MCR Gazette – Lent Week 8

Good Morning Churchillians,

Congratulations on making it to Week 8. I hope you have faired well this term. We have CHUyoga this week and The MCR Guest Night next weekend to help you relax & celebrate. Next term you have The Churchill College Conference on Everything to look forward to, the pinnacle of academic life in the MCR. Don’t forget to submit an abstract before submissions close on the 30th March.

I hope you have an excellent end to term. To the masters students, I hope you have a relaxing vacation *a productive study break*; and to the research students, I hope you enjoy the piece and quiet of Cambridge out of term.

Best wishes,



MCR Events

CHUyoga – 12th March

Churchill College MCR yoga class will start at 18:00, in Squash Court 3. Contact for more info.

Orchestra on the Hill – 13th March

Venue: St Edmund’s College Chapel
Description: Including concertos for clarinet, guitar and flute.

Orchestra on the Hill


CHUtalks – 14th March: Building sustainable accommodation for bacterial families: will it be possible to overcome the need for animal testing?

Title: “Building sustainable accommodation for bacterial families: will it be possible to overcome the need for animal testing?”
Find out what research is going on in Churchill. Cheese and wine to follow.


MCR Guest Night – 17th March

Celebrate St. Patrick’s day in style at the most popular event of term.

Gather your guests and join us at Churchill College on the 17th of March, St. Patrick’s Day, for the MCR Lent Term Guest Night.

Guest Night is the largest formal of term and features a wide range of live performances, entertainment and drinks to tempt and delight. This term’s event is on the theme of the Irish National Holiday in honour of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

Feeling lucky? Test the power of your lucky four leaf-clover at Churchill Casino and our raffle in aid of Cancer Research UK. Order some our specially crafted themed drinks and sing a traditional ballad at our karaoke before dancing the night away at our silent disco.

More info:


The Churchill Conference on Everything

I am pleased to announce that the submissions for the Conference on Everything are now open.
The Conference on Everything is the pinnacle of academic life in College. MCR students are invited to present their research through talks and posters to an audience composed of the other Churchillians – students and fellows. As the title suggests, a wonderful variety of topics is expected at the conference which aims to please the most curious among us. This year, the event will be held at the Fellows’ Dining Room on Saturday 28th April and will be followed by the Advanced Students’ dinner (free for everyone!), making this day even more extraordinary. More details about the programme of the conference and the keynote speaker will follow.
The participants will be considered by a panel of Churchill fellows and alumni for the Alex Mischenko Prize for Best Poster and the Sir David Wallace Prize for Best Presentation. If you are interested in giving a talk and/or presenting a poster, please complete this sign-up form (or send an email to mcr-academic@chu) until 16th March. Regarding the talks, students signed-up before this date will be given priority, while abstracts (one paragraph long) are due on 30th March.
 – 05/03: Submission sing-up open
 – 16/03: Submissions – phase 1 closed
 – 30/03: Abstracts submission deadline
 – 09/04: Programme
 – 27/04: Slides + posters submission
 – 28/04: Conference
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to your responses!
Best regards,
Savvas Gkantonas
MCR Academic Officer
Churchill College

University Events

Student President applications open for Cambridge University Musical Society

Student President of Cambridge University Musical Society

Applications are now sought for the role of Student President of Cambridge University Musical Society.  CUMS this year celebrates its one hundred and seventy-fifth year, and boasts a rich history of fostering the best musical performance in the University.  Today the ensembles include the Cambridge University Orchestra and Sinfonia, the Cambridge University Wind Orchestra, the Cambridge University Symphony Chorus, the Cambridge University Chamber Choir and Cambridge University Percussion Ensemble, as well as associate ensembles such as Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra.  The vision of the society is to promote the highest level of music making to the greatest number of Cambridge students.

