Oxford University Museum of Natural History has been a centre of world-leading research and scientific debate since it opened in 1860. The Museum was the location for the 'Great Debate' of 1860 between Samuel Wilberforce and Thomas Huxley, and was also host to Nobel prize-winning research on the molecular structure of insulin, penicillin and vitamin B12 by Dorothy Hodgkin.

Research themes

Research in the Museum encompasses geology, palaeobiology and zoology, with a focus on material housed in the extensive Earth and Life collections. Current research strengths include:


The museum has very well-equipped laboratories for palaeontological and zoological imaging and micropalaeontology. Resources include a laser scanner, several multifocal plane microscopes, a desktop scanning electron microscope and a 3D printer. The research group also has strong links with several external partners, facilitating access to computed tomography and synchrotron beamline facilities.

Researchers actively participate in the Museum’s extensive public engagement programme, and are involved in the development of displays and external exhibitions.

Our research is currently funded by AHRC, BBSRC, NSF China, CEPF, the Leverhulme Trust, Nikon and the University of Oxford John Fell Fund, among other sources.

We welcome approaches from early-career researchers who might wish to hold independent research fellowships in the museum.


The Museum has access to microscopes, scanning electron microscopes, a laser scanner and a 3D printer. Find out more or contact us

Visiting Fellowships

We appointed our 2018–19 visiting fellowships in April 2018.

We will be advertising for 2019–20 fellowships in early January 2019. 


Image caption for banner image: Lower Cambrian of Ella Ø, North-East Greenland

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