Building a network of knowledge

the CCIR Think Tank

The mission of the CCIR Think Tank is to promote public intellectual life by connecting the public with the brightest minds in academia today. ​ Our goal is to maximize the impact of knowledge.


Supporting Researchers
The CCIR Fellowship gives early career researchers the opportunity to share their ideas and make a real impact on the public. 
Sharing Knowledge
CCIR's podcasts give academics working on cutting-edge issues a platform to engage with a broader audience
Inspiring Students
The Re:think essay competition and our Public Lecture Initiative inspire high-schoolers to engage with intellectual life by connecting them with the leading academics of today
the CCIR Fellowship

Become a CCIR Fellow

For the 2022 - 2023 academic year we will support 10 CCIR Fellows, providing each with upwards of £750 to undertake unique public knowledge projects.  With this funding, you as a CCIR Fellow are expected to bring your expertise to the public in the best forms that you see fit—whether this be recording podcasts, writing blogs, creating video essays, organizing public lectures, hosting or attending academic conferences, running public workshops, or supporting reading groups. We want to get your knowledge out there and help you make an impact.  


To be eligible, you must:

  • be a current PhD student or recent PhD graduate within 3 years of your graduation

  • have an outstanding research record

  • exhibit a commitment to public intellectual life

If you are interested in applying for the fellowship, please send an email to with a project proposal and a CV attached.

In the project proposal, please provide an abstract about the subject of the project and a short description of its format. We would love to hear about your ideas and explore our opportunities for collaboration. 

Academics can often feel like they are in a trap of talking among themselves. Though the issues that they work on are often of immense significance, and yet their work fails to reach a broader audience.

The aim of this fellowship is to provide funding and support for early-career academics — to help them become public intellectuals.

A fellowship for public intellectual life

Our Fellows (2021 - 2022)
Ronja Griep
University of Cambridge
Ronja Griep is a Gates Scholar and a current Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cambridge working in feminist political philosophy.  For her CCIR fellowship, she will be leading an interview series on 21st Century Body Politics, where she will discuss the politics of bodily beauty and wellness with leading academics in philosophy, the social sciences, and beyond. 
Hande Guzel
University of Cambridge
Hande is a Teaching Associate in Sociology at the University of Cambridge. She has earned her PhD from the same Department, where she researched re-virginisation practices in Turkey. For her CCIR Fellowship, she will focus on the well-being of students in higher education across topics such as mental health, racism, and gender.

About Re:think

Re:think is an annual interdisciplinary essay competition open to high schoolers around the world, judged by leading Cambridge academics.


The purpose of Re:think is to invite students from different backgrounds to come together to investigate the most significant issues confronting humanity today. The winners of this competition will be awarded a cash prize of 150 GBP along with scholarships that range from 700GBP - 1000GBP to one of the CCIR Academy programmes. In addition, competition finalists will be invited to an online conference, where they will get the opportunity to discuss their work with leading academics from Cambridge in an intimate setting.


Re:think is open to all current high school students (graduating years 2021-2024).

To participate, students must submit an application and pay a 15 GBP entry fee.*


*The entry fee may be waived for students in need. Please email us at for more information.

2021 Re:think application CLOSED
Key Dates

Registration is rolling until the submission deadline.

Submission Deadline: 15th July 2021.

The Finalist Shortlist: To be released on 22nd July 2021.

The Conference: The weekend of 30th July 2021, where we will announce the overall winners of the competition.

Essay Requirements

Word Count: The length of your essay must not exceed 2000 words, not including the references, footnotes, and bibliography.

Original Work: While we are happy to consider your own past work, plagiarism of any sort will result in immediate disqualification. All submissions will be run through an online plagiarism checker.

For the 2021 Re:think Essay Competition we invited students to document, to investigate, and to reflect upon the COVID-19 pandemic. ​ In our culminating conference, our winning essayists were joined by our three distinguished Cambridge faculty judges—Dr. Tom McClelland (Cambridge, Philosophy), Dr. Hande Güzel (Cambridge, Sociology), and Dr. Daniele Casesse (Cambridge, Economics)—to share and discuss their work. Here, you can read their essays and watch their presentations.

Out of more than 200 submissions, these were the three winners.

2021 Re:think Scholars


Sean Chua (Philippines) received 1st prize in the “Science” category with his essay “Beyond Bats and Electric Sheep.” In his essay, he shows how data science and AI have played an invaluable role in COVID-19 response both in the Philippines and around the world, exploring their revolutionary potential in public health and beyond.

Read all the finalist' essays

Kate Lowry (USA) received 1st prize in the “Significance” category with her essay “Justice in COVID-19 Triage: Race Equity and Maximization.” In her essay, Kate explores the intersection of racial injustice and public health in the triage practices in the US during the pandemic, and argues that racial justice in health systems requires us to adopt a more structural understanding of equity.


Lunetta Osterhaus (USA) received 1st prize in the “Stories” category with her short story “Macondo.” In her moving memoir, she explores sickness, death, sincerity, and her relationships with her parents against the backdrop of the pandemic.

Re:think Essay Competition
the Ideas & Innovation Talk Series

An interdisciplinary podcast series on technology’s impact on society. We invite leading scholars from a wide-range of disciplinary perspectives to discuss the transformations brought upon society by technology innovation.  Listen here.

21st Century Body Politics

With leading academics in philosophy, the social sciences, and beyond, CCIR Fellow Ronja Griep will be discussing recent work on the politics and philosophy of bodily beauty of wellness with leading academics.  Listen here.

the Future of Higher Education

Cambridge sociologist and CCIR Fellow Dr. Hande Guzel explores issues of wellbeing in higher education.  Listen here.

the Public Lecture Initiative
Public lectures by Oxbridge professors at your school

CCIR’s public lecture initiative aims to bring our partnered Oxbridge faculty to high schools around the world. Our faculty hail from a wide array of disciplines and they are all leaders of their fields, working at the cutting edge of academic research.


The aim of this initiative is to connect the leading scholars with the brightest young minds of today—to disseminate academic knowledge, inspire public discourse and debate, and to cultivate and spark the intellectual passions of our next generation of thinkers and citizens.


As a non-profit initiative, our lectures will be provided free of charge for your students. The lectures will be conducted online, via Zoom, and will be recorded and subsequently posted on CCIR's YouTube and Apple Podcast page.


If you would like to consider including your school or university on our lecturing circuit, please schedule a meeting with our team using the Calendly portal, or email our outreach director, Oliver, at