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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Addison Wheeler Fellowship - Previous Fellows

Since its inception in the 1970s the Addison Wheeler Fellowship has supported the careers of over 30 early-career postdoctoral researchers. Typically, former Fellows have progressed to senior positions within universities and research institutes. For more information about the work undertaken while a Fellow at Durham and/or the Fellow’s current research profile please click on the hyperlinked names below.

Name Year Department
Professor EF Corrigan 1972-1974 Mathematics
Professor Richard GM Morris 1973-1975 Neuroscience
Dr EC Saxon ca 1977 Anthropology
Dr DDR Williams 1978 Biomedical Sciences
Dr Christopher John Jones ca 1977 Biomedical Sciences
Professor JA Gatehouse 1979-1984 Biosciences
Professor LR Harris 1980-1983 Psychology
Dr CJ Jones ca 1982 Biomedical Sciences
Professor AM Derrington ca 1983 Psychology
Winthrop Professor David Badcock 1984 Psychology
Dr JJA Scott 1986 Zoology
Dr Robert J Allison 1987 Geography
Dr Caroline Ross 1993 Anthropology
Professor Steve Faulkner 1993-1998 Chemistry
Dr AJ Reynolds 1994 Biosciences
Professor Fiona Newell 1995-1999 Psychology
Professor Stephen Faulkner 1997 Chemistry
Robert McIntosh 2000-1005 Psychology
Dr Una Strand Vidarsdottir ca 2001 Anthropology
Dr Sonia Zakrzewski ca 2003 Archaeology
Dr Mark Skipsey 2004 Biology and Biomedical Sciences
Professor Russell Hill 2005 Anthropology
Professor HC Greenwell 2007-2010 Earth Science/Chemistry
Dr Simon Beaumont 2012 Chemistry
Dr Sushma Grellscheid 2012 Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Dr Thomas Hinton 2012 Modern Languages and Cultures
Dr Ian James Kidd 2012 Philosophy
Dr Thomas Scott-Phillips 2012 Anthropology
Dr Alex Brown 2013 History
Dr Daniel Knight 2013 Anthropology
Dr Christopher Prior 2013 Mathematics
Dr Alice Wilson 2014 Anthropology
Dr Pratika Dayal 2014 Physics
Dr Rachael Wiseman 2014 Philosophy
Dr Rachel Bryant-Davies 2016/17 Classics & Ancient History
Dr Tom Robinson 2016/17 Geography

This table has been largely retrospectively compiled and we apologise for any omissions, Please use the contact the IAS page and we will happily update any errors.

Dr Alex Brown

Department of History

Estates, institutions and economic change in rural England, 1300-1700: production, consumption and living standards. This project explored the transformation of English rural society from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century which saw the end of serfdom, the expropriation of peasants and widespread landlessness, and the development of agrarian capitalism. Current explanations of these changes have focused upon changes in the size of the population, the extent of commercialisation and class conflict. This project tested the robustness of this economic determinism, showing that other noneconomic factors, such as the structural role played by estates and institutional constraints, created important changes in the production and consumption patterns of small-scale agricultural producers. The Durham region was compared with north-east Kent in the first attempt of its kind to measure the effect of estates and institutions in generating changes in agricultural productivity, leading to exploration of the changing living standards and socio-economic outlooks of peasants across the medieval and early-modern divide. Further comparisons to modern agrarian societies were made to increase the dialogue between historians and those studying modern agrarian societies, exploring the factors which affected agricultural productivity, including institutional policies, investment levels, security of tenure, and the social aspirations of peasants.

Post Fellowship Dr Brown remained at Durham University as Assistant Professor (Late Medieval and Early Modern British History) in the Department of History.

Dr Rachel Bryant-Davies

Classics & Ancient History/Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies

Classics at Play: Greco-Roman Antiquity in British Children’s Culture, c. 1750-1914: From Aesop's Fables to Disney's Hercules, antiquity animates children's culture. This interdisciplinary project, interrogated the cultural work of Classics in everyday pedagogical and leisure contexts. Classical references infused all spheres of society and culture throughout this period: as children were increasingly targeted as consumers, diverse media—from alphabets to puzzles and toy-theatres—promoted conflicting classical role-models. Such, previously underestimated, ephemeral evidence counterbalances the prevailing textual and contemporary emphasis in studies of children’s Classics. It also enables the Fellow to demonstrate how playful, interactive engagement with the past was entangled with traditional experiences, and how elite and popular cultures mingled and intersected.

The overarching goal was to redirect the field of popular Classics towards an interdisciplinary, historically-grounded approach that unravels the complex relationships between education and leisure―as well as deeply entangled visual, material, literary and performance cultures. The major outcome of this Fellowship was a monograph aimed at Oxford’s ‘Classical Presences’ series, which advances understanding of antiquity’s continued impact and accessibility. While offering a fresh perspective on fierce ideological arguments surrounding the contested ‘democratic turn’, it illuminates ongoing educational debates while revealing less constrained classical afterlives than yet understood.

Post Fellowship Dr Bryant-Davies took up a Lectureship in Comparative Literature at QMUL.

Dr Pratika Dayal asks if there is life out there

Dr Pratika Dayal asks if there is life out there

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Humans have long wondered: “Are we alone in the Universe?” After all, the Earth is just one planet in one galaxy among hundreds of billions that exist across the cosmos. Now a team of scientists are attempting to solve this mystery by building the first cosmobiological model to explore the habitability of the Universe. Led by Dr Pratika Dayal, of Durham University, the researchers hope their model will help identify galaxies with potential to host life as we know it.

Dr Pratika Dayal

Physics/Institute of Computational Cosmology

The research focuses on understanding the first billion years of galaxy evolution. As the first sources of light in a Universe that had slowly gone dark after its violent inception in the Big Bang, these galaxies ushered in the era of ‘cosmic dawn’. These galaxies represent the primary building blocks of all subsequent galaxy populations. They also produced the earliest photons capable of tearing apart atoms of the hydrogen gas permeating all of space, starting the ‘epoch of reionization’. This is the last major "event” which remains to be uncovered in the history of the Universe, and is at the forefront of astrophysical research.

The research aimed to build a complete theoretical picture of galaxy formation and evolution in the first billion years to answer three fundamental questions:

(a) how did these galaxies drive reionization?

(b) what are their physical properties?

(c) how do they evolve into the galaxies observed today?

Surveys are providing the first tantalising glimpses of early galaxy assembly with data imminently expected from multi-hundred million pound observational facilities. Dr Dayal brought expertise which extends that already available in the ICC and enabled the University to take a leading role in the analysis of experiments such as LOFAR, which are high profile facilities run by international consortia. Unlocking the mysteries of the early Universe hidden in these colossal and complex datasets is utterly dependent on the theoretical models that Dr Dayal developed in her Fellowship.

Following her Addison Wheeler Fellowship, Dr Dayal became an Assistant Professor and Rosalind Franklin Fellow at the Kapteyn Institute at Groningen University.

Dr Thomas Hinton

School of Modern Languages and Cultures/Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies (now IMEMS).

The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were a period of massive expansion in the production of manuscripts for non-Latinate audiences, as courts and the high bourgeoisie developed a taste for the consumption and collection of vernacular literature. During his Fellowship Dr Hinton proposed a twin research strategy, with both threads bearing on the analysis of this phenomenon. His monograph examines how the development of lay literacy in the thirteenth century affected the status of vernacular languages and their literary traditions, focusing on French and Occitan. The dissemination of troubadour song took off with the appearance of anthological lyric manuscripts, transforming troubadour culture into a written tradition and establishing Occitan as a legitimate language of writing, sharing some of the prestige and rigour of Latin. This emerging conception of the written vernacular then influenced French literature, as testified by a burgeoning confidence in the possibilities of French as a language of cultural record. Alongside this work, Dr. Hinton was involved in a collaborative study of how the examination of medieval library collections might inform our reading of medieval French texts. This project, led by Dr Luke Sunderland at Durham, considered why particular texts were collected together, and how libraries responded to and shaped reading practices.

