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Magdalene's greatest asset is its people: a resident community of nearly 800 students, Fellows, and staff.

Discover more about the people who work here, find out about our internationally recognised teaching and research staff, alongside many others who make Magdalene both a world-class academic institution and a welcoming community in which to live and learn.

Who does what?

Senior Members of the College have a bewildering array of job titles. You might reasonably ask, What do they all mean, and how does it all work?

Governing Body

The Governing Body of the College consists of the Master, who, as Head of the College chairs the Governing Body, and about 40 Official and Professorial Fellows. Most of the Governing Body Fellows are active academics. Many hold positions in the University's faculties and departments as well as in the College, and divide their time between university teaching, College teaching, and research. A few of the Official Fellows, such as the Bursar, the Development Director, or the Chaplain, have full-time roles at Magdalene, helping ensure that the College runs smoothly and the community functions well.

The Governing Body as a whole meets three times a term and is responsible for all aspects of College governance, finance, and policy. Much of its day-to-day work is carried out by sub-committees, or delegated to specific College Officers, the majority of whom are themselves members of the Governing Body. As the College is a Registered Charity, the Governing Body Fellows also hold legal responsibility as de facto Charity Trustees.

In addition to the Members of the Governing Body, there are various other categories of Fellows. These are also senior members of the College community but do not have a formal role in College governance.

Research Fellows

There are roughly 20 Research Fellows. Many Research Fellows teach but most of their time is spent working on research projects in their field of expertise. Junior Research Fellows are early-career academics, often in their first substantive post following the completion of their doctorate. The College provides them with three-year appointments during which they are likely to complete their first major piece of postdoctoral research. Senior Research Fellows are at a more advanced stage in their careers, and often hold research positions elsewhere in the University of Cambridge or at other institutions, alongside their Fellowship at Magdalene.

Emeritus and Life Fellows

There are a number of Emeritus and Life Fellows. These are senior academics who have retired from full-time teaching but retain an honoured place in College life. They are all former Governing Body or Senior Research Fellows. Most are still research active and a number continue to teach and serve on College committees.

Teaching Bye Fellows and Fellow Commoners

Teaching Bye-Fellows are holders of short-term appointments of up to two years, and are appointed to fill particular teaching positions. Fellow-Commoners may similarly offer teaching provision, usually on a longer-term basis; others in this category contribute particular professional expertise, for example as the College Advocate (legal advisor), the College Accountant, or the Director of College Music.

Honorary Fellows

Honorary Fellows are particularly distinguished people to whom the College has elected to grant special recognition. Many, although not all, are former students or members of the College's teaching staff. Honorary Fellowship also includes previous Masters.

College Lecturers

There are a number of College Lecturers who are not Fellows. Many of these are Fellows at other Cambridge Colleges (it is only possible to be a Fellow of one College), who contribute to the teaching at both Magdalene and their own College.

College Research Associates

College Research Associates are junior academics, usually employed on a research project in one of the University's faculties. A research associateship provides a College home, in return for a limited amount of College teaching.

Director of Studies

Each undergraduate subject area has one or more Director(s) of Studies, or 'DoS'. Directors of Studies are drawn from amongst the Fellows and College Lecturers and are responsible for providing academic oversight and guidance for students.

College Staff

College staff maintain the College's buildings and infrastructure, administer the College Offices, look after the beautiful gardens, and much more.

The Master

The Master is the Head of House and the Senior Member of the College community. Sir Christopher Greenwood GBE CMG QC, is a former British judge at the International Court of Justice, on which he served from 2009 to 2018. He became the 36th Master of Magdalene on 1 October 2020.

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The Fellowship comprises the permanent academic staff of the College. There are over 100 Fellows across all subjects, about 40 of whom form the College's Governing Body. The Fellowship includes many world-class researchers, and provides most of the College's teaching staff.

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Directors of Studies

Directors of Studies are drawn from amongst the Fellows and College Lecturers. Each undergraduate course has one or more Directors of Studies (or 'DoS'). A DoS will meet regularly with each student in their subject area to monitor their academic progress, and provide advice and support.

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College Lecturers

The College appoints a number of part-time External College Lecturers to provide teaching support in large subjects or in subjects for which there is currently no representative on the fellowship. Many are Fellows of other colleges, and a number act as Directors of Studies for Magdalene.

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College Research Associates

College Research Associates are usually Early Career (or Postdoctoral) academics employed on major research projects in the University. They are also members of the community at Magdalene and often assist Directors of Studies with teaching in their subject area.

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College Officers

The College Officers are those Fellows to whom day-to-day responsibility for certain aspects of the College's management or administration have been delegated. They work closely together with the Master to ensure that everything in the College runs as smoothly as possible.

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Arguably the most important members of the College community, the roughly one-hundred-and-twenty members of the College staff look after everything from building maintenance and garden upkeep, to food preparation, housekeeping, security, and administration.

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