Gates Cambridge Trust seeks new Provost

  • January 25, 2022

The Gates Cambridge Trust is seeking to appoint a Provost following the successful tenure of Professor Barry Everitt. The position of the Provost is held for five years in the first instance. The person appointed to the role would be expected to take up the position on 1 October 2022.

The role

The Provost is the Chief Executive Officer of the Trust and responsible to the Trustees for the overall conduct of the business of the Trust. The role provides the opportunity to lead one of the most prestigious global scholarship programmes and to routinely engage with the large network of Gates scholars and alumni. Working with the Trustees, the Provost will shape the next 20 years of the scholarship programme.

The Provost provides leadership in relation to the strategic development of the Trust and represents the Trust in the University community as well as nationally and internationally. The Provost will:

  • lead on the recruitment of Gates Cambridge Scholars, working with the Selection Committees
  • co-ordinate pastoral and welfare support for Scholars in Cambridge in close collaboration with the Colleges.
  • oversee the development of the Scholars House (capital project)
  • be responsible for continuing to develop the Trust’s position in relation to equality and diversity in a manner that underscores the Trust’s values, global character and impact and with the aim for the Trust to be considered excellent in its practice in this area.

Building on the strong foundations put down during Professor Everitt’s tenure and the tenures of Dr Gordon Johnson and Professor Robert Lethbridge, the Provost will further develop the Trust’s global network of Gates Cambridge Scholars so that it stands out to the international community for the impact former scholars have on some of the fundamental issues facing humanity and provides inspiration to prospective and current scholars from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Attributes and experience  

The successful candidate will have a record of high achievement as the leader of an academic community (for example as a head of a department, faculty, research institute or reasonably sized research group, or as a member of the senior leadership team of a College) combined with significant experience of working with graduate students in academic as well as pastoral roles.

The post-holder will

  • have a proven ability to develop and implement successful strategies.
  • have a good understanding of the collegiate University and how to work effectively within it, including a good awareness of the graduate admissions process across the collegiate University and of the operations of a range of Faculties and Departments.
  • be able to act as an ambassador for the Trust internationally and will have experience in collaborating with overseas partners and external audiences.
  • have the ability to inspire across the community of Gates Scholars and alumni, including playing a leading role in ensuring the presence of a welcoming community that extends beyond a Scholar’s time at Cambridge.
  • have the ability to inspire and engage, not only across the community of Gates Cambridge Scholars and Alumni, but also across external audiences.
  • be passionate about ensuring that all Gates Scholars can thrive.
  • be open to different views and have the ability to listen.
  • be willing to have difficult conversations and lead on difficult proposals.
  • have an outstanding record of personal academic achievement and will have strong experience working collaboratively with professional services colleagues.

The Trust is committed to a pro-active and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture, and values diversity. The Trust is particularly focused on increasing diversity among its scholars and staff and especially encourages women and candidates from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds to apply for this vacancy.

The Gates Cambridge Trust  

The Gates Cambridge Trust was established in October 2000 by a donation of US$ 210m from the Gates Foundation to the University of Cambridge. The Trust has a Board of nine Trustees who meet twice a year to decide on the overall strategic direction of the programme. The Provost (CEO) is supported by a Director of Finance and a Programme Director and a small administrative team who manage all operational aspects of the Trust’s activities. (See Standing Orders for further details)

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship Programme

The Gates Cambridge mission is to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others. It aims to achieve this mission by selecting outstanding scholars, providing them with financial and non-financial support at one of the world’s leading universities and facilitating community-building at Cambridge and beyond.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship Programme offers c. 80 full-cost scholarships to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to purpose a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge. Approximately two-third of these awards will be offered to PhD students.

There are at least 225 Scholars from c. 50 countries studying in Cambridge at any one time, pursuing the full range of subjects available at the University and spread across its Faculties/Departments and Colleges. The Gates alumni community includes more than 1,700 past scholars, many of whom have become highly successful in a range of fields from academia, publishing and medicine to space exploration. Alumni serve as politicians, found start-up companies and hold positions in international institutions. (See Annual Report for further details)

Terms of appointment

The post of the provost is part-time at 0.5 FTE and may be held alongside other University or College roles, subject to the necessary permissions. The appointment will be made for 5 years, renewable once . The salary for the role will be at point 83 on the University’s pay scales (£114,854, pro rata). It is expected that the post holder will spend a significant part of their time on site at the Gates Office.

The Trust expects to make the appointment at its meeting on 5 May 2022.  The Trust will be advised by a Nominating Committee chaired by the Vice-Chancellor and with the following additional members: Ms Gaenor Bagley (external member of the University Council), Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald (external member of the Nominating Committee), Ms Amy Carter (Gates Cambridge Trustee), Mr Tim Harvey-Samuel (Gates Cambridge Trustee and Honorary Treasurer).

Expressions of interest and further information

Applications (curriculum vitae and covering letter) should be sent by email to the Chair of the Trustees ( by 31 January 2022.

Please note that only internal candidates from the collegiate University may apply for this role.

Latest News

The process of history-making

Olin Moctezuma-Burns [2020] is keen not to repeat the patterns of some past researchers and to give back to the communities she studies. For that reason she recently co-organised an international gathering of Imagining Futures projects on archiving indigenous and traditional knowledges in Sotuta, Yucatan. The meeting brought together people from Colombia, Peru, Kenya, Tanzania, […]

How might extreme heat contribute to human migration?

Rising temperatures due to climate change are likely influencing human migration patterns, according to a new study co-authored by Gates Cambridge Scholar Dr Kim van Daalen [2018]. The study, led by Rita Issa of University College London, is published today in the open-access journal PLOS Climate. It looks at the role of heat in human […]

Scholar scoops prestigious science innovation fellowship

Freja Ekman has been named one of the 2023 class of Hertz Fellows as the prestigious fellowship celebrates its 60th year. The 15 fellowships in applied science, engineering and mathematics are awarded by Fannie and John Hertz Foundation, a non-profit organisation for innovators in science and technology. Winners will have their graduate studies funded for […]

Scholar hosts first UN communications technology access meeting in India

Gates Cambridge Scholar Pradipta Biswas has hosted a UN meeting on improving access to communications technology – the first ever held in India. The meeting of ITU-T Study Group 9 (SG-9) on “Broadband Cable and Television/Audiovisual content transmission and integrated broadband cable networks”  was held in May at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru […]