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Department of Anthropology


Durham University Announces two new PGT Scholarship Schemes

Durham University has announced two new PGT Scholarship Schemes.

Postgraduate Student Support Scholarship 2016

Durham University is delighted to announce the introduction of 100 Postgraduate Taught Scholarships worth £3,000. The scholarships are open to applicants from currently under-represented groups within the postgraduate taught population.

The scholarships are intended to support students who may not have otherwise considered postgraduate education. This could be because of financial barriers, personal caring commitments or because an applicant is domiciled in an area where progression to postgraduate education is less common.

The majority of taught master’s programmes are eligible, except postgraduate diplomas, postgraduate certificates, MRes programmes, integrated masters and courses funded by other public bodies (e.g. PGCE).

Applicants must submit an academic application to the University along with a separate scholarship application. Key dates and deadlines are available here.

Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship

Durham University is delighted to announce the introduction of three Postgraduate Taught Scholarships worth £6,000 for applicants commencing with the University in 2016. The scholarships are aimed at supporting applicants from under-represented groups at the University and are being provided due to the generous support of donation income.

The majority of taught master’s programmes are eligible, except postgraduate diplomas, postgraduate certificates, MRes programmes, MBA, integrated masters and courses funded by other public bodies (e.g. PGCE).

Applicants for the Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships will automatically be considered for the Postgraduate Taught Scholarships, there is no need to submit a separate application form, however please note that it is not possible to hold more than one University award.

Applicants must submit an academic application to the Unviersity along with a separate scholarship application. Key dates and deadlines are available here.

(25 May 2016)

Jewish-Muslim relations explored in lecture

The currently sensitive topic of Jewish-Muslim relations in the UK and elsewhere was discussed by a leading academic expert in the field.

Dr Yulia Egorova, Reader in Anthropology and Director of the Centre for the Study of Jewish Culture, Society & Politics at Durham University, gave the annual Sherman Lecture at the Manchester Jewish Museum on Cheetham Hill Road (today a centre of South Asian settlement, historically the Jewish Quarter) on Sunday, 8 May.

Dr Egorova, a specialist in the history of the Jewish Diaspora in countries such as India discussed the history, context and personal experience of Jews and Muslims interacting with each other.

She pointed out that the relationship between the British Jewish and Muslim communities provides an important example of two sizeable groups of Jews and Muslims often living side by side and successfully negotiating the boundaries of their co-existence, despite the tensions stemming from the conflict in the Middle East.

Dr Egorova praised the inter-faith work being done by the Muslim-Jewish Forums in the UK and suggested that much more needed to be done to educate the public about both the experiences of European Muslims and about the history of the many centuries old, Jewish communities in Europe and their slow journey to acceptance and respect by the various Christian populations.

(17 May 2016)

Durham researchers part of new £20m EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration

A new centre, involving researchers at Durham University, that will allow experts to test the entire energy system in real time has been announced today.

Bridging a pivotal gap in our drive towards a fully integrated, smart energy network, the centre is crucial to improving energy efficiency, driving down customer bills and reducing carbon emissions.

Providing us with robust messages about the real world, the aim is to understand how we can optimise the energy network and inform future government policy.

The £20m EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Siemens and Newcastle University, will bring together energy experts from around the world to help unravel the energy network and understand future supply and demand.

Looking for the first time at the energy system as a whole; gas, power, renewables, heating and cooling, the centre will pave the way to a flexible smart infrastructure, empowering customers and giving them greater control of their energy use while allowing industry to meet the tough new low carbon targets.

Using Newcastle University’s unique full-scale testing facilities at Science Central - a demonstrator site which houses a geothermal borehole, grid scale energy storage test bed and smart grid, and a combined heat and power system - the aim will be to understand the co-evolution of supply and demand across the UK’s energy network.

Announced today by Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson,the Centre will draw on the expertise of leading academics from Durham and the universities of Newcastle, Heriot-Watt, Sussex, Edinburgh.

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said:

“From powering our businesses, to monitoring our health and connecting us with friends and family around the world, we all rely on the generation and supply of electricity. This £20 million Centre will help us with the next challenge of storing new sources of energy to meet future demand and secure the UK’s leading position in low carbon technologies.” 

Centre lead Professor Phil Taylor, Director of the Institute for Sustainability at Newcastle University, said:

“Electricity generation is undergoing fundamental change. Many existing fossil fuel power stations will be decommissioned in the coming 15 years and new sources of generation are coming on stream.

“This new National Centre will provide us with robust information about energy usage in the real world, enabling us to develop methods to deal with the inherent risk and uncertainty so we can confidently inform government policy.

“It gives us an opportunity here in the UK to really drive forward the smart energy revolution and become international leaders in this space. We are delighted here in Newcastle to be leading such an exciting project.”

