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IHSS Large Grant Seed-corn Funding Scheme

The Large Grant Seed-corn Funding scheme's primary purpose remains to pump-prime research leading to the submission of large, externally funded research applications by enabling academics to develop a full proposal for submission to an external funder. The expectation is that such applications should be clearly identified and formulated in the application and should be substantial in nature and in value (£350,000 and above). The limit to the funds available per application is £5000.

We have awarded eleven projects for the next year, 2023/24.

The next bid will launch at the beginning of 2024 for 2024/25.

Currently Funded

We are pleased to be able to announce the details of the funded projects for the year 2022-23.  

IHSS Fellow Dr Keren Weitzberg (Politics and International Relations) will organise a grant-writing workshop Future ID: Power, Access, and Exclusion in Biometric and Digital Identity Systems. It will bring together a network of scholars working on digital identity systems for migration governance, humanitarian aid, and development assistance. 

Cinemas of Extraction: Film, Deserts and the Making of the Planetary Frontier, led by IHSS Fellow Dr Daniel Mann (Languages, Linguistics and Film), would allow insights and theoretical and practical frameworks from film studies and human geography to be combined to shed much-needed light on how cinema shapes global fantasies of climate emergency and resource depletion while obfuscating the adverse environmental and economic impacts of blockbuster film production in desert locales.

Project The Violence of Urban Injustice – The Radical Potential of Urban Space, between Brazil and Palestine/Israel, led by IHSS Associate Fellow Dr Sharri Plonski (Politics and International Relations), aims at an empirical, methodological and conceptual intervention into the relationship between violence and urban (in)justice. Focused on two urban sites in Nazareth and Rio De Janeiro, it investigates the specific matrixes of violence that poor, racialised and indigenous communities face as unwanted/surplus 'others' and how these manifest as/in modes of urban injustice.

Dr James Bradley's (Geography) project Rock-Hosted-Life: Revealing the Microbial Communities Inhabiting Antarctic Rocks serves to provide proof-of-concept to reveal the microbial communities inhabiting Antarctic rocky habitats. This data will improve our understanding of the types of microbes inhabiting extreme environments and the adaptations they use to survive, as well as expand the plausible range of habitable environments to microbes on Earth, which can be scaled to other planetary bodies. 

Project Governing the Ice: Science, International Hierarchies, and Cooperation in Antarctica, led by Dr Joanne (Yuan) Yao (Politics and International Relations), aims to understand the geographical imaginaries that informed and enabled international cooperation over Antarctica as a natural sanctuary and a neutral space for science in the mid-20th century. 

IHSS Associate Fellow and Research Programme Director Dr Mario Slugan (Languages, Linguistics and Film) and Uuriintuya Batsaikhan (Positive Money Europe) imagine their project Colonialism and Race Relations in High-School Curricula around the World as the first worldwide survey of how colonialism and race relations are covered in national high school curricula. They aim to understand how much (or, better, how little) is taught on the subjects with the potential for developing national curriculum policy suggestions.

Dr Agnieszka Lyons's (Languages, Linguistics and Film) project (Pre)SETH - Spatial Engagement in Trauma Healing will prepare and run workshops to explore the use of space for therapeutic healing among trauma-aware counsellors at One-in-Four – many of whom are survivors of sexual abuse themselves.  

Dr Zahra Sharifonnasabi's (Business and Management) study The Impact of Industry Branding on Emerging Market Firms' Export Performance aims to provide a framework of industry brands leading the growth and the internationalisation of emerging market firms (EMF) and to identify the role of domestic and international governments and policymakers in facilitating the formation of industry brands. 

The project The Generation of AI in Ghana, led by Dr Kerry Holden (Geography) and Dr Matthew Harsh (California Polytechnic State University), follows the generation of young people stepping into new, AI-based labour markets in three cities that each represent unique dimensions of technology hubs: Accra, Kampala, and Nairobi.

IHSS Fellow Dr Louise Ashley (Business and Management) and IHSS Research Programme Director Dr Will Monteith (Geography) will explore how graduates in non-graduate jobs experience and negotiate narratives of social mobility, how they attach meaning to their work in the context of their lives, and whether their definitions of 'success' coincide with or differ from those found within official discourses via their original empirical study The Only Way is Up? How First-generation Graduates Contest Dominant Narratives of Social Mobility.

The following projects for whom funding had been previously agreed will also be carried out in 2022-23:

Daoism on Film: Aesthetics and Practices of Anthropocosmic Cinema
Dr Kiki Tianqi Yu (School of Languages, Linguistics and Film)

Race, Religion, and Industry in Central Africa: American Protestants in the Congo under Belgian Rule, 1891-1960
Dr Reuben Loffman (School of History)

Previously Funded Activities

Gender Violence and Killings of Girls and Women in Mexico: Trends, Causes and Effective Interventions led by Prof Roxana Gutierrez-Romero (School of Business and Management) aims to narrow the critical gap in knowledge and contribute to the literature and policymaking and design effective interventions to prevent and reduce gender violence.

