Varsity is a conversation starter.

We seek to give a voice to all students, providing a platform for a range of perspectives and voices to be heard. Widely read throughout the university community, we’re trusted by many to deliver high quality content which drives important discussion and debate. We’re a paper which questions our surroundings, holding institutions and individuals to account by actively reporting and responding to events. Alongside this we're also a reflective space, producing content which explores the issues students care about, asking what matters to us and why.

As a dynamic environment, we champion a range of journalistic forms. From reporting or editing to photography and illustration, a wide variety of interests are embedded within the paper. Creativity is encouraged and we’re always seeking to produce fresh, original content.

In Easter term, Varsity moves online - publishing one print edition in May Week. This presents an exciting opportunity to focus on our digital presence, with the paper continually looking for innovative ways to engage readers. In addition, it offers the chance to become involved with more flexible time commitments than in a print term.

Varsity is an inclusive paper. We believe in collaboration, with staff members guided in bringing their creative visions to light. Join the team and you’ll find a supportive environment united by our passion and commitment for the paper. In operation since 1947, and currently Cambridge’s only independent student newspaper, Varsity is a rewarding and unique activity to become involved with.

Bring ideas, bring passion, bring perspectives and apply to join Varsity today.

Applications

To apply for any positions, email your application to applications@varsity.co.uk. Applications for executive roles should be received by 5pm, Sunday 24th March. Applications for all other roles should be received by 5pm, Wednesday 27th March. Let us know as soon as possible at applications@varsity.co.uk if either of these deadlines pose an issue.

All applications must include:

  • Your full name, subject, college and what year you are in.
  • Which role(s) you would like to apply for.
  • Details of any academic commitments you have in Easter Term.
  • Commitments to societies/activities other than Varsity during the term.
  • Details of any experience you have for the role. No experience is required or expected. However, if relevant, you may wish to include any experience gained in journalism or from other extra-curricular activities, and any technical skills (e.g. ability to use Adobe InDesign, Photoshop or video editing software).

No prior experience is required. We welcome people who want to join the paper for the first time.

Have any questions about the roles? Pop an email to Isobel Bickersteth at editor@varsity.co.uk. Alternatively, get in touch with the current section editors – they’ll be happy to answer any queries. Their contact details can be found here. Information on all roles and instructions for application can be found below.

Executive roles


Deputy Editors

We’re looking for two committed individuals to oversee News, Opinion, Features, Investigations, Interviews, Science and Sport. Applicants should apply individually. Applicants should be motivated to guiding section editors and contributors to produce their best work, and be able to work well in a team. We are particularly looking for at least one individual experienced in news-writing and editing, who will be able to provide additional support and guidance to the news team. They should also demonstrate a clear vision for the sections listed above, and be thoughtful about and committed to its execution. It is expected that deputy editors will share News and Opinion, and choose whether to divide the other sections between them. Varsity’s deputy editors must also commit to familiarising themselves with Adobe InDesign and Photoshop with the help of training provided by the team in order to assist with the setting of the May Week print edition.


Vulture Editor

The Vulture editor is an individual well placed to push discussion and reflection on culture in Cambridge, who will oversee the Arts, Fashion, Music, Film & TV, Lifestyle and Theatre sections. Applicants should be thoughtful about culture and its appeal to students, both within Cambridge and in wider society. The Vulture editor should have a clear artistic vision of how Vulture can push discussion around the Cambridge arts scene. We’re looking for an individual with an eye for composition, fresh ideas, and with excellent team management qualities. The Vulture editor will oversee the magazine, and has a large amount of creative autonomy, working with staff illustrators and photographers.. Applicants should have a vision for the role of Vulture, and bring fresh ideas about how other sections might collaborate creatively within the magazine. The Vulture editor must also commit to training provided by the team on Adobe InDesign and Photoshop to fulfil the requirements of the May Week print edition.


