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.

Applications have now closed for the 2020-2021 academic year. This webpage will be updated in September with more information about awards in Michaelmas Term, including the application process and deadlines.

2020-2021 eligibility

All enrolled students can apply. This includes research graduates who have submitted their thesis, but not received leave to supplicate. Students who are on suspension, visiting students and associate students are not eligible. Priority will be given to applicants who have not received previous awards. 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. It is not normally possible to receive funding for a project that has already taken place.

2020-2021 award levels

Up to £2,000. Priority will be given to applicants who have not received previous awards

2020-2021 application process for graduates

Please note that applications have now closed.

Graduates should complete the application form and email it to their Supervisor, copying in the Scholarships and Funding Officer. They should also send any evidence of estimated or actual costs to the Scholarships and Funding Officer. Applications will be forwarded to College Advisers for their comments.

2020-2021 application process for undergraduates and Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (BMBCH) students

Please note that applications have now closed.

Students should complete the application form and email it to the Scholarships and Funding Officer with any evidence of estimated or actual costs. Applications will be forwarded to Personal Tutors for their comments.

Decisions

Decisions are 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.