Since 1956, the Society’s grants programme has supported individuals and groups undertaking geographical research in the UK and overseas for the advancement of geographical science. As well as supporting senior researchers, the Society’s grants often provide a springboard for those early in their career as they complete their undergraduate or postgraduate studies and move into either academia or industry.
Between 2016 and 2019, the Society supported over 230 projects. We caught up with four of the recipients to hear about their projects and how support from our grants programme aided their research.
Dr Catherine Craven, University of Birmingham
Catherine received a Geographical Club Award from the Society in 2017 for her project which examined how the politics of global diaspora governance are always informed by local and global power struggles.
She said: “Receiving the Geographical Club Award back in 2017 has led to the recent publication of my first peer reviewed article in Global Networks titled Networks do not float freely: (Dis)entangling the politics of Tamil diaspora inclusion in development governance.
Since then, I have also submitted my PhD thesis, Locating Politics in the Global: (Dis)Entangling Diaspora Governance Practices, at SOAS University of London, and started a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Birmingham’s Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) on the ESRC funded project (Re)Bordering Britain and Britains after Brexit
I remain grateful to the Society for supporting my field research and will be sure to encourage others to apply for grants in the future.”
Catherine’s Global Networks article is open access and is available to view here.
Ben Gowland, University of Glasgow
Ben received two £1,000 awards from the Postgraduate Research Award and Geographical Club Award for his project The spatial politics of Caribbean Black Power: Praxis, Theory and Transnational Exchange.
He said: “I have recently had an article published in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers that is based on the fieldwork I conducted in the Caribbean.
I have also recently taken up a role as Research Assistant on the Leverhulme funded project Trade unions and spaces of democratisation in Britain, the Caribbean and Greece at the University of Glasgow. The experience gained on my fieldwork in the Caribbean, made possible by Society funding, was invaluable in securing the post.”
Dr Nick Cutler, Newcastle University
Nick, who studies long-term ecosystem development and feedback loops between biological communities and the physical environment, received Society research grants in both 2013 and 2017.
He said: “These grants played a vital role in the early stages of my academic career, because they allowed me to build an independent research portfolio. In addition to building research links with collaborators at the British Geological Survey and the University of Alberta (as well as the international tephra community more generally), funding from the Society kickstarted my current research programme.”
You can watch a short film about Nick’s recent research here, and find publications resulting from his work supported by the Society grants in the Bulletin of Volcanology and Microbial Ecology.