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Royal Geographical Society (with IBG): the heart of geography
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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)


2015 Slawson Award recipients

  Paroj Banerjee (London School of Economics and Political Science). 'An ethnographic exploration of the everyday negotiations and spatial practices of homeless inhabitants in Mumbai'

This research will explore the conditions of homelessness in Mumbai and the influence of spatial practices on homeless peoples everyday lives. This study will explore an under-researched area using ethnography. Public spaces in Mumbai are increasingly being designed and planned in a revanchist spirit which favours the elite and excludes marginalized groups like the homeless. Through one year of field research in Mumbai, Paroj will explore how and why despite facing immense resistance from various institutions homeless people in this area are managing to sustain themselves.

  Joseph Beswick (University of Leeds) 'The making and taking of rent gaps in the urban spatial economy of Santiago de Chile and London'

The research is a comparative study of the creation and closure of rent gaps in gentrification processes in London and Santiago de Chile.  Both Santiago and London underwent housing market restructuring in the latter part of 20th Century, and so the research will interrogate the nexus between the entrepreneurial state and developers in the creative destruction of the built environment. In doing so it will meet a conspicuous gap in the literature by linking gentrification theories and processes in the Global South and North, while shedding light on the understudied social relations and power struggles involved in the making and taking of values in the built environment.

  Bronia Chichlowska (University of Hull). 'Producing the geographies of childhood in colonial Africa: children's lives in twentieth-century Nyasaland 1889-1964'

This interdisciplinary project aims to recover the voices of European children in Nyasaland. It will explore the historical geographical of how European settlement was produced and understood differently by generational groups (parents and children) and how these groups were constituted in specific geographical contexts. The research will add new perspectives on colonial dynamics of race, gender and authority, as racial hierarchies and issues of gender and class framed children's lives.

 Lana Whittaker (University of Cambridge). 'Realising food security, the right to food and food sovereignty in India'

Despite decades of rapid economic growth in India,  hunger and malnutrition persist on a significant scale. Consequently, the Government of India passed the National Food Security Act in 2013 to realise food security through existing government-led food distribution  schemes. However, little research has been conducted on the capacity of these schemes to realise the multiple dimensions of food security and the right to food, the implications for food sovereignty or how outcomes vary for different people, across space and time. This research will address these gaps by examining the Midday Meal Scheme which provides free lunches to 140 million students across India every school day.

Slawson Award recipients 2001 to 2014 (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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