Deputy Vulture Editor

The deputy Vulture editor will help oversee the magazine, working closely with the Vulture editor in producing content, preparing the web edition, directing a creative vision and managing the Vulture team. We’re looking for an individual who enjoys working collaboratively and who has exceptional organisational abilities. As with the Vulture editor, applicants should be thoughtful about Cambridge culture and its arts scene, with a clear artistic vision of how Vulture can build on them. The deputy Vulture editor must also commit to training provided by the team on Adobe InDesign and Photoshop to fulfil the requirements of the May Week print edition.


Digital Editor

The digital editor will oversee Violet, alongside Varsity’s video, radio and social media output. They will guide the video team, Violet team, and social media managers. Applicants should be interested in and have ideas for vitalising Varsity digital presence, as well as be thoughtful about putting them into action. Last term saw an exciting increase in digital content, from news reporting to creative videos, and we’re looking for someone to build on this success. They should have experience of video editing and be adept at Photoshop, or commit to training provided by the team before term starts.


The Deputy Editors, Vulture Editor, Deputy Vulture Editor, and Digital Editor each oversee a number of section editors in the Varsity team.

If you wish to apply for any of these roles, please provide:

  • A 1,000 word critique and vision statement for the areas you will oversee, including ideas for how they should be presented in print.
  • A critique of an article, video or other content from one of these areas (350 words maximum).
  • Alternative headlines and sub-headings for three articles from one of the sections.
  • An explanation of any experience you have for the role, why you think you would be suitable, and why you want to do it. We will consider experience both within and outside Varsity, of both journalism and other demonstrations of team management, organisation and leadership (500 words maximum).

Section editors

Want to help shape one of Varsity’s sections and work closely with a range of contributors? The paper’s section editors are in a unique position in Cambridge to push discussion and platform conversations and perspectives on issues. Most section editors will commission, select and edit content both for print, on a weekly basis, and online. Every week, they’ll assist with producing the paper’s print editions.

If you wish to apply for any of these roles, please provide:

  • A critique of the section from the past couple of terms. This should largely focus on content, but if you have any particular ideas for digital presence or print design, please include them (500 words maximum).
  • A critique of an article from the section from the past couple of terms (200 words maximum).
  • Five ideas for content in the section.
  • Alternative headlines and sub-headings for three articles from the section.

We will seek to appoint two section editors for every section. Joint applications for all sections are welcome in addition to individual applications.

Available positions

News Editor

News is Varsity’s biggest section. The Varsity news team plays an essential role in Cambridge, providing timely, objective, and incisive reporting on stories relevant to its readers. Our coverage serves not only to inform Varsity readers, but to hold institutions in the city to account. Members of the team must be engaged with goings-on in Cambridge, and be both knowledgeable and critical in their coverage of issues prominent in the Cambridge community.

Senior News Editor: The senior news editors will be in charge of a team of deputy news editors, senior news correspondents and contributing news writers. They are responsible for commissioning writers and editing copy. They also hire the senior news correspondents and news correspondents. The senior news editors must commit to training Varsity’s news correspondents, and commit to receiving further news training from other experienced news writers at the paper.

Deputy News Editor: The deputy news editors assist the senior news editors in finding stories and editing copy. They are equally prepared to write and edit, and they play an important mentoring role for newer correspondents. They must also commit to receiving further news training from other experienced news writers at the paper.

Applications for senior news correspondents will open over the vacation period.


Investigations Editor

The investigations editors are crucial to Varsity’s role in holding our institutions, societies and students to account. They have a nose for the untold story and the drive to work independently, working on in-depth projects to uncover things that our readers should know. Easter is a particularly exciting time to be an investigations editor, with the single May Week print edition giving the editors time to work on longer projects. They are competent with data and not put off when a lead or potential story doesn’t come to fruition.


Opinion Editor

Opinion is one of Varsity’s most popular sections. Members of the Opinion team should be compelled by the discussions happening around them about Cambridge’s key issues, and understand the importance of keeping those conversations alive, seeking out new perspectives, and pushing them to evolve. In Easter we are looking to expand the topics written on in Opinion, including discussion of national events and the impact they have upon students. They also know what makes a great Opinion piece and have the nous to make sure they get that from their writers. Over the vacation, we will be looking to recruit a team of staff opinion writers, alongside columnists, to dissect and reflect on Cambridge’s key issues.

