Annual Report 2016

Research and Teaching News

Research funding obtained included:

  • Harvey Whitehouse: a €2.5m ERC Advanced Investigator award for ‘Ritual Modes: Divergent Modes of Ritual, Social cohesion, Prosociality, and Conflict’.
  • Susana Carvalho: €19,759 from the National Geographic Society Global Exploration Fund for ‘The Unexplored Rift Valley: Human origins research at Gorongosa National Park’.
  • Steve Rayner: £190,749, Horizon 2020, for ‘Bridges the Gap for Innovation in Disaster Resilience (BRIGAID)’
  • Stanley Ulijaszek: £ from the John Fell Fund for ‘Evaluating Associations between Social Mobility and Wellbeing through a Novel Socio epidemiological Study’.

In the course of the year 27 doctorates were submitted, and 49 MScs and 13 MPhils completed. Around 50% of currently registered DPhil students hold scholarships of various kinds.


Impact and knowledge exchange

The Migration Observatory, based in the Centre for Migration, Policy, and Society (COMPAS), played a key role in informing the debate on the UK’s EU membership, with a series of reports on EU migrants’ use of welfare benefits, drivers of EU migration to the UK, etc.

The School made the media on several occasions this year for its innovative research. Emma Cohen and DPhil student Bahar Tuncgenc showed that synchronised dance-like moves can help groups of children form emotional bonds; this was taken up by the BBC and the Daily Mail. Harvey Whitehouse appeared in The Story of God with Morgan Freeman on the National Geographic Channel. Javier Lezaun and DPhil student Christiaan de Koning submitted written evidence to an inquiry into genetically modified insects launched by the House of Lords’ Science and Technology Committee.


Lectures and Events

Several workshops and conferences took place including ‘Urban Governance and Its Discontents’, part of the Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities; it was attended by over 120 academics, professionals, and students. The 2016 Marett Memorial Lecture was given by Professor T.H. Eriksen on 'The Creole World between Inequality and Difference'. 

Human Sciences held its third UNIQ Summer School for sixth formers in July 2016 and had two very successful open days on 29 and 30 June 2016.


Awards and Honours

In July 2016, Laura Peers won a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement with Research for her outstanding Great Box Project, a partnership project with the Haida Gwaii Museum and artists Jaalen Edenshaw and Gwaii Edenshaw.

Darryl Stellmach was awarded the 2015 Royal Anthropological Institute Sutasoma Award in March 2016 for his doctoral research on the Médecins San Frontières (MSF) response to the civil conflict in South Sudan.