In 2013, following his Addison Wheeler Fellowship, Dr Hinton took up a lectureship at Exeter University:

Dr Ian Kidd (2012)

Department of Philosophy

Kidd’s research project ‘Epistemic Humility: Virtue, Enquiry and the Limits of Human Knowledge’ aims to provide a systematic account of the virtue of epistemic humility. It brings together contemporary research in virtue epistemology and the philosophy of science within a historical framework. The project has three parts. The first examines the changing conceptions of epistemic humility from the history of early modern philosophy to the present. The second then develops a systematic account of the virtue of epistemic humility using the historical material from part one and the contemporary philosophical literature. Epistemic humility emerges as a predisposition to chart and act according to the changing limits of one’s knowledge and understanding, especially in relation to other enquirers. Dr Kidd defends his account of the virtue against the three prevailing criticisms of the virtue of humility and indicates its advantages over rival accounts. The third part then demonstrates how epistemic humility can be applied in the context of scientific enquiry, focusing on case studies involving risk and uncertainty, future planning and disagreement between experts. Dr Kidd concludes that the virtue of epistemic humility offers new ways of understanding how enquirers can respond positively to their limitations without lapsing into pessimism, and thereby inform and enrich enquiry.

Dr Kidd was founder and chair of the Durham Philosophy Diversity and Inclusion Group (DIG) and is a Friend of the Society for Women in Philosophy (UK). During his Fellowship he held a fixed-term lectureship at the School of Philosophy, Religion, and History of Science at the University of Leeds. In 2015, following his Addison Wheeler Fellowship, Dr Kidd took became an Assistant Professor at Nottingham University: and

Solar Energy in Greece

Dr Daniel Knight

Anthropology/Durham Energy Institute

“Let There Be Light: debt, materiality and the Greek photovoltaic initiative”. In 2011 solar energy was heralded as the economic saviour of the Greek state just as the nation headed towards bankruptcy and the country descends into social chaos. Renewable energy was viewed as a long-term solution to fiscal austerity, international dependency and European security. In 2011 the Greek government launched an ambitious programme to enhance economic sustainability through the development and export of solar energy. New solar energy projects offered an alternative to petroleum and electricity that dominated the energy sector.

Scaling the photovoltaic initiative from the level of macroeceonomic policy to everyday practice, this project engaged with contemporary debate in the social sciences concerning debt, deterritorialisation, network agency, historicity, and sustainability. The concept of materiality leads to a precise understanding of the relationship between actors and networks (energy, finance, rhetoric), promoting a social-scientific appreciation of human and non-human connectivity, interaction and exchange. Considering this dynamism, the transformative relational materiality of solar energy is analysed within the context of global economic crisis and Greece’s struggle to repay national debt. The research significantly built on previous fieldwork undertaken as part of the Durham Energy Institute’s Small Grants Scheme (‘Under the Wings of Daedalus’) and acts as a blueprint for further understanding the role of renewable energy in times of extreme socioeconomic turmoil.

Following his Addison Wheeler Fellowship, Dr Knight became a lecturer and Leverhulme Fellow at St Andrews University Daniel is Associate Editor of History and Anthropology journal ( and a member of the British Academy development board for the British School at Athens. His research has been funded by the ESRC, EPSRC, Leverhulme Trust, British Academy, National Bank of Greece.

Dr Tom Robinson

Geography/Institute of Hazard Risk and Resilience

After the Shaking Stops: Assessing the Time Varying Risks From Earthquakes Through Consequence-Based Analysis: The project aimed to significantly improve how earthquake risk is assessed by increasing understanding of the long-term risks and impacts that earthquakes cause. Currently, earthquakes are considered to be instantaneous events where impacts are direct and instant consequences of ground shaking. Recent research demonstrates that earthquakes cause long-term increases in the intensity and likelihood of secondary hazards, such as landslides. These continued hazards are not considered in current approaches to earthquake planning, which has consequences that are often exacerbated in mountainous lower and middle income countries where losses are greatest, chronically inhibiting the ability to effectively manage total earthquake risk.

The project proposed will combine previous research on understanding and modelling total earthquake risk, using the most recent advances in post-earthquake hazard evolution, developing ongoing research at Durham. This also builds on our network of collaborative partnerships with NGOs, governments, and the international community (eg UN), at a time where end-user collaboration is increasingly pivotal in successful funding applications. This research is innovative in its desire to exploit these recent scientific gains in understanding of both the initial and evolving earthquake hazard, to make the stop-change in understanding of total earthquake risk that is so desperately required.

