The Mexica empire, Clara Zetkin, Dengue Fever: College funds 25 student summer projects

Every year the College offers funding to support undergraduates who wish to undertake a research project during the Long Vacation. The scheme is competitive and students must submit a research proposal to the Warden and Tutors’ Committee, who judge the applications. Once again this year, despite the restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic students came up with creative ways to carry out research on a wide range of topics.

This year, 25 students were successful:

  • Elizabeth Down (Year 2, History)
  • Andrei-Horatiu Eftime (Year 2, Physics)
  • Megan Evans (Year 2, Physics)
  • Merit Flugler (Year 2, Law)
  • Alice Hilder Jarvis (Year 3, Maths and Philosophy)
  • Christian Kirk (Year 3, Biology)
  • Matteo Baccaglini (Year 3, PPE)
  • Tara Biddle (Year 3, Chemistry)
  • James Bowen (Year 2, English)
  • Pax Butchart (Year 2, English)
  • Dragos Crisan (Year 2, Maths)
  • Kirsty Fielding (Year 4, Chemistry)
  • Caitlin Frank (Year 2, Maths)
  • Prahalad Giridhar (Year 1, Biology)
  • Isabelle Goodridge (Year 3, Biochemistry)
  • Isaac Hawcock (Year 2, History)
  • Rishin Madan (Year 2, Physics and Philosophy)
  • Nicholas Mitchell (Year 3, Physics)
  • Phoebe Mountain (Year 2, Medicine)
  • Phitawat Namnouad (Year 4, Chemistry)
  • Joana Neves Teixeira (Year 2, History and Politics)
  • Jeremy Nohel (Year 1, Maths)
  • Ethan Prince (Year 2, Biochemistry)
  • Willow Rolls (Year 3, Biochemistry)
  • Lasse Wolff (Year 3, Physics and Philosophy)

The projects covered such diverse topics as the 15th century Mexica empire (Joana Neves Teixeira), women’s rights activist Clara Zetkin (Elizabeth Down), Special Relativity (Lasse Wolff) and Dengue Fever (Ethan Prince). A selection of reports from those who took part in the scheme are available to read here.

The students who took part were enthusiastic about the benefits they had gained from taking part in the scheme:

“For me, this project was a great opportunity to learn a lot of interesting Mathematics (mostly algebraic in flavour) and work on an exciting and hard research problem. Not only did I learn a lot of technical results, but I got exposed to a whole world of modern algebra. I liked to work on an unsolved problem and, in particular, I loved the liberty to try any approach, even when most of them ultimately failed. This project truly confirmed my desire to do a PhD in Mathematics, probably something algebraic in nature.”
Dragos Crisan

“Whilst it was somewhat daunting, planning and structuring my time independently with no external deadlines, I ended up really enjoying it. It was good practice for this year, when I will be writing my thesis, and will use many of the same skills I’ve used this summer. It also allowed me to practice my German, especially in an academic context. Overall, I am very grateful to have been allowed this opportunity, and would encourage anyone considering it to apply.”
Elizabeth Down

“The project offered the opportunity of a lifetime to investigate these questions with a blank canvas and open mind as to what the results might be, and so discern whether I could pursue this interest in future postgraduate studies.”
Matteo Baccaglini

“From this project I have had an opportunity to further improve my laboratory skills, experience independent research, time management and organisation. I have had opportunities to train on and use various machines and equipment that I otherwise would not have experienced in any undergraduate study. Working alongside postgraduates and post doctorates has been a privilege and I enjoyed learning about their careers and learning from their experience. This project overall has given me valuable insight into what a career in research could look like for me and post graduate study certainly looks more promising.”
Tara Biddle

Applications for next year’s Summer Projects scheme open in February 2022.