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10 June 2022

LSRI Awards Grants to Masters Students at the University of Oxford

The LSRI is delighted to announce two recipients of its inaugural Ignacio Ellacuría MPhil Thesis Grant.

The Ignacio Ellacuría MPhil Thesis Grant is open to MPhil students across all departments and faculties at the University of Oxford who are engaging in fieldwork as a component of their thesis. The grant is named after Spanish-Salvadoran Jesuit Ignacio Ellacuría, who exemplified by his life, and death by the Salvadoran military dictatorship, a preferential option for the poor and for the earth, and a commitment to social transformation through intellectual inquiry.

FrishtaFrishta Quaderi, an MPhil student in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford, has been awarded the grant for her research, which aims to investigate transboundary water governance within the Aral Sea Basin. With a focus on the Uzbekistan and Tajikistan sides of the Amy Darya, Frishta will investigate how the wider geopolitical issues surrounding water governance impact farmers who rely on the water. Frishta will be spending 5 months in Uzbekistan to conduct stakeholder interviews from across the Uzbek and Tajik governments and the international development community.

Frishta comments, “the LSRI is not only aiding in my project’s realisation, but ensuring that my research remains committed to environmental justice and the common good. I will look to the Institute’s mission for inspiration as I curate and pursue this multidisciplinary and inclusive project.”

NikhilNikhil Gowd, an MPhil student in Development Studies, has been awarded the grant to investigate how green infrastructure projects draw on the narrative of high modernism, and as a result, further the climate vulnerability of displaced people. Conducting his field research in India, Nikhil will investigate the infrastructure of solar parks, the institutions that implement solar park development, and the welfare and politics of those displaced by their installation.

Nikhil comments, “The LSRI Ignacio Ellacuria MPhil Grant will allow me to explore the politics behind the clean energy transitions of the world’s largest carbon emitters, exploring the unseen lives of India’s most climate vulnerable people.”

Both candidates were selected based on the strengths of their research proposals, which are transdisciplinary in its methodology, and respond to the specific needs of a local community or group that has been experience socio-environmental harm.

The LSRI will be offering the Ignacio Ellacuría MPhil Thesis Grant again next year.