New Rachel Conrad Scholarship announced

Published on
Tuesday 19 October 2021
Health & Medicine

Wolfson College is pleased to announce the creation of the Rachel Conrad Scholarship for the study of Clinical Depression, which will soon open for applications for the 2022-23 academic year. This endowed scholarship has been made possible thanks to a generous legacy from Reuben Conrad CBE in memory of his late wife, Rachel.

Depression causes more ill health worldwide than any other medical condition. Although there have been recent advances in understanding its causes and in how to treat it effectively, much more remains to be done.  Oxford is one of the leading centres in this endeavour, and the Rachel Conrad Scholarship is a generous and timely bequest which will allow us to train the next generation of researchers.” –Paul Harrison, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford and Governing Body Fellow of Wolfson College

Reuben Conrad, who passed away in March of 2020 at the age of 103, was a distinguished psychologist and pioneer in Deaf education—a field he turned to after the devastating loss of his wife in 1968. At Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology, he embarked on a ground-breaking work: a psychological study of Deaf school-leavers in the UK entitled The Deaf School Child. He was thereafter awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus Award for his study of deafness and became a Member of Common Room at Wolfson in 1982.

Depression is a condition that has touched the lives of just about everyone. Even if it is not something that we have suffered ourselves then it is likely that we have friends or family who have been affected.  In some cases, the impact on the individual can be severe.  The University of Oxford hosts a range of research groups in several departments that are committed to investigating depression and its origins. New studies start all the time and include children and adolescents as well as adults. They range across neuroscientific, cognitive, and social perspectives. In some cases, the focus is on the fundamental mechanisms of the mind and brain in order to obtain an understanding of why some people remain healthy and resilient in the face of challenges and why others suffer. In other cases, Oxford research groups exploit this knowledge to devise new treatments and new ways to deliver treatments to patients.” –Matthew Rushworth, FRS, Watts Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Oxford and Governing Body Fellow of Wolfson College

Professor Conrad left a generous gift to Wolfson College in his will under the express direction that it be applied toward scholarship and research in the field of clinical depression, and that this scholarship should bear the name of his late wife in memory of her life. His gift will endow the scholarship in perpetuity, providing fees and living expenses for a DPhil student working in the field of clinical depression, beginning in October 2022.

Legacies provide an invaluable way to support our most talented students, while at the same time remembering the life and achievements of those whose memory they perpetuate. Wolfson is so very grateful to Reuben Conrad for his generous gift, enshrined in his will, allowing Wolfson College to support a doctoral scholarship allowing an early career academic to research clinical depression. Doing so in memory of his wife, by naming the scholarship after her, will help us understand clinical depression and learn how to treat it more effectively. Legacies of this kind are essential in allowing us to advance knowledge and improve lives. Wolfson College is very proud of its new Rachel Conrad Scholarship.” – Sir Tim Hitchens, KCVO, CMG, President Wolfson College