The role of Student President is an invaluable insight into the world of arts management.  The President is intimately involved with all areas of the vision and running of CUMS, whether co-ordinating programming, chairing meetings of the Management Committee, being the student representative at the Board of Trustees, representing the interests of students, welcoming guest conductors and soloists, and, ultimately, being able to enjoy not only the planning and preparation of fine concerts across all ensembles, but their performance too.

The role of Student President never demands more than a few hours per week.  It requires somebody who is organised, efficient, confident working with students, trustees and guest musician alike, and is passionate about music making and arts management.

If you’d like to know more about the role, please speak to Edward Reeve (er446) or Chloe Davidson (cnd26).

To apply, please send Katharine Ambrose (kla39) a CV and covering letter detailing your interest in the role, both what you’d be looking for in the role and what you would be able to give to CUMS through it.  The deadline is 5pm on 23rd March.

UCU Strikes

For the latest info on strike information see:

Letter from the Master to Alistair Jarvis

The letter from the Master to Alistair Jarvis at UUK regarding the pensions consultation has now been posted on the College website:



USS pensions dispute update overview

5th March 18

Just in case you were wondering how the pensions dispute is progressing please take a look at the information below:

A 1-page update from Cambridge UCU on the current dispute over pensions can be found at:

Many thanks to those who continue to be so very supportive in so many ways!

Thank you too to everyone who was able to sign the recent USS Grace; it was just published in yesterday’s Reporter with 501 signatures!  You can review it online at:

Note that “The Council has referred the Grace to its Finance Committee and will consider the Grace, and the Finance Committee’s response to it, at its meeting on 19 March 2018.”

All USS members of staff are invited to meet (and speak, if you wish) for a Discussion in Regent House on 20 March, 2-6pm in Lady Mitchell Hall (Sidgwick site).  For more details see:

If you would like to attend and have not been to a Regent House Discussion before or have any questions, please let me know.

The V-C announced yesterday that there will be an open meeting for USS members of staff on Friday 9 March, however it is already full.  It is due to be recorded and made available for staff unable to attend.  Previously, Anthony Odgers (University CFO) indicated that there are also due to be roadshows in late March, with more information to be provided at: .uk/ .

If you would like to chat to us on the JJ Thompson Avenue picket please come along Tuesday to Thursday mornings this week.





Colin Edwards, Computer Officer,

IT Services, Department of Physics,

University of Cambridge Cavendish Laboratory,

JJ Thomson Avenue,



Message to University members from the VC on the pensions dispute

7th March 18

Dear colleagues and members of the University,


I have had many heartfelt messages from staff and students about the pensions dispute, and heard from many more in person. We must end the disruption to students, and quickly, but we need a solution that recognises the deep frustration felt by staff and maintains our appeal for scholars from around the world.


As you know from my previous statements (, we have been working hard on developing ideas for both short and long-term solutions for this crisis.


I will be asking the Council to accept greater risk and cost in the short-term as a bridge to a sustainable long-term solution in the interests of the sector, the University and individual members of USS. We also support the calls by others for an expert academic group to look at the current valuation.


There is an Open Meeting on Friday with representation from the UCU to hear your concerns. We will arrange additional meetings if it would be helpful. I remain committed to finding a way through this impasse.


Professor Stephen J. Toope



Message to students from the PVC for Education on industrial action

6th March 2018

Dear students,

I am writing to provide you with an update on the steps that the University is taking to minimise the disruption to your teaching brought about by the ongoing industrial action.

As I said in an email sent on 23 February, the University is making every effort to ensure that your studies are not adversely affected. With that in mind, I have written to all heads of institutions requesting that they make reasonable attempts to seek alternative arrangements to deliver teaching affected by strike action, as well as to make any relevant materials available to you from cancelled teaching.


Many students will be concerned about the impact disrupted teaching will have on their examinations. Again, I have issued guidance to Faculties and Departments on this subject, asking heads of institutions to consider whether changes to exams need to be made. It may be that they do not. However, a range of interventions may be put in place, including:


  • Removing questions on material that has not been taught and replacing them with others on material that has
  • Changing the form and conduct of exams. This might include increasing or decreasing the number of questions set, or removing restrictions on compulsory questions
  • Setting aside exam regulations – for example, shortening a paper from the standard three hours and requiring fewer questions to be answered.


