MCR Gazette – Lent Week 6

Good morning everyone,

The MCR Formal that was scheduled for this week will be moved to the following Friday (9th March). I know you are disappointed, however, you do have a CHUtalk this Wednesday to look forward to, so cheer up.

This week we have a roundup of UCU strike commentary along with the usual roundup of events and opportunities around the University.

Best wishes,



Messages From College

Student Caller Application Deadline


Don’t forget to apply for the student caller role by next week’s deadline of Thursday 1 March to earn money and build vital skills for your CV!

Visit:  to find out more andapply online:

Graduation Ceremony Information

Information about graduation ceremonies can be found on the graduation resources page of the website. The TAS office will send out an email with more information at the start of next term.

Small Grants Deadline: 27th February (Tuesday)

The Small Grants committee will be meeting relatively soon, and anyone
wishing to apply for Small Grants funding from college will need to be
send in applications to Sharon Knight [1] by the morning of Tuesday 27th
February 2018.

The Small Grants committee assigns funding of up to £350 to individual
students for a number of activities and/or travel relating (but not
limited) to:
(*) Sports
(*) Music
(*) Drama
(*) Language

in which you represent the College/University, but more generally also
to any College/University activities if applicable.

Applications need a letter from the Senior Treasurer of your
club/society (not a student, but the staff member), and a letter from
the tutor may be used to support your case.

For more information on eligibility of claims and application
requirements please visit the Small Grants link on the college website




MCR Events

MCR Academic Seminar – Natasha Turkmani – 28th Feb.

Title: “Energy Trilemma: Models to Evaluate Energy Policy”
Find out what research is going on in Churchill. Cheese and wine to follow.

Friday Concert Series – Rebecca Doherty, Recorder – 2nd March

Venue: Recital Room, Churchill College
Description: Free entry, retiring collection

Friday Concert Series – Rebecca Doherty, Recorder

Beer Tasting – 20:00 – 3rd March

Churchill College MCR @ Storey’s Way, Cambridge CB3 0DS, UK

Different from the Whisk[e]y tasting, but still as classy. Booking to follow.

Beer Tasting




Handel’s Acis and Galatea – Tuesday 13 March


This will be an exciting and rare opportunity to hear an opera performed in the Senate House. Could this be shared on JCR/MCR/music society bulletins?

Acis and Galatea – Tuesday 13 March, 8.00pm, Senate House

To celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the very first performance of Acis and Galatea, you are invited

to a semi-staged performance in the historic surroundings of the Senate House. Handel’s popular pastoral opera, based on the love story from Ovid’s Metamophoses, tells of the love between the shepherd Acis and sea-nymph Galatea, thwarted by the jealous giant Polyphemus.

Nicholas Mulroy performs the role of Acis and Helena Moore is Galatea. The orchestra, performing on the University’s superb collection of historical instruments, is led by Margaret Faultless and includes some of the finest players in the University.

Tickets are available now from ADC Ticketing.

The Kate Pretty Lecture – 8th March

The second annual Kate Pretty Lecture will be delivered by Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, and is entitled ‘What science can do: The Cambridge life science cluster at a pivot point’. The lecture will take place on Thursday 8th March at 5.30 – 7.15pm in the Homerton College Auditorium. Attendance is free and open to all, however booking is required. You can find out more and register through the following link:

We’d be delighted if any members of your College decided to join us and if you could share this through your own network, we’d really appreciate this.

University Events

UCU Strikes

There has understandably been a lot of concern from students about the upcoming strike so we have decided to send an extraordinary bulletin to make sure that we are keeping you informed to the best of our abilities on the strike and what you can expect from the last few weeks of term.

Some of you will find the strike has a massive impact on the rest of your term, whilst others may have very few cancelled classes. We want to help answer your FAQs and give you the key facts so you’re prepared for the start of the strike tomorrow. CUSU has been mandated by you to back the strike, so we are also providing important information on how to support your striking staff and how to email your faculty to make sure that your voice is heard.