Planetary portals: changes of state in the Anthropocene led by Dr Kerry Holden (School of Geography) and Prof Kathryn Yusoff (School of Geography) aims to expose the forgotten stories and geographies of extraction through the production of a series of conceptual maps, portal methodologies and artistic practices in collaboration with partners in London, New York and Cape Town.

Group Formation and Maintenance in the Abbasid Caliphate, 750-1000 led by Dr Anna Chrysostomides (School of History) aims to compare the factors that caused ethnic or religious groups to form or disintegrate in the Islamic Abbasid caliphate which, at its height, spanned from Northern India to Africa. The project hopes to explore non-Muslim (Zoroastrian, Christian, Jewish and polytheist) identity formation and disintegration alongside the ever-changing identities of early Islamic groups.

Global Ecologies of Work: A Case Study of Namibia’s ‘Green Hydrogen Rush’ led by Dr William Monteith (School of Geography) proposes to address the ‘labour gap’ in debates on climate solutions by conducting one of the first comprehensive investigations into the emerging green hydrogen industry in Namibia.

War and Welfare: Historical Record Linkage and the Possibilities for Assessing Social and Economic Rupture led by Dr Francesca Cornaglia (School of Economics and Finance). Using the First World War as a case study, this initial scoping exercise will ascertain the methodologies for linking large datasets to explore the true extent of the ruptures to social and economic life caused by war. The aim of this stage is to scope the largely digitised material to develop deeper understandings of the familial, marital, health (physical and mental) and employment circumstances of the men who were conscripted and/or went to war.

Life with Houseplants after Lockdown led by Dr Giulia Carabelli (School of Politics and International Relations). Dr Carabelli is developing an argument for human-plant relationships understood through the lens of solidarity, relationality and collaboration conducting preliminary research at Alnwick Gardens in Northumberland.

Dr James Bradley (School of Geography) will use funds to experiment on material gathered at the Jotun Springs in Svalbard to provide preliminary data informing the development of his research project proposal entitled DEEP-LIFE: Dispersal of life from the deep biosphere to the Cryosphere.

Constitutions of Accumulation: Regimes of dispossession and racialization in the Chagos Archipelago Dr Tanzil Chowdhury (School of Law) is exploring the relationship between UK Public Law and regimes of dispossession and racialization, taking the dispossession of the Chagos Archipelago between 1968 and 1971 as a point of departure.

Dr Philippa Williams (School of Geography) will use her grant to undertake work mapping India’s digital health ecosystem, the digital leaders and drivers and to conducting interviews with medical health practitioners in order to develop her grant proposal on Political anatomy of digital health in India.

Dr Rowan Lubbock (School of Politics and International Relations) will use his grant to explore the connections between humanity’s transformation of the earth and the transformation of ‘the international’ in his proposal Fields and Frontiers: Agriculture and the Making of International (Dis)Order.

The Pillage of Distant Worlds: An Intellectual History of the North/South Divide Dr Musab Younis (School of Politics and International Relations) is in the preliminary stages of developing this research project about global inequality and will start with support for a comprehensive literature review.

Dr Lucy Bolton (School of Languages, Linnguistics and Film) will be leading a project entitled "British Film Costume Design: Creation, Manufacture, Performance and Afterlife”. This is a collaboration the British Film Institute, the Victoria & Albert Museum and Royal Museums Greenwich.

Dr Richard Coulton (School of English and Drama) will receive support to work on his project “Extended Specimens: Indigeneity and the Early Herbarium”. This project will significantly extend and consolidate an existing research collaboration between Coulton and Mark Carine / Charles E. Jarvis at the Natural History Museum (Plant Sciences).

Micro-AP: Microbial activity in frozen Arctic Permafrost

Dr James Bradley (School of Geography)

Governing the ‘spatial imaginary’ after Brexit: the future of English city-regions 
Dr Patrick Diamond (School of Politics and International Relations)

A State of Legislatures: American Legislative Output, 1789-1861
Dr Daniel Peart (School of History)

Multimodal Mobility: Exploring a synthetic approach to word/image combinations that foster media literacy Professor Adrian Armstrong (School of Languages, Linguistics and Film)


The Peace Project: Thinking Nonviolence in Visual Culture
Dr Guy Westwell and Dr Anat Pick (School of Languages, Linguistics and Film)

Creating a chronological framework for linking climate, environmental change and human colonisation of the South Pacific
Dr Anna Bourne (School of Geography)

Designs on International Organisations
Dr Isobel Roele (School of Law)

Gender Bias and Witness Credibility in Sexual Assault Trials
Dr Erez Levon and Dr Yang Yee (School of Languages, Linguistics and Film)

Political Parties and Democracy in Latin American Cities (PADILAC)
Dr Sam Halvorsen (School of Geography)

Digital Financial Inclusion at the Margins (DFI-ATM)
Professor Kavita Datta and Dr Philippa Williams (School of Geography)

Movement Parties: A New Chance for Democracy?
Dr Lasse Thomassen (School of Politics and International Relations)

Multimedia sharing in WhatsApp and its impact on reducing social isolation among transnational grandparents.
Dr Agnieszka Lyons (School of Languages, Linguistics and Film)

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