MCR Gazette – Michaelmas Week 8

Good morning Churchillians,

We finally made it to week 8, and that means it’s nearly time for MCR Guest Night. If you are bar trained, the Vicious Penguin needs you! We need help to keep the bar running throughout the night, so please, if you can spare 1 hour on the night, sign up here:

Savvas is also still accepting entries to the MCR Photography Competition, until the 29th of November. The theme this year is Jump, and entries should be emailed to sg834.





Churchill College Calling Campaign is now recruiting!

Are you looking for a summer job?

Would you like to earn money, build skills and support your College!

If so, you could be one of 13 students selected to take part in our eleventh Churchill College Call Campaign from the 23 June – 8 July 2018. Generous benefits include an excellent hourly rate of pay, £112 per week towards accommodation rent costs in or out of College, a free meal each day of calling, full professional training (paid), CV points and job references and plenty of free time. Visit  the Call Campaign recruitment page to find out more, read the FAQs including previous student caller testimonials and apply online for your chance to join the calling team.

If you are worried about the time commitment required, see full details below:

The Call Campaign will run from 23 June – 8 July 2018

Training days:

  • June 23: 9.45am – 5.00pm
  • June 24: 9.45am – 4.30pm  & 6:15pm – 8:00pm (short calling session)

Calling sessions:

Monday – Friday: 6:15pm – 9:30pm

Saturday: 11:45am – 6:00pm

Sunday 1:45pm – 8:00pm

Days off: Friday 29 June, Thursday 5 July

In addition, any final year students will not be required to work on the 30 June (Graduation)



29th November – ChuTalks: Victor Kang on “How do pitcher plants capture and retain their prey? Insights from biochemistry and rheology of Nepenthes rafflesiana trapping.”

2nd December – MCR Guest Night


Deadline 15th December – eSCAMPS 2018 Registration and Abstract Submission NOW OPEN

We are excited to announce that registration and abstract submission for eSCAMPS 2018 is now open!

The EBI-Sanger-Cambridge PhD Symposium (eSCAMPS) is a free, annual, one-day conference for postgraduate students with an interest in biological and medical research. This year, eSCAMPS is taking place at Clare College Conference Centre on February 9th 2018.

eSCAMPS is a wonderful opportunity to hear from visionaries across scientific fields, network with students and sponsors from a variety of institutions and companies, and present your own research in a poster or student talk. The deadline for abstract submission is December 15th 2017, and the deadline for registration is January 5th 2018. Register at

From glittering academic CVs to industry visionaries, prepare to be inspired! We have four fantastic keynote speakers confirmed:

Dr Rino Rappuoli, Chief Scientist & Head of External R&D at GSK Vaccines. Served as a visiting scientist at Rockefeller University and Harvard Medical School. Known for introducing concepts of genetic detoxification, reverse vaccinology, and the pangenome. Nominated in 2013 as third most influential person worldwide in the field of vaccines.
Dr Francesca Cesari, Chief Biological Sciences Editor at Nature, overseeing the biological sciences section of Nature. Former Senior Editor of Nature Reviews Molecular Biology and briefly worked at Nature Cell Biology.
Prof Steve Jones, Emeritus Professor of Genetics at University College London, award-winning author of several popular science books, and world-leading expert on snails
Prof Eske Willerslev, Professor of Ecology & Evolution at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Centre of Excellence in GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen. Known for sequencing the first ancient human genome, conducting human population genomic studies across the world, and establishing the field of environmental DNA.

The programme for the day will also include an expert panel discussion on the Future of Scientific Publishing. There will also be plenty of time for discussion and networking over complimentary lunch and refreshments! Prizes will be awarded for the best student talks and posters as voted for by attendees. All student speakers will also be invited to attend a post-conference dinner with the keynote speakers, sponsors and organisers. Please visit our website for more information and free registration. We look forward to seeing you at eSCAMPS 2018!


The eSCAMPS 2018 Organising Committee






Ongoing – The Wren Choir: Cambridge’s Graduate Choir

The Wren Choir, also termed “Cambridge’s Graduate Choir” meets for rehearsals and performances almost exclusively during the University Vacations, thus is suitable for those who have a link with the University but are now postgraduates or employed full-time in Cambridge or the surrounding area.  It is particularly suitable for those post-grads who either have a Term-time choir, or heavy teaching commitments during Term which mean they miss out on choir membership entirely.  Membership is open to anyone who has a past or present link with the University who is an experienced singer, for example, has been a member of a chapel choir for a couple of years.

The commitment is low as members sign up to do a particular performance and the associated rehearsals if they are available.  We generally have one or two ad hoc gigs during the Christmas Vac, one during the Easter Vac, and one each end of the Long Vac.  People are not blacklisted if they have a couple of busy vacations and can’t join in for a while.

Rehearsals and most performances take place in Pembroke’s “Wren” Chapel, and are always in the evening, normally at 6pm after the working day.  The Wrens are social choir, and rehearsals are generally followed by the chance to go to a pub with other choir members.

Our current plan for the Christmas Vac is an Epiphany service at All Saints in Milton, 1.30pm for 3.30pm on Sunday 7th January 2018.

If you are interested in joining the mailing list, please email Heather Coleman on with your voice type and a brief summary of your prior singing experience.


