The University established the new college last year as a base for graduate students who are eager to embrace opportunities for interdisciplinary exchange and apply their research to address key future challenges.
Set to become Reuben College after a landmark £80 million donation from the Reuben Foundation, the college aims to generate new insights into big societal problems by bringing academics from traditionally different disciplines together to work on challenging themes and share their knowledge with the college’s graduate students. A culture of innovation and enterprise and a strong commitment to diversity, sustainability and public engagement will cut across all interdisciplinary activities.
The college’s initial research themes are: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; Environmental Change; and Cellular Life.
Professor Mark Coles at the Kennedy Institute was appointed to lead the Cellular Life theme in 2019. He is one of the Academic Fellows supporting the Founding President, Professor Lionel Tarassenko (Department of Engineering), who oversees the college’s development.
Speaking of his role, Mark said “I am really excited to be involved in the foundation of Reuben College, which is a really exciting new graduate college in Oxford focusing on delivering innovative impact on societal and scientific problems using interdisciplinary approaches. The college will help graduate students develop collaborative research and outreach skill sets to help deliver impact where team-based approaches have the potential to be transformational. Thanks to the generosity of the Reuben Foundation we are able to realise this exciting new vision and have a profound impact on graduate student education at Oxford University.”
In his college role, Mark will help lead the Cellular Life Fellows to deliver a programme of interdisciplinary seminars, workshops and events, whilst also working with the University’s gardens, libraries and museums (GLAM) to interact with the public and promote widening participation.
Reuben College is preparing to start recruiting its first cohort of graduate students this September, ready for admission in the autumn of 2021.