Continuing Cambridge excellence
Purpose: to maintain the supervision system and help subsidise the costs of educating Trinity Hall students.
- to support College costs of University Teaching Officers
- to endow two College Teaching Officer positions
Why support teaching?
College teaching is the heart of the Cambridge learning experience and is regarded as amongst the very best in the world. The jewel in our crown is undoubtedly the weekly supervisions, which must be paid for by the College. Such valued contact time does mean the costs of educating our students is ~25% higher than other Universities. Teaching within the College and University is provided through College Teaching Officers (CTOs) and University Teaching Officers (UTOs). Historically, government support has funded academic posts, but more academics are needed and their salaries have eroded over the years. Therefore it is imperative that a robust fund is established to support teaching posts at Trinity Hall so we can continue to attract the best academics and safeguard the supervision system. Last year the College had an educational deficit of £3.4 million which is the shortfall between the fee income and government subsidy and the amount it costs to educate students. This shortfall has to be met by income from our endowment.
Not only do our academics fulfil their teaching and supervisory work for the University and College, and carry out world-class research, but they also play an incredibly important role in the running of the College through Committee work and through the pastoral care they extend to our students. The appointment of a Director of Studies and a Tutor for every student ensures their academic needs and pastoral well-being are met and the drop out rate at Cambridge is lower than the UK average.
Recently Trinity Hall has also appointed a counsellor and Mental Health. The recruitment of an MHA is recognition that the intensity of studying at Cambridge can be stressful, and students can experience different types of mental difficulties.
An MHA specialises in assessing how a student’s mental health difficulties are affecting their ability to study effectively and suggests strategies to help overcome problems. They can also provide support to students who may have experienced long-term mental health difficulties, and can to manage or avert crisis situations. MHAs have expertise in crisis intervention, including suicide risk assessment. They review medication, and offer help in accessing additional services, both within and outside the University, such as Community Mental Health Teams and other NHS services.
MHAs offer assessments and advice for academic and non-academic staff at the College involved in supporting students with mental health difficulties. They thus liaise with the College Nurse, as well as Tutors, Porters and other members of College. Similarly, when the College has significant concerns about a student’s mental health and/or safety, the MHAs can provide assessments to inform the College’s decision of a student’s fitness to study. When a student is returning to study after a period of intermission on mental health grounds, the MHAs can also assess the appropriate support required.
CTOs are paid for entirely by the College, but their teaching remit reaches beyond the College to their Faculty where their contribution is an increasingly essential resource. Competition for University Teaching Officers is intense and therefore the colleges have to rely on the recruitment of more CTOs. This comes at a cost, as the funding of all CTO Fellowships is provided from the College endowment.
- In recent years Trinity Hall has received generous funding for College teaching through donations. In some cases the benefactor chose to name the Fellowship after Trinity Hall alumni whom they particularly respected; others are named after the Foundation that has funded the post, and some have been funded through the collective donations of individuals.
A College Teaching Officer (CTO) requires an annual income of £50,000 (stipend and associated costs), or endowment funding of £1.25 million.
For those wanting to pursue a career in academia, an important transitional step from PhD to a lectureship is the position of Research Fellowship (also referred to as a Junior Research Fellowship or ‘JRF’). Appointments to Research Fellowships are keenly contested, attracting many exceptional candidates from across the globe who take part in an open competition for just two posts awarded each year (from up to 600 applicants). A Research Fellowship is typically for a three year term, allowing the individual essential freedom for innovative research in their area of expertise with minimal pressure from teaching. Research Fellows play an integral role in College life and on leaving Trinity Hall have usually secured an excellent posting within the academic world. We usually have six Research Fellowships in College at any one time.
Research Fellows for Academic Year 2018/19:
- Dr Cohl Furey (Walter Grant Scott Research Fellow)
- Dr Nicola Kozicharow (Schulman Research Fellow)
- Ms Heidi Howard (Gott Research Fellow)
- Dr Max Leventhal (Thole Research Fellow)
- Dr Alexandria Boyle (WYNG Research Fellow)
A Research Fellowship requires an annual income of £40,000 (this covers the stipend and associated costs) for a three-year period, or an endowment funding of £1.5 million.
UTOs are appointed and funded by the Faculty or Department, but often seek College membership.
The majority of the 60 members of our Governing Body are University Teaching Officers, and this is a relatively small in relation to the demands placed upon their time and their desire to maintain the highest possible standards. UTOs salaries are in the main paid for by the University, although the College provides them with a stipend for the teaching they carry out for the College.
College costs for a UTO will be around £10,000 per year and so a fund can be endowed and named for £300,000.