We are here to empower bright students from every background in meeting the challenges of tomorrow. Our aim is to provide a space to think, a place to belong and the chance to become exceptional.

What's happening at Somerville

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New scheme twins Oxford colleges with local primary schools

New scheme twins Oxford colleges with local primary schools

News *

Talking Meds: Finding the words to communicate Covid-19 travel risk

Talking Meds: Finding the words to communicate Covid-19 travel risk

News *

OICSD scholarships supporting Indian law students at the University of Oxford

OICSD scholarships supporting Indian law students at the University of Oxford
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We are so proud to be welcoming St Frideswide Primary into our college community as part of a Conference of Colleges pilot led by their chair, our Principal Jan, which will see Oxford colleges twinned with local state primary schools.

Under the scheme, Somerville's students and researchers will help to provide extracurricular activities and academic support for pupils, teachers and parents.
A rather cold morning to be fumbling to attach a white carnation to your buttonhole or gown! We wish the very best of luck to all of our postgraduate students who will be sitting papers in Exam Schools this week.

(The tradition of wearing carnations to Oxford exams began in the mid to late 1990s. Students wear a white carnation for their first exam, a pink one for their middle tests and a red flower for the final paper.)
Going to the science museum anytime soon? If so keep a look out for Quentin Blake’s magic picture of our alumna Dorothy Hodgkin looking pleased as punch beside her model of pig insulin. Hodgkin is the only British woman to win a Nobel prize for science for her pioneering research into crystallography – including the 3D modelling of the porcine insulin molecule which greatly improved diabetes care for millions of people. 
Dr Charlotte Albury is a behavioural scientist who finds ways to improve healthcare outcomes by studying how medical interventions are communicated by professionals to their patients. The Covid-19 pandemic brought her to a new and unexpected destination: the heart of UK government!

Working together with Foreign Office clinicians, Dr Albury analysed hundreds of real life conversations to identify a complex set of approaches to qualifying, quantifying, and then contextualising personal risk to travellers. They also found that the particular words used to initiate the conversation were important, with 'talk' having more success than 'chat'.

Her findings will now be implemented into practice by the FCDO, with Dr Albury soon to start training the clinicians who communicate COVID risk to travelling patients on a day-to-day basis.

Read the full story on our website! Link in bio. 👆
Our very warmest congratulations to our alumna and Honorary Fellow, Dame June Raine (1971, Physiology), whose incredible public service as CEO of the Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has been recognised with the award of a DBE in the New Year Honours. 🎉

Under Dame June's leadership, the UK became the first country in the world to approve a Covid vaccine. Over 134,000,000 doses have now been administered, saving hundreds of thousands of lives. 

Dame June Raine and her team had the difficult task of balancing the need for brand new treatments to be safe for the public with the urgent need to begin saving lives as quickly as possible. With an approach that stressed co-operation within across borders, she ensured that the UK’s labs had already begun working on the virus before it reached Britain’s shores.

“I am delighted, but somewhat overwhelmed,” said Dame June.

“This honour is in recognition of the work of so many people at the MHRA, who work tirelessly to ensure that vaccines, therapeutics and medical devices are safe and effective for people across the UK.”

“Effective regulation is vital to ensuring that everyone can have confidence in medicines. I hope this recognition inspires more young people to seize the opportunities offered by careers in science, research, regulation and public health.”
Four amazing Somervillian scientists have helped to create a game-changing new diagnostic test for cancer in people with nonspecific symptoms such as weight loss and fatigue.

Our Fellow and Tutor in Medicine, Daniel Anthony; Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow, Fay Probert; Lecturer in Medicine, Susie Anthony; and alumnus Tianrong Yeo (2017, DPhil Pharmacology) are part of a team of researchers using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to examine metabolic changes in blood samples to diagnose cancer. 

Their initial results are hugely promising, and if confirmed could lead to life-saving faster diagnosis. 

Here's a picture of Dr Probert, along with one of the 12ft tall instruments used in their research.

Link to the full story on our website and in our bio 👆
It's too darn cold here in Oxford! 🥶 But as the thermometer goes way down and the weather is sizzling cold, at least it hasn't required several hours of snow clearing followed by emergency coffee and bacon sandwiches like in January 2010! Were you at Somerville back then? 

📷: Steve Johnson, our Estates Manager
From all of us at Somerville College, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! 🎄🎁☃️🎅
It's our annual tradition to commission a Somerville student to create the design for the annual college Christmas Card. This year's colourful image was created by Katie Driver (2020, Biology). Thank you Katie! 🦌

Hear from our students

Ellie Newman (2019, MSt Classical Archaeology)

“On arriving in Oxford, I felt like I was walking in a dream that I would wake up from at any moment. Surely everyone could see I didn't belong?”

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Fin Dove (2018, Music)

“Being part of Somerville Choir is not your typical Oxford choral experience. I'd recommend it to anyone.”

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Katie Bastiman (2016, French and Italian)

“Oxford is always going to throw challenges at you. But the more energy you put in to keeping things balanced, the better equipped you will be to handle those challenges.”

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Pippa Gleave (2018, DPhil Pharmacology)

“Here's my list of 20 things I learned from 2020. First and foremost, it's learning how to dance in a tiny space...”

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Covid-19 Info

All the latest information for students and staff

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