Senior Bursar, Downing College, Cambridge


Founded in 1800, Downing College is one of the constituent Colleges of the University of Cambridge. The College’s mission is to provide a world-class education to undergraduate and postgraduate students, whatever their means or social background. With beautiful neo-classical buildings and spacious grounds, the College embodies a spirit of openness in the heart of Cambridge. The College is home to a lively and diverse scholarly community of 54 fellows and over 900 undergraduate and postgraduate students. Downing prides itself on ensuring that its students develop their academic ability and personal potential during their time in Cambridge, with exceptional pastoral support and encouragement to engage in a wide range of activities outside their academic studies. As well as its core educational and scholarly focus and significant estate, Downing also has thriving conference and summer school activities, a theatre and an art gallery.

The College seeks to appoint a new Senior Bursar to take up the post in Autumn 2024. As the principal financial and administrative officer at Downing, the Senior Bursar oversees a large and engaged team that encompasses all non-academic matters of College life, including finance, estates, technology, HR, governance, fundraising, catering, housekeeping and conferences.  The appointee does not need to be a qualified accountant but must be highly numerate and able to scrutinise financial information, adeptly present complex financial concepts and develop long-term strategies.  The ability to think both strategically and operationally at a high-level is essential, with experience of supporting governance a huge benefit.

Ideal candidates will bring strong financial and commercial instincts developed in their field of work, which could be in the public or private sectors. They should have a successful track record of delivering progress whilst displaying excellent cultural sensitivity. They will have managed a broad range of responsibilities across complex organisational and/or governance structures. This is an opportunity for a diplomatic, collaborative and confident senior leader to step into a key role at one of Cambridge’s most dynamic colleges.

The role is full time and, as a central part of College life, the appointee will participate fully  in the communal life of the College, forging highly effective relationships and building consensus in an organisation which is both a professional environment and an academic community.

Downing College, Cambridge

Candidate Pack


To apply, please send a CV and covering letter to by 17 May 2024.

Informal conversations between shortlisted candidates and key stakeholders will take place Monday 1 July 2024.

Final selection panel interviews will take place on Tuesday 2 July 2024.

To arrange an informal conversation, please email