Chiara Monaco

Chiara is in the third year of her PhD programme researching the evolutionary process of Greek language from the 5th century BC to the 2nd–3rd century AD.

Chiara, who is from Rome, Italy, first started studying Greek and Latin when she was fourteen years old, but she also enjoyed maths and it was only when she chose her undergraduate degree that she finally decided to focus on Classics. She stayed in Rome to study for an MA and found herself at the University of Oxford in her second year where she hugely enjoyed the academic environment, and she went on to undertake an exciting three month internship with the Oxford Papyri Project.

Determined to remain in the UK to study for a PhD at an Oxbridge College, she made an open application to Cambridge and was excited to be awarded funding for her course fees by the  Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). However, it was only when Churchill College wrote to advise that they would provide match funding to cover her maintenance fees that she was able to accept her place with confidence.

When I heard that I had been awarded a full Studentship I was overjoyed. I knew then that I would be able to totally devote myself to studying and making the most of the Cambridge experience without the stress of worrying about finances. Receiving the funding also meant I no longer had to worry about the cost of extracurricular activities useful for my research like attending language courses. Before Churchill offered me the matching funding I searched everywhere to fill the funding gap– I even tried for an Athletics scholarship!

Chiara is also delighted to be part of a College with such a diverse academic community.

I really like my faculty, but being part of a science-focused College like Churchill, where I mix with students from completely different fields, means that I benefit from different points of view and different approaches that enable me to step out of my field and engage with my subject in a more creative way. Also, the international environment is very stimulating and encourages me to think outside the box.

Chiara spent much of her first year trying out a broad range of different sports from rowing to Basketball and she is currently a keen member of the Russian Society. She also very much enjoys her teaching role which she has been able to balance effectively with her research commitments due to the funding support she receives.

Looking to the future, Chiara would like to remain in academia so she can pursue her love of research and teaching and would be happy to work anywhere!

She is also very clear about the vital importance of Studentship funding and the positive impact it can have.

Graduate Studentships can change people’s lives. You have a completely different experience if you have funding support during your graduate studies. I can totally devote myself to my research and can also take time to expand my knowledge in topics not strictly connected to my field of study. Financial support allows me to balance my research and teaching commitments, enabling me to enjoy both aspects of my work without the pressure of having to undertake more teaching work to earn more. Having a scholarship is the best way to make the most of the Cambridge experience in all its aspects, without missing out on anything.

Read more student stories