SOAS University of London

Ebony Initiative celebrates the end of its first Junior Research Summer Programme with end of programme ceremony

1 October 2021

The Ebony Initiative celebrated the inaugural cohort of Junior Research Summer Programme scholars at SOAS on Thursday 30th September.

The JRSP was set up in summer 2021 to encourage and inspire UG students to think about postgraduate study and research-based careers. It was designed to support students along that path by introducing them to research skills and giving them an opportunity to explore research questions that they feel are relevant to their own lives, communities and the world around us. 

Ebony Initiative ceremony 2

Successful applicants received funding to support 6 weeks of independent research between 1st June and 31st August. Students were able to present their research findings through a medium of their choice; this year’s JRSP scholars produced essays, websites, films and artwork all of which were briefly showcased at the award ceremony. This year’s JRSP scholars were Ebun Adepoju; Symone Blidgen; Sara Gebremariam; Saffa Khalil; Sohane Mousseid Yahya; A'isha Mu'azu; Hilarie Nikuze Mbanenande; Afua Nkansah-Asamoah; Hisham Parchment and Iben Rygh Boe.

Ebony Initiative ceremony 3

Nine of the JRSP scholars were able to attend the event, either in person or online. The scholars’ supervisors, supporters and family members also joined to celebrate the inspiring, diverse and original outputs produced through the project. The final projects will be displayed on the Ebony Initiative website which will be launched a little later this academic year. Special thanks goes to all the academic and professional services staff who supported the JRSP this year.

The Ebony Initiative was founded in November 2020 by Dr. Althea-Maria Rivas to encourage and nurture Black scholars to pursue research careers and postgraduate education. The programme seeks to increase the pipeline of Black scholars progressing to PGT and PGR degrees and academic positions in UK HE. In addition to the JRSP, the Ebony Initiative ran monthly workshops throughout the last academic year, offering skills sessions, career mentoring, community building spaces and funding support guidance. The Ebony Initiative also hosted a Summer Institute in Creative and Decolonised Research Methods for which over 200 applicants from across the world enrolled.  

Ebony Initiative ceremony 1