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Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme


The Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme (HDPSP) Advisory Committee brings together nine highly accomplished and recognised academics from a range of backgrounds. Chaired by Professor Bhaskar Vira, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, the HDPSP Advisory Committee meets at least once each academic year and is responsible for the oversight of the HDPSP and its strategic direction.


The HDPSP Advisory Committee

Professor Bhaskar Vira (Chair) is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, and Professor of Political Economy at the Department of Geography, a Fellow of Fitzwilliam Colleage, and an Honorary Fellow of St John's College.

Photo by: Elodie Giuge

Sir John Benger is the 40th Master of St Catharine’s. He completed his undergraduate studies at St Catharine’s and his doctorate at Worcester College, Oxford, which explored Elizabethan puritan polemical and satirical writings. He went on to join the House of Commons Service in 1986 and was the 51st Clerk of the House of Commons from 2019 until September 2023, serving as the chief adviser to the House on matters of parliamentary procedure, privilege and broader constitutional issues. In the 2023 New Year Honours list he was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath for services to Parliament.
Dr Holly Canuto is Senior Tutor at St Catharine's College, and Director of Pre-Clinical Medical and Veterinary education at the School of Biological Sciences.

Professor Sir John Aston is Harding Professor of Statistics in Public Life at the Statistical Laboratory in the Department of Pure Maths and Mathematical Statistics. From 2017-2020 he was the Home Office Chief Scientific Adviser, and was knighted in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to statistics and public policymaking.

Professor Cyprian Broodbank is the Head of the Department of Archaeology, Disney Professor of Archaeology, Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and Fellow of the British Academy.
Professor Daniel St Johnston is Professor of Developmental Genetics in the Department of Genetics and has been the Director of the 4-year PhD programme in Developmental Mechanisms since 2000.  He is Fellow of the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Wellcome Principal Research Fellow.

Professor Christopher John Young is Head of the School of Arts and Humanities, Director of the Cambridge DAAD Research Hub for German Studies and Director of the Cambridge-LMU Strategic Partnership.

Professor Fiona Gribble is Professor of Endocrine Physiology at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry and the Wellcome MRC Institute of Metabolic Science. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Professor Srinivasan Keshav is the Robert Sansom Professor of Computer Science at the University of Cambridge, and is a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, ACM, and IEEE.