St Anne’s has been criticised for their creation of a non-stipendiary junior research fellowship to honour 100 years of women at the University. The fellowship, named after St Anne’s’ founder Annie Rodgers, is meant to “celebrate 100 years since women were formally admitted to the University of Oxford and first awarded Oxford degrees.”

However, in an article published in the Independent this week, an academic at Oxford criticised the move, saying: “The fellowships created by St Anne’s offer little by way of funding, so it is hard not to see them as exploitative, especially since the college is seeking applications from women and black and minority ethnic candidates to address their problems with under-representation.”

“A fellowship that actually funded the research of early career researchers would send a much stronger message about their support of women in higher education,”

St Anne’s has defended the post, and criticised the Independent’s publication of the story, telling Cherwell: “St Anne’s College is disappointed that The Independent chose to publish misinformed criticism of our Annie Rogers Fellowships, despite a telephone conversation with the journalist concerned and the provision of a press statement that clearly explained the positive nature of non-Stipendiary Junior Research Fellowships both for the individuals who are awarded them and for the College hosting them. The unprompted online comments under the article on The Independent website underline misunderstanding that underpins the concerns raised and the widespread, uncontroversial and constructive use of such Fellowships in many Oxford and Cambridge Colleges.”

The benefits of the fellowship to which St Anne’s refer are “to participate in the academic and social life of the College and support one or more of the aims and/or beliefs of the College.” The post also entitled fellows to free meals during term time, free breakfast and one main meal per day during the vacation, and hot-desk space at the College.

A research grant of £1,000 every three years is also available if the relevant research furthers the beliefs or aims of the college, and an extra £1,000 per annum can be made available if other research funding is unavailable.

The fellowship also requires a fee for the successful applicant’s membership of the SCR. These typically amount to around £35 per term.