A new graduate college on the Radcliffe Science Library site
Parks College is a proposed new graduate college at Oxford University, which will focus on interdisciplinary research in the 21st century. Located in the heart of the University Science Area on the historic Radcliffe Science Library site, the new college will draw together researchers from different disciplines to explore some of the big scientific questions of our time.
The college, which will be known as Parks College initially in reference to its location on Parks Road, will be a vibrant research and social community, which actively promotes interdisciplinary exchanges through a programme of seminars, workshops and reading groups, and encourages innovation and entrepreneurship.
There will be an initial focus on three research clusters, whose themes have been chosen for their wide reach across the four divisions of the University, their strongly interdisciplinary nature, Oxford's existing and potential strengths in these areas, and their innovation and entrepreneurship potential. The initial clusters will focus on the topics of (a) Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, (b) Environmental Change, and c) Cellular Life - each of them broadly defined. These clusters have natural synergies, enabling cross-cutting insights and research collaborations to emerge.
Once there is a full complement of graduate students, it is anticipated that the college will have 6 to 8 interdisciplinary clusters. The college will appoint as Official Fellows champions for each of its clusters.
With a planned initial intake in October 2020 of 50 graduate students who have research interests in the college's themes, Parks College aims to provide a rich intellectual and social experience, which fosters cross-disciplinary interaction. The target is to reach an annual intake of 200 graduate students by October 2022, including those studying for research degrees and on taught courses.
The plans for Parks College will be integrated with the existing plans for the refurbishment of the Radcliffe Science Library (RSL) building. This will see the development of modern science library facilities, which will be open to all Bodleian readers; and a collections centre for the University museums to facilitate collections-based teaching, research and public engagement.
Professor Lionel Tarassenko has been invited by the Vice-Chancellor to oversee the development of the new college. Professor Tarassenko, who is currently Head of the Department of Engineering Science, is a world-leading expert in the application of signal processing and machine learning to healthcare.