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At Durham, we are a community of over 20,000 students and staff from all over the world.

We are dedicated in making Durham a truly inclusive place to embed equality and diversity in everything we do and inspire our people to achieve the extraordinary.

We are thrilled to be backing and supporting project pro:NE as a leading partner.

What is pro:NE?

Pro:NE is a network created by five leading universities (Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside) in the North-East of England to widen access and participation for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students and staff in postgraduate research.

The project aims to strengthen the pathway into academic employment for students of colour. For doing so, it has established four key pillars: mental health, mentoring, development and admissions.

The project has received a total funding of over £2.5 million including a £798,972 grant from The Office for Students.

We are ambitious with our innovative approach

Project pro:NE, which has tremendous potential in supporting students of colour, was conceived and developed by Professor Jason Arday, who continues to act as an advisor on the project, in his capacity as a Visiting Professor at Durham. 

It will provide several unique opportunities, activities and events including training, e-conferences, peer mentoring and PhD studentships for staff and students of colour over a period of 4 years.

For the first time, postgraduate research students of colour in the North-East will be able to access mental health services through a specialist mental health pathway that was created in collaboration with Newcastle Psychological Therapies Clinic.

The mentoring programme in pro:NE will see early career researchers of colour paired with senior academic leaders to support mutual learning, which will complement peer mentoring across the North-East network. 

The project also plans to significantly increase the number of admissions from students of colour across all five universities through name-blinding, unconscious bias prevention and extensive policy reviews.

Pro:NE will create spaces of belonging by breaking down elitism and building local community, making each university a more welcoming place to be for students and staff of colour.

Find out more