I completed my MPhil in 2012 and my PhD in 2016, as a two-time Gates recipient. My thesis, entitled "Medicine and Society in Anglo-Saxon England: The Social and Practical Context of Bald’s Leechbook and the Lacnunga," focused on socio-economic factors affecting access to medical knowledge and treatment in early medieval England. A secondary focus of my research was Old English terminology for precious stones, particularly garnet.
Since receiving my PhD, I have been working professionally as an editor of an architecture magazine. I am also the founding editor of For All the Fish, a new online magazine on sustainable food.
University of Cambridge MPhil, Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic 2011
University of Toronto BA (Hons) Medieval Studies, English 2007
While studying organismal biology, bioethics, and philosophy at McGill University, I became interested in how scientific knowledge informs and challenges philosophical ideas. Who has credibility in claiming scientific knowledge? What type of science can be claimed as legitimate and worthy of funding? I took a year off to work with a community service organization in Pittsburgh, PA, where I helped homeless clients apply for welfare benefits, Medicaid, and public housing lotteries. The question of resource allocation, of what our money should fund, suddenly appeared on a much larger scale than it had in my bioethics textbook, and propelled me to study critical social theory. I finished my undergraduate studies as a transfer student at The New School in New York City, where I had the opportunity to work as a research assistant for professors in the history and culture and media departments. At Cambridge, my work will focus on how scientific and medical research priorities are often influenced by financial and market forces; I’m interested in how, over time, those interests have shaped our research on and understanding of two processes in particular: reproduction and cognition. I’m excited to work with the Gates and Cambridge communities in examining the intersection of science, ethics, and economic systems to challenge hegemonic scientific ideas and pursue academic interventions needed for a more rigorous understanding of scientific and medical justice.
University of Pittsburgh
The New School
Born in Sorocaba, Brazil, I grew up understanding that there are a set of cultural barriers for LGBT individuals within the country. Because of that, in my undergraduate studies in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies and Political Science at Franklin University Switzerland, topics of gender, sexuality and the nation in Latin America moved my academic enquiries. My current MPhil program in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies at the University of Cambridge continues to reflect my interest for these questions, as my dissertation examines how representations of trans and queer aging women in Brazil interact with the country's nation-state paradigm through image, film and text. For my PhD dissertation, I hope to write a comparative analysis between Argentina and Brazil regarding their queer futurity discourse within LGBT assemblies. I aim at mapping the dialogical relations between queerness and liberal notions of progress and the future that took place while the countries moved toward democratic regimes in the 1980s. By doing so, I hope to explore how these notions have contributed to the configuration of the current LGBT assemblies discourse of queer futurity. With my research, I hope to strengthen the tie between theory and activism, as well as collaborate to new developments in the direction of LGBT movements from local to international levels by advancing the debate on the shapes the dialogue of queer futurity takes across cultures.
Franklin University Switzerlan
University of Cambridge
Since my PhD, studying the biophysical properties of proteins involved in genetic disease, I've moved to a few different research areas, all linked to health. I shifted first to bioinformatics, then to public health and clinical trials. Geographically, I moved from Cambridge to Paris, for a three year fellowship at the Pasteur Institute, and then back to Cambridge (UK) where I live now.
I finished my undergraduate studies in Marine Geology at the University of Bremen - a leading institution for marine geosciences. During my studies I had the opportunity to participate in several multinational research projects and sea-going expeditions all over the world dedicated to study past changes of our climate and the ocean. I became passionate about climate research also in the face of its socioeconomic and political importance. I am currently enrolled in the first year of my PhD studies at the Department of Earth Sciences focusing on the global signature of past abrupt climate change recorded in marine sediments. Particular emphasis will be put on changes in biological productivity and the ocean circulation in the South Atlantic Ocean to explain the millennial-scale variability of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The study is supported by analyzing further climate archives as ice cores and cave formations as well as numerical climate simulations.
I grew up in New England and after a ten-year break from my education, attended the University of Southern Maine (USM) where I studied Geography-Anthropology with a focus in archaeology. It was during my time at USM that I developed a passion for indigenous rights advocacy and the role that archaeology can play in helping to transform the world. After I earned my bachelors degree, I moved on to pursue a masters in Landscape Archaeology at the National University of Ireland Galway. My PhD at Cambridge focuses on the eponymous Nuraghe of Sardinia and the role that these monumental structures have played throughout time. As a Gates Cambridge recipient I am honoured to join a community of like-minded scholars who are committed to making a difference in their fields and the world.
National University of Ireland-Galway Landscape Archaeology 2021
University of Southern Maine Geography-Anthropology 2020
I lived in Madrid until age 17 when I moved to study Mathematics at Cambridge, Christ’s College. In my undergraduate, I developed an interest in the applications of mathematics and I took up summer research projects in mathematical biology (population dynamics) and cosmology. In Part III, my integrated master, I am specialising in theoretical physics and applied mathematics. My Part III essay, supervised by Dr Adhikari, explores potential uses of the renormalization group in epidemiology, to better understand the multiple length and time scales of epidemic processes. During my PhD with Prof Julia Gog, I will formulate mathematical models for the spread of infectious diseases, with emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic, which I hope will be useful in future pandemics. As an applied mathematician and aspiring mathematical biologist, my goal is an academic career focused on mathematical epidemiology, with the aim of contributing to global health and biosecurity by researching the most threatening diseases. I am also interested in improving the gender gap in STEM academia and making science work more effectively. I am honoured to join the Gates Cambridge community which I am sure will be a great part of my next stage at Cambridge.
