The Chancellor's Seal
The Chancellor's seal
Credit: John Cairns

Applications for the role of Chancellor of the University of Oxford

Role description

The Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the University of Oxford. While this key role has no executive responsibilities, it is more than symbolic; the Chancellor provides supportive and useful advice and guidance to the University, particularly to the Vice-Chancellor. The Chancellor presides at events such as Encaenia and at the Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors and is sometimes expected to take a leading role at other official events. The Chancellor is the Visitor (an external figure of authority on whom the college can call for advice and for arbitration if insoluble dispute arises amongst its governing body) of five colleges and also chairs the Committee for the Nomination of the Vice-Chancellor. The Chancellor must be readily accessible and available throughout the year. This is an unremunerated position, but all role-related travel and expenses will be covered. 

The Chancellor is elected by Convocation, a body made up of all former students of the University who have been admitted to a degree (other than an honorary degree), members of Congregation, and retired staff who were members of Congregation at retirement. 

The University is seeking candidates who can demonstrate:

  1. outstanding achievements in their field and the ability to command respect beyond it; 
  2. a deep appreciation for the University’s research and academic mission, its global community, and its ambition to remain a world class research and teaching university;
  3. the ability and willingness to enhance the reputation of the University locally, nationally and abroad. 

Applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds are warmly welcomed.


Applications for the role can be made via the online portal. As part of the application, candidates will be required to provide a statement of interest on why you believe you are a suitable candidate for the role in up to 750 words, which will be published for the attention of voters in advance of the election. The application deadline is 11:59pm on Sunday 18 August. 

Applicant Privacy Notice 

Data protection 

In the course of completing this application form, you have provided information about yourself (‘personal data’). We (the University of Oxford) are the ‘data controller’ for this information, which means we decide how to use it and are responsible for looking after it in accordance with the UK General Data Protection Regulation and associated data protection legislation.  

What is the purpose of this document? 

This privacy notice applies to applicants for the role of Chancellor and describes how we collect and use your personal data during the application process. It is important that you read this policy, together with any other privacy policy we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing information about you, so that you are aware of how and why we are using the information. 

What types of data we hold about you 

The information we hold about you may include the following: 

  • Personal details, including full name, title, email address, contact number, photo identification; 
  • The information in your application, including statement of interest;  
  • We may also collect, store and use the following "special categories" of more sensitive personal information: 
  • Information required for equality and diversity monitoring (such as your race or ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and/or your health, including any disability and/or medical condition); Please note that the information collected in the equality and diversity monitoring section will not form part of the assessment of your application.  
  • Information about disqualification from charity trusteeship as determined by the Charity Commission and His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, and elected legislature candidacy status to determine candidate eligibility in accordance with section 3 (7) of Council Regulation 8 of 2002. 

How we obtained your data

We collect the vast majority of information directly from you, when you complete the online application form. We also obtain information from third parties, such as background check providers and databases in the public domain, including the Individual Insolvency Register, the register of disqualified directors, and the Charity Commission’s Register of Removed Trustees.  

If you fail to provide information when requested, which is necessary for us to consider your application, we will not be able to fully process your application or put you forward for the election.  

How we use your data

We will use your data for a number of purposes arising from your application, including: to assess your eligibility for the role; to carry out background checks; and to communicate with you about the recruitment process.  

It is necessary for us to process your data for these purposes in order to meet our legitimate interests relating to recruitment administration or for the monitoring of equal opportunities.  

Special category data

Special category data requires a higher level of protection. Listed below are examples of processing activities that we undertake in respect of these types of data. In addition to the activities listed below, it may sometimes be necessary to process this sort of information for exceptional reasons, for example, because it is necessary to protect your vital interests or those of another person.  

(a) Health (including disability) 

We will process information about your health in order to monitor equal opportunities and in order to make any adjustments if elected to the post.  

(b) Racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation and religious belief 

Data about your racial and ethnic origin, sexual orientation or religious belief will only be processed where you have volunteered it and where we need to process it in order to monitor equal opportunities.  

Who has access to your data?

Access to your data within the University will be provided to those who need to view it as part of their work in carrying out the purposes described above. Information pertaining to health, racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, and religious belief will not be shared with the Chancellor’s Election Committee (CEC). If there is an appeal of applicant eligibility, information pertaining to a candidate’s disqualification from charity trusteeship may be shared with the CEC. 

If you are eligible to stand in the election, your statement will be published in the University’s Gazette, on its election web page and on the pages where voters will be directed to consider the candidates before voting. Your statement will also be shared with Civica Election Services Ltd. [CES], the third party administering the ballots, to publish alongside the vote casting system.  

Civica Election Services Ltd. [CES] are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your data in line with our policies. We do not allow them to use your data for their own purposes. We permit them to process your data only for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.  

Retaining your data

We will only retain your data for as long as we need it to fulfil our purposes, including any relating to legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.  

Whether successful or unsuccessful, your data will be deleted no more than 6 months after the date of the election. 

Data you have not submitted as part of your application e.g. interview notes, may be retained for up to 12 months.  

Data security

Your data will be held securely in accordance with the University’s policies and procedures. Further information is available on the University’s Information Security website: 

Third parties that process data on our behalf will do so only on our instructions and where they have agreed to keep it secure.  

Where we store and use your data

We store and use your data on University premises, in both a manual and electronic form.  

Your rights

Information on your rights in relation to your personal data are explained here.  

Keeping your data up-to-date

It is important that the data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed of any changes after you submit your application. 


If you wish to raise any queries or concerns about our use of your data, please contact us at [email protected].  

For queries about your data protection rights please contact the University’s Information Compliance Team at [email protected].  

Chancellor’s Election Committee

The regulations for the election can be found here.

Conditions of Appointment 


Chair (the High Steward) 

Lord Robert Reed  

Deputy Chair (the Vice-Chancellor) 

Professor Irene Tracey 

Appointed by Council from among external members of Council 


Appointed by Council from among the members of Council elected by Congregation 

Professor Proochista Ariana 

Appointed by Council from among the members of Council elected by Congregation 

Professor Richard Hobbs 

Member of Congregation appointed by the Gardens, Libraries and Museums, University Administrative Services and the Department for Continuing Education 

Mr Richard Ovenden 

Member of Congregation appointed by the Humanities Divisional Board 

Dr Ed Bispham 

Member of Congregation appointed by the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Divisional Board 

Professor Baroness Kathy Willis 

Member of Congregation appointed by the Medical Sciences Divisional Board 

Professor Dame Fiona Powrie 

Member of Congregation appointed by the Social Sciences Divisional Board 

Professor Ben Ansell 

The early career researcher who attends Council 

Dr Hilary Wynne 

The Chair of the Conference of Colleges 

Dame Helen Ghosh 

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