Global Leadership Initiative

Our flagship programme enables Oxford postgraduates to achieve their full potential, and grow as leaders of character and purpose.

Multidisciplinary curriculum

Join us for weekly discussions on leadership. Take a deep dive into the classics and contemporary texts spanning a wide range of disciplines.

Learning communities

Engage with a diverse group of graduate students, guest speakers, and senior leaders. Build meaningful connections across Oxford and beyond.

Leadership development

Develop a deep sense of purpose and become the best version of yourself. Take practical actions to begin a lifetime journey of leading with character.

Programme overview

The aim of the Global Leadership Initiative is to develop your intellectual and practical understanding of what makes for good leadership in your context and put the learnings into practice as you go on your own leadership journey after graduating from Oxford. The seven-month programme will help you to grow as a leader who is both effective and ethical, who furthers the good of society and enables others to flourish.

Any postgraduate student enrolled in a full-time programme at the University of Oxford can apply to participate in the GLI. Throughout the programme, you will engage in regular reflections, dialogues, and exercises to apply the leadership lessons in your own context. In the end, you will walk away with a new understanding of who you are and how you lead.

There are three learning communities: Business & Entrepreneurship, Tech & Innovation, and Law & Public Policy.

Please note that we are conducting research on the impact of the GLI. By applying to the programme you will be signing up as a research participant.

Application launch: 3 October 2022

Want to learn more about the programme? Attend our events, either online or in-person.

Early decision deadline: 30 October 2022

Submit the application early to show your commitment and receive an earlier decision.

Early decision announcement: 8 November 2022

Early decision applicants will receive the outcomes of their applications.

Regular decision deadline: 13 November 2022

Last chance to be a part of Global Leadership Initiative.

Decision announcement: 21 November 2022

All applicants will receive the outcomes of their applications.

GLI 2022/23 orientation: 23 November 2022

The OCP team will officially kick off GLI 2022/23 with an orientation, followed by a welcome dinner.

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What we focus on

Practical Wisdom

We help participants develop the knowledge and experience to make appropriate judgements that contribute to flourishing and the common good.


We encourage participants to behave in a truthful and sincere manner, giving others good reason to trust them as leaders.


We emphasise the power of humility – recognising one’s true self and so being able to appreciate others, being open to new ideas, and being willing to revise one’s own positions.


We inspire participants to be appropriately other-oriented, rather than merely self-focused in their career goals and actions.


We focus on leading with purpose and cultivating a sense of calling that integrates aspiration with action.


We recognise that we are not solely responsible for all we have received and enjoyed, giving appropriate acknowledgment and recognition to others.

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How it works

In Michaelmas Term, we invite Oxford postgraduates with an interest in global leadership to apply to be part of a diverse learning community. Through a competitive selection process, a select group of students with demonstrated leadership potential are given an offer to join our flagship programme – the Global Leadership Initiative.

Our research-led curriculum draws heavily on the humanities as well as leadership discourses in a wide range of disciplines. We facilitate weekly hour-long discussions through Hilary and Trinity terms in a small group setting, learning together and from each other. Exceptional guest speakers join the sessions to share their life stories and perspectives.

We host a number of social events including dinners and retreats to facilitate meaningful connections among students. Such opportunities help students to develop relationships beyond their academic circle, lasting long after they graduate from our programme. We have over 200 alumni all over the world, leading with character and purpose.

One of my favourite things about the GLI is opportunity to have deep and soul searching discussions with genuine and earnest people. Every session is an opportunity to learn different perspectives and remind myself that despite everything going on in the news, there are plenty of people to give reason for hope.

Ajantha Abey, GLI 2021

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Who is eligible to apply to GLI?

Any current University of Oxford postgraduate student (Masters or DPhil) is eligible to apply. We welcome applicants from all academic disciplines if they are interested in one of the three broad career trajectories we cover in our learning communities: business and entrepreneurship, technology and innovation, and law and public policy.

2. What do you mean by “Learning Communities"?

We will accept a total of 60 students in the summer school and divide them into three smaller groups (20 students in each) as described above. Most of the GLI sessions and workshops will take place within these groups which are called learning communities. Some occasional activities, meals, and social events will bring the full cohort together, though most of your time will be spent within your learning community.

3. Is there a fee associated with GLI?

The programme is fully funded by the John Templeton Foundation and participants don't need to pay any fee. However, you MUST commit to participating in the entire programme.

4. What is the time commitment?

The programme will in Hilary term and Trinity term with weekly sessions that are one hour long. You will be expected to go through some reading materials before attending the sessions. In general, we don't expect the overall preparation time to exceed one hour/week. There is also a day long retreat once per term – this will take place on a Saturday and will be held outside of Oxford.

5. Can I speak to a member of the team and/or current students to learn more?

We will organise a few online and in-person information sessions where you can chat with our team and current students to learn more about our approach to leadership. In the meanwhile, if you have any specific questions, please write to us at

Our Students

GLI 2023 cohort