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Research excellence across the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Across the Faculty our mission is to produce research of an excellent quality – both individually and in collaboration
— Adrian Smith, Professor of Human Geography, Dean for Research (Humanities and Social Sciences)

Training the next generation of academic stars

Our research grant funding is almost £7 million annually, and more than £1 million of that is invested in scholarships for research students. These include collaborative doctoral awards with an inspiring range of cultural institutions. Students are currently working with the Institut Francais, the V&A Museum of Childhood, and the British Museum, amongst others.

Our doctoral students play an active part in the academic and cultural life of Queen Mary and we offer a great range of scholarship opportunities to attract the best-qualified students. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded London Interdisciplinary Social Science DTP (LISS DTP), a partnership between Queen Mary University of London, King’s College London, and Imperial College London, provides social science research students with a unique opportunity to join and develop a research community that springs from the interface between the social science disciplines with health and medicine, the natural and physical sciences, engineering, and the arts and humanities.

The LISS DTP provides studentships in the social sciences, allowing students to work with some of the world’s leading experts in areas that include 1) health, well-being and social inclusion 2) economics and business 3) language, culture and education 4) the environment and urban life and 5) security and governance organised into 13 Thematic Pathways.

Most recently the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, along with seven other London HEIs, has secured funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) Doctoral Training Partnership. The LAHP will fully fund 90 PhD studentships per year over the next five years across the partner universities. QMUL has been an associate partner of the LAHP for the last four years.

To add to our recent success, we have been awarded  the prestigious Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarships (QMUL-LTDS) programme on  “Mobile People”. Co-directed by Professors Engin Isin and Kimberley Hutchings QMUL-LTDS will involve 21 PhD research projects (2018-2023) concerned with how the world is being dynamically constituted by mobile people in active and novel ways and how this affects fundamental social and political institutions.

Innovative cross-disciplinary collaboration

The Faculty actively promotes collaboration across all of its member schools and departments, through its Queen Mary Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IHSS) which brings together the Faculty’s established research centres, via an annual programme of activity. The activity of the Institute is focused each year on a thematic programme.  For 2018-19 these will focus on four areas: Mobility, Democracy, Work and Medical Humanities. Moreover, The Institute is also home to a dynamic group of visiting fellows (both junior and senior), whose research interests align with the annual thematic programme. 

Understanding the interaction between the individual human being and the modern social world is one of the key intellectual challenges of our time. The Centre for Mind in Society investigates how an individual’s cognitive capacities structure, and are structured by, social environments within which the individual is embedded. The Centre brings together researchers from the psychological, social, linguistic, computational, medical and biological sciences with an interest in this question, using a wide range of methodologies, spanning computational modeling of neural anatomy, to quantitative modeling of large data-sets, to the philosophical and historical analysis of thought and language.

Strong links with industry and other non-academic partners

Intellectual Property excellence

Part of the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary’s Intellectual Property Research Institute is world-renowned for expertise in intellectual property law. Academics at QMIPRI work closely with practitioners bringing together scholarly research excellence and professional practice to the benefit of all concerned.

QMIPR work closely with the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) and undertake the education of trainee patent attorneys and those seeking to enter the profession with programmes for patent and trade mark professionals that are among the most respected in the UK, attracting scholars from all over the world. CIPA has been an important part of QMIPRI's research life as well, making significant contributions to the IP Archive at Queen Mary, which is one of the finest specialist intellectual property collections in Europe.

Leading the research agenda

Much of the work taking place across the Faculty is making a unique contribution to the established body of knowledge and breaking new ground. For example, the Centre for Equality and Diversity (CRED) is a world-leading centre for equality and diversity research. CRED has received in excess of £750,000 in grants from European and UK bodies.

Based in the School of Business and Management, CRED has built strong alliances with colleagues in the Schools of Geography and Law, as well as further afield with international universities and institutions. This has led to publications, such as the Palgrave collection, Equality, inequalities and diversity; contemporary challenges (Palgrave 2010) edited by Professor Geraldine Healy, Professor Gill Kirton and Professor Mike Noon, as well as successful funding bids such as the AHRC-funded Promoting Equality through Economic Crisis (PEDEC), a successful research network.

