Physics Thrive

Physics Thrive: An informal mentoring network at Oxford Physics

Physics Thrive is an informal mechanism to discuss career development, wellbeing, and ways to cope with problems that come up working at Oxford Physics, and developing a career in Physics. The network provides peer support for everyone (academic and non-academic), at any stage of their career but we encourage postgraduate students, postdocs and early career researcher to use the network: get in touch with any of the mentors in the list below if you think you can benefit from an informal, friendly chat.

Graduate students may also want to consider getting in touch with members of "Physics Thrive Graduate Peer Support Network" which features four graduate students that have been trained to act as peer supporters.

The network aspires to improve the inclusiveness of the department, to embed equity in our interactions and structures, and to respect and improve diversity. Our aim is to build a better mentoring culture in the department.

We are here to discuss wellbeing, career progression, ED&I issues with anyone in the Department.


(Note: when you contact a mentor via email make sure you include the words "Physics Thrive" in the "subject" field)

jon bath.jpgJon Bath: I’ve been a postdoc for longer than I would like to admit. I’ve been an informal mentor to dozens of students and postdocs over the years so I’m familiar with the challenges that we face. I would be happy to help in any way that I can (maybe you want to pay more attention to your career development or your mental health, maybe you are not sure what you want but think that a bit more support might help). I also want to help build this mentoring network so I would welcome any ideas!

Sonia contera thrive.pngSonia Contera: I’d be useful to people that want to talk about ED&I issues, about working in a gender/diversity imbalanced place and how that affects attitudes at work (e.g. “collaboration overburden” by women and minorities). Also happy to talk about overcoming difficult periods (like research after childbirth, disease or menopause), harassment, gender/nationality stereotyping in academia and how to embed inclusivity in academic supervision.

aprajita verma.jpg Aprajita Verma: I would be happy to talk to people about mental health, equality and race issues, career progression and development (students & post-docs) and raising a family while on short term contracts.

chris lintott.jpg Chris Lintott: I’d be particularly useful to people wanting to talk about managing mental health as well as general wellbeing. I’m also a department harassment advisor. As a journal editor, advice on issues around publishing and presenting, as well as ensuring you get credit for work. As someone with ’non-traditional’ academic activities including software development and public engagement, I’d be happy to talk about how to juggle those things.

peter leek.jpgPeter Leek:I may be most useful to talk to about managing workload, work-related stress and high expectations in academia and Oxford, imposter syndrome and maintaining work/life balance. I also have experience with commercial impact and the stresses that can come along with it.

rupeshsrivastava.jpg Rupesh Srivastava: expertise including effective teamwork, resilience, stress management (including meditation), entrepreneurship, innovation and so-called 'soft skills' that are critical for success.

Philip Stier: I would be happy to discuss harassment, wellbeing, ed&i issues, family / work / life balance, career progression

hannah lingard.jpgHannah Lingard: I’d be useful to people who want to talk about career progression after postdoc (including non-academic paths), work/family balance, exercise as stress relief and anyone who needs a warm, friendly listening ear.

jenny woods.jpgJenny Woods: I’m very happy to informally discuss career development opportunities, i.e. how and when to apply for funds to develop your research programme – whether for a small project to complement your post-doc role or for your first major step to independence through a Fellowship.

matt jarvis.jpg Matt Jarvis: I’d be useful to people that want to talk about ED&I issues, about working in a department with limited diversity (e.g. “collaboration overburden” by women and minorities), imposter syndrome, career development (including outside of academia), allyship, work/life balance and wellbeing. I’m also one of the department harassment advisors.

felix parra.jpgFelix Parra Diaz: I’d be useful to people that want to discuss career progression in the UK and the US, and to people that are feeling overwhelmed by having to juggle research, teaching and personal life/family.

antje weisheimer.jpg Antje Weisheimer I am happy to take time and listen to people’s questions, worries and concerns. I can offer to discuss their situation together and give a personal woman-in-science perspective on non-standard career paths, work-life balance and related aspects.

Alan Barr: I would be keen and useful to discuss wellbeing, career progression, work/family balance and ED&I.

paolo radaelli.jpg Paolo Radaelli: I can advise on most aspects of academic careers and progression. I am also familiar with the challenges faced by non-UK academics settling and working in this country.

pedro ferreira.jpg Pedro Ferreira : I would be happy to discuss family/work balance, harassment, wellbeing, publishing, collaboration and career progression.