SOAS researchers awarded British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships

7 September 2020

The British Academy has announced 36 new Postdoctoral Fellowships to outstanding early career researchers in the United Kingdom, supporting new research in the humanities and social sciences. Four Postdoctoral Researchers at SOAS have been awarded the fellowship, this includes, Dr Rasika Ajotikar, Dr Timotheus Bodt, Dr Diana Felix da Costa and Dr Christopher Foster.

Funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Postdoctoral Fellowships Scheme is the British Academy’s flagship programme of awards for early career academics based at universities throughout the UK.

The three-year awards enable outstanding early career scholars to strengthen their experience of research and teaching in a university environment. The primary emphasis is on completing a significant piece of publishable research, giving award holders a base on which to build a successful academic career.

Professor Graham Upton, Interim Director said:

"This is fantastic news for SOAS and for the researchers themselves. We’re delighted that we’ve been awarded four of this year's British Academy postdoctoral fellowships and look forward to the new Fellows joining the vibrant early career researcher community we have here at SOAS. We’re looking forward to hosting them and their research. These awards will support four amazing research projects which will aim to enhance understanding of issues of 'real world' importance."

Professor Andrea Cornwall, Pro-Director (Research & Enterprise) said:

"We’re delighted that we’ve been awarded four of the British Academy’s postdoctoral fellowships. SOAS scholars with their depth of knowledge and expertise in the humanities and social sciences, are well placed to ask and answer difficult questions facing our world today. Our new Fellows will join the vibrant early career researcher community at SOAS and we’re looking forward to having them pursue their research at SOAS for the next three years.”

Hetan Shah, Chief Executive of the British Academy, said:

“I congratulate each of our new postdoctoral fellows for their hard-earned success in this competitive scheme. The British Academy champions the humanities and social sciences and supporting the next generation of academics is crucial to ensuring these disciplines’ future health and vitality. These awards provide talented scholars with the independence to pursue new areas of research and the confidence and skills to advance their careers on solid foundations. Many of the scheme’s past awardees have achieved a lasting, positive impact on their specialist fields with research that has remained a touchstone throughout their careers. The British Academy wishes this year’s Postdoctoral Fellows every success in their research.”

The SOAS projects include:

  • Music and the politics of cultural citizenship in contemporary India -  Dr Rasika Ajotikar, Department of Music, Department of Music, School of Arts
  • Substrate language influence in the southern Himalayas - Dr Timotheus Bodt, China & Inner Asia Section, Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures
  • 'Youth in crisis'? The effects of post-independence violent conflict and displacement on Murle socio-political institutions in Pibor, South Sudan - Dr Diana Felix da Costa, Department of Development Studies
  • This Tripiṭaka of ours: how Chinese Buddhists defined their canon - Dr Christopher Foster, Department of History, Religions and Philosophies

Find out more about the projects on the British Academy website.