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New Travers Smith bursary to support LGBTQ+ research


The University of Cambridge and Travers Smith LLP are delighted to announce the creation of the Travers Smith lgbtQ@cam Doctoral Bursary. This is an important three-year commitment from leading law firm Travers Smith and the first corporate support for the University’s lgbtQ@cam programme.

The lgbtQ@cam programme was launched 21 months 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, 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 develop that research over three years of PhD study.

Elisabeth Sandler commented: "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 help move towards a position in the future when that process is a positive one for all LGBTQ students and staff, in Cambridge and far beyond.” 

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 share 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.

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