PEDEC brings together scholars, practitioners and activists from the UK, Europe, and the US for a series of workshops to explore the implications of the current economic downturn. See the PEDEC website for podcasts of previous workshops.

Contributing to the UK’s cultural life

Many of our academics enjoy close working relationships an impressive range of cultural institutions, acting as committee members and special advisors, staging conferences and symposia, as well as taking part in valuable collaborative research.

Our academics also regularly appear in the media, offering expert analysis and commentary on news stories, as well as hosting their own shows on both television and radio. To take just one example: Professor Amanda Vickery, Professor of Early Modern History, has written and presented several history series for BBC2 and BBC Radio 4 on diverse themes from historical novels and love, to consumerism and kinship. Amanda Vickery also reviews for the Guardian, the LRB, the TLS, and BBC Radio 4's Woman’s Hour, Saturday Review and Front Row.

Successful record of winning prestigious research funding

The Faculty has an excellent track record of winning research funding and successfully attracting Early Career Researchers. The highlights of our awards can be found below. If you would like to apply for British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (EOI 16 September2019) do get in touch with School specific Research Managers - School Research Managers 2019 [PDF 296KB]


Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships 2014-2018

Dr Caroline Ashcroft (School of History), Technological Determinism in Cold War Political Thought

Dr Ben Holgate (School of Languages, Linguistics and Film), Money in the Digital Age: Cyber-Capital, Culture, Consumption & World Literature

Dr Ian Stewart (School of History), Language and Race in British Imperial and International Thought, 1784 – 1914

Dr David Veevers (School of History), Transnational Constitutions: Asian Governance in a   Global World, 1600 - 1750

Dr Robin Mills (School of History), The Scottish Enlightenment Explains the Gods, c.1740–c.1830

Dr Anne-Line Rodriguez (School of Politics and International Relation), EU Governmentality of Migration and the Ethics of Islamic Reformism in Senegal

Dr Lisa Tilley (School of Politics and International Relation), Race, intimacy, and extraction on an internal frontier

Dr Jonathan Kasstan ( School of Languages, Linguistics and Film ), Universals of grammatical change in language obsolescence

Dr David Kennerley ( School of History), A sonic history of Chartism: music, sound and politics in Britain, c.1838–1848

Dr Laura Tisdall (School of History), Adolescents’ conceptions of adulthood in Britain, c.1950–present day

Dr Casper Laing Ebbensgaard (School of Geography), Luminous Verticality: the changing geographies of East London at night

Dr Harriet Phillips ( School of English and Drama),  Common knowledge: inventing popular culture in early modern England

Dr Sam Halvorsen (School of Geography), Rethinking Territory from Below: Learning from Theory and Practice in Argentina

Dr Oskar Cox  (School of History), Life in London: a biography of street indigenes in Seven Dials

Dr Michal Murawski (School of Languages Linguistics and Film), Moscow makeover: architecture and politics in Putin’s paradise

Dr Hannah Williams (School of History), Artists and the church: religion, art, and parish life in eighteenth-century Paris

Dr Mark Condos ( School of History),  Policing the borderlands: frontier violence in the British and French empires, c.1830–1939

Dr Thomas MacManus (School of Law), State crime contested: civil society, the public relations industry and denial

Leverhulme Major Research Fellowships 2014-2018

Professor Kate Lowe (School of History), An unsettling presence: sub-Saharan Africa in Renaissance Italy 

Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott (School of Law),  Brexit and British constitutional unsettlement

Professor Hagit Borer (School of Languages Linguistics and Film), Syntactic uniformity, syntactic diversity: syntactic building blocks and their role in determining inter- and intra- linguistic variation 

Professor Miles Ogborn (School of Geography), The freedom of speech: talk and slavery in the Caribbean 

