PROMYS Europe Connect 2021 - Counsellor Applications


***Counsellor applications are OPEN***

Counsellor Job Description and Selection Criteria


Job title PROMYS Europe Connect Counsellor                                        
Location Work from Home
Stipend at least £1,760
Hours Full-time
Contract duration 12 July 2021 - 6 August 2021
Reporting to Dr Vicky Neale
Application deadline 7 February 2021
Online Interviews Week commencing 1 March 2021
Decisions advised by 8 March 2021








Applications are invited for the post of PROMYS Europe Connect Counsellor.  

PROMYS Europe is a partnership of PROMYS, Wadham College and the Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford, and the Clay Mathematics Institute. PROMYS Europe Connect is an online summer programme designed to encourage mathematically ambitious secondary school students to explore in depth the creative world of mathematics in a supportive community of peers, counsellors and faculty. Competitively selected pre-university students from around Europe will be brought together online for four weeks of rigorous mathematical activity.

The PROMYS Europe programme is closely modelled on the very successful PROMYS programme at Boston University. Professor Glenn Stevens, who founded the Boston programme in 1989, is also the founding Director of PROMYS Europe. Counsellors will work under the direction of Dr Vicky Neale of the University of Oxford on a unique programme for 2021, PROMYS Europe Connect, designed to suit the online environment.

The programme will run to UK time. The successful candidates will be required to work full time from Monday 12 July 2021 to Friday 6 August 2021. They will also need to spend some time beforehand, helping with the preparation and undertaking necessary training, and afterwards to help with wrapping up the programme. When working with young people, it is important to note that we have a duty of care towards them. As such, safeguarding is an absolute priority of the programme and candidates will be provided with full training beforehand.

The pay will be £1760. One or more of the counsellors will be selected to act as Head Counsellor or Deputy Head Counsellor, with additional responsibilities, and pay of £1820.

PROMYS Europe Connect seeks to attract applications from undergraduate mathematicians of the highest quality and potential, regardless of background. Counsellor hiring decisions will be based solely on individual merit. As part of the department’s commitment to openness, inclusivity and transparency, we strongly encourage applications from all who consider they meet the requirements of the post, and particularly from women and ethnic minorities. 


The successful candidates will be expected

  • to be positive mathematical role models for the young people at PROMYS Europe Connect and to play a full role as members of the PROMYS Europe Connect online community;
  • to encourage, support and advise the PROMYS Europe Connect students as they work on the problem sets;
  • to mark the daily work of a small group of PROMYS Europe Connect students and to meet each student online individually to give feedback afterwards;
  • to work with a small group of students on an exploration project and/or research project;
  • to be present in the virtual common room regularly during the week as required (there will be a rota to ensure that there are always counsellors available to work with students);
  • to work as part of a team of counsellors, with the support of an experienced Head Counsellor;
  • to work with PROMYS Europe Connect faculty and administrators to ensure students’ academic and pastoral wellbeing;
  • to help organise occasional non-mathematical online social activities for the group;
  • to undertake their own individual programme of mathematical study during the programme;
  • to contribute to the counsellors’ programme of study on a topic mutually selected by the counsellors;
  • to engage pro-actively with the online context and tools for this year’s programme;
  • to undertake other tasks as may reasonably be requested by the PROMYS Europe faculty and administrative team.

It is important that there are enough counsellors online at all times with the students, for safety reasons. Counsellors will have some free time to themselves during the day and evenings, when they are not required for specific activities, but they will need to liaise with the Head Counsellor so that there are enough counsellors on duty at any given time and so that the responsibilities of counsellors are shared fairly amongst the group. Working at PROMYS Europe Connect will be intensive and demanding, the hours include evenings, and the rate of remuneration reflects these expectations.

This job description is intended as a guideline and the exact nature of the work may vary from time to time according to the needs of the programme.

Counsellors will need to be equipped with a computer with a webcam and an internet connection that adequately supports video conferencing for extended periods throughout the day. Counsellors will not be expected to buy any additional equipment.

