Nuffield College was founded by Deed of Covenant
and Trust between the Right Honourable William
Richard, Baron Nuffield of Nuffield, and the Chancellor,
Masters, and Scholars of the University of Oxford
on 16 Nov. 1937. Under this deed Viscount Nuffield
gave to the University a site to the north of the Castle
mound and a sum of £900,000 for the building and
endowment of a college.
The purpose of the endowment was to constitute and
construct 'a College for postgraduate studies, especially
but not exclusively in the field of social studies' and 'to
make it a centre of research especially by co-operation
between academic and non-academic persons'.
Under the Statute approved by Congregation on
30 Nov. 1937 and subsequent decrees the college
is composed of a Warden, full-time Official and Research fellows, Professorial and Faculty fellows already
holding offices in the University or in other colleges,
and Visiting fellows. It is empowered also to appoint
up to 40 graduate students.
In choosing the Official fellows, the aim has been
within the limits of the college's resources to constitute
a body of scholars representative of the chief approaches
to social and political studies.
Appointments to Research fellowships are similar in
kind but are made for a limited term or a specific project of research. Such fellows as a rule are not members
of the Governing Body. The college is one to which
professorships may be allocated. In addition the college
may, and does, associate with itself as Professorial fellows other holders of Chairs in its field.
Faculty fellows are elected for a term of years from
members of the Faculty and, although they receive no
remuneration from the college, they take an active part
in its government.
Visiting fellows are chosen for their ability to further
college researches by virtue of 'their practical experience in the professions or in industry or commerce'.
Though not resident in Oxford they are full members
of the college and its governing body. They are drawn
from various fields of public and business activity, and
their practical experience has been of the greatest value
in securing the co-operation of academic and nonacademic persons.
In addition to offering facilities for research by its
various categories of fellows and by others of similar
status, a major purpose of the college is to attract and
train graduate students in the social sciences. The
students are not confined to Oxford or the United
Kingdom, and in point of fact graduates from overseas
have always constituted part of the student body.
The building of the college was delayed by the outbreak of war in 1939 and by the priority given after the
war to domestic dwellings. Licences to prepare the site
and begin work were, however, obtained in 1948, and on
21 Apr. 1949 the Foundation Stone was laid in the presence of the Founder by the Chancellor of the University. The plan of the building is in traditional Oxford
style, with an exterior of Clipsham stone and stone tiles.
It is expected that the Warden's Lodging and two
wings connected with it will be completed in the course
of the academic year 1950–1, and will all be employed
in the first instance as rooms for fellows, research,
administrative, and secretarial staff.