This year, the Society celebrates the 50th year of the Henrietta Hutton Memorial Fund, which supports undergraduate and postgraduate students undertaking field research overseas.
Established in 1964 in memory of Henrietta Hutton – an ornithologist and founding member of the Oxford University Women’s Exploration Club – the grant has supported dozens of young women and is now open to all UK university students.
More than 120 projects to more than 70 countries have been supported by this particular grant and recipients past and present are coming together for an event at the Society today as part of the anniversary celebrations.
Among the former recipients are leading researchers from a range of disciplines, broadcasters and journalists, conservationists and an international HIV specialist.
Katie Willis, now a professor of human geography, received the grant as a doctoral student and it was important in supporting her fieldwork in Oaxaca City, Southern Mexico, she says.
“Without the grant I may not have been able to carry out the fieldwork to the same extent. Spending more time in the communities was very valuable not just because of the data I could collect, but because it allowed me to get to know people better and feedback results.”
Katie now sits on a panel assessing grant applications for the Society. So what is it like to be on the other side of the table? “It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity coming out in student applications and interviews,” she says. “We place quite a bit of focus on collaboration with local partners and the role of new technologies is also exciting.”
Undergraduate Sarah La Hannam-Deeming and postgraduate Jennifer Adams are supported by this year’s Henrietta Hutton research grants. Sarah will study land rights of indigenous communities in Chiapas, Mexico for her dissertation. Jennifer will travel to Lake Baikal, Siberia, to study the impacts of pollution and climate change as part of her doctoral research.
Map of project supported by the Henrietta Hutton memorial fund
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