Five inaugural awards were awarded to undergraduate physics students demonstrating exceptional academic merit and/or potential to use scientific entrepreneurship to find solutions to global challenges in their future careers.

Donor Brian Gillies said: “This donation was made in honour of my mother, Joan Mitchell Gillies, who had to forego her own promising education and leave school at fourteen to support her family. She then brought up four high-achieving children with very few resources. My parents taught me about hard work, compassion and giving a helping hand to others when you can.  My wish is that the Gillies scholars will go on in turn to use their talents to achieve – and help create a better world. I also hope that the Oxford scholarships will help overcome the reluctance of non-traditional groups, particularly young women, to make a career in physics in the UK, and hope my gift encourages others to come forward to support further promising students at Oxford.”