Post Fellowship Dr Robinson gained a permanent Lectureship at Newcastle University in Physical Geography

Dr Thom Scott-Phillips (2012)

Department of Anthropology

Dr Thom Scott-Phillips’ research focuses on evolutionary and cognitive approaches to the human mind and culture, and in particular to communication and language. He employs a variety of research methods: controlled cognitive science experiments, mathematical and computational models, and theoretical, cross-disciplinary synthesis

Language is arguably humanity’s most defining characteristic, yet its evolutionary origins are unclear. Those origins include both the biological evolution of the cognitive abilities required to create, acquire and use language; and the cultural evolution of languages. Comparative research with other primate species has revealed both the extent of the cognitive abilities required for human communication, and the likely selection pressures that led to their evolution. At the same time, research on the cultural evolution of communication systems shows that they adapt to the different constraints placed upon them. However, these cultural evolutionary processes have not been studied with any systematic consideration of the role played by cognition. Dr. Scott-Phillips used the Addison Wheeler Fellowship to investigate how cognition affects the cultural origins and subsequent evolution of communication systems. This allowed an account of the origins of language that integrates both the biological evolution of the cognitive capacity for language with the cultural evolution of languages to be developed. Furthermore, since language is the paradigmatic example of a culturally transmitted behaviour, the findings will provide a case study of the role that cognitive processes play in the evolution of culture more generally. During his Fellowship his first book, Speaking Our Minds, was published in November 2014. He also received a Future Research Leaders grant and an early-career fellowship from the ESRC and the Leverhulme Trust

Following his Addison Wheeler Fellowship, Dr Scott-Phillips became a Senior Research Scientist in the Social Mind Centre at Central European University, Budapest

Dr Alice Wilson

Anthropology/Durham Global Security Institute

‘Arabian Dilemmas: becoming citizens in southern Oman’. The Arab Spring highlighted intense demands for democratisation, but also the tenacity of authoritarianism fuelled by patronage and foreign support. In the wake of the Arab uprisings, scholars, policy-makers, and activists have analysed the importance of mass protests, cross-party coalitions, and new social media networks for precipitating reforms. They have also underlined how subsidies in oil-rich states shore up authoritarianism. Dr Wilson’s research explores mobilisation that emerges against the flow of government subsidies, and alternative democratic openings under authoritarianism. She examined how shifts across authoritarian Gulf monarchies towards widened political and economic participation are forming new kinds of Gulf citizens. Specifically, the project focuses on Dhufar, southern Oman, where government subsidies helped secure the defeat of Dhufar’s revolutionary movement in 1975. The project centred on an ethnographic study of a Dhufari tribal electoral league that recently elected the first black Omani to the National Consultative Council.

The research was exceptionally timely and important not only in investigating alternative democratic possibilities in the Arab world but in providing a vital, and hitherto missing, link in Durham between the Durham Energy Institute (DEI), the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW) and the Durham Global Security Institute (DGSi).

In 2016 following her Addison Wheeler Fellowship Dr Wilson joined the University of Sussex as a Lecturer in Social Anthropology and


Dr Rachael Wiseman

Department of Philosophy/Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society

I studied at UCL and York and have had teaching fellowships at York and Durham before being awarded an Addison Wheeler Research Fellowship at Durham. I work at the intersection of philosophy of mind, action and ethics and during my fellowship I wrote a book (Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Anscombe’s Intention) along with several articles on philosophy of mind and ethics. I also developed two collaborative research projects that will provide a frame for my future research. The Integrity Project ( looks at the meaning and importance of integrity. I was awarded a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award for work with a local arts organisation exploring artistic integrity and arts fundraising. I am collaborating with Clare MacCumhaill (Durham University) on a BA-funded project that explores the work and friendships of four women philosophers who met at Oxford during WWII: Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley and Iris Murdoch ( As well as studying the philosophy of four wonderfully creative thinkers we want to understand why there are so few women in philosophy and to work out what we might do about it!

In 2017, following her Addison Wheeler Fellowship, Dr Wiseman took up a lectureship at Liverpool University