Durham University lead Jon Gluyas, Professor in Geoenergy and Carbon Capture and Storage, said:

“Durham University is delighted to share this substantial award of funds to develop the National Centre for Energy Systems Integration, which will directly address the risks associated with securing and delivering the future energy system for the UK.

“There are many challenges that need to be addressed in order to secure future supply, for example adequate energy storage, effective roll-out of smart electricity and gas systems, adapting energy networks for the bi-directional power flows needed for distributed generation and better use of waste heat and heat networks.

“Durham University’s contribution to the project will include the development of new holistic statistical models for energy networks which are required for this radically different approach to energy; assessing the ethical implications of how these models are developed for future system-users; evaluation of the economic implications of future energy systems; and comprehensively mapping the current and future UK sources of energy supply, including sources of heat.

“We look forward to the challenges that this project offers and to contributing to delivering back to the nation a secure and lower-carbon energy future.”

A National Centre for Energy Systems Integration

According to the National Infrastructure Commission Report released earlier this year, two-thirds of our existing power stations are expected to close by 2030 as our coal, nuclear, and oldest gas fired power stations reach the end of their lives.

The Commission’s central finding is that Smart Power – principally built around three innovations, Interconnection, Storage, and Demand Flexibility – could save consumers up to £8 billion a year by 2030, help the UK meet its 2050 carbon targets, and secure the UK’s energy supply for generations.

The National Centre for Energy Systems Integration brings together engineers, computing scientists, geologists, economists, mathematicians and anthropologists together with leading industry experts.

Led by Newcastle University and Siemens, in collaboration with the UK Energy Research Centre, the Centre will be guided by its Industrial Innovation Board involving over 30 companies and an International Science Advisory Board, drawing expertise from the likes of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the US, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and Skoltech, the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, in Russia.

Focussing in the early days on the UK’s energy infrastructure, the aim is to look at how the findings can be used to inform the continental grid and ultimately be applied elsewhere in the world.

(11 May 2016)

Building Indigenous Knowledge

Building Indigenous Knowledge - What is it?

A fieldwork and project-based student development opportunity co-developed by the University of Western Australia and Otago University open to Durham Geography and Anthropology students who show an interest in other cultures and a willingness to consider alternative views of the world. Interested students were required to develop their own research project, that was in line with the remit of the course, on topics such as indigenous issues, indigenous economies, and cultural/social/environmental sustainability. Three fully funded places were available to students, two of those highly competitive places were awarded to Durham Anthropology students, Vanessa Bradbury and Elizabeth Bradley.


Vanessa Bradbury

Vanessa’s project, developed with the help of Dr Juan Pablo Sarmiento Barletti, will be looking at what values indigenous cultures have towards well-being, specifically focusing on the cultural-natural reciprocal relationship, and how this may be of use to Western development systems in order to transition towards an active and engaged understanding of the world in which we live. Vanessa will use this project to great a foundation of work which she can then build upon for her third year dissertation thesis.


Elizabeth Bradley

Elizabeth’s project, developed with the help of Dr Kate Hampshire, will be looking at well-being within the Maori people; specifically within their physical, home and social/emotional environments. Elizabeth will use this framework to develop on understanding of how the Maori understand their place in the world, specifically whether they feel the negative impact of the world’s poor environmental state. Elizabeth will use this project as a basis for her third year dissertation thesis which will centre on how people in the UK view the environment is terms of their own well-being.


Congratulations to Vanessa and Elizabeth, and their respective supervisors, on this fantastic achievement.

(4 May 2016)

Visit to Natural History Museum

Anthropology students from Durham participated in a field trip to the Natural History Museum in London on Saturday, April 30th, to see first hand how human evolution and biological anthropology are communicated to the public. After an intense six hour drive, second and third year students toured the museum as to see how this world leading museum presents the natural world to the public before joining Durham Anthropology staff in the Human Evolution gallery. Recently renovated, and following on from a national exhibition on human evolution, the gallery details key events and interpretations of human evolution from the original of bipedalism to Neanderthal burials to the emergence and diversity of our own species, Homo sapiens. Students were encouraged to walk around the gallery, compare it to others within the museum, and reflect on how the exhibits and curators communicate some of the core concepts of Human Evolution that they have encountered in their lectures and seminars. Before preparing ourselves for the six hour commute back to Durham, and over ice-cream, Durham Anthropology staff and students discussed how well the gallery communicated its ideas and concepts to the general public, what they would have liked to have seen added, and even managed to critique aspects of the gallery for being too basic (a reflection of the knowledge they’ve acquired whilst studying at Durham Anthropology).


The 12 hour coach commute aside, the trip was enjoyed by both students and staff and offered the former a new perspective on Anthropology and how it is disseminated to various audiences; whilst also offering insights into the various career trajectories open to them upon graduation. Everyone was happy that they got to see the famous ‘Dippy’ and newly mounted Stegosaurus.

(4 May 2016)

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