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Research at Merton

Merton has a rich research culture that particularly encourages interchange between and among Fellows & Graduates, both informally and through the Merton Research Groups and Ockham Lecture series.

This is complemented by our programme of Visiting Research Fellowships which brings leading academics into the College community each term; as well as the presence of many Visiting Scholars who stay in College whilst colllaborating with Fellows.

Visiting Research Fellows

The VRF Scheme

The scheme is intended to attract eminent researchers to Oxford and Merton College. The scheme offers free accommodation and meals. There are normally two Visiting Research Fellows resident in any term. Fellowships can be held for one to three terms. Every application has to be sponsored by a Fellow of the College.


Michaelmas - Professor Hans Othmer, University of Minnesota (Mathematics) and Professor Robert Tampé, Goethe University (Biochemistry)

Hilary - Dr Birgitta Eder, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Classical Archaeology) and Dr Markus Späth, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen (Art History)

Trinity - Professor Michael Goldberg, Cornell University (Biological Sciences) and Professor Paul Kovacs, University of Virginia (Classics)

Previous Visiting Research Fellows have included:

Visiting Scholars 2018

All Visiting Scholars and Visiting Research Fellows have to be nominated by a Fellow of the College. Fellows can check availability on the intranet.

Lunchtime talks

Merton's strong culture of interaction between our Junior Research Fellows and other members of the academic staff and Governing Body is well illustrated by our regular series of informal mini-seminars. These take place immediately after lunch - and in the same room - on Fridays during term time; a tutor or lecturer will speak on a topic of their choice, followed by a short Q&A session. Past topics have included maths & magnets, rethinking religious relics, and information flow in social networks. They provide an excellent opportunity for our academics to stay abreast of their colleagues' research thinking, and discover new areas for inter-disciplinary work.


Some of our recent events are now available to listen to as podcasts at