There are three main areas that need support from our Life Members and they are:
Academic excellence in the College
Junior Research Fellowship in the Humanities
Clare Hall aims to be wide-ranging and eclectic in the academic topics it supports, not limiting itself to any special areas. However, it also recognises the discrepancies in financial support available for Junior Research Fellows (JRF) in the humanities and social sciences compared to in the natural sciences. To be a JRF is an important key stage for an academic career and an opportunity to establish oneself as an independent scholar. We have one fully funded JRF, and one partially funded JRF in the humanities. We would therefore very much welcome further support for our Ann Johnston Research Fellowship in the Humanities or general donations towards Junior Fellowships.
Recreating Ralph Erskine’s vision for the external areas
At Clare Hall, we are lucky that our buildings are fairly modern and of lasting quality. We welcome hundreds of students and Visiting Fellows every year, not to mention returning Life Members and we want to make sure that the College looks its best for our old and new friends. Since the College was built in the 1960s a lot has changed and some areas could do with freshening up.
Ralph Erskine wrote a lot about the subject and their human scale, natural and crafted approach to materials. His overriding influence was what he termed the 'Continuous Environment' created, with streets, squares courtyard spaces flowing into one another not only through their spatial sequence, but importantly through their floorscape, material treatments, and directional threads laid within the floorscape. Erskine was decades ahead of his time regarding sustainability and the inclusion of soft landscaping and permeable pebble areas (for rainwater attenuation). This inclusion to the courtyards and 'walks' shows clearly on the original plans, which were never implemented. However, as part of the refresh following from our 50th Anniversary, and to honour the Grade II* listed status we have achieved though English heritage, we would like to follow through with Erskine’s original vision for the Clare Hall landscape.
The College has set up a hardship and mental health fund so that we can act swiftly and decisively when any of our students face a genuine crisis, and time is of the essence. The crisis could be due to financial concerns or stress and anxiety, or a combination of the two.
There is an increased awareness of how mental health issues facing the students are having serious effects, coupled with an increased willingness to speak up and ask for help. Timely action is often vital, and we want our students to be able to access professional counselling services when the need is acute. Counselling costs in the region of £50 per session.
We sometimes see our PhD students go through acutely stressful periods due to financial concerns, if there is a funding gap between term ending and handing in their thesis. Being able to support them financially for a couple of months, can make a real difference.
We have a limited number of bursaries to support students, The less restricted the support, the more our Tutors can help current students.