Garrod was elected to the Disney Chair of Archaeology at Cambridge in 1939, making her the first woman to hold a professorial chair in the University, and before any woman was appointed as a professor at Oxford. In honour of her appointment, Newnham held a feast in her honour in which all dishes were named after archaeological items. However, during her initial years in the role, the power Garrod was able to exercise was limited. A ban on women becoming full University members meant that she was unable to vote on University matters, until the ban was lifted in 1948.