Consider Dr Benjamin Studebaker for a Faculty Position in POLIS at Cambridge University

Consider Dr Benjamin Studebaker for a Faculty Position in POLIS at Cambridge University

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By supporting this petition, we humbly request the Council of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of Cambridge University to allow Dr Benjamin Studebaker to be able to continue teaching and supervising students at the university by creating a faculty position in POLIS that he can apply for.

Throughout his four years at Cambridge University, Benjamin Studebaker has repeatedly shown great care and talent for teaching and supervising in the POLIS department - and today he needs your help!

Having supervised over 170 students across 16 colleges during his time here, (over 65 during Michaelmas, 68 in Lent, and 69 students in Easter term over the last academic year), he has dedicated over 300 hours this academic year alone, (often with extra supervision time), in order to guarantee the highest performance and understanding possible for his students in the POL1, POL2, POL7, POL8, POL10, PHIL10 & POL11 papers.

For this he received the Prize for Outstanding Contribution to College Education for 2017-18 from Queen's College, as well as being ranked no.1 among all POL1 supervisors for feedback in 2018.

However, having recently completed his doctorate, it is unclear whether the POLIS department will grant Benjamin an extension to his teaching associate position, in which he is currently only employed until the end of this academic year at Gonville and Caius College.

As such, it is unlikely that Benjamin will be able to continue teaching students at Cambridge University, unless the Council of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences creates a faculty position, such as a teaching associate in the POLIS faculty, which Dr Studebaker could competitively apply for. If passing this application process, he could then continue to provide his outstanding teaching to many more students of the university over the next few years, hugely bolstering the department's strength, whilst also reducing the burden of teaching on other supervisors.

Dr Studebaker's teaching is of very high standard, and because of his large number of past students he has been able to develop effective ways of explaining the various political theorists and texts in the politics papers. He does this by breaking down ideas into their core premises and showing how these create the arguments that students are trying to understand and write about. 

His understanding of the papers that he teaches is also very broad, as he is able to teach every topic and explain how and why the papers are structured in such a way, (as well as helping with modules that he isn't even assigned to), detailing the connections between each text and its wider meaning for the political sciences.

Dr Studebaker is analytical not just about political theory, but also current political affairs. Having his own blog, (https://benjaminstudebaker.com/), he writes intriguing articles about on-going political events in the UK/US, as well as wider politics. Some of his notable pieces have been featured in mainstream media publications, such as the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/27/opinion/sunday/which-way-pete-buttigieg.html , Current Affairs: https://www.currentaffairs.org/author/benjaminstudebaker , Huffington Post: https://www.huffpost.com/author/benjamin-studebaker and E-International Relations: https://www.e-ir.info/author/benjamin-m-studebaker/ He has also featured on several podcasts and even co-hosts his own free educational podcast - "Political Theory 101" - in which he collaborates with student Edmund Wilson to discuss political thinkers throughout the ages and their ideas https://benjaminstudebaker.com/tag/podcast/

By supporting this petition, we humbly request the Council of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of Cambridge University to create a faculty position in POLIS that Dr Benjamin Studebaker can apply for. We believe that his teaching will continue to help and improve many students' understanding, and that his enthusiasm will drive us to academic success, whilst also lessening the burden of teaching on other supervisors.

Student Quotes:

'his ability to succinctly explain difficult theories and his detailed marking of our essays [...], combined with a willingness to help students in modules other than his own, is not only impressive, but admirable and reflects genuine concern'


'his clear personal enthusiasm for the subject ensured for many that an otherwise extremely difficult module was made interesting and manageable, not only ensuring success in the exam for many, but encouraging them to continue studying political theory in the second year'


'I could not have hoped to have had a better supervisor than him during my first year as an undergraduate at Queens'


'his supervisions have allowed me to gain more confidence when discussing academic topics as he was always academically demanding, yet supportive of me (just like he was with all his students)'.