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.

Application forms

GRADUATE APPLICATION

UNDERGRADUATE APPLICATION

BACHELOR OF MEDICINE AND BACHELOR OF SURGERY APPLICATION

Applications will close at 12 noon on Monday 18th October 2021 (2nd week). Please click on the relevant link below for more information. If you have any queries, please email the .

Information for graduates

Eligibility

All enrolled graduates can apply. 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. 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. For Michaelmas Term applications, the planned travel or project must start after Wednesday 3rd November. It is not possible to be considered for retrospective funding unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Award levels

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

Application process

Applications are accepted three times a year. Applications will close at 12 noon on Monday 18th October 2021 (2nd week).

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.

Application deadlines

There are three application deadlines for graduates:

  • Michaelmas Term: 12 noon on Monday 18th October 2021 (2nd week)
  • Hilary Term: 12 noon on Monday 24th January 2022 (2nd week)
  • Trinity Term: 12 noon on Monday 11th April 2022 (minus 1st week)

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.

Information for undergraduates

Eligibility

All enrolled undergraduates can apply. Students who are on suspension and visiting students are not eligible. 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. For Michaelmas Term applications, the planned travel or project must start after Wednesday 3rd November. It is not possible to be considered for retrospective funding unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Award levels

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

Application process

Applications are accepted three times a year. Applications will close at 12 noon on Monday 18th October 2021 (2nd week).

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

Application deadlines

There are three application deadlines for undergraduates:

  • Michaelmas Term: 12 noon on Monday 18th October 2021 (2nd week)
  • Hilary Term: 12 noon on Monday 24th January 2022 (2nd week)
  • Trinity Term: 12 noon on Monday 11th April 2022 (minus 1st week)

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.

Information for Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Medicine students

Eligibility

All enrolled BMBCH students can apply. Students who are on suspension are not eligible. 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. For Michaelmas Term applications, the planned travel or project must start after Wednesday 3rd November. It is not possible to be considered for retrospective funding unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Award levels

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

Application process

Applications are accepted three times a year. Applications will close at 12 noon on Monday 18th October 2021 (2nd week).

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

Application deadlines

There are three application deadlines for BMBCH students:

  • Michaelmas Term: 12 noon on Monday 18th October 2021 (2nd week)
  • Hilary Term: 12 noon on Monday 24th January 2022 (2nd week)
  • Trinity Term: 12 noon on Monday 11th April 2022 (minus 1st week)

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.