Thirty British staff received the Ebola Medal for Service in West Africa, announced by the Prime Minister on 11 June 2015.
However, the University of Oxford-led group included people from fourteen countries, including Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, the three nations hardest-hit by Ebola. The University decided that their contributions should also be recognised and commissioned a University of Oxford Ebola medal.
The team carried out clinical trials of two possible Ebola treatments. The trials were set up within a few months, far faster than usual, despite the challenges of working in countries affected by a highly contagious disease.
The ceremony was part of a conference that reunited the volunteers to discuss the lessons they had learned from the trials. They want to ensure that researchers could respond to a future outbreak of Ebola, or a different disease, even faster and better.
Medals were presented by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Professor Andrew Hamilton, and the head of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, Professor Peter Ratcliffe.
Professor Hamilton said: ‘The work of the team was absolutely critical. These kinds of outbreaks can arise at any time and we need to be ready to respond. They responded magnificently.’