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Royal Geographical Society (with IBG): the heart of geography
Dudley Stamp Memorial Award
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Slawson Awards

Slawson Awards

Caroline Day studied the experiences of young people caring for parents and relatives in Zambia

By the kind generosity of Fellows Paul and Mary Slawson, the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) offers three to four awards annually, of up to £3,000 each, for PhD students intending to carry out geographical field research.

The awards support geographical fieldwork involving development issues with a high social and economic value.


22 February (each year)


  Slawson Award guidelines (PDF) 
Code of Practice for the Grants Programme (PDF)


2014 Slawson Award recipients

  Gustav Cederlof (King's College London). 'The Energy Revolution: The political ecology of electrification and post-oil energy geographies in Cuba’

This project addresses energy use in the 'peak-oil' era. As oil wells deplete under global demand and climate change calls for low-carbon alternatives, it is crucial to refine our understandings of energy-supply disruption in oil-dependent energy systems. The project interlaces political ecology, energy geography and history of technology by examining the history of electrification in Cuba; a country that within a few years in the early 1990's experienced an 85% drop in oil supply when the USSR collapsed.

  Elizabeth Elliott (University College London) 'A Medical Landscape in Laos'

This research will 'map' a 'landscape' of 'traditional' medicine use in rural Laos, including village-based participant observation and ethno-botanical surveys, with the government-run Institute of  Traditional Medicine. In a context of rapid knowledge loss, environmental change and deforestation, it aims to provide an ethnographic account of household, local and Buddhist medicine and experiences of health and illness. It shall assist in protection and research of these practices and their relevance to the developing healthcare system and policy, addressing a lack in the current literature on knowledge transmission and geography of this area of Southeast Asia.

  Matt Fortnam (University College London). 'The resilience of coastal resource governance in the Philippines to stresses and shocks'

In the Philippines, coral reef ecosystems and their dependent coastal societies are experiencing rapid change as a consequence of population growth, climate change and economic development. This project seeks to evaluate the resilience of an emerging mode of coastal resource governance to a range of socio-political and environmental stresses and shocks. Two recent climate shocks - super typhoons Bopha/Pablo (2012) and Haiyan/Yolanda (2013) - provide a focus to observe societal coping, learning and adjustment in action.

Slawson Award recipients 2001 to 2013 (PDF)

For further information on the projects listed above, including a summary of the research and expedition reports, please browse the Society's Expeditions Database.

About the Award

The Slawson Awards, first given in 2001, are supported by Society Fellow's Paul and Mary Slawson.

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