A former Oxford academic has pledged to leave a significant legacy to Merton College to enable the 'use of research to improve countless lives on the planet.' The bequest, made by Dr Peter Braam, will support the creation of a series of Early Career Fellowships at Merton, as well as at other colleges and departments at the University.

Dr Peter Braam at Merton College. Photo by John Cairns

Once established, the fellowships will address the critical need to apply research to problems of global wellbeing. By using knowledge drawn from all academic fields of study, Dr Braam believes it will be possible to significantly improve the human situation, particularly that of the poorest and least privileged societies and segments of humanity.

The Braam Bequest was confirmed during a short signing ceremony. Speaking at the event, Sir Martin Taylor, Warden of Merton College, said: 'This gift will be of very great benefit to Merton, the University and the world. It is a visionary programme which has the ability to have a massive impact on problems that can change people's lives.'

Dr Braam is a former Junior Research Fellow at Merton College, who describes himself as a multidisciplinary innovator covering computing, data and science. He has already worked with the college in establishing the Peter Braam Junior Research Fellowship in Global Wellbeing, currently held by Dr Kate Orkin, and the Peter Braam Graduate Scholarship.

Dr Braam commented: 'A deep immersion in your truly wonderful University and college system and your respect for academic freedom can influence a person for a lifetime. It has influenced me and many others more successful than I have been. It will continue to inspire others… I want to thank you for providing this collective thinking power and intellectual resonance to drive research in human wellbeing.'