Professor Seán McConville (School of Law),  Irish political prisoners 1960–2000


Leverhulme Research Fellowships 2014-2018

Dr Robert Gillett (School of Languages Linguistics and Film),  Representing Rosmer: Elsa Bernstein as writer and salonnière 

Dr Suzanne Hobson (School of English and Drama), Unbelief: interwar cultures of doubt 

Professor Daniel Harbour (School of Languages, Linguistics and Film), The grammatical ecology of writing system evolution 

Dr Anna Kemp (School of Languages Linguistics and Film), Oulipography: life as creative constraint 

Professor Barbara Taylor (School of English and Drama), The perils of solitude: perceptions of solitude in Britain, 1660–1820 

Professor Michèle Barrett (School of English and Drama),  Virginia Woolf ’s social and historical research: the author as note-taker

Professor Bill Schwarz (School fo English and Drama),  Memories of Empire. Post-colonial England? 

Professor Joad Raymond (School of English and Drama), The book that made John Milton famous: an edition of Milton’s Latin defences 

Dr Tamara Atkin (School of English and Drama), Play and book: reading, drama and the invention of the literary in Tudor England 

Dr Simon Reid-Henry (School of Geography),  A genealogy of global justice 

Dr Peter Howarth (School of English and Drama), The rise of performance poetry, 1930–1960 

Dr Derya Bayir (School of Law), Official Islam and religious minorities in Turkish law 

Dr Sarah Wolff (School of Politics and International Relation), Explaining EU (non)-engagement with Moroccan and Tunisian political parties 

Wellcome: Research Fellowships in Humanities and Social Science 2014-2018

Dr Elizabeth Hunter (School of History), Midnight vapours: sleep disorders in early modern England, 1550–1700

British Academy Mid-Career Fellowships

Dr Rachael Gilmour (School of English and Drama), Colonial and postcolonial literature Bad English: literature and language diversity in contemporary Britain

Dr Helen McCarthy (School of History), Double Lives: Working Motherhood in Twentieth-Century Britain

Dr Matthew Rubery (School of English and Drama), The Untold Story of the Talking Book 

Dr Nadia Valman (School of English and Drama), The Literary East End



British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowships

Dr Chris Moffat (School of History), Architecture and the Politics of the Past in Pakistan

Dr Claudia Soares (School of Geography), An emotional History of Institutional Childcare in Britain, Australia and Canada,  1850-1914

Dr Iris Benöhr (School of Law), Comparison and intersection of consumer and environmental law

Dr Nick Jones (School of Languages, Linguistics and Film), Contemporary 3D Cinema: Space in the Digital Age


Large Research Awards 2014-2018

Dr Eez Levon (School of Languages, Linguistics and Film), ESRC:Accent Bias and Fair Access in Britain

Professor Janet Harbord (School of Languages, Linguistics and Film), Wellcome: Autism through Cinema

Professor Simon Lewis (School of Geography), Leverhulme: The Breckland Palaeolithic Project 

Professor Barbara Taylor (School of History and School of English), Wellcome Investigator Award: Pathologies of solitude, 18th–21st century

Professor Kate Spencer  (School of Geography), NERC: 3-dimensional floc structure and dynamics, joint with Science and Engineering Faculty 

Professor Kate Spencer  (School of Geography), NERC: Co-I on Response of Ecologically-mediated Shallow Intertidal Shores and their Transitions to extreme hydrodynamic forcing in UK settings (RESIST-UK) 

Dr Kerry Holden (School of Geography), ESRC: The Promise of Science 

Dr Manuela Perrotta (School of Business Management), Wellcome Investigator Award: Remaking the human body: biomedical imaging technologies and professional visions

Professor Thomas Dixon (School of History), Wellcome Trust: Living with Feeling

Professor Lois Weaver  (School of English and Drama), Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellowship

Professor Seán McConville (School of Law), Leverhulme Trust: Irish political prisoners 1960–2000 

Professor Paul Herritage (School of English and Drama), AHRC: Social Change Through Creativity and Culture 

