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Dr. Patricia Turner

Co-founder & Director

Turner-Kirk Charitable Trust

Cambridge, UK

Patricia Turner
Edmund Truell
Disruptive Capital Finance
Phillip Ullmann
Covenant Advisory


Dr. Patricia Turner is a philanthropy practitioner and co-founder of the Turner-Kirk Charitable Trust.

Established in 2007, the Turner-Kirk Charitable 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 Charitable 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 Charitable 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.

Dr. Patricia Turner’s Newsfeed

The Kirk Global Challenge to fund undergraduate teams to develop inventive technology

Patricia Turner has been mentioned by the University of Cambridge in respect of the launch of the new student engineering competition to find original and innovative ideas, supported by a £20,000 donation from Patricia and her husband Ewan Kirk, through the Turner-Kirk Charitable Trust.

Students to transform drone design in fight against climate change and poaching

Southampton University discusses its new scheme funded by the Turner-Kirk Charitable Trust. The scheme is led by students and is a research programme which will develop new unmanned aviation vehicles that fight back against climate change and poaching. Dr Patricia Turner, Director of the Turner-Kirk Charitable Trust, says: "Conservation and environmental degradation is one of the most important and urgent challenges that we face. It is critically important that universities and researchers have the funds at their disposal to find new, creative technology solutions to these urgent problems."


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Dr. Patricia Turner’s Background

Turner-Kirk Charitable Trust logo Turner-Kirk Charitable Trust logo
Turner-Kirk Charitable Trust
Co-founder & Director
2007 - Present
Cambridge, UK
The Turner-Kirk Charitable Trust is a multi-million-pound trust which supports conservation, early child development, academic research, and international aid causes in the UK and developing world. It has dispersed over £7 million and is one of the largest private funders of fundamental mathematics research in the UK.


Charities Aid Foundation
Philanthropy Researcher
Jan 2014 - Dec 2014
West Malling, UK
Founded in 1974, the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is a world-renowned organisation that supports and assists charities, businesses and donors in the UK and abroad.


The Vice-Chancellor’s Circle, Oxford University
Oxford, UK
The Vice-Chancellor’s Circle at the University of Oxford is made up of individuals, foundations recognised for their ongoing support to the University's work.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Circle, Cambridge University
Cambridge, UK
Established in 2007 as part of the Cambridge 800th Anniversary Campaign, the Vice-Chancellor’s Circle at the University of Cambridge is made up of individuals that continue to support specific programmes and projects that help the university have a greater impact.

Academic Appointments

University of Cambridge Clinical School
Research Fellow
1994 - 1997
Cambridge, UK
Established in 1842, the University of Cambridge Clinical School researches and develops technologies and treatments for a diverse range of medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and early child development.
Darwin College, Cambridge University
Research Fellow
1990 - 1993
Cambridge, UK
Founded in 1964, Darwin College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. It was the first college at the University to admit both men and women as well as being the University’s first graduate-only college. The College appoints 20 research fellows per year.
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Dr. Patricia Turner’s Education

Queen's College, University of Cambridge
PhD, Child Development.
1983 - 1989
Nottingham University
BSc (Hons) Zoology, 1st Class
1979 - 1982

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