Senior Opinion Editor: The senior opinion editor should be passionate about facilitating conversations in the paper and guiding contributors to produce the best work they can. They are responsible for coming up with ideas for pieces, commissioning writers and editing copy. It’s important for a senior opinion editor to be aware of what is happening in other sections, and to have their finger on the pulse in Cambridge and nationally. Applicants should be thoughtful about how to put their ideas into action. The senior opinion editor is in charge of a team of deputy opinion editors. They will also hire the section’s columnists and staff opinion writers. Often dealing with sensitive topics, our senior opinion editor has a great deal of responsibility.

Deputy Opinion Editor: The deputy opinion editors assist the senior opinion editor in commissioning pieces and editing copy. They are always on the lookout for opportunities for a good Opinion piece, taking inspiration from Cambridge life, current affairs and popular culture. They also supervise the section’s columnists.


Features Editor

The Features section is a place for creative, compelling perspectives on breaking news stories and key issues within the Cambridge community. It has grown over this year, becoming a space where conversations begin, often starting from personal experiences, broadening the discussions and perspectives of Cambridge students. We’re looking for someone who is engaged with the issues that dominate the news in Cambridge, but also an individual who has an eye for an interesting perspective on issues that may be under-discussed, brushed over or marginalised. The features editor will be comfortable helping writers transform personal experiences and individual stories of those living and working in and around the University into compelling journalism that engages the attention of a wider audience; opening eyes to new issues or introducing new perspectives on old ones.

Senior Features Editor: The senior features editors are responsible for coming up with ideas for pieces, commissioning writers and editing copy. It’s important for a senior features editor to be aware of what is happening in other sections (especially news and opinion), and to think about how articles in features may respond to issues within Cambridge and wider society. Applicants should be thoughtful about how to put their ideas into action. The senior features editor will guide the deputy features editor and will also hire the section’s columnists.

Deputy Features Editor: The deputy features editors assist the senior feature editor in commissioning pieces and editing copy, as well as in supervising the section’s columnists. They are always on the lookout for opportunities for a good Features piece and can help guide writers on sensitive articles.


Interviews Editor

Our interviews editors get the chance to meet fascinating and famous people from all walks of life. They will keep up-to-date with events in Cambridge and be proactive in seeking out opportunities to interview interesting people, beyond the venues where Varsity’s interviews traditionally take place. This term, Interviews is being moved out of news - enabling its articles to be given the full attention they deserve. We want someone who understands how compelling a good interview can be, has an instinct for who Varsity’s readers want to know more about, and who engages with the news. A good interviews editor will prioritise covering interesting people with diverse backgrounds and views. While the interviews editor will often commission pieces for other writers, they will also tend to do a lot of writing for the section themselves.


Science Editor

There is arguably no better place than Cambridge to be a student science editor, and we’re looking to continue with this year’s expansion of the Science section, both in terms of producing more content and more varied kinds of pieces. Over the vacation, the Science team will look to recruit staff science writers to report on research in Cambridge, explore the research community and to open discussion on topical issues within Science. It’s an exciting time to head the section, spearheading our continued efforts to engage with the brimming scientific community at our fingertips.


Sports Editor

With so much sport going on in Cambridge every week, it is no surprise that this is a busy section. The sports editor is responsible for commissioning match reports, interviews and features every week, covering as wide a range of sports as possible, across all levels. This year, the Sport section has taken a closer, more critical look at the world of Cambridge sport and we’re looking for someone to continue this focus. Next term’s sports editors should be ready to plan investigations and features on Cambridge sports, and hire a team of staff sports writers over the vacation.


Vulture Sections

Arts Editor

The Arts section is where Varsity readers turn to find out about all things culture: fine art, literature, architecture and more have a place in this section. The arts editors should be compelled by Cambridge’s artistic spaces, and be thoughtful about how Varsity can build on them. They will have exciting opportunities to engage with Cambridge artists and their work. Content may include opinion pieces on relevant issues, reviews of events and listings of what’s happening in the city. The arts editor is responsible for coming up with ideas for pieces, commissioning writers and editing copy.