I have asked all Departments and Faculties to provide an update to students on examination arrangements by 16 March. If you are a PhD candidate, and have concerns about the effect of strike action on your viva, please contact the secretary of your Degree Committee for advice.


Please rest assured that the University commits to maintaining fairness to candidates at all times while upholding the integrity of the examination process.


More information for students on the strike action, covering issues such as compensation, supervisions, and where to direct further queries, is available at:


The University is aware that this is a difficult and stressful period for many students. A range of advice and useful contacts relating to wellbeing can be found here:


Finally, I would like to reassure you that the University is doing everything that it can to encourage the two sides at the heart of this dispute to end the current disruption. In the meantime, education teams at the University are monitoring the situation, and measures are continually being considered as the situation evolves.


Professor Graham Virgo

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education

John Kinsella Poetry Reading and Discussion Forum – 13th March – Churchill Recital Rooms

John Kinsella’s literary works are predominantly reactions to the wounds inflicted by humans on the natural environment of Western Australia and on the people who live there, as well as to the destruction of all forms of life and habitat world-wide. His latest book, The Wound, takes the form of two short books in conversation with each other – the first from the perspective of Sweeney, the anti-hero of the Middle-Irish epic poem Buile Suibhne, the second an ‘interaction’ with poems by Hölderlin – both books making a single but pluralistic response to the destruction witnessed by the poet and exploring the possibility of peace emerging from global conflict. This is Kinsella at his most powerful and articulate: his imagery is electrifying, his poetic voice is both assured and passionate, his message is stark and to the point. This is writing of political resistance against militarism and environmental destruction. Join us at 5:15 on Tuesday 13th March in the Recital Room at the Music Centre in Churchill for a reading of The Wound by John Kinsella followed by a discussion.



Impulse 2018 – Entrepreneurship Programme for tech innovators 

Are you ready for the next step to make your innovative idea/project a reality?

Impulse, the Entrepreneurship Programme for tech innovators based at the Maxwell Centre, University of Cambridge helps you to transform your innovative idea into a “high potential” business case. More than 80 top-tier entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and industry experts share their expertise, offer senior level mentoring and guidance. Impulse provides you an intensive and steep learning curve experience.

Accept the challenge and apply today. The programme starts on 8 April 2018.


The programme is particularly relevant for PhDs, Postdocs and researchers exploring entrepreneurial opportunities, corporate innovators seeking to cultivate innovative mindsets and entrepreneurial culture in employees, and early stage entrepreneurslooking to build high quality networks with industry experts and the business community.


@Cambridge University members: EPSRC, Electronic Engineering, STFC and Barclays Eagle Lab sponsor places. Only a few places are still available.


Expended application deadline: 19 March 2018
More information about the programme can you find here.


Please get in touch and email us on

Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards 2018

The Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School is hosting an information session to present the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards 2018 and explain how to enter.

This annual business pitching competition encourages and supports university students to be more entrepreneurial. It is open to all students and graduates from the University of Cambridge (a Santander Universities UK partner). Two businesses are selected from each university with winners gaining a range of prizes including £25,000 of equity-free seed funding and mentoring from business experts.

This year participants can take part in one of the following two categories:

Technology business – defined as a business or idea with hardware and/or software central to the businesses value proposition

Non-technology business – defined as a business or idea that has a value proposition that is not primarily based around hardware and/or software

Date: 15 March 2018

Time: 13:00 – 14:00

Venue: Castle Teaching Room, Cambridge Judge Business School, Trumpington Street, CB2 1AG

Please register to attend the information session.

Stage 1 submission date: 20 April 2018. All submissions to this competition must come via Cambridge Judge Business School’s Entrepreneurship Centre.

