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Partnership PhD Mobility Bursaries awarded for 2012-13

Ten LSE postgraduate students have been given the opportunity to spend two to three months at one of LSE’s five institutional partners in 2012-13  through the School’s Partnership PhD Mobility Bursaries scheme. 

The scheme began in 2008-09 with Columbia University (New York), the National University of Singapore and Sciences Po (Paris) and expanded in 2010-11 to include Peking University (Beijing) and the University of Cape Town.  Each year, LSE funds up to two places at each of the five institutions with students receiving a bursary of £2,500 in support of travel and living costs.

Whilst abroad, participants work informally with an advisor on their PhD thesis research and/or on related publications and presentations. The visits also introduce them to the academic culture, professional contacts and employment opportunities of another country.  Students registered for PhD studies in any LSE department who have been upgraded to full doctoral student status are eligible to apply.  A School selection panel assesses applications on their academic merit, including the rationale for visiting a particular partner institution and for working with their proposed academic advisor.

Mark Maloney, head of Academic Partnerships at LSE, said “We were pleased to fill the ten places available this year with students from many departments and with a wide range of research interests.  These visits are a great way for students to advance their research, to widen their academic networks and to experience academia in another country.  At the same time they contribute to further strengthening the links between LSE and its partners by putting researchers with similar interests in contact with each other.”

This year’s successful candidates are: 

Columbia University

Alexandra Hyde, Gender Institute, who is currently at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Columbia University. Alex's PhD is an ethnography of a British Army base overseas from the perspective of civilian women married to servicemen.

Neofytos Rodosthenous, Department of Mathematics, who will be visiting the Department of Statistics at Columbia University.  Neofytos’ PhD thesis explores the problems of pricing of American-type contingent claims in various stochastic models of financial markets. 

Talking about his upcoming visit, Neofytos said: “I aim to embrace this opportunity to be part of Columbia University in order to actively engage with other researchers, discuss and collaborate with pioneers of my field. Columbia is a leading research institution in financial mathematics and is home to academics whose contributions have established the field. Attending their lectures as well as seminars given by professors visiting from the most prestigious universities of the United States will be extremely valuable both for my current as well as my future research.” 

National University of Singapore

Robyn Klingler Vidra, Department of International Relations, who visited the Lee Kuan Yew School at NUS this past autumn. Robyn’s PhD thesis investigates the Political Economy origins of Venture Capital (“VC”) Policy variance in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Sin Yee Koh, Department of Geography and Environment, who has just returned from visiting the Department of Geography at the NUS.  Sin Yee’s PhD explores citizenship and the culture of migration amongst mobile Malaysians in London, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Reflecting on her experience, Sin Yee said:  “I have benefitted from this research exchange in so many ways. Firstly, I have had many opportunities to discuss my work through conferences, seminars, reading groups and informal meetings. This is particularly useful at my current stage of thesis writing, but also for intellectual stimulation generally. Secondly, I become aware of different academic and research cultures, which has enhanced my broader understanding and appreciation of the academia. Thirdly, my thesis writing has benefitted from the excellent Singapore/Malaysia collection at the NUS Library. Finally, it is an opportunity to revisit my fieldwork site and to conduct follow-up interviews with some of my respondents.”

Peking University (PKU) 

Alex Dueben, Department of International Relations, who is currently at the School of International Studies at Peking University.  Alex’s thesis is entitled “The Institutionalism of Regional Multilateralism between China and the States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.”

Shuxiu Zhang, Department of International Relations, who is currently at the School of International Studies at Peking University.  Shuxiu is exploring the impact of multilateral economic institutions on China’s economic diplomacy decision-making processes 

Sciences Po, Paris

Luc Brunet, Department of International History, who will be based in the Centre d’Histoire de Sciences Po.  Luc’s PhD focuses on industrial organisation in France in the 1940s, with an emphasis on the coal and steel industries. His work highlights the continuities between Vichy France and post-war developments such as the Monnet Plan and the European Coal and Steel Community.

Benedetta Voltolini, Department of International Relations, who will be based in the Centre for International Studies and Research (CERI) and the Centre d’études européennes (CEE) at Sciences Po this coming spring.  Benedetta’s thesis is entitled “The Impact of Non-state Actors on EU Foreign Policy Towards Israel and the Palestinians.” 

University of Cape Town

Kerwin Datu, Department of Geography and Environment, who will be based in the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town. Kerwin’s thesis is entitled “The Role of Global and Regional City Networks in Economic Development: the case of West African cities.”

Rachel Deacon, Department of Social Policy, who is currently based in the AIDS and Society Research Unit at the University of Cape Town.  For her PhD, Rachel is looking at the impact of HIV/AIDS and HIV/AIDS intervention programmes on young people’s lives in South Africa.

Rachel said: “Being at UCT has provided me with opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. Whether it be through talking to leading academics in my field, further exploring data and archives previously out of reach, or simply attending the regular seminars and book launches, I have found myself being challenged and encouraged to view my topic with new eyes. The first rate facilities and the supportive staff who are never too busy to talk have led to not only a great personal experience, but also one which will prove academically invaluable as I move forward with my PhD.”


12 November 2012