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Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme

Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholar wins Global Grad Show award

Constantin Kilcher (2019 cohort)

Faculty of History, Clare College

We are delighted to announce that SEET (Support Education, Empower Together), an organisation co-founded by Constantin, has won a Global Grad Show award.

The Global Grad Show showcases graduate student projects that are addressing complex issues around the world through innovative social impact.  This year, 150 projects were shortlisted for the Show, including SEET in the ‘Building resilient communities’ category.

SEET is a study support and mentorship programme helping refugee women fulfil their potential – you can find out more here.


Welcome to the 2021 Scholars

The Vice-Chancellor and the Master of St Catharine's College welcomed our third cohort of Scholars in an online event held on 20 October 2021. 

Guests also had the opportunity to hear more about the broad research portfolio of the Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars, with research presentations from members of the 2019 and 2020 cohorts: Claire Marie Guimond (Earth Sciences), Mehmet Doğar (History) and Jonathan Pinnell (Physics).

We are delighted that our third cohort has joined us and you can read more about the event here.




“By giving trees a platform to tell us their life stories in real-time on Twitter, new tree monitoring technology is bringing us closer to forest ecosystems and the harsh new realities that they face due to climate change.”

 Grace Field


Grace Field (2019 cohort)

Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Trinity Hall

Take a look at Grace’s fascinating article, “To save forests, researchers are hooking trees up to Twitter”, co-authored with two forest scientists, Dr Tim Rademacher (Harvard Forest) and Professor Kathy Steppe (Ghent University).


Brigid presenting her paper via Zoom at the 2021 CSANA annual conference.

Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholar wins Best Graduate Student Paper Prize and embarks on exciting new Research Affiliate role

Brigid Ehrmantraut (2019 cohort)

Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, Wolfson College

Congratulations to Brigid, who has been awarded the prize for best graduate student paper delivered at the Celtic Studies Association of North America (CSANA) annual conference. Brigid presented her award-winning paper, ‘A Wrong Turn on the Way to Troy’: Samson and the Classical Tradition in Medieval Ireland, via Zoom on the penultimate day of the four-day conference, hosted virtually by Virginia Tech.

Brigid has also recently joined the Aarhus University's Classical Influences and Irish Culture (CLIC) project as a Research Affiliate.  The project aims to show how classical models expose the shifting political structures of the nation through the politics of language, of conflict, of (post)colonialism, of gender, of identity. Brigid explains:

“The project's interdisciplinary focus on early medieval through modern Ireland dovetails well with my doctoral research on medieval Irish reception of Classical mythology and supernatural characters. As an Affiliate, I attend and contribute to regular seminars and will have the opportunity to present my own research.”

You can find out more about the CLIC project here.




“In a way one might think that memory and identity would be the most natural of all terms for historians but that is in fact not at all the case...”

Constantin Kilcher


Constantin Kilcher (2019 cohort)

Faculty of History, Clare College

Convened by Constantin every other week during term time, the DAAD-funded German History Research Group provides a unique environment for scholars from different disciplines, working with different methods and time periods, to discuss German history.

In early March, workshop presentations explored the complex history of memory, space, and identity. Afterwards Constantin was one of the postgraduate researchers who participated in a wide-ranging debate about identity and memory in contemporary German history.  Listen to a podcast of this discussion here.


"The journey has taught me that self-belief and perseverance are invaluable."

Sian Gooding

A journey to Cambridge on 'the road less travelled'

Sian Gooding (2019 cohort)

Faculty of Computer Science & Technology, Jesus College

In an interview with the Computer Laboratory, Sian speaks about her journey to PhD study at the University of Cambridge and why you should never give up, no matter the odds. Read about how Sian took the ‘road less travelled’ here.





Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholar wins prestigious Winifred Georgina Holgate Pollard Memorial Prize

Rachel Mckeown (2020 cohort)

Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, St Catharine’s College

We are delighted that Rachel has been selected to receive a Winifred Georgina Holgate Pollard Memorial Prize in recognition of her outstanding performance in her final year of undergraduate studies.

You can read more about Rachel’s achievement here.

Welcome to the 2020 Scholars

We were delighted to welcome the second cohort of Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars in an online welcome event last month. 

The event included speeches from the Vice-Chancellor, David Harding and the Master of St Catharine's College and research presentations from four of our 2019 Scholars: Brigid EhrmantrautTim WelshSian Gooding; and Constantin Kilcher.

Read more about the event.





"The best thing about studying at Cambridge is the support you have here and everyone is willing to help you. Everyone wants to see everyone doing well which is the best environment to study in for me."

Nilesh Chatterjee


Nilesh Chatterjee (2019 cohort)

Department of Pharmacology, Christ’s College

Nilesh’s PhD project involves the development of an original, novel, non-editing gene therapy to target cancer cells.

In a new film from #CambridgePostgrad, Nilesh talks about why he chose to study for his PhD at the University of Cambridge.








Grace Field (2019 cohort)

Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Trinity Hall

Grace’s PhD research focuses on the role of analogy in modern physics, but before coming to Cambridge she studied the conceptual issues invoked by a quantity known as quantum tunneling time — the time taken for a quantum particle to 'tunnel’ through a barrier in a classically-forbidden way. 

She recently pitched an article on quantum tunneling time to Quanta Magazine, a popular science magazine that focuses on physics and mathematics. Their senior editor, Natalie Wolchover, decided to go ahead with the article and interviewed Grace as an expert source.  See Grace quoted in the final article: "Quantum Tunnels Show How Particles Can Break the Speed of Light”.


Oliver Cast (2019 cohort)

Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, Clare Hall

Oliver is a member of the Cancer Systems Biology group (Miller Laboratory), analysing how chemotherapy changes the immune system of cells. Through recognising the methods cancer uses to exploit the immune system, new treatments may be developed.

Oliver’s contribution is acknowledged in an article about the group’s work, published in Nature Genetics

Read more about the background to Oliver’s research and the difference his Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarship has made.



Welcome Event 2019

We were proud to welcome our very first cohort of Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars in October 2019.  Read more about the Welcome Event for the inaugural cohort.