Film & TV Editor

Our film & TV editors should have a vision for creating content related to film and TV which helps us make sense of our experience in the University. The focus of this section will change this term, prioritising reflective and contemplative pieces alongside reviews. They are responsible for commissioning reviews and other features on films and television shows, and will be expected to foster links with the student film scene in order to deliver new and exciting content. They should be committed to covering film and tv equally, as we seek to make this section more balanced between the two. They should also be interested in platforming and engaging with student filmmakers in Cambridge.


Music Editor

The music editors are passionate about music, and knows how to share this with readers. Applicants should, ideally, demonstrate an interest and engagement with Cambridge’s music scene, as well as a sense of evolving music tastes amongst students, alongside ideas for creating content that explores these in new ways. They are responsible for commissioning pieces – a mixture of reviews and other features – and editing copy.


Fashion Editor

Varsity’s fashion editors need to be on top of the latest trends, have an eye for a photoshoot, and know where the best fashion and beauty buys can be found. The fashion editor should have an interest in the wider industry – with a good knowledge of designers and the logistics of fashion week – and will be able to embed this within the lives of students at Cambridge, and be mindful that our content is aimed at a student audience. They are responsible for shoots – that means creating concepts, sourcing models and recruiting a photographer (and liaising with the Photography Editor) when necessary – as well as commissioning and editing articles.


Theatre Editor

Being a theatre editor is about commissioning reviews and previews for the large Cambridge theatre scene, hiring staff reviewers, as well as commissioning and editing opinion pieces and other features. This is a demanding role due to the amount of content and the time-critical nature of reviews, and we’re looking for individuals who understand the Cambridge theatre scene well.


Lifestyle Editor

Lifestyle is a diverse and engaging section, broadly focusing on food, fitness and relationships. We’re looking for an individual with a knack for creating enjoyable content: from recipes and explorations of the Cambridge food scene, to tips on health, relationships or handling stress, or reading outside of a Cambridge degree. An understanding of how to explore Cambridge as a city is also particularly valued.


Digital sections and roles


Violet Editor

This term, we are seeking to return Violet to its original identity as a place for light-hearted, entertaining content. The Violet editor will be expected to collaborate primarily with News, Opinion, Features and Lifestyle to pick up on interesting and funny news stories. They should think carefully about how best to develop Violet’s identity, and to make it distinct from the rest of the paper, as well as refreshing and original.


Senior Video Editor

The video section is heading in a very exciting direction, with increasing output and a growing scope for experimentation. The senior video editor will be responsible for overseeing Varsity’s video output. This will require running and organising the video team to produce high-quality content in a timely manner, and ensuring that team members are well-trained. They will commission content from the rest of the video team, keeping an eye on upcoming opportunities in Cambridge as well as ways to collaborate with other sections. They will ensure that Varsity maintains some running series of videos. If you wish to apply for this role, please provide:

● A 500 word critique and vision statement for Varsity’s video content, outlining some ideas for the kind of content you’d like to pursue next term. Include an explanation of how you would make sure video reflects the diversity of Varsity’s textual content.

● An explanation of any experience you have for the role, why you think you would be suitable, and why you want to do it (300 words maximum).


Video Team

The video team will be responsible for creating the content which the head of video proposes, as well as coming up with their own ideas about exciting video opportunities. We’re looking for people to shoot, edit and present Varsity’s video output. You are welcome to apply to any one or selection of these roles, and Varsity will be able to provide opportunities to expand and develop your skills. To apply, please provide:

● An explanation of the role you would like to have within the video team, as well as details of any skills, equipment and software you currently have.

● An explanation of any experience you have of working with video, including a link to any examples (none required).

● Three suggestions for video content you’d like to produce in Lent Term, or ideas for a running series.