Key Facts:

  • Around 1000 staff will be striking
  • The strike will be four weeks of escalating action
    • Week 1: 22nd, 23rd Feb
    • Week 2: 26th, 27th, 28th Feb
    • Week 3: 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th March
    • Week 4: 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th March

The Graduate Union’s Stance

Nearly 22,000 staff at universities across the UK voted overwhelmingly for strikes and other industrial action to resist proposals to cut pensions. Under the new scheme, pensions will be dependent on investment performance. All estimates (including employers’) are of a reduction in retirement income of between 10 and 40 per cent, with a typical staff member losing between £60,000 and £200,000 over the course of their retirement. This will hurt early-career academics more than senior ones, since they have fewer benefits already built up in the pension scheme, while still repaying student loans and facing a grim housing market. These changes could be catastrophic for the future of the entire higher education sector.
The Graduate Union [GU] and CUSU who represent students (via the MCRs and JCRs) are in support, CUSU have released an open letter from students in support of the strike (link in article):
and have issued a statement:
“CUSU stands in solidarity with UCU and striking workers. We feel it important that the pensions of those who work hard for our futures, and who have, time and time again, stood by students, should be protected. The proposed changes demonstrate the continuing erosion of higher education and we are proud to draw attention to strike action as workers mark their distrust of the precarious nature of higher education. We encourage students not to cross picket lines, extend support to striking staff members via email, show support by attending “teach outs” held by university staff, educating themselves on the strike and attending this rally. Stay informed and share this statement.”
Lectures and supervisions organised centrally by departments that are scheduled over strike days may be cancelled. The sooner that the demands of the strike are conceded the sooner these disruptions will stop. The strike days are:
Week one – Thursday 22 and Friday 23 February (two days)

Week two – Monday 26Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 February (three days)

Week three – Monday 5, Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 March (four days)

Week four – Monday 12, Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14, Thursday 15 and Friday 16 March(five days)

There will be pickets at Downing, New Museums, Sidgwick (Sidgwick Avenue and West Road), West Cambridge and Old Schools. (A picket is a protest designed to discourage people from entering the workplace on strike days)

Letter from the Vice-Chancellor’

‘Dear colleagues and members of the university,

I wanted to write to you ahead of the industrial action faced by the University of Cambridge and other universities across the country.

We have a duty to students to provide them with the finest opportunities to learn, and we deeply regret any action that has a negative impact on their education.  Equally, we understand the real concern of academics who feel the pension they expected may now be changed by circumstances outside their control.  The current situation is not sustainable and needs to be resolved in the interests of students, academics and the higher education sector.

Cambridge has a limited ability to influence the process that has led to this situation.  I want to assure you categorically that there has been no collusion between Cambridge and Oxford to undermine the scheme.

We are continuing to work intensively to explore all options that could help reduce the impact of the changes proposed.  In doing so, we have been engaging extensively with other employers and the UCU.  For example, we are looking at whether there is any possibility of:

* a collective Defined Contribution scheme, which potentially offers lower risk and better returns than individual DC schemes, and

* the future reintroduction of Defined Benefit payments should real interest rates recover.

We are not confining our work to these options but looking at several others as well to ensure that we recognise and reward the talent that has made Cambridge a leading global University.  We do not know whether any of these options will be viable.  But we have a duty to find an equitable outcome for staff and ensure our students receive the education they deserve.

Professor Stephen J. Toope

More Information

The failior of the USS pension scheme and the Universitie’s response effects all academics, as such it is something we should educate ourselves about. If you have any more information about the subject, particularly, any material that describes how the pension scheme was devoid and possible courses of action to remedy the situation please send them to me (jloh2) and I will compile the articles into a reference page on our website. Some articles I have found on the subject are here:

Official University News and Notices: University News

Speech at Cambridge University Student Union Solidarity Rally – Dr. Priyamvada Gopal, Churchill College, English

Oxford’s and Cambridge’s role in the demise of USS – Michael Otsuka, LSE, Phillosophy

Why I don’t want to go on strike

You can visit to find out more about the dispute.
And this piece in Varsity:

i-Teams Application Deadline

Join Technology i-Teams for the Easter Term



Interested in how new technologies are commercialised? Looking for some hands-on business skills and experience? Then read on!

By joining a Technology i-Team, you will work for a term with students from across the University and a dedicated industry mentor. You will investigate the commercial potential of a real Cambridge invention, gaining hands-on skills and experience.

