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The University is pleased to support the work of the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA). CARA's Fellowship Programme helps academics at immediate risk around the world to escape to a place of safety where they can continue their work, helping them to find refuge with their families, and to use and further develop their advanced skills, until they can return home to help rebuild better, safer, societies. The Fellowship Programme provides temporary postdoctoral and PhD placements, mostly in the UK. We currently have 5 CARA Fellows on placement in Oxford. See three CARA Fellows tell their stories in this short video

CARA are launching a mentoring scheme to help their CARA fellows navigate the UK academic system and develop their research skills, and are therefore seeking volunteers from the UK academic research community to act as mentors.

Mentor profile

  • Academics with experience in the university context (or industry if relevant), in particular those whose research interests overlap with the following disciplines:
  • Biology - Molecular, Micro, Biotechnology, Virology, Parasitology, Infectious Disease/Public Health
  • Engineering - Civil, Metallurgy, Wireless Communications, Geotechnical modelling, Manufacturing (automation systems)
  • Medicine (Oncology, clinical trials)
  • Pharmacology

New CARA fellows arrive regularly, so anyone interested in providing support whose research interests lie in other areas is still welcome get in touch.

Mentors may hold a permanent academic post (associate professor/research fellow) or may be on a fixed-term postdoctoral research contract. Either of these types of role would bring beneficial skills and experience to the mentoring programme, and mentors will be matched to the appropriate level of the CARA fellow. It would be helpful if mentors have experience of international research collaborations and/or an appreciation of adjusting to a new culture.

What is involved?

Mentors and mentees are asked to commit to 6 months initially, with the possibility to extend if both parties wish to do so. When the mentoring relationship ends you may continue with a new mentee if you wish. We anticipate that the mentoring sessions will be held every 6-8 weeks via Skype, Teams, Zoom or other virtual platforms. Mentors will provide general academic and career development guidance and may provide pastoral advice if they are comfortable doing so, but are not expected to provide specialist guidance on finance or immigration, or to deal with more complex personal issues. CARA will provide training on signposting specialist support where appropriate.


Matching of mentor and mentee profiles will take place during the first week of March.  Mentors will be assigned a CARA fellow (mentee) from a different UK university. The start of the scheme and induction session for mentors will be scheduled for the third week of March. Further details of the induction session will be sent when your participation in the scheme is confirmed. If we are unable to match you to a CARA Fellow this time, your details will be kept on file for the next round.

How to sign up

For further details and to request a copy of the Mentor Application Form, please contact Laura Puiggalí, Senior Fellowship Programme Officer at CARA, on  or 020 7902 7706.

Applications should be submitted by 28 February 2021.