Anna Gee (2017, Biological Sciences) and Joe Salf (2017, Medicine) have been awarded Thatcher scholarships in recognition of their outstanding academic achievement and determination to make a positive contribution to society.
The Thatcher scholarships cover all university and college fees and provide a generous grant towards living expenses, allowing students to graduate debt-free. They are awarded on the basis of merit.
Anna is an active member of the Climate Justice Campaign in Oxford and volunteered during the city council’s Green Week to support local environmental projects. She also volunteered over the summer for a conservation project on the Caribbean island of Bonaire, which involved assisting in conservation as well as community outreach. This was funded with a Thatcher Development Award.
Anna said: “I’m very excited about the possibilities the Thatcher scholarship has opened up, and grateful for the opportunity to focus on increasing access to Oxford for students from all backgrounds, as well as doing more environmental work.”
Joe, who won the Gibbs Prize in Physiological Sciences 2018, has been awarded a scholarship funded by the Michael Bishop Foundation. He was the first in his family to go to university. He hopes to gain experience of healthcare in the developing world.
Joe said: “Being awarded the Thatcher scholarship is a huge honour. It’s a very pleasing reward following the hard work of my first year. I hope to make the most of my scholarship by pursuing new opportunities that will help my career in future.”
Claire Cockcroft, programme director for the Margaret Thatcher Scholarship Trust said:
“We had a very strong field of candidates to choose from. Joe and Anna were exceptional. Both of these scholars combine academic excellence with a keen desire to change the world for the better.
“I am delighted that Somerville is awarding them the scholarships. I am confident they will put these funds to very good use.”
The Margaret Thatcher Scholarship Trust was established as a living legacy for one of Somerville and Oxford’s most significant alumnae. Lady Thatcher, then Margaret Roberts, studied Chemistry at Somerville and received a bursary and scholarship while here.