New Travers Smith bursary to support LGBTQ+ research

New Travers Smith bursary to support LGBTQ+ research

  • Professor Sarah Franklin, Daniel Gerring and Elisabeth Sandler
    Professor Sarah Franklin, Daniel Gerring and Elisabeth Sandler

Law firm Travers Smith LLP is the first corporate supporter of the University’s lgbtQ@cam programme

The University of Cambridge and Travers Smith LLP are delighted to announce the creation of the Travers Smith lgbtQ@cam Doctoral Bursary. This gift is a significant three-year commitment from a leading law firm which will provide support to a PhD candidate carrying out LGBTQ+ related research.

The lgbtQ@cam programme was launched 21months ago with support from the University’s School of the Humanities and Social Sciences. The programme has two aims:

  • To make Cambridge a place where every student and staff member can thrive, irrespective of their sexuality or gender identity; and
  • To build a world-leading LGBTQ research programme conducting robust research which can deepen understanding, strengthen institutions and break down barriers.

The new Travers Smith bursary has been awarded to Elisabeth Sandler (Newnham), who completed her MPhil degree in Cambridge in 2018. Over the last year, Elisabeth has remained in Cambridge to conduct early-stage research on the disclosure experiences of LGBTQ+ students and staff at the University. Elisabeth will now be able to develop that research over three years of PhD study.

"I am so excited to have this wonderful opportunity to expand my research. I hope that by really understanding what it means to come out at Cambridge, we can ensure that in future that process is a positive one for all lgbtq students and staff, in Cambridge and far beyond.” 

Elisabeth Sandler

Professor Sarah Franklin, Head of the Department of Sociology and Director of lgbtQ@cam said:

“We are really thrilled that Travers Smith are supporting this bursary, in a major gift to the new lgbtQ@cam programme. It is a great pleasure to collaborate with Travers Smith who shares Cambridge’s understanding of the importance of equality and diversity to excellence in research. In her PhD research, Elisabeth will be building on the findings of the Out at Cambridge report conducted by the lgbtQ+@cam team, and we have no doubt this research will be transformative to higher education in the UK and beyond”

Daniel Gerring, Partner at Travers Smith, the firm’s Senior LGBQT+ Champion and a member of its Diversity and Inclusion Board, commented:

“Travers Smith is delighted to be the first corporate supporter of the University of Cambridge’s ground-breaking lgbtQ@cam programme and to be able to provide well-deserved support for the LGBTQ+ research being carried out by Elisabeth Sandler. We hope that this new bursary, which supplements our longstanding support for the faculty of Law and other initiatives in the University, will encourage other business and individual donors to add their backing to this exciting new programme. The bursary is part of Travers Smith’s wider commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion and diversity and inclusion more broadly, which is genuinely central to our core values and vision.”

To find out more about how you can support talented postgraduate students, please contact:

Nathaniel Wright

Associate Director — Student Support

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This opportunity is part of

lgbtQ+​@cam is a new programme launched by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2018 to promote research, outreach and network building related to queer, trans and sexuality studies at the University of Cambridge.