Selection criteria


Successful candidates will be expected to demonstrate

  • that they will be aged at least 18 at the start of the programme and have the right to work in their country of residence (that is the country in which they will be resident for the duration of the programme);
  • that they are undertaking an undergraduate degree programme in Mathematics or with a very significant mathematical component (undergraduates in their final year may still apply);
  • an exceptional academic record in mathematics;
  • engagement in mathematical activity beyond the requirements of their school and university courses;
  • proficiency in English at the level required to give talks, read student work, and work with students;
  • teamwork skills to enable effective collaboration with students, other counsellors, faculty and staff;
  • ability to take initiative and make well-judged decisions;
  • ability to cope with the challenges and pressures of an online programme.


It would be helpful for successful candidates to demonstrate some or all of these

  • a particular interest in pure mathematics, and especially in number theory and related branches of mathematics;
  • previous experience of working effectively with young people;
  • an understanding of and commitment to the aims of PROMYS Europe Connect;
  • previous experience of organising or facilitating online group activities.

Application process

Please note that by clicking either of the links below, you will open a new tab containing the online application form on the University of Oxford Mathematical Institute website. 

  • Online application form. Please complete the form, paying particular attention to demonstrating how you fulfil the selection criteria. You will also be asked to upload a copy of your curriculum vitae (CV) and a copy of your university transcript (unofficial copies are acceptable).
  • Online referee recommendation form. Please ask two individuals who are familiar with your background in university-level mathematics to complete the form. Please be aware that you are responsible for requesting the references yourself and that they should be submitted before the deadline for applications. You should show this job description and your application material to your referees to inform what they write. You should ask your referees to comment on the following, to the extent that they are able:

1. your mathematical aptitude, level of experience, and potential for future work in mathematics;
2. your performance in your undergraduate course, particularly in pure mathematics;
3. your communication skills and ability to work as part of a team — including comments about your command of English (is it good enough to give mathematical talks in English, and to read and assess other students’ work?);
4. any reservations they might have about your suitability to work with young people
5. Since PROMYS Europe Connect 2021 will be an online programme, which will require participants to be organised and engaged online in a sustained way over the course of 4 weeks, we would like to know the referees’ impressions of your self-motivation.

  • There is an optional form for monitoring purposes which will be sent to you once you have submitted your application. This form is completely anonymised and will not affect your application or the selection process.

The deadline for applications is Sunday 7 February 2021, online interviews with shortlisted candidates will be carried out during the week commencing 1 March 2021 and all candidates will be notified by Monday 8 March 2021, at the latest.

Important Information for Candidates

Pre-employment screening

Please note that the appointment of the successful candidates will be subject to some standard pre-­employment checks. These will include: 

  • proof of their entitlement to work in their country of residence. Counsellor applicants must have the right to work in their country of residence, that is the country in which they will be resident for the duration of PROMYS Europe Connect (for example, but not limited to, if resident in the European Union through being a European Union national; if resident in the UK through having UK citizenship). Applicants should check their local requirements. Alternatively, sufficient information to demonstrate that they will be able to obtain the right to work before commencing employment;
  • criminal record check - this position involves working with young people under the age of 18, so successful candidates will be required to make an enhanced criminal record disclosure through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in the UK or through Horus Security Screening for overseas candidates. This will check for any previous criminal convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings, and where applicable, the appropriate ‘barring’ list that prohibits work with vulnerable groups. Any offer of employment will be conditional on the production of a satisfactory disclosure certificate from the DBS or from Horus. Successful candidates will be given the appropriate forms to complete.

Criminal record checks are processed via the University of Oxford, which complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice. Disclosures are handled in the strictest of confidence and only by staff who have been designated and trained in handling such information.

Please note that you will need to provide original documents and where any documents are not in English a certified translation will be required. Do not include these documents with your application. You will be sent a request for the relevant information once a conditional offer of employment has been made.

If you have any questions or need further information, please contact the PROMYS Europe office at


If you wish to make us aware of a disability for which you may need support, then you may do so by writing to  either when you submit your application or when you receive an offer. Successful applicants with a disability will be given the opportunity to discuss their needs, and we will make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the needs of disabled participants and applicants.