Easter Term projects:

1. Using single photons in visible light quantum systems, for cryptography, communications and sensing, with Dr. Rachel Oliver of Materials Science & Metallurgy, & Dr. Matthew Applegate of CAPE

  1. Growth factors for stem cell culture, regenerative medicine and bioprocessing, with Dr. Marko Hyvonen, Biochemistry & Dr. Catherine Onley, Qkine
  2. Finding the best healthcare applications for a natural language voice interface to web-based services, with Anthony Silver of Voice for Good

The programme lasts for a term and includes regular group sessions, team meetings and individual work. i-Teams present their final recommendations to a business and academic audience at the end of the term.

Apply via iTeams website no later than MONDAY 12 MARCH 2018, including a CV and a covering letter explaining which projects you want to do and why. Applications are welcomed from all post-graduates and postdocs. No previous commercial or scientific background is required.



Careers in Technical Writing – Thurs 1 March, 1-2pm

If you have a technical or scientific background (or interest) and enjoy writing and communicating complex ideas with clarity, this session is for you.

Technical Authoring (also known as Technical Documentation, Technical Writing, or Technical Communication) is a great way to leverage your academic qualifications, your writing skills, and your ability to grasp complex concepts, in a career that offers numerous opportunities in the UK and worldwide.

This session will provide you with information about:

• Jobs and career paths in Technical Authoring.

• Examples of industries, geographic locations, and technical fields, where opportunities exist.

• Deliverables and projects commonly worked on by Technical Authors.

• Gap analysis – what are the important skills you need, aside from your academic qualification, and how to go about acquiring them.

• Opportunities in full-time employment, as well as in contracting and remote-working.

Our presenter will be Yuri Kolber, Director of Training and Professional Services for OnTarget Communications. Yuri will start with a short presentation, followed by discussion and Q&A.

Book your place via our online diary.

Cambridge Consulting Network: Committee Applications

Interesting in learning more about consulting and helping other students get consulting experience? Apply to join CCN’s incoming committee and contribute towards the development of the largest student consultancy in the UK.

Applications are now open for the following positions:

Head of HR and Development: Manage CCN’s recruiting and project team selection processes, as well as fostering development opportunities for CCN consultants.

Head of Marketing: Responsible for CCN’s marketing strategy (managing CCN’s social media accounts, relationships with colleges and societies) and overall logistics of CCN.

Head of Events and Alumni Relations: Broaden CCN’s range of events and engage with CCN’s incredible alumni network. In charge of event organization and logistics of CCN’s events – Case Competitions, Workshops, Training sessions.

Head of IT: Manage CCN’s website and administrative system. Participate in designing CCN’s magazine – CCN Insights. Experience in web development, WordPress and Adobe Creative suite is beneficial but candidates who are willing to develop quickly these skills will also be considered.

Treasurer: Help manage CCN and CUCS’ budget, finances accounts.

Interested in applying?

Send the following to in a single pdf file, by Thursday, 8 March 2018, 4pm:
– Position(s) you are applying for
– CV
– Motivation for applying (word limit = 100 words)
– Degree and Graduation year
– Previous involvement with CCN and CUCS.

Best regards,
CCN Committee 2017/18

CamExpress: Educational Consultancy

CamExpress is an educational consultancy firm, established in Shanghai and London (UK registered 06932043), which aims to introduce Chinese A-level students to Western approaches to their studies and prepare them for student life in the UK. Participating interns therefore provide subject tuition but, perhaps more importantly, also offer Chinese students the opportunity to network and engage with British-based undergraduates before they embark on a degree in the UK. Put it simply, CamExpress aims to provide Chinese students with the best complementary educational services possible.

Since its establishment, the company has recruited current Oxbridge students as university application mentors. Within the Shanghai market, CamExpress has developed the industry’s leading university preparation summer camps and other value-adding educational services for Chinese students. This is backed up by the consistency of our results: right now, there are around 80 former CamExpress students currently studying at Oxbridge.

For the 2018 summer programme (based in Shanghai and Qingdao, China), CamExpress are once again seeking hard-working, highly motivated and enthusiastic individuals with a consistent academic record and a desire to add significant value to the students and overall programme.

Benefits of the scheme include:

  • Being based in China for a period of 8 weeks during summer 2018
  • A travel grant of £600 to cover flight costs
  • Free accommodation
  • A weekly stipend
  • Organised weekend entertainment and trips

The following are some criteria that Cam Express will be looking for in prospective applicants:

  • Excellent academic track record
  • Strong command of both written and spoken English
  • High levels of motivation
  • Ability to work well in a team
  • Passionate about education consulting
  • Degree course in one of the following subjects: engineering, natural sciences (chemistry, physics, biology), mathematics, medicine, computer science, finance and accounting, land economy or economics major, history, philosophy

Those that are interested in applying can find more information here:

and will need to

1 Fill in the application form, found here:


2 Send in their CVs and Cover Letters to

better by March 9, 2018.

