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Written by:
Paul Holland
23 Apr 2021

74 new scholars have been announced and will join 10 others to form the Gates Cambridge Class of 2021.

The Gates Cambridge Class of 2021 made up of 74 outstanding new scholars has been officially announced.

Among them are four scholars bound for Trinity Hall: Richard Dear, Lila Gaudêncio Ribeiro Cabral, Mayumi Sato and Xin Wen Zhang.

Clare Jackson, Trinity Hall’s Senior Tutor, said: “On behalf of Trinity Hall’s Fellows and staff, we look forward to welcoming​ Richard, Lila, Mayumi and Xin Wen as the new Gates scholars to College in the autumn, and wish them every success in their postgraduate research, spanning the diverse fields of Psychiatry, Sociology, Latin American Studies and Physiology, Development and Neuroscience.”

Richard’s research will utilise skills learnt working in Silicon Valley to examine large and complex datasets to gain insights into depression and gene expression. He said: “Psychiatric neuroscience excites me because it’s a very holistic way of thinking about the brain — we have to consider everything from neurotransmitters and neuronal circuitry, to whole brain network models, to clinical treatments.

“I feel we have barely scratched the surface of the brain’s mysteries and psychiatry helps me keep an open mind about what the brain research of the 21st century may look like — while also not losing sight of why this research matters.”

Lila’s PhD will further her interest in community currencies, she said: “For my PhD in Latin American Studies at Cambridge, I intend to expand my previous work, further understanding how these currencies impact their communities by shifting ideas of value, power, democracy and citizenship.

“More so, I aim to identify what methodologies ensure long-term success, in order to help expand this plural, horizontal and collaborative network that has formed in favour of a more just economic system.”

Inspiring society towards dignity and justice is what motivates Mayumi’s Sociology research: “In my PhD, my research focuses on cross-border environmental, racial, gender, and class inequities within the prison industry.”

She added: “I aim to join other scholars who wield their research to inspire a society – beyond ephemeral hashtags and performative allyship – towards dignity and justice.”

Research for Xin Wen’s PhD in Physiology, Development and Neuroscience will explore how maternal obesity affects immune activity to disrupt nutrient partitioning capabilities in the placenta: “Through this, I hope to elucidate the mechanisms by which maternal obesity impacts fetal growth and offspring metabolism in order to develop targeted interventions for affected children,” she said.

More details on past and present Trinity Hall Gates Scholars is available through the Gates Cambridge website.

The Gates Cambridge scholarship programme, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary, is the University of Cambridge’s leading international postgraduate scholarship programme.

It was established through a US$210 million donation to the University of Cambridge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000; this remains the largest single donation to a UK university. Since the first class in 2001, Gates Cambridge has awarded over 2,000 scholarships to scholars from 111 countries who represent more than 600 universities globally and more than 80 academic departments and all 31 Colleges at Cambridge.

This year sees 74 new Gates Cambridge Scholars added to the list of students who have been elected to the programme. In addition to generous funding to do their research, with no age limit on candidates, they will benefit from the strong sense of community and identity that has been forged by their predecessors and an absolute commitment to improving the lives of others. The 74 new Scholars will be joined by up to 10 scholars who are deferring from 2020, to form a class of 84 this October.

They come from 30 countries and are studying subjects ranging from post-violence narratives of resistance and the development of contextually relevant curricula and pedagogy with marginalised schools and communities to clean energy access and development and the transportation of nucleic acids into cellular environments. The class comprises 42 women, 31 men and one non-binary scholar.

Professor Barry Everitt FRS, Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust, said: “I am delighted that the Trust is able to announce the class of 2021. This year has been extraordinarily challenging, but it has highlighted the importance of the international, outward-looking and socially committed approach of these diverse and outstanding Scholars. The Scholars-elect have been selected to reflect the mission of the Trust that has been made possible by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s generous and historic gift to the University of Cambridge, the 20th anniversary of which we are currently celebrating.

“Like their predecessors, this year’s cohort are an extraordinarily impressive and diverse group who have already achieved much in terms of their academic studies and leadership abilities and have already shown their commitment to improving the lives of others in multiple ways. We are sure that the 2021 class of scholars will flourish in the rich, international community at Cambridge and will make a significant impact in their fields and in the wider global community. I also take this opportunity to warmly thank the selection panel members who have generously given their time and expertise to the selection of these exceptional scholars.”

More details about the Gates Cambridge programme and the full class of 2021 scholars are available here –