University of Cambridge Mathematics 2021
I grew up in Austria, where the formal educational attainment of an individual strongly depends on their parents' education and profession. Education at all levels is not as accessible as it could and should be, and this is most harmful to the most marginalized members of our society. As a German as a second language teacher working with refugees, I have come to understand that accessibility barriers can take many forms, and that what are seemingly traits of individual learners (such as motivation) should be re-examined and understood as systemic accessibility issues.My PhD project will combine gender studies with educational research and social work practice to better understand male refugees' conceptualizations of their plural identities and their language learning motivation. I hope that my findings will contribute to making second language education more accessible and inclusive, and I am honored to be able to carry out this research as a member of the Gates Cambridge community.
Julia completed a PhD Engineering in 2012, which focused on innovative financing solutions for global health. Stemming from her PhD research at Gates Cambridge, she originated, raised and deployed the world's first $108mm Global Health Investment Fund with Lion's Head Global Partners and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The purpose of the fund was to provide financing to advance the development of drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and other interventions against diseases that disproportionately burden low-income countries. Before coming to Cambridge, Julia qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG's Canadian biotechnology practice and undertook projects for a variety of organisations including GAVI and WHO. During her time in Cambridge, Julia co-founded the African Innovation Prize, served on the University Council, and initiated and convened the Cambridge Global Health Commercialization and Funding Roundtable.
Julia is currently based in London's White City biomedical campus as Co-Founder & CEO of Micrographia Bio, a deeptech bio company focused on applying machine learning to bioimaging to accelerate drug discovery.
I am currently a doctoral student in MIT's program in History; Anthropology; and Science, Technology, and Society. For more details, please see my department webpage: http://web.mit.edu/hasts/graduate/jmenzel.html.
My PhD explored the relationship between ideas about risk and the development of social welfare policies in Germany, Britain and Italy from the 1880s to the early 1920s by focusing on a case study of workplace accidents. By examining the topic from comparative and transnational perspectives, I sought to investigate how domestic and transnational discussions about national welfare policy related to changing conceptions of national identity and national strength. With my dissertation, I also sought to contribute to current debates about social welfare reform.
I spent last year in Israel researching security, terrorism, and fear. Now, in my third year, I return to Cambridge to turn this fieldwork into a PhD thesis that examines the relationship between national security and private security.
I graduated first in my faculty, in 2011, with a BA in History and Political Science, a combination which incorporated my passion for both research and activism. This year I completed my master’s thesis on the framing of female sanctity in Early Irish hagiography. My proposed doctoral research expands upon this project, to interrogate the role of vernacular saints’ lives in identity formation. I am particularly excited about the opportunities for interdisciplinary research afforded by my Cambridge department. The experiences and challenges encountered, in returning to education as a mature learner, have been among the most difficult and rewarding of my life. The professional validation and personal fulfilment arising from my studies have been, and continue to be, an immense privilege and I am confident that in my future career I will aid other mature students negotiate their university years.
Communication is something all animals have in common; language, however, is a uniquely human capacity. Without language, scientific discoveries, inventions, and even mathematical advances would have been impossible. My fascination with language as a uniquely human trait and the basis for all sophisticated thought has continued throughout my education. After completing a B.A. in English Linguistics and Latin at the University of Regensburg, Germany, with a year abroad at the University of York, UK, I came to Cambridge for an MPhil in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, where I began research on language processing. As a consultant for R&D Funding and Innovation Advisory, I was given the opportunity to apply my linguistic knowledge to assist companies in successfully gaining funding for their innovative and sustainable ideas. In my PhD project I wish to further investigate complex word processing to build more reliable models of our understanding of language. By combining theoretical and experimental methods from Linguistics, Psychology, and Neuroscience, I aim to give some new insight into the psychological and biological reality of linguistic rules and symbols in the brain. In future, I hope that the findings of my research will help to unravel the influencing factors of human thought and understanding as well as lead to practical applications in a variety of contexts such as teaching and learning, text optimization, and language disorders.
University of Cambridge
I work on holographic models of strongly-correlated systems, such as high-Tc superconductors. These models have arisen from developments in string theory and my background and continued interest in this subject has allowed me to develop new rigorous models of holographic condensed-matter physics starting from first principles. Recently I have been particularly interested in out-of-equilibrium situations, which, besides being an extremely important and promising area, are great fun to work on, since their solution likely needs a host of different techniques and insights from all parts of physics.
I was born in Beijing and moved to Chicago with my parents at age 9. Because of my immigrant background and love of history, I'm studying immigrant participation during the 1960s in Great Britain and France at Cambridge in the MPhil program in Modern European History. As an undergraduate at Harvard, I studied History, Economics, and French, focusing on the history of empire and decolonization in the twentieth century. Outside the classroom, I edited for the undergraduate history research journal, sang in an all-female choir, and danced in different shows on campus. I hope to continue some of my extracurricular interests in England. After my time at Cambridge, I hope to use what I learned to pursue a career in legal academia and work in an international capacity on improving the rights of immigrant populations, particularly socioeconomic rights like education. I am excited to be part of the Gates community!