If you have any further question or simply want to find out more about the programme, please do get in touch with one of our representatives at

Debate Chamber – Summer School Teaching Opportunities 2018 (London based)

We are a small educational company established in 2003. We offer students a taste of their chosen subject at undergraduate level, enabling them to make a more informed choice about their university options, as well as to have fun getting really stuck into some challenging academic material together with equally enthusiastic peers.

We’re a little different to other tutoring companies, in that we don’t coach students to pass their school exams, and we don’t give university interview or other applications advice. Instead, we seek to appeal to students with a genuine intellectual curiosity and a desire to explore academic material in a more sophisticated way than is often available in schools.

At Debate Chamber we believe in a style of learning which is not constrained by the requirements of examinations, and which offers students the chance to engage with some great academic material for its own sake, rather than in an instrumental way. We encourage students to explore material more independently, pursuing their own interests and questions, rather than trying to second guess the desires of an examiner, interviewer or teacher.

We are looking for applicants to work with us on our 2018 Summer Schools in July and August.

We are currently looking to recruit tutors in the following areas: Economics, English Literature, International Relations, Law, Dentistry, Medicine, Philosophy, Critical Theory, Politics, Mathematics and Physics. You can find out more about the content of our all courses on our website here:

Most of our Tutors are post-graduate students, and a minimum of an undergrad degree in a relevant subject is required for any teaching role.

We are based in central London (Bloomsbury), and the rate of pay is £145 per day (all lesson plans and teaching materials are supplied). We run an eight week summer programme, so depending in your subject there would be likely to be somewhere between two to eight weeks of work available. To find out more about the tutoring positions and to apply online please go to:

If you have any questions, or would like to send your cover letter and cv directly, then please contact Jessica Harvey-Smith, at or on 0845 5194 827.

If you have any questions about our company or the tutoring opportunities we have available then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Best wishes,

Jess Harvey-Smith


Churchill Alumni Founded Tech Startup Recruiting Now

Farming Data is a tech startup co-founded by the Churchill Alumni Dr Jacqui Poon.

About the social enterprise:

Farming Data ( is an early-stage startup with a social mission of improving market access for smallholder farmers and buyers across sub-Saharan Africa. Smallholder farmers manage small plots of land and rely on their agricultural surplus to feed and support their families. But, markets don’t favour smallholder farmers and often restrict their access. To solve this issue, we are developing a suite of digital marketplace and logistical tools that connect smallholder farmers with better markets using real-time, location-specific data. Our next step is preparing to pilot our platform in Tanzania.

Do you want to join us? If you want to help make a positive social impact and are familiar (or can pick up new skills very quickly) with the following key technical aspects (or related areas), then drop us a line with your background / interest ( Our team includes Churchill College alumni and we’re eager to bring more on board!

Our expected timeframes are:

1) Immediate

  • Android / java development

  • Back end

  • Front end (XML)

  • NoSQL databases (Firebase cloud firestore)

  • Git / github

​2) From March / April

  • Node.js / Javascript for cloud functions

  • Authentication / security

  • Twilio

If you have any questions, feel free to email us.

Thanks and hoping to hear from you soon!

Research Study Recruitment


The Bluesci 2018 Mental Wellbeing Survey

Does your subject affect your mental wellbeing?
BlueSci are carrying out a survey to understand students’ mental wellbeing and how it relates to the subjects we study. Your workload, your subject matter, the people around you – how do they affect you?
This survey takes 5 minutes and the results will be published in the next issue of BlueSci. Your answers will help to show how faculties can best support us during our time at the University of Cambridge. Please follow the link to the survey:


Bursaries for Language Study Abroad


Administered by the Language Centre, the AJ Pressland Fund offers bursaries of up to £1,000 to support language study abroad for students within the Schools of Biological Science, Clinical Medicine, Physical Science and Technology.

Students should be planning to study a language overseas for up to 4 weeks during the Long Vacation and funds awarded may be used to support course fees, accommodation and travel as required.