The Catherine Hughes Fund was established in 2017. Its purpose is to fund initiatives to raise aspirations and expand horizons in the student community, with a focus on intellectual curiosity and social conscience.

Catherine Hughes (née Pestell) was Principal of Somerville between 1989 and 1996. A diplomat and senior civil servant, she was born in County Durham and came to St Hilda’s Oxford after winning a scholarship to Leeds High School. Hughes was elected Principal of Somerville in 1989 and had a particular interest in the intellectual development and wellbeing of students. She famously oversaw the College’s decision to admit male students, a move which was undoubtedly controversial in some quarters, but which many argue stood in Somerville’s tradition of widening access to all who would do well here. Following her retirement in 1996, Hughes made generous gifts to support students and Fellows in History, English and Modern Languages. She died on 10th December 2014 leaving a generous bequest to Somerville.

2021/22 eligibility

Applicants should be in need of financial support, and be able to demonstrate that their proposed project meets the aim of the Catherine Hughes Fund:

“To fund initiatives to raise aspirations and expand horizons in the student community with a focus on intellectual curiosity and social conscience.”

The project does not need to be course-related. The planned travel or project must start after a certain date each term. It is not possible to be considered for retrospective funding unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Please click on the relevant link at the end of this webpage for more information about eligibility.

2021/22 award levels

Environmental sustainability is integral to Somerville’s commitment to social responsibility. Students who are applying for funding for travel within Europe will now be incentivised to choose lower carbon travel solutions. The following award levels will apply unless there are exceptional circumstances. These could include disabilities that prevent long train journeys, caring responsibilities or the need to avoid travelling through particular countries.

Standard award Up to £2,000
Travel within Europe which does not involve flying Up to £2,400 (20% more funding)
Travel within Europe which involves flying Up to £1,600 (20% less funding)

 

Students should refer to the University’s Guide to Sustainable Business Travel for information about reducing carbon emissions. They are also encouraged to offset flights using an offsetting scheme compliant with the Gold Standard.

Application process

Applications have now closed for the 2021/22 academic year. This webpage will be updated in September 2022 with details of the application process for 2022/23.

Decisions

Decisions will be made by the Somerville College Travel and Special Project Grants Committee.

Reporting

Successful applicants will be expected to submit a brief report after the completion of their project.

Queries

If you have any queries, please email the Scholarships and Funding Officer.

Eligibility and application process (graduates)

2021/22 eligibility

Enrolled graduates. This includes research graduates who have submitted their thesis, but not yet received leave to supplicate. Students who are on suspension, visiting students and associate students are not eligible.

Application process

Applications have now closed for the 2021/22 academic year. This webpage will be updated in September 2022 with details of the application process for 2022/23.

Eligibility and application process (undergraduates)

2021/22 eligibility

Enrolled undergraduates. Students who are on suspension and visiting students are not eligible. 

Application process

Applications have now closed for the 2021/22 academic year. This webpage will be updated in September 2022 with details of the application process for 2022/23.

Eligibility and application process (BMBCH students)

2021/22 eligibility

Enrolled BMBCH students. Students who are on suspension are not eligible.

Application process

Applications have now closed for the 2021/22 academic year. This webpage will be updated in September 2022 with details of the application process for 2022/23.