For more information see: or contact the Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School at


Dragons at Downing Live in the Howard Theatre

15th March 6pm – 8pm

Downing Enterprise is an early stage business competition hosted annually at Downing College.

Our board, consisting of a number of successful Venture Capitalists, legal experts, and Investment Bankers will be in attendance on the 15th of March to assess the business plans of 6 finalists for the 2018 Downing Enterprise business plan competition.

Join us for a live ‘Dragons Den’ style business competition, attendance is free. Finalists include teams working on AI, hydrogen fuel cells, and even a new board game. More detail and sign up below:


Research Study Recruitment

Smartphone Psychology Study (£7.5 per hour)

Healthy volunteers WANTED for a paid research study at the University of Cambridge

The study consists of two visits (one week apart) at our laboratory where you will complete questionnaires, computer-based cognitive tests (1-2 hours/visit), record a video of yourself, and be exposed to potentially anxiety inducing objects. Between the visits you will perform brief tasks on your smartphone, a few times a day. You must be between 18-65 years to partake in this study, and should own a smartphone (Android/iPhone). Volunteers will be paid for completion of the study (£7.5 per hour), and travel expenses will be covered. The study will take place at the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute (BCNI), Downing site (City Centre).

This study involves doing a short questionnaire online (ca. 5 min). Depending on your answers, we may invite you for a brief phone interview to determine your eligibility to participate in the study.


You can NOT participate if you are currently pregnant, are suffering from any current or past mental illness, or physical illness, or taking medication.

OR for more information, please contact Mr. Baland Jalal at or 07533 969609

Psychology Study (£10)

We are urgently recruiting some male participants, aged 23+, for our study on emotional egocentricity bias and mirror touch synaesthesia. It involves completing an online form that lasts about half an hour and an exciting study in our testing room that lasts up to 90 minutes. You will be paid £10 for your time. If you are male, right handed, and interested in taking part, please email Anna Hackney at and/or Radi Shopova at . Also feel free to email if you would like any more information!



eLife Innovation Sprint 2018

Dates: May 10-11, 2018
Times: 9am5:30pm each day
Location: Cambridge Junction (J3), Cambridge, UK
In May 2018, eLife are challenging technologists, developers and researchers to bring cutting-edge technology to open research communication.The eLife Innovation Sprint is a two-day challenge for developers, designers, technologists and researchers to collaboratively prototype new innovations that improve research transparency and accessibility, and accelerate discovery in the life sciences, by developing open-source technologies in collaboration with the wider community.
We invite you — whether change maker or web wrangler, UX champion or data tinkerer — to apply to participate in person.
Applications will close at 9am GMT on March 5, and we aim to communicate the outcome of each application by March 23.

Object – Essay Competition: “Evaluate the Environmental Impact of Prostitution” (£500)

Essay toppic: “evaluate the environmental impact of prostitution”

The aim of this competition is to implore the younger generation to learn about the issue of prostitution, and its impact on society as a whole and specifically the environment. The aim of this competition is to implore the younger generation to learn about the issue of prostitution, and its impact on society as a whole and specifically the environment. Object is a feminist campaigning group.

To enter the competition an individual has to be aged between 17 and 30, including a scanned ID with submission. The essay has to be up to 5000 words, plus references, submitted by 1st May 2018. The essay needs to be evidence-based, fully referenced and needs to have a wide and deep focus by exploring and analysing the feminist outlook on the subject. First prize is £500 and second is £250. The winning essays will be published on Object’s website ( Furthermore, the winners will gain the opportunity to do a research internship with Object, and will be invited to read their essay at Object’s AGM in June 2018 in London. The winners will receive their prize from a well-known academic or campaigner. The winner will be announced on the 20th May 2018, this will include a week’s accommodation in London around the prize-giving date. This is an exciting and rewarding opportunity for the emerging younger generation’s emerging campaigners, academics, policy advisors and social researchers.