Professor Morag Shiach (School of English and Drama), AHRC: Social Change Through Creativity and Culture (Brazil)

Professor Adrian Smith (School of Geography) and Dr Liam Campling (School of Business and Management), ESRC: Working Beyond the Border: European Union Trade Agreements and International Labour Standarts

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Training Awards(CDTG) 2014-2018

Professor Alastair Owens (School of Geography), CDP with the V&A Museum: East is East? A Social and cultural history of the V&A Museum of Childhood, 1970-2000

Professor Amanda Vickery (School of History), CDTG: The Mantua-Maker in England

Professor Rudiger Goerer (School of Languages, Linguistics and Film), CDTG: Prince Albert, The Great Exhibition

Dr Peter Allen (School of Politics and International Relation), CDTG: The Political Class

Professor Claire Preston (School of English and Drama), CDTG: Jans Sloane's Super Collection

Professor Matthew Rubery (School of English and Drama), CDTG: Blindness, Disability & Literacy in Britain

Professor Alison Blunt (School of Geography), CDTG: International Placement: Emily Vine

Professor Barbara Taylor (School of English and Drama), CDTG: Radical Portraiture 1789-1815

Professor Alastair Owens (School of Geography), CDTG: The Economy of Sacrifice?

Professor Alison Blunt (School of Geography), CDTG: Home and Religion

Dr Rhodri Hayward, (School of History), CDTG: Spanish Influenza

Professor Joad Raymond (School of English and Drama), CDTG 

Professor Alison Blunt (School of Geography), CDTG

Dr Jeremy Hicks (School of Linguistics, Linguistics and Film), CDTG: Russian Revolution and Civil Wars

European Funding Awards 2014-2018


ESRC Doctoral Training Centre and Partnership Awards 2014-2018

Dr Azeezat Johnson (School of Geography) The Clothing Practices of Black Muslim Women in Britain

Dr Amy Clarke (School of Geography)  Urban Roots and National Belonging: Hierarchies and scales of belonging in London

Elisabeth Pasini (School of Economics)

Maddalena Ronchini (School of Economics)

Josie Hamper (School of Geography), Women, smartphones and maternal health apps

Shereen Fernandez (School of Geography), Securitising Britishness - the impacts of the promotion of fundamental British values and the Prevent strategy on schools, teachers and Muslim communities in London

Rosalie Warnock (School of Geography), Navigating advice and support: everyday coping strategies in austerity Britain

Amy Corcoran (School of Law), Protesting the Borders but on the Borders of Protest: Art Activism as Resistance to State Crime

Natalie Brinham (School of Law)

David Jeffrey (School of Politics and International Relation), Causes of Conservative Electoral Decline in Liverpool from 1945 onwards

Angus McNelly (School of Politics and International Relation), Class Formation and State Formation under Progressive Governments in Urban Bolivia

Madeleine Lindh (School of Politics and International Relation), The edge of Liberalism: abjection and governmentality in the European response to returning foreign fighters

Daniella Samos (School of Languages, Linguistics and Film)

Christian Ilbury (School of Languages, Linguistics and Film)

Elisa Passoni (School of Languages, Linguistics and Film), L1 attrition and L2 acquisition of pitch in Japanese-English late sequential bilinguals as a function of gender

NERC Doctoral Training Partnership and Industrial CASE Studentships 2014-201

Professor Kate Spencer (School of Geography),  NERC Industrial CASE Studentship: Using novel FIB-SEM microscopy techniques to characterise the internal 3D structure of flocs

Harry Owen (School of Geography), NERC DTP: Climate Change and Biomass Dynamics: Novel Methods in Extracting Forest Biophysical Properties

Niall Lehane (School of Geography), NERC DTP 

Lucy Roberts (School of Geography), NERC DTP

Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarships

Professor Engin Isin (School of Politics and International Relation) together with  Schools of Business and Management, Economics and Finance, Languages, Linguistics and Film, Geography, Psychology (SBCS), History, and Law are leading a doctoral programme - Mobile people: mobility as a way of life