Transformative Scholarships, in celebration of 20 Transformative Years


I have had the great pleasure of knowing and teaching some exceptional students during my time at Robinson, who have gone on to make important contributions to society.

Expanding the number of graduate students is a priority for both the College and the University. I’m a firm believer that academic excellence should be available to everyone and that we all have a responsibility to ensure that there are no barriers preventing tomorrow’s leaders from accessing a first-class education today.

As someone who benefitted from a scholarship myself when I was a student in pre-historical times, I would like to leave Robinson confident that the College can support those that wish to further their studies with us.”

Professor David Yates, Warden of Robinson College.

Over the last 20 years our Warden, Professor David Yates, has been instrumental in developing the educational offering in our College. 

But there is still plenty to be done to make sure that students in the future, wherever they come from, have the best possible chance to reach their full potential – and to help them use their education to quietly change the world for the better.

In this endeavour, one of the College’s key priorities is to retain and attract more graduate research students.

At a time when there has arguably never been a greater need for research, there is very little financial support available for graduate students to study at Master’s level and many sadly leave academia and their potential contributions to life-changing research are lost.

The Warden firmly believes that academic excellence should be available to everyone and that we all have a responsibility to ensure that there are no barriers preventing tomorrow’s leaders from accessing a first-class education today.

We have launched the Professor David Yates Master’s Scholarships to celebrate his 20 years with us and to make much-needed funding available to those students who need it most.

We hope that you share his ambition to make graduate study accessible to all, and invite you to join your fellow alumni in supporting the new Professor David Yates Master’s Scholarships.

Please download this brochure to learn more about the new Professor David Yates Master's Scholarships.

Please help us to create these transformative scholarships by making a gift.

With £100,000 match funding in place, thanks to a very generous donation by Sir David and Adrian Li (Law, 1992) as well as other match-funding opportunities, including the Harding Challenge Fund, there has never been a better time to help support the research pipeline upon which all our lives depend.

All donors will get the opportunity to pass on their best wishes to the Warden in a specially commissioned farewell book that will be presented to him as a gift.

Please complete the online forms to make a single gift or a regular gift. Alternatively, if you would prefer to send a cheque, please download the gift form, and post it with your cheque to the Development Office.

“David has been a family friend for 20 years and it’s been our pleasure to see Robinson grow in strength under his leadership. We were proud to support Robinson’s academic excellence through the foundation of the Sir David Williams Professorship in Public Law in 2016, and are delighted to build on that investment by offering a challenge fund of £100,000 for Master’s scholarships that will expand Robinson’s flourishing graduate student community and build its reputation for research.”


"Cost should never be a barrier to the type of education that Robinson can offer. This scholarship is a fitting way to mark all that Professor Yates has contributed to Robinson over the last two decades. I hope many students get to benefit from it". Alastair McDonnell, (Land Ec 1996)

There has never been a better time to give!

All gifts received before 30 September will be matched, £1 for £1, up to £6,000, thanks to a very generous gift of £100,000 from Sir David and Adrian Li (Law, 1992).

And for new donors and those who haven’t given since 2018 there is an opportunity to make their gift go further still…

The Harding Challenge Fund will match £1 for £1 all donations to this appeal, meaning that we are able to do even more for Robinson students.

“Doing an LLM at Robinson was an incredibly rewarding experience and one that I will cherish forever. It would be very disconcerting to know that some students, who would otherwise get to experience the same, are prevented simply by not having access to funding. I will commit (and I hope alumni around the globe unite to commit) to helping fund the Professor Yates Master’s Scholarships, especially in these very difficult circumstances, to remove as many barriers to education as possible.”



Charlotte has received financial support for her studies researching the Smart Inhaler and how its introduction could impact healthcare practice and doctor-patient relations.

In receiving this award, I have access to the best pastoral and academic support from both the Cambridge Trust and Robinson College and I am honoured to be a part of both. I am incredibly thankful to the Cambridge Trust and Robinson College for the assistance they have provided me with in pursuing my career ambitions and I would strongly recommend Robinson College to any prospective students.”


Phoebe is exploring in her research how the classic philosophical problem of other minds can inform our understanding of sexual assault, and vice versa.

“The Robinson College and Cambridge Trust scholarship has given me the opportunity to work with leading philosophers in a variety of fields; including philosophers of mind, phenomenologists and feminist philosophers. It has also given me access to a great wealth of resources, which has allowed me to pursue this line of research which will hopefully be both culturally and philosophically significant.”


Read more about the difference the availability of funding can make to a student.

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