Our Development Priorities

Our Development Priorities

The proven value of interdisciplinary training and engagement across the human sciences at the undergraduate level is patently clear, and the vision and passion of Oxford’s Human Scientists – both staff and students – are as alive today as 50 years ago.  As we look to the next 50 years, it is vital to support the future development of the degree, which still stands as an international exemplar of undergraduate education that equips a new generation to tackle the problems of the 21st century.

To strengthen and sustain the future growth of this degree, and to ensure that it continues to connect relevant interdisciplinary research and teaching with critical issues in a rapidly changing world, we seek to raise £12.5 million over the next 36 months. This will help establish the first statutory (endowed) Professorship in Human Sciences, which would provide dynamic leadership for the Institute of Human Sciences, both in teaching and research, and for ongoing fund-raising activity. It will further endow two Tutorial Fellowships specifically dedicated to Human Sciences at colleges that currently support the degree, thereby sustaining high-quality teaching and support for students.

Our priorities:

  • A statutory professorship of Human Sciences (£4 million)
  • Two endowed tutorial fellowships to guarantee the future of Human Sciences teaching (2 X £3 million)
  • Three international scholarships to ensure that we can accept the best students from anywhere in the world (£2.5 million, with university support)

If you would like to help us achieve these aims and ensure that Human Sciences flourishes for the sake of future generations, please click on this link which will take you to our donation page

Alumni profiles

Profile picture of alumna Rachel Stancliffe

“As a teenager, I was not ready to narrow my area of interest to one discipline. I was curious about how things are connected and how deeper study might help to untangle the issues I had begun to be interested in – environmental sustainability, feminism, and how different cultures brought up children. I don’t think I was atypical. We are all naturally curious, but the lack of undergraduate courses that taught anything that was deliberately interdisciplinary meant that most of my contemporaries, even at Oxford, had not even heard about Human Sciences. I’m so glad that I found the Human Sciences degree. It uniquely enabled me to keep my natural curiosity and interest in complex issues and in how we learn from one another across disciplines.”

Rachel Stancliffe, Founder and Director of the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare. Founded in 2008 as The Campaign for Greener Healthcare, it is now one of the world’s foremost institutions for sustainable healthcare in research and practice.

Head shot of maartine haas

“There is no doubt in my mind that Human Sciences was an extraordinary training, one that opened my mind to new possibilities rather than focusing it on a narrow pathway from which I would then have very limited opportunities to diverge in the future. … To this day, I still refer to my Oxford binders filled with my Human Sciences lecture and tutorial notes. They are sitting on the top shelf of my office. Just by way of example, I am currently writing a paper that takes an evolutionary perspective on knowledge utilization by teams, for which I recently dug out my notes from my courses on evolution; I have another paper that focuses on knowledge withholding by geneticists, for which I consulted my notes on genetics. Human Sciences is a great degree program, I would recommend it to my children (and hopefully it will still be there when the time comes to do so!), as well as to any prospective undergraduate student seeking a fascinating grounding in the fundamental issues of the biological and social sciences that underpin so much of who we are and how we function as individuals and societies. I only wish that more leading universities in the UK had the insight to recognize the value of such a program and support it in their institutions.”

Martine Haas, Lauder Chair and Professor of Management, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She is an award-winning academic whose research focuses on on collaboration in global, knowledge-intensive organisations.