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OUS Dorset

OUS Dorset fosters continuing friendships and intellectual stimulation amongst members who, for all their diverse and fascinating skills and backgrounds, have the University of Oxford experience in common. It also fosters contact with the University.

Please email the group secretary for further information on Dorset group activities.

Activities and group membership

A committee of co-opted members organises each year a lunch, usually with a guest speaker, and an outing. Both are mid-week and in the daytime. All events are within or close to the county and usually offer something that is not readily available to the general public. Members are invited to bring a guest and we welcome other alumni (with full or associate status) irrespective of residence.

Membership is open to alumni who are resident in Dorset, including Bournemouth and Poole, and is subscription-free. For events, participating members share the costs. We do not raise funds for the University, or for any other charity, but we do offer travel bursaries – please see below.

We should be delighted to welcome new members and to send details of our activities. We would also be pleased to hear from existing members who would like to join our committee, which conducts its business mostly via email and phone, plus two lunchtime meetings per year.

Our recent activities are described in the following section.

Recent activities

Our annual outing on Wednesday 20 June 2018 included guided tours of Shaftesbury Abbey Museum and Garden and of other historical sites in the town. These were followed by lunch at the King’s Arms Inn at East Stour and a private visit to Hilltop Garden and Nursery at Woodville, which has been featured on BBC television’s Gardeners’ World.

The annual lunch and general meeting was held on Monday 10 September 2018 at the Eype’s Mouth Country Hotel near Bridport. Active members took the opportunity to walk along the dramatic coast before or after the lunch. Our guest speaker was Stephen Mahony, a member of Keble College, and, among other things, a historian with a particular interest in Jane Austen. He gave a fascinating talk about the sex mores of her life and times.

Dorset group bursary award

2019 Student Summer Vacation Bursuries

OUS Dorset are offering a number of bursaries of up to £700 to undergraduates of the University of Oxford towards the costs of taking part in a summer vacation project that aims to further their personal development and to enrich his or her life, in that capacity, for the benefit of his or her college. Applications are now open! To apply please fill in this form and send to the address included, by the deadline of Friday 15 March 2019. You can find more information and notes in this document.

The scheme will be open to all undergraduates of the University of Oxford who are either ordinarily resident in Dorset (including Bournemouth and Poole) or who have matriculated from a Dorset school, other than final year undergraduates, third year medical students, present and past holders of this award and graduates (of any university) on undergraduate courses. 'Dorset' includes only the local authority areas of Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole. It does not extend to Dorset postal addresses in other local authority areas.

In weighing the merits of any application, OUS Dorset will focus particularly on how the proposed project may assist the personal development of the applicant, as an undergraduate member of his or her college, and on how engaging in that project may enrich the applicant’s student life to the benefit of that college.

Projects may be in any place and of any kind, but must have the approval of the applicant’s college.

2018 Student Summer Vacation Bursuries

We awarded two summer vacation bursaries in 2018:

  • Emma Osborne (St Catherine’s, 2016, Experimental Psychology, formerly of The Thomas Hardye School, Dorchester) was awarded £350 to visit Bali, to help local health professionals and mental health service users in order to gain hands-on, subject-relevant work-experience in a psychiatric hospital, to live in a traditional homestay and to experience authentic Balinese food. View the report.
  • Angela Stephen (Exeter, 2014, Biochemistry, formerly of The Bournemouth School for Girls) was awarded £100 for a 5-week research lab placement centred on understanding the molecular mechanisms of mammalian sex determination and learning various biochemical techniques such as embryonic stem cell culture, chromosome immunoprecipitation and DNA sequencing.

    Her report shows how the OUS Dorset bursary has contributed to her personal development and given her an insight into biochemical research as a career. View the report.