The life of a postgrad student at Churchill College is more than late-night study sessions and intense research projects. Many of our talented students dive headfirst into a kaleidoscope of activities that colour their academic journey, as demonstrated by the experience of final year PhD student Éva Bényei. From international conferences to launching an innovative startup, Eva’s experience provides a glimpse of what it’s like to be a member of our thriving postgraduate community.

Eva is based at the Department of Biochemistry where she works in the field of microbiology. She was born and raised in Hungary where she completed her medical training. She originally planned to become an Infectious Disease specialist but realised her path was in science and the next step was to do a PhD. Now coming to the end of her studies at Churchill, we met with Eva to reflect on her experience at the College as a Cambridge postgraduate student and her plans for the future.

Eva has been supported with College postgraduate travel grants to attend a range of academic conferences including the 2022 ESCMID/ASM Conference on Drug Development to Meet the Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance in Dublin where she won best poster, the 2023 International Cystic Fibrosis Conference in Vienna and the 2024 Microbiology Society Annual Conference in Edinburgh. She also attended a range other academic conferences and meetings and was awarded travel support from other agencies including the Microbiology Society, picking up a number of prizes along the way. Most notably, Eva was awarded the Infection Science Award at the Federation of Infection Societies Conference in 2023 which led to presenting at the 2024 Microbiology Society Annual Conference.

Alongside her PhD Eva has provided support as an Academic Mentor at the College and held roles on the MCR Committee (the College’s postgraduate student body) first as the Academic Officer and then as the Vice-President General Secretary. Eva has also been closely involved in a wide range of Enterprise activities, including acting as a Challenge Solving Fellow at the Cambridge Bio-Spark Entrepreneurial Programme. She was a member of the winning ‘Trial and Success’ team at the inaugural AstraZeneca and Cambridge University Technology and Enterprise Club (CUTEC) Datathon in 2021 and co-founded the start-up ETA Technologies which uses psychometric testing and AI to help investors identify the highest-potential teams to invest in and optimise their portfolios.

After completing her PhD, Eva plans to dedicate time to working at ETA Technologies, the startup she is building with three colleagues. Their first milestone was entering – and winning – the Churchill College Enterprise Competition in 2022, under the guidance of their mentor, Philip Hilton.

In the long term, Eva aspires to fulfil her long-held dream of bridging the gap between medical research and its application by pursuing a role on the business side of life sciences. We wish her every success!

You can find out more about Eva’s early academic career and journey to Churchill here.

  1. ETA Technologies winning Churchill Enterprise Competition, Eva and Soma Pirityi, 2022
  2. Eva at the European Young Investigators Meeting in Paris, 2024, invited as 1 of the 37 selected talents globally
  3. Eva presenting a poster at the Microbiology Society Annual Conference in Belfast, 2022, at her first international conference
  4. Eva presenting a talk at the Microbiology Society Annual Conference in Edinburgh, 2024, as a winner of the FIS Infection Science Award 2023