Social media manager

We’re looking for two individuals to take strategic leadership of the newspaper’s social media presence - from the Facebook page to Varsity’s and Vulture's Instagram presence, we’re looking for someone with a strong vision on how to best promote our content. This is a vital role within Easter term, in which Varsity moves online. Responsibilities will include writing and scheduling posts for our social media, advising section editors on how their content performs and experimenting with different formats and strategies to optimise engagement. We are particularly looking to expand our use of Instagram, especially for Vulture and are looking for individuals with a strong creative vision. They will provide team training for lead writing and facilitate and manage the executive editors in doing this. To apply, please provide:

● A critique of Varsity’s current social media presence, with details on how you think it could be improved, both in terms of content and social media presence (500 words maximum).

● An explanation of any experience you have for the role, why you think you would be suitable, and why you want to do it.

● Suggested social media leads (Facebook and Twitter) for five articles from five different sections. You may also wish to give some thought to how the articles themselves could have been made more engaging, for instance in terms of image choice and headline.


Additional roles


Photography Editor

Our photography editor keeps Varsity looking fresh and vibrant with new and original photographic content, working across the paper from the News and Sport sections to the creative, magazine side of the paper, Vulture. As photography editor you will be responsible for commissioning a team of Varsity photographers, as well as running, expanding and providing training to that team. To apply, please provide:

● An explanation of your current involvement with Cambridge’s photography community (200 words maximum).

● A small portfolio of your own work.

● A list of any photography kit you have (it is not necessary to have any as Varsity has some of its own)

If you would just like to be part of Varsity’s photography team, watch out for recruitment in the near future, or send an informal email to applications@varsity.co.uk.


Illustrations Editor

Our illustrations editor keeps the newspaper looking creative and engaging with new and original artistic content. As illustrations editor you will be responsible for commissioning a team of Varsity staff illustrators, recruiting a diversity of artistic talent from cartoonists to digital artists. Our illustrations editor will also be involved in running and expanding on that team, liaising with section editors across the newspaper, and running the Varsity Illustrations Instagram account. To apply, please provide:

● An explanation of your current involvement with Cambridge’s art community (200 words maximum).

● A small portfolio of your own work.

● A list of any art kit you may have, such as access to editing software (it is not necessary to have any as Varsity has some of its own)

If you would just like to be one of Varsity’s staff illustrators, watch out for recruitment in the near future, or send an informal email to applications@varsity.co.uk.


Sub-Editors

Know your less from your fewer? Have an eye for commas, apostrophes, capital letters, always italicising Varsity, and spelling? Our team of sub-editors are key to ensuring that Varsity maintains its reputation for clear and professional journalism. They ensure that all pieces conform to Varsity’s house style. It is also important for sub-editors to be aware of the content itself, and to flag up anything that may be unsuitable for publishing.

We are looking to recruit a number of sub-editors as well as a Chief Sub-Editor, who will manage the team of sub-editors to ensure content is sub-edited in a timely and high-quality fashion. To apply, please provide:

● A critique of an article from any section from the past couple of terms, with particular attention to the detailed improvements which a sub-editor could make (300 words maximum).

● An explanation of any experience you have for the role, why you think you would be suitable, and why you want to do it. Please also state whether you would like to be considered for the Chief Sub-Editor role.


Web Developers

You might have noticed some new elements in our online content recently. We’re trying to raise the bar, and we’re looking for the best and brightest Cantabrigian coders to take our frontend material to the next level. Experience in HTML and CSS is a necessity, experience in other software, such as Adobe Suite software and D3.js would also be valued. To apply, please provide:

● A critique of Varsity’s online production value and outline what front-end changes you would look to make (500 words maximum).

● An outline of your experience of the following: HTML, CSS, Javascript, D3, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop.


Wanting to contribute to the paper but not in an editorial role? Applications for reporters, photographers, illustrators and columnists will open towards the end of the vacation. In the meantime, to hear about upcoming opportunities in sections you're interested in, sign up for our section-specific mailing lists and join the relevant Facebook groups for writers.

Don't hesitate to apply! We are looking forward to receiving your application.

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