The University of Oxford conducts a huge and diverse array of research and teaching in the health and life sciences and is interested in collaborating with other global centres of expertise to enhance the reach and impact of research in these fields. As part of its research mandate, the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) is interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the ways in which Internet technologies can foster and underpin international scientific and clinical collaboration, as well as education. The OII is also currently developing a research theme around the Internet and health care.

With generous support from VSD Medical Science and Technology, the OII has established the Health Collaboration Network (HCN). The objectives of this Network are:

  • To support international collaboration in biomedical research
  • To facilitate international scholarly exchange
  • To develop a range of multi-media teaching materials
  • And to understand how Internet technologies can foster and support scientific and clinical collaboration

The OII will manage the Network, and will be assisted by Voices from Oxford, which will produce a series of multi-media presentations about the work of the Network, including short interviews with visiting researchers and their collaborators. The aim of these presentations will be to communicate the value and impact of the visitors' research to the wider community, to publicise the work of the HCN in China and around the world, and to collaborate with Chinese universities to develop supplementary materials for use in medical teaching via the Internet

HCN Programme

The OII already has an active Visitor Programme, which supports established scholars, industry leaders, practitioners, civil society advocates and policy makers of distinction or outstanding promise, who wish to visit the Institute for a limited period to study or pursue research concerning the social impact of the Internet.

The HCN will initially support exchange visits between Chinese academic/healthcare institutions and Oxford. Up to 3 Chinese biomedical researchers per year will be invited to visit Oxford, with each visit lasting between 1 and 3 months. These researchers will work side-by-side with leading Oxford researchers in their fields. The Network will allow visitors to have full access to scholarly resources, computing facilities, libraries, seminars, etc., and will provide office space if needed. It is expected that applicants for an exchange visit will provide their own direct financial support (salary, etc.) while the Network will provide limited financial support (for travel, research costs, etc.) to supplement visitors' own funds.

Application Process

Researchers interested in participating in the Network are invited to complete the application form, and to email the completed form to hcn_applications@oii.ox.ac.uk, along with a personal résumé and a brief description of the research project being proposed.

Applications will be considered according to the following criteria:

  1. Alignment with ongoing research at Oxford in general, and in particular with the OII's programme in Internet and health.
  2. The nature of the proposed scientific collaboration and the availability of suitable collaborators within the Oxford biomedical community, to ensure that both the applicant and Oxford will derive maximal benefit from a visit.
  3. The likelihood that any proposed activities will be able to generate independent funding to develop beyond the scope of this programme.
  4. For applicants from outside academia, evidence of ability to undertake original research or independent study will normally be required.
  5. An adequate command of written and spoken English.
  6. Evidence of distinction or outstanding promise in the applicant's chosen field.
  7. Evidence of adequate support from the applicant's home institution.

Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee three times a year, normally shortly before the beginning of each University Term (Dates of Terms). The timing of actual visits is flexible. Ideally, an applicant will already have identified, and been in touch with, one or more researchers in Oxford who are able and willing to collaborate, and will have agreed the outlines of the research project. The Network can help applicants with the process of identifying collaborators if needed.

Further information is available by writing to hcn_info@oii.ox.ac.uk.


Arthur Thomas
Oxford Internet Institute
University of Oxford
1 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3JS
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1865 287210
Fax: +44 (0)1865 287211
Email: hcn_info@oii.ox.ac.uk