29th November – Professor Jacob Klein on “A physicists perspective on osteoarthritis: from hydration lubrication to gene regulation” @ 16:00, Pippard Lecture Theatre, Cavendish Lab

The major mammalian joints such as hips or knees are uniquely-efficient tribological systems. In health, the articular cartilage coating them presents the most remarkably lubricated surfaces known in nature. They can slide past each other with friction coefficients down to 0.001 or lower under pressures of 100 atmospheres or more at sliding velocities from rest to several cm/second (shear rates ca. 1 – 106 sec-1), and they do this over a lifetime. No man-made surfaces can approach this. But when this lubrication breaks down, the result can be degradation of the articular cartilage, and onset of osteoarthritis (OA), a debilitating joint disease affecting millions (some 6M in the UK alone). An understanding of the molecular origins and the physics of the very efficient lubrication at the cartilage surface is thus essential for better treatments of OA.

The talk will describe recent breakthoughs in our understanding of cartilage friction based on the emergent hydration lubrication paradigm. In this mechanism, water molecules in hydration shells just a few Å thick can massively reduce frictional dissipation between sliding surfaces. The roles of lubricin, hyaluronic acid and phospholipids – crucial lubricating components of the joints – in enabling such lubrication is considered. In particular, the effect of the low friction not only on the wear and tear of the cartilage but especially on shear of the chondrocyte cells embedded within it, and the ensuing mechanotransductive effects on gene regulation, is emphasized as part of the underlying picture for the well-being of the joints arising from their tribological properties.

There will be a canape reception following the lecture.


Ongoing – Tickets on sale now for Churchill College Spring Ball

Saturday 10th February will be a night of indulgence, variety and delight – unlimited food, drink and entertainment (including a soon to be announced headliner)!!! So ILLUMINATE your February with a Churchill Spring Ball ticket.

*** Ticket prices increase at 11.00am on 1st December from £88.00 to £98.00 for Standard and £98.00 to £108.00 for Queue Jump. Purchase now to avoid this £10.00 increase!  ***

You have just over a week to purchase your tickets using your Churchill College Account (Michaelmas Term Bill). Simply head over to the Churchill Spring Ball website ( and upon purchase, select the ‘College Account’ payment option. You will receive a confirmation email at a later date confirming that your bill has been successfully processed. To re-iterate, this option is available up until 1st December 2017.

Alternatively, we are also happy to accept Debit/Credit Card payments.

Simply follow the instructions on our website.

Purchasing a ticket is quick and easy! So don’t miss out on the highlight of the academic year!




Gotoco has now opened applications for its 2018 summer TEFL programmes which take place in diverse locations across China. Teach Chinese students English and gain a TEFL certificate, while learning all about Chinese culture and exploring one of the most diverse countries in the world. Apply today and have an unforgettable summer!


  This year Gotoco is offering 500 places on summer teaching programmes across all over China. Join us to assist with teaching projects in one of our ‘real China’ programmes in a typical Chinese city (such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing or elsewhere) to learn about what is really happening in this exciting country. At the end of the programme we offer a free one week holiday to Yangshuo – our base in the mountains to the east of Vietnam, which is Lonely Planet’s top-rated destination in the whole country! (see photo below, or at this link


  Exact dates vary for each programme, we aim to be as flexible as possible to cater to the needs of our volunteers. We can offer various programme durations, anything from 2 weeks to 3 months. Start dates are flexible, but typically programmes begin at the end of June, mid-July or the beginning of August.


  Join us to learn about China and the world while gaining a valuable TEFL certificate, along the way make lifelong friends from among the other volunteers on your teams and the students you help. Pick up valuable CV boosting work experience while earning references for any future jobs you may wish to apply for. Most importantly, have an exciting gap year style adventure and the trip of a lifetime!

  To read about some of the many benefits of taking part, why not check out past volunteer’s testimonials here:



  Taking part in this programme is completely FREE OF CHARGE, we also cover the costs of TEFL certification, Chinese lessons, trips, accommodation and meals, with NO ADDITIONAL FEES!

  Just buy your flights and get a visa and come join us in China. We also are able to cover the flight costs of those that join us as campus reps.



  Check out our website – – to find out more, or apply straight away at this link: [2]



Ongoing – Participants required for a memory study (fMRI) (£30 for 2.5h)

The Memory Lab at the Department of Psychology is looking for volunteers to participate in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study investigating memory function across the lifespan. The study involves performing a computerized memory task while lying in the MRI scanner, and will take place at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit. The study session will last up to 2 ½ hours, but participants will be in the scanner for only half of that time. Participants will be paid £30 and receive a high-quality picture of their brain!  

We are looking for native English-speaking participants who are aged between 18 and 30, are right-handed, and have no current or historical diagnosis of any developmental, psychiatric, neurological disorder, or learning difficulty. Participants should also have normal or corrected-to-normal vision and hearing and must not be colour blind. 

If you’d be interested in taking part, or would like to receive further information about the study, please email Saana Korkki at


The Churchill MCR Gazette exists for the purpose of publicizing events to students. The MCR does not back any particular set of political or religious beliefs or lifestyle. Inclusion of events in the Gazette does not imply endorsement by the Churchill MCR.