Elevate is a creative personal and professional development programme that acknowledges and celebrates the history, culture and diverse lived experiences of participants. It will encourage participants to reflect, explore and grow through connecting and building solidarity together. The programme creates a unique opportunity to meet, share, support and learn together.

The programme creates a unique opportunity to meet, share, support and learn together. Elevate will be a safe space where leadership concepts and ideas will be introduced whilst exploring strategies that support the navigation of systemic practices which have tended to historically fix the professional identities of women from minority ethnic backgrounds. Elevate recognises that prospective participants are ready to embrace and take on leadership responsibilities, but face differentiated lived experiences in employment, education and in wider society from their white counterparts. Elevate will be transformational and will centre on the lived experiences and development needs of women of colour. You will be the key focus!

Who is this programme for?

The Elevate programme is aimed at women from Academic staff (up to grade L) and Professional Services staff (grades E-K) from Black, Asian or Minority ethnic backgrounds and who identify as female.

The Elevate programme welcomes trans women and non-binary people who are comfortable in a female centred community.

The Elevate programme brings together colleagues from across six universities in the South West of England and South Wales: Bristol, Bath, Bath Spa, Cardiff, Exeter, and UWE Bristol.

Learning Objectives

Elevate will:

  • Create spaces for participants to explore the development of their leadership and critically evaluate their professional position in Higher Education
  • Introduce different leadership styles and approaches, and encourage participants to develop their own authentic leadership style and to increase their influence in institutions
  • Support participants to reclaim strengths and talents as well as acknowledge their development needs and commence an action plan to meet their needs
  • Empower using culturally informed methodologies including recapturing oral histories, storytelling, live capturing and centralised voicing
  • Centralise participants as women of colour in the learning context, exploring their identity

Programme Structure and Dates

Elevate is co-designed and co-facilitated by a team consisting of: Yvonne Field, a serial social entrepreneur and recent lecturer at Goldsmiths; Dr Peggy Warren, Researcher with an interest in gender studies and Leadership and Management Development Consultant; Dr Barbara Brown, a consultant, educator, researcher and coach with over 30 years' experience in spaces of leadership, policy and strategy development; and Hyacinth Fraser, a trainer, consultant and coach with 30 years of leadership, management and organisational development experience (Action Learning Facilitator).

Elevate will offer an engaging and bespoke combination of interactive in-person and online sessions and resources, Action Learning sets, cross-institutional mentoring, and an individual project. More information about all of these elements will be provided in the programme handbook.

You will be connected with a mentor from one of the other participating universities, to give you a breadth of insight and experience. It is expected that you will meet online with your mentor approximately four times during the programme.

Programme Dates 

The programme will run between January and June 2024.

  • Participants are expected to attend all sessions of the whole programme.
  • All applicants must ensure they hold the programme dates in their calendars.

As a guide, the overall time commitment to engage effectively with the programme averages approximately 1.5 days per month (including scheduled and unscheduled activities).

Please note:


  • Times may be subject to change. Please carefully check the programme information you will be sent before each session.

  • In person workshops will be held at Engineers House, Clifton, Bristol

How to apply

To apply, 'enrol’ onto the Elevate 2024: application form in Develop (this link will be updated when applications open).

Applications for Elevate 2024 programmes will open on 19th September 2023. The deadline is Monday 16th October, 23:59.

For details about the application process, please read the Elevate: How to Apply, Terms and Conditions webpage.

If you are unsure which programme to apply for

  • Read the programme webpages carefully
  • Speak to others who have participated in the programme
  • Attend an Information Session on 21st or 25th September (registration will be made available via Develop shortly).

Programme fees

Each participant's Faculty/Division will be charged a participatory programme fee of £1,200 to cover costs.

Normally, the programme fee will come out of a staff development budget for your faculty / school / division / department. Speak to your line manager, if unsure.

Line Manager/sponsor participation during the programme

Elevate sponsor workshops

Managers and supervisors of participants play an important role as part of the Elevate community, whose active engagement facilitates the success and sustained impact of the programme.

Alongside the participants' programme, line managers/sponsors will attend two bespoke, complementary workshops, giving them the opportunity to engage directly with Elevate, experiencing the context of this transformative learning environment. They will be led by the Elevate programme facilitators: Dr Peggy Warren and her experienced team from the Ubele Initiative.

Who should attend these workshops?

Elevate applicants will be asked to confirm their identified sponsor as part of the application process. This should be someone who has direct responsibility and influence with regards to the individual’s work, career progression, development and wellbeing. This would normally be their line manager, but an alternative sponsor may be identified if more appropriate to the context/local structure.

More information can be found on the Elevate: support for line managers guidance webpage. 

How to apply

Applications for Elevate 2024 have now closed.

Information Sessions

We will be holding Information Sessions for colleagues who are considering applying for one of our programmes. Click on the link to enrol via Develop.

It's helped me feel empowered to do everything I want to and make steps to achieve the goals I have set for myself. It has also helped me re-evaluate what is most important to me and will help me become a better leader.

Elevate 2023 Participant

Contact us

If you have any questions about the programme you can contact sd-leadership@bristol.ac.uk.

The Elevate graphic harvest capturing formative feedback from participants mid-way through the programme

Image credit: Image credit: www.penmendonca.com


We strive to make sure that Elevate is accessible for all staff and meets your learning needs. If there are any factors which you feel would be a barrier to you accessing or participating in any of the in-person, online or offline elements of this programme, please let us know.

Support for staff with caring responsibilities

If you have caring responsibilities / work part-time:

The University has made provision for staff to be reimbursed for childcare to attend training outside their normal working days/hours. Please see the "What you can claim for" policy for details.  

Information for line managers

Information is available for line managers supporting a team member who is applying for one of the leadership development programmes.

You may also be interested in the 100 Black Women Professors Now programme

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