This is a pretty broad topic, but some resources, outside those people who you work with directly, which might help you to resolve any issues include:

  • College advisor: Every member of Teddy Hall has a college advisor who will probably be happy to share their words of wisdom with you.
  • Tutor for Graduates: The T4G, Prof. Richard Willden, is responsible for graduates within Teddy Hall. More information can be found here.
  • Departmental advisors: lots of departments also allocate you an advisor who should be able to give your subject specific guidance.
  • Departmental graduate studies teams: will have experience in resolving issues.
  • Student Advice Service: OUSU run advice, listening and advocacy service. Some advisors have specific responsibility for graduates and academic affairs.
  • Graduate studies office: Can help with administrative problems which may arise when resolving academic issues (eg if you change supervisor). Contact on (2)70045, or


Academics is obviously a big part of life in Teddy Hall. Here is some information to help your adjustment to the Teddy Hall and Oxford academic environment:

College Advisors

In a nutshell – Each postgraduate student is assigned a College Adviser from among the academic staff within College, who will be available for advice – primarily academic – and responsible for overseeing your relationship with the college.  Your College Adviser’s role is to be an independent source of support, and this may include discussing your University Supervisor’s reports, monitoring your progress, picking up any problems, and commenting on your progress and achievements.

When should I see my college advisor?  You are encouraged to take a proactive role in arranging to meet your college advisor.  You should arrange to meet once per term in your first year to discuss any academic and non-academic matters, including any issues you may feel unable to raise with your supervisor.  Such meetings can be used to raise or discuss any problems, and to gain further feedback on your overall acdemic progress.  Your College Adviser is not expected to perform the academic role of your University Supervisor, but you may ask for their advice, depending on their field of expertise and intellectual interests.  You may also be able to seek their advice on academicrelated matters such as applications for research funding, conferences, seminar attendance, publications, career plans etc.

Who will my college advisor be? Your college advisor is from the same division or department as you, or from one very close to it.  An advisor from a different faculty or sub-faculty can provide different feedback to complement that of your supervisor’s, and this interdisciplinarity can be seen as very beneficial.

Principal’s Collections

Once a year, you will be invited to attend Principal’s Collections.  This is a short – but compulsory – meeting, held between you, the Principal, and the Tutor for Graduates.  It is an opportunity for the Principal to have an overall sense of the graduate community at Teddy Hall.  Prior to the meeting, they will have read your GSS reports, and will ask about your overall progress on your course, your satisfaction with the college, your department, etc.  They will often ask if there is any extra support that you require from the college – which can range from welfare provision, to funding to attend a conference.

What should I wear?  Academic or formal dress is not required at collections, but you must wear your gown.

The Tutor for Graduates

The Tutor for Graduates (Professor Richard Willden ) is concerned with matters of academic progress, the welfare of graduate students and applications for graduate study at the College. He is wonderfully helpful and supportive and a great resource for help on all things graduate academics related.

Termly Graduate Seminars

Each term, Dr David Priestland hosts the MCR at 19 Norham Gardens for dinner and dessert, after which two current students present their research in a brief 10- to 15-minute talk. It’s a great opportunity for MCR members to share their research in a friendly and relaxed environment.

Recent Past Seminars

MT 2018

Freddy Sørensen: Mathematical models for geneology: playing with graphs

Analyzing phylogenetic data is becoming increasingly more important as the accessibility of genetic data has increased exponentially over the past decades. Consequently, it is of vital importance to develop an understanding of mathematical objects than can describe these phylogenetic trees, in order to subsequently develop efficient statistical methodology to analyze real world data. In this talk we will discuss a way to construct (random) phylogenetic trees mathematically, and how one can accomodate certain assumptions into these models.


Hannah Sharpe: How does CMV infection affect vaccine efficacy, and how can we harness this for vaccine development?

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a persistent, lifelong infection that is prevalent in 50-100% individuals in a given population. CMV infection usually doesn’t cause disease, although can cause serious illness in people with a weakened immune system. Recent research suggests that CMV infection and age reduce vaccine efficacy, and that vaccine trials conducted in Africa show diminished immune responses because of a higher burden of CMV infection. Although this correlation has been identified, there is no mechanism to explain this phenomenon.
My research currently encompasses investigating the mechanisms behind how CMV infection reduces vaccine efficacy, focusing on an innate population of immune cells called natural killer (NK) cells. I am also developing viral-vectored vaccine constructs that utilize unusual properties of CMV to make universally-efficacious vaccines.


Robin DeMeyere: Advances in Next-Generation Jet Engines: Micro-Mechanical Testing of Ceramic-Matrix Composites for Aero-Propulsion

Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC’s) consist of fibres imbedded in a matrix, bonded by an interphase. CMC’s have been inserted in multiple markets over the years for their high-performance mechanical and thermal properties – amongst other benefits. More specifically in the aerospace industry, CMC’s increase cycle efficiency and thrust-to-weight ratio by increasing operational temperature whilst reducing ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) noise standards in engines. Other benefits of integrating CMC’s in engine components include reducing weight, reducing thermal expansion as well as improving turbine blade tip clearance and preventing strategic material problems in supply chain management. I will be presenting my research in collaboration with Rolls-Royce HTC on the toughening of quasi-brittle SiCf/SiC composites by the application of a boron nitride interphase coating to the fibre, which allows for cracks to deviate from the matrix. I will more specifically be tackling a major engineering challenge in materials science: the extraction of the inter-facial properties between the fibre and matrix – which govern the overall composite mechanical performance.