From pandemic preparedness to machine learning: exceptional Gates Scholars arrive at College

Gates Scholars outside the Porters' Lodge

Wolfson is proud to welcome seven Gates Cambridge Scholars to its cohort of outstanding postgraduate students this year – bringing more world-class researchers to the College from across the globe.

Gates Scholars outside the Porters' Lodge

Wolfson’s new Gates Scholars hail from seven countries: Kenya, South Africa, Mongolia, Israel, China, the United States, and Pakistan. Their research ranges from conservation, pandemic preparedness and waste management, to computational learning, criminal justice, post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), and education in Pakistan.

Susan Larsen, Wolfson College Senior Tutor, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome these seven exceptionally talented individuals to our academic community. They join a rich and diverse community eager to hear about their work and keen to collaborate. We’re excited to follow their progress.”

This year 79 new Gates Cambridge Scholars, from Uganda, the US and India to Colombia, China and Australia, will join the University community. 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.

Professor Barry Everitt FRS, Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust, said: “Like their predecessors, this year’s cohort are an impressive and diverse group who have already achieved much in terms of their academic studies and leadership abilities and who have shown their commitment to improving the lives of others.

“We know that they will flourish in the rich, international community at Cambridge and will go on to make a significant impact in their fields and on the wider global community.”

Meet Wolfson’s 2022 Gates Cambridge Scholars

Alberto Borges (Kenya, 2022 MPhil Conservation Leadership)

“I believe in a future where youngsters are the champions of extraordinary change in conserving landscapes, wildlife, and human livelihoods.

“My ultimate goal is to set up a Wilderness Conservation Centre in northern Kenya. To explore, research, and conserve its unique ecosystems through context-specific community-oriented programs. It will serve as a vital springboard for youth to learn and launch sustainable ventures, thus improving human lives and the natural world.”

Daniel Egan (South Africa, 2022 PhD Biological Sciences at the Department of Veterinary Medicine)

“By identifying important health concerns and addressing them across scales, I hope to improve global health outcomes through my career in a cost-effective and context-relevant manner which prioritises reaching under-served people.

“In partnership with global leaders in the field, my PhD aims to develop and test a novel vaccine platform to generate broadly-protective vaccines against Betacoronaviruses. The idea underlying this work is ‘pandemic preparedness’ – aiming to ensure the next human viral pandemic is comparatively minor by pre-emptively improving the breadth and efficacy of available vaccines.

Zoljargal Enkh-Amgalan (Mongolia, 2022 MPhil Social Anthropology)

“My research interest focuses on visual anthropology at the crossroads of local food cultures, socialist cinema, and gender-related issues in Mongolia.

“During my ethnographic fieldwork on the biggest waste dump in Ulaanbaatar, I learned that the fates waste pickers have faced have longstanding underlying structural issues. One of the overlooked factors is that the issue of urban vagrancy and poverty are strongly related to traditional gender roles and environmental hardships in rural areas. In my MPhil thesis, I'm aiming to do a close analysis of these issues.”

Nimrod Hertz (Israel, 2022 PhD Medical Science @ MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit)

“My goal is to become a clinician-scientist in the field of mental health, aiming to outline evidence-based practical conclusions for clinicians.

“At Cambridge’s MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, I will investigate the cognitive processes that occur during a cognitive intervention for PTSD, emphasizing the dynamics of negative appraisals, which is considered a central mechanism in the clinical presentation of PTSD.”

Tiancheng Hu (China, 2022 PhD Computation, Cognition and Language)

“In the second half of my bachelor's studies at the University of Texas, I was introduced to the world of machine learning and became amazed by its potential in improving our society in a large variety of application areas. In my PhD, I plan to work on natural language processing and computational social science. I am interested in building and applying computational methods to text data to learn about society.”

Jasmine Jordan (United States 2022, PhD Criminology)

“As an MPhil student in Criminological Research at Cambridge, I conducted research on the impact of incarceration on the political participation and community engagement of Black women and the symbiotic harms of their incarceration. I will expand my MPhil project to a larger mixed methods project for my PhD. This will prepare me for a career dedicated to making the US criminal justice system more rational, equitable, and humane.”

Read our previous article about Jasmine Jordan.

Usama Mirza (Pakistan, 2022 PhD Education)

“My PhD research will try to understand how the ideological perspectives of youth in Pakistan are shaped around science and religion, as a Single National Curriculum is being rolled out to enforce minimum learning standards across the country. This research will provide rich learning on public policies for social issues and help identify roadblocks that hinder citizens of postcolonial Muslim countries from making substantial contributions to the natural sciences.”

Applying to Wolfson


If you’d like to study at Cambridge University and join Wolfson College as a mature student – you can find out more about applying on our website.

The Undergraduate UCAS application deadlines for all courses, including the Graduate Course in Medicine, is approaching on 15 October 2022.

Many mature students returning to education, and especially those currently studying on a one-year access course, can also apply during our second admission round in March for some subjects . This later application deadline is 1st March.


If you’d like to study for a PhD at Cambridge University and join Wolfson College– you can find out more about applying, application timelines, and FAQs on our website.