The Oxford Character Project was founded in 2014 by an Anglican charity, with the support of senior academics from across the University of Oxford. Its academic work seeks to draw on perspectives from history, literature, education, philosophy, theology, and the social sciences. The project's events and student programmes seek to foster open engagement with students and academics from various moral, cultural, and religious traditions, in keeping with the diversity represented in the university community.
The project seeks to help talented students develop key virtues of character which will prepare them to be the wise thinkers and good leaders the world so desperately needs. Its research explores virtues and themes that are essential for personal formation and moral leadership, including institutional incentives and biases, the relationship between leading and following, the place of failure, the nature of service and vocation, and the virtues of honesty, wisdom, gratitude, and humility. Practical programmes draw together cohorts of students to develop qualities of life and leadership in diverse and open learning communities.