and inclusive practices within academia.


Portrait of Danielle Watkis

Danielle Watkis

Danielle is studying for a DPhil in Education at the University of Oxford, exploring the experiences of Black British Doctoral students in elite institutions. She is also a founder of a student-supporting social enterprise and serves as a Programme Officer at the UK Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. Her interests are in systems, justice, and human flourishing.





Partner Universities

 University of Oxford

Find out more about graduate admissions at the University of Oxford.

Flag flying from building at St John's College Cambridge

University of Cambridge

Find out more about postgraduate admissions at the University of Cambridge.


Mailing list

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Contact us

For more information, please contact the project team.