Pembroke Undergraduates Support Cutting-Edge Research Through Inaugural Rokos Awards Internships


2016 was the first year of the Rokos Awards, established to support Pembroke students of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) seeking to enhance their studies and scientific knowledge through research internships.

The Rokos Awards offer a fantastic opportunity for undergraduates, covering the full cost of undertaking an academic summer internship related to their degree. Pembroke undergraduates studying Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Experimental Psychology, PPL, Mathematics, Physics, or Pre-clinical medicine are all eligible to apply.

This year’s awardees undertook research on diverse topics ranging from cancer cells and Mars entry radiation to website optimisation and vision loss. Many took advantage of the world class research facilities in Oxford, while others travelled further afield to Europe and the USA.

The following quotations are taken from a fascinating and varied set of reports, which are a testament to the valuable and engaged research that has been made possible by the Rokos Awards.

‘Robert Grosseteste was a 13th century medieval scholar… He wrote multiple treatises on light, the universe and the tides. I spent 8 weeks this summer working as part of the cross-disciplinary ‘Ordered Universe Project’, analysing Grosseteste’s texts to challenge contemporary views of the so-called ‘dark ages’…’

Jack Smith, Engineering Science, ‘Visualising the Universe: Modern Representations of a Medieval Cosmology’

‘Being a part of the OcuLab team for the summer gave me the opportunity to participate in an interdisciplinary scientific body, working to do what was previously thought impossible without major surgical intervention – allowing the blind to see.’

Hope Oloye, Biomedical Sciences, ‘SMART GLASSES: OcuLab’

‘I have learned a lot about high energy astronomy in the course of my 8 week internship at the Remeis Observatory in Bamberg and have made good progress in my programming abilities… I have greatly improved the organisation of my work and the planning of a longer project.’

Leander Thiele, Physics, ‘Unveiling the Secrets of Neutron Stars’

Click here to view all the research internship reports in full. The Rokos Awards have been made possible by the generosity of Oxford alumnus, Chris Rokos. 

Chris Rokos (1987) read Maths at Pembroke, got a First and went on to a career in investment banking and hedge funds. Once a founding partner of the highly successful Brevan Howard, he now runs his own firm Rokos Capital. In addition to supporting other charitable causes such as Amnesty  International and Water Aid,  Chris is a major donor to Pembroke, contributing substantially to the new buildings campaign (viz “the Rokos Quad”). He has funded two new Fellowships (Physics and Economics) as well as graduate and post-doctoral scholarships. Recent donations also include stimuli to undergraduate academic attainment and these STEM subject internships.