What is a College Advisor?

All graduate students are assigned a College Advisor, who is usually a Fellow of the College.

Your College Advisor can:

  • provide pastoral support, for example on health, personal or coping issues, and/or direct you to appropriate persons for assistance;
  • monitor your progress, by discussing your University supervision reports and by being available for consultation, either in person or by email;
  • discuss with you any problems or difficulties you may be experiencing in your Department or Faculty, and/or with your supervisor;
  • consult the Tutor for Graduates if there are concerns about your academic progress and if you appear to be experiencing difficulties with your academic work;
  • offer guidance on sources of support available within the College and University.

In addition your College Advisor may be able to offer you advice on academic-related matters such as: applications for research funding, conferences and seminar attendance, publication and career plans. College Advisors would not normally be expected to provide academic references, as others are better placed to do so. They might provide a reference for other purposes, such as Junior Deanship, or a character reference.

Your College Advisor is not expected to perform the role of your Department or Faculty Supervisor(s), and is not responsible for directing your academic work or for giving detailed academic guidance.

You will first meet your College Advisor during your first term, and you are encouraged to contact your College Advisor as and when you need advice or help. (You should also feel free to consult other College Officers as necessary: see below.)

Your College Advisor may be changed during periods of sabbatical or other academic leave. Should there be reasons for you to seek a change of Advisor, you should contact your Tutor for Graduates.

Further information

This guidance focuses specifically on the role of your College Advisor. Your College Advisor will be able to direct you to relevant sources of advice and support, which you should feel free to consult as necessary. These might include (but are not limited to):

  • College Dean or Junior Deans
  • MCR President or MCR Welfare Officers
  • College Nurse or College Doctor
  • College Tutor for Graduates
  • College Academic Office
  • College Accounts Office

You should also feel free to discuss your work and any attendant difficulties with your Supervisors or Course Directors. If for any reason discussion of problems with your Supervisors or Course Directors is difficult, there are other avenues open for obtaining advice and help, including contacting the Tutor for Graduates (email: graduates@stcatz.ox.ac.uk).

Tom Phillips CBE celebrates the conclusion of 50-year project: 'A Humument'

Fifty years after he purchased his second-hand copy of W H Mallock’s A Human Document for threepence, Catz Alum and Honorary Fellow Tom Phillips CBE RA (1957, English) has completed his long-standing literary art project A Humument. Though there have been previous editions published over the decades, this 50th anniversary edition presents, for the first time, an entirely new and complete version of the book. It also brings this half-century-long endeavour to a close.

Rare disease research in the spotlight

An exciting research project into a genetic disorder has earned a St Catz student a science award. Hannah Webb (2014, Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry) is part of the Oxford team in the 2016 International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition. Their project, which focusses on developing a treatment for Wilson’s Disease, won the gold medal at the iGEM ‘Giant Jamboree’ in Boston in October.  

Claude-Michel Schönberg delivers his Cameron Mackintosh Inaugural Lecture

Claude-Michel Schönberg, this year’s Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre, recently delivered his Inaugural Lecture. He addressed over 200 people who gathered in the Bernard Sunley Lecture Theatre at St Catherine’s to hear him speak on the topic of Creation and Immigration


Hydrogen breakthrough fuels new technology research

Hydrogen on the periodic table

The future of energy production has long been a source of concern for scientists. Now, following a recent discovery by a team including Catz Fellow Professor Peter Edwards, one answer could lie in the safe use of hydrogen for powering vehicles.

The main obstacle facing scientists working on hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles has been finding a storage method that does not put drivers and passengers at risk. That obstacle could soon be overcome by using benign hydrocarbon wax as a storage medium.

The Thomas and Joanne Peterson Scholars

Kylie Walsh

Donavan Hernandez-Garcia

Alexander Pollok

Victor Chan

Welcome to new fellows

St Catherine’s welcomes two new fellows this term.

The Hon Mr Justice Sir Ian Dove, Q.C. (Honorary Fellow) is a judge of the High Court in England and Wales. Ian was appointed Queens’ Counsel in 2003 and specialises in environmental, planning and immigration law.

Professor Susannah Speller (Fellow by Special Election) is Associate Professor at the Department of Materials at the University. She was as awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship in 2005.

Social impact award for transforming lives

John Latham (2015, Continuing Education), who recently completed his research masters at in applying cognitive behavioural therapies to families with complex needs at Catz, has won the Vice Chancellor’s Social Impact Award. John co-founded the charity One-Eighty, a psychology behaviour support service for young people who have been identified as struggling in school, their family or in their community. Their work helps resolve behavioural issues before they manifest as problems later on.


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