The University of Oxford’s department of chemistry set up an Alumni network for all former undergraduates and postgraduates in 2012. The alumni programme’s mission is “to develop and strengthen ties between our Alumni and the department of chemistry by providing diverse tangible benefits including career services, networking opportunities, special events and lectures, and the opportunity to connect with and inspire students and graduates.” They also aim to “engage Alumni with departmental research and future goals, in order that each individual feels welcome and valued as a member of the Oxford chemistry community.”
Alumni receive regular e-newsletters, which have an open rate over twice the industry standard, as well as Periodic, an annual magazine that is sent by post to around 7,500 alumni in October and is also online. Every year, the department hosts an alumni reception in London. All alumni are invited, and the events have been popular and well-attended, each attracting around 100 guests. The head of the department speaks at the events, and in the past two years these have also featured Oxford chemists as guest speakers including Peter Atkins, Carol Robinson, Andrew Goodwin, Claire Vallance and Tim Donohoe. The department also participates in the annual Oxford Alumni Weekend, offering talks, tours, and a networking/drinks reception. The department has webpages dedicated to alumni, a LinkedIn group that alumni are welcome to join, and a popular twitter feed. Chemistry alumni are also invited to join the recently established University-wide Oxford Alumni Community, and receive College and University communications, e.g. Oxford Today.
Connections with alumni have led to the establishment of the Alan Howe Prize for best junior demonstrator, speakers for careers events and IP workshops, sponsorship of Periodic magazine and the provision of workshops and professional advice for students. In a connection made via Chemistry alumnus Dr Humphrey Bowen at an alumni event, the Meniere’s Society has agreed to support a graduate student in Prof Dame Carol Robinson’s group. The Oxford-R E Jones Scholarship in Chemistry was established in 2014 under the Oxford Graduate Matched Funding scheme with the support of alumnus Clara Freeman and her family in combination with a philanthropic donation from the biopharmaceutical company, UCB.
Further information: Susan Davies, Alumni Relations Office