Student Handbook


The 2022/23 Reuben Student Handbook contains key information every Reubenite needs to know. However, as the College welcomes its next cohort of students, our guidelines grow, and practical arrangements evolve, it is not a comprehensive and final account of all things useful. Please use this in conjunction with the Reuben and University webpages flagged throughout. College pages will be updated as needed, with urgent or significant announcements also emailed to the Reuben student mail group, and invitations to events sent through the College’s Inkpath platform. 

Reuben has only a small staff team at present, and we welcome questions and suggestions. Please bear in mind that we will prioritize any concerns that arise, although always with students’ needs at the front of our minds. 

2022/23 - Version 1

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This handbook provides basic information on how the College operates, particularly for new members. We welcome any suggestions that will help make it as useful and comprehensive as possible. 

Firstly, welcome to Reuben! We hope that your stay in Oxford will be fruitful and that the College will help you to benefit from all that Oxford has to offer. Reuben College is an entirely post-graduate institution and deliberately seeks to enroll a diverse student body. Fellows, students and staff are members of a single Common Room, and the pattern of post-graduate work means that most students are in residence for most of the year. 

Academic life at Reuben College is organized around four research clusters. These themes have been chosen for their wide reach across the four divisions of the University, their strongly interdisciplinary nature, and Oxford's existing and potential strengths in these areas. The four broadly defined clusters focus on the topics of:  

(i) Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning;  
(ii) Environmental Change (including climate change);  
(iii) Cellular Life; and  
(iv) Ethics and Values. 

We aim to ensure that the vast majority of Reuben College students' work will be on topics related to these themes. This encourages interaction between students with shared interests, both within our academic events and in the shared Common Room.  

All academic members of the College Fellowship lead or support events throughout the year. Subject to personal circumstances, resident students will be encouraged to take part in at least one College academic event a fortnight during term, which enables all students to fully engage with the academic life of the College. Events will continue to take place, albeit less frequently, during the summer. The College will provide bespoke support for student-initiated events with a small amount of funding (through theme-leads). Some of the College’s events will also be organised in partnership with University departments or research centres, and student societies.  

As well as the four research themes, academic and social life at Reuben College is underpinned by three strategic themes. There are three Innovation & Entrepreneurship Fellows to promote and nurture these activities in Reuben College, two Fellows leading Public Engagement in Research, and another leading on liaison with the University Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM). 

Innovation and Entrepreneurship 

Innovation and entrepreneurship are qualities of a mindset that we nurture at Reuben to encourage students to embrace a spirit of enquiry, make the most of opportunities, and approach new challenges with resilience. We offer a vibrant programme of learning opportunities, networking events, and practical experiences that will help students develop the skills, attitudes and insights to succeed in their careers. 

Public Engagement in Research 

It is our ambition that all students, whether in taught or research-based courses, will have the opportunity to receive training in public engagement, and run or participate in their own initiatives if they wish so. Students will be encouraged to engage in an interdisciplinary, collaborative and ethical approach to public engagement with their research. When students leave us, they will be equipped with the skills and experience that will allow them to become engaged professionals, whether in academia or in the broad range of other careers paths available to our graduates. 

Gardens, Libraries and Museums 

The College’s unique relationship with the Gardens, Libraries, and Museums (GLAM), including eventually the presence of a University Collections Teaching and Research Centre within its RSL site, provides students with opportunities to explore the collections. They will also have access to curatorial expertise in research, teaching and public engagement.