Dr. Patricia Turner is a philanthropy practitioner and co-founder of the Turner Kirk Trust.
Established in 2007, the Turner Kirk Trust has distributed more than £7 million to conservation, early child development (ECD), academic research and international aid causes. Patricia is a firm believer that charitable giving should be underpinned by robust academic research, and it is this approach that has guided her work as Director of the Turner Kirk Trust. Under her co-leadership, the Trust has set standards for what constitutes effective, evidence-based giving.
In 2019, Patricia founded the Turner Research Fellowship at the Cambridge Conservation Initiative with a £250,000 gift, which brings world-class practitioners from academia, law, politics and NGOs to the University of Cambridge for a three-month research residency.
The Fellowship builds on a similar fellowship pioneered by Patricia in 2013 at the University of Oxford’s Department of Zoology; the Turner Kirk Fellowship Programme, which supported global research projects.
Prior to founding the Turner Kirk Trust, Patricia spent two decades in research focusing on behavioural sciences and ECD, which informed her view that philanthropic efforts in this space are one of the most beneficial and cost-effective investments in human capital.
Through the Trust, Patricia has been involved in initiatives at the intersection of poverty alleviation and child development including a global programme on catalysing action on the dietary challenges facing young children and mothers, and an initiative working to eliminate orphanage-based care systems in Africa.
Patricia’s academic expertise in this space also led to work with programmes for MicroLoan Foundation and the Charities Aid Foundation.
In recognition of her work in philanthropy, she was elected to the Vice-Chancellor's Inner Circles at both the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford.