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Faculty of Humanities


Following the career progression of former Simon and Hallsworth Fellows.

Dr Luke Yates

Currently Lecturer in Sociology, University of Manchester


I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Warwick, spent some time travelling and working, and then returned to university to study the social sciences. My Masters dissertation was a comparative analysis of critical consumption in Europe. My PhD looked at politics and daily life in squats and cultural centres in Barcelona. I took up a short-term research position in the Sustainable Consumption Institute (2012-2013) before being awarded a Hallsworth Fellowship in September 2013. Halfway through, I secured a permanent position as Lecturer in Sociology, also at Manchester. I was allowed to complete my Hallsworth before taking up the post.

Contribution to my professional career

The Hallsworth Research Fellowship was fundamental for my development as a researcher, allowing me time and space to consolidate my research profile in the areas of social movements and political sociology; and to combine my interests and work in consumption habits around food and living arrangements with questions of scale and sustainability. The period allowed me to publish extensively around these topics, read, elaborate a strong theoretical perspective, gather new data that I am still in the process of analysing and writing up, and to prepare a book proposal.

Most valuably, the fellowship permitted me a significant degree of freedom to creatively forge a coherent research agenda based on the research I’d been part of in the past, while deepening my contributions to each field with new work. In other words it was possible to cross-pollinate – both theoretically and empirically – between the projects I’d been involved in directly after my PhD, around the organisation of eating habits and living arrangements (often quantitative and larger-scale), with my existing interests in social movements studies and theories of consumption (which I’d looked at using qualitative and case study approaches). I was also able to play a role in Sociology and the Sustainable Consumption Institute in teaching and contributing to the research culture of both spaces, through the organisation of reading groups, seminars and writing collaborations. Most practically the fellowship was invaluable in my subsequent appointment as lecturer, but it has also encouraged me to be ambitious and creative in my approach to research and teaching. 

Dr Sarah Marie Hall

Currently Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Manchester


I completed a BA in Human Geography, MRes in Globalisation and Development, and PhD in Human Geography at the University of Liverpool, before coming to Manchester to start the Hallsworth Research Fellowship in 2012.

Contribution to my professional career

The fellowship provided me with significant opportunities for career development. It enabled me to conduct important and original longitudinal research; to generate publications and a plan for further writing; to present and promote my work to international audiences; to apply for research funding; to supervise PhD students; to organise events and conference sessions; and to generate impact from my research. Being placed at the University has also provided me with opportunities to teach and to become involved in administration at discipline and university level. As such, I have been able to develop my career trajectory in all three of the key elements of an academic career: research, administration and teaching. In April 2014 I was offered a permanent, full-time lectureship in Human Geography here at the University of Manchester, which started on 1st September 2015.  I am also chair of the School of Environment, Education and Development Ethics Committee.

Since completing the Fellowship, I have worked on a number of research projects, including Working-Class Youth Voice and Inter-generational Justice in Manchester’s Devolution, 2016-2018 (with Dr Laura Pottinger, University of Manchester; funded by ESRC IAA) and Gender, Race, Disability and Austerity, 2016-2018 (with the Women's Budget Group and Dr Laura Pottinger, University of Manchester; funded by Barrow Cadbury Foundation).

Dr Laia Becares

Currently Lecturer of Social Statistics, University of Manchester


I studied Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. I then worked for four years researching treatment outcomes for Latina and African American women with substance abuse problems, and evaluating a re-entry program for Latino and African American men who were in jail and about to be released into the community. I went back to study for a Master’s Degree in Public Health at Boston University in 2004, and moved to the UK in 2006 to do a PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL. I came to the University of Manchester in 2010 with a 2-year ESRC/MRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, and in 2012 I was awarded a Hallsworth Fellowship. That year I was also given an ESRC Future Research Leaders award, and was allowed to keep both.

Contribution to my professional career

I am very grateful to the Hallsworth Research Fellowship for the immense contribution it has had to my professional career. I was able to have four years of protected research time, which has benefitted me tremendously. During the fellowship I had research stays in international universities, developed new collaborations, strengthened existent ones, and was free to work on my research interests. During the length of the fellowship I published over 20 journal articles and several book chapters. I also had the freedom and time to collaborate with colleagues outside academia, and to disseminate the fellowship findings to non-academic audiences. These opportunities have expanded my intellectual development, and have pushed my research in unexpected directions. The experiences and outputs afforded to me by the Hallsworth fellowship and ESRC Future Research Leaders award led me to take up the post of Lecturer of Social Statistics in 2016.

Dr Oliver Turner

Currently Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh.


I studied International Relations at the University of Manchester, gaining my PhD in December 2011. In 2012 I moved to the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) as Lecturer in International Relations, returning to the University of Manchester to take up the Hallsworth Research Fellowship in 2013.

Contribution to my professional career

As a result of my work during the Hallsworth Fellowship I was successful in obtaining a Lectureship in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh. During the fellowship my research was published in internationally-recognised and world-leading journals, and formed the basis of a new research monograph. Additional outputs including chapters in edited volumes, reports, and blog/opinion pieces of appeal to non-academic audiences were produced, along with the dissemination of research findings at national and international conferences.

The Hallsworth Fellowship allowed me to enhance my research profile through additional activities such as a visiting fellowship and guest external lectures. I occupied a two month visiting fellowship at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm in late 2015, and completed guest lectures and undertook undergraduate and postgraduate student supervision at the University of Manchester.

Dr Andrew Balmer

Currently Lecturer in Sociology, The University of Manchester


I started out as an undergraduate biology student before moving into the sociology of science for an MA and PhD at the University of Nottingham. After graduating I worked for eighteen months as a postdoctoral research associate in sociology at the University of Sheffield before moving to Manchester for a year’s contract as a temporary lecturer. I then applied for the Simon Fellowship and took up the position in 2012. During the fellowship I successfully applied for a Lectureship in Sociology at the University of Manchester.

Contribution to my professional career

Without a doubt the Simon Fellowship has been vital to my development as an academic and specifically as a sociologist. The School of Social Sciences at Manchester is fantastic and Sociology has been an extremely welcoming and nurturing place that also plays home to many creative, insightful and world-leading researchers.

It can sometimes be difficult to find support for research that mixes tools from the humanities disciplines and involves forays into collaboration between natural and social sciences. In this regard the freedom offered by the Simon Fellowship was crucial to my research interests and to further developing my theoretical and methodological approach.

Whilst being Simon Fellow I have written two collaborative papers, a sole-authored paper, co-authored a monograph for Palgrave Macmillan and a textbook for Manchester University Press, and I am currently writing a further monograph for Routledge.

Dr Japhy Wilson

Currently Research Coordinator at the National Strategic Centre for the Right to Territory (CENEDET), in Quito, Ecuador


I studied Philosophy at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and then travelled widely for several years. I returned to academia in 2003, completing a Masters and a PhD in International Political Economy at Manchester. In 2009 I took up a two year teaching fellowship in Politics at Manchester. I then shifted to Geography for my Hallsworth, which I began in 2011. Halfway through my Hallsworth I secured a permanent position as Lecturer in International Political Economy, again at Manchester. I was allowed to complete my Hallsworth before taking up the post. I have since been granted leave to take up a temporary position at an Ecuador-based research institute directed by the eminent human geographer David Harvey.

Contribution to my professional career

My Hallsworth fellowship was absolutely indispensable for my intellectual and professional development. It offered me unparalleled freedom to pursue my research interests, and enabled me to develop my theoretical approach and empirical knowledge in radically new directions, while significantly strengthening my publication record and constructing new networks in the realms of development studies and human geography.

The fellowship enabled me to conduct fieldwork in Ghana and Uganda, and to travel extensively for the dissemination of my research findings. It provided me with the base that I needed for the securing of a permanent academic position, and for opening new possibilities for research and collaboration.

The results of the research that I conducted during the fellowship have been published in leading journals in the fields of political economy, human geography and development studies. I was also able to publish two books during the fellowship – a single-authored monograph published by Verso, and a co-edited volume with Erik Swyngedouw, published by Edinburgh University Press. During my fellowship I presented my work at international conferences in Canada, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Turkey and the UK. The fellowship was a wonderful experience in both personal and professional terms, for which I will always be very grateful.

Dr Melanie Lombard

Currently Lecturer in Global Urbanism, The University of Manchester


After working in social housing following my first degree in Government from the London School of Economics, I undertook an MA in Planning Policy and Practice at London South Bank University, focusing on participatory planning in marginalised urban communities in Colombia for my dissertation. I completed my PhD on place-making in urban informal settlements in Mexico in December 2009, at the University of Sheffield's Department of Town and Regional Planning, and joined the Global Urban Research Centre at The University of Manchester in January 2010. I was awarded a Hallsworth Fellowship in 2011, which I undertook at the Global Urban Research Centre (GURC).

Contribution to my professional career

The Hallsworth fellowship offered a great opportunity to pursue publications from PhD, resulting in a total of six articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, I published a Spanish-language book based on my PhD thesis, Haciendo de la ciudad un lugar: el caso de los asentamientos informales en México (2012), as a result of being awarded the INFONAVIT-Redalyc Ibero-American Prize for Research Theses on Sustainable Housing.

The fellowship also gave me the opportunity to undertake further original research into a theme which had emerged from my PhD research but which I had not had time to pursue, namely urban land and conflict in the context of urbanisation. In all, I carried out a further 90 interviews in two cities in Mexico over the course of three research trips, exploring the effects of land conflict on urban poor communities.

I was able to present these publications and findings at international conferences and seminars, giving or contributing to 14 presentations including at the Universidad Veracruzana (Xalapa, Mexico), Development Studies Association Conference (London), Royal Geographical Society Conference (London), Latin American Studies Association Congress (Washington, DC), World Planning Schools Congress (Perth, Australia).

I was also involved in co-organising several conference sessions and workshops. As a result of one of these events, I am editing a special issue of the journal Urban Studies on ‘Urban land and conflict in the global South’, due for publication in 2014. This will build on the GURC working paper I published in 2012, Land tenure and urban conflict: A review of the literature.

The Hallsworth fellowship provided me with the time, space and funding to undertake these critical post-doctoral activities, which combined with ongoing teaching experience, led to my successful application for the post of Lecturer in Global Urbanism at the School of Environment, Education and Development (2013).

Dr James Scott

Currently Lecturer in International Political Economy at King’s College London


I studied Physics and Philosophy at New College, University of Oxford 1997-2001. After taking a year out, I went to The University of Manchester to undertake a Masters in Development Studies, and stayed to complete a PhD in International Political Economy. Following my PhD I held a number of short-term contracts as a research assistant and as a temporary lecturer at the Brooks World Poverty Institute and at the University of Liverpool. In 2011 I was awarded a Hallsworth Fellowship, which I undertook at the Brooks World Poverty Institute. I was then appointed as Lecturer in International Political Economy at King’s College London in 2013.

Contribution to my professional career

My time spent as a Hallsworth Fellow was central to my finding a permanent academic job. It gave me the critical space needed to secure the publication record that is a key requirement for university research jobs. In addition, the fellowship gave me the time and funding to take my research agenda forward beyond that of my PhD. The flexibility of the scheme was important here. My original plan was to study a particular international trade agreement, but when this was unexpectedly not ratified in time I had to rethink. When that research proved to be impossible, I was able to pursue a number of other projects instead, building on previous research I had done concerning the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

During my fellowship I was able to attend a number of academic conferences and other meetings relevant to my research. It enabled me to maintain existing, and establish new, networks of like-minded researchers and people within the WTO. This led to further collaborative research grants and book projects that took my research agenda into new areas and cemented ongoing relationships with other trade scholars. Overall, the Hallsworth Fellowship undoubtedly played a significant role in building the experience and outputs needed for me to secure a permanent lectureship.

Dr Nissa Finney

Currently Reader in Human Geography at the University of St Andrews


Following my first degree and PhD in Geography at the University of Wales Swansea I worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Sheffield (Landscape Architecture) and fixed-term Lecturer at the University of Liverpool (Geography). I then moved to Manchester as a Research Associate before securing an ESRC Fellowship.

To continue my research I applied for a Hallsworth Fellowship which I began in 2011 in the Cathie Marsh Institute.

Contribution to my professional career

Having a Hallsworth Fellowship was an incredible privilege which I appreciate increasingly. It gave me the intellectual freedom, time and resources to pursue research ventures thoroughly and creatively and, crucially, to develop my independence as a researcher in terms of research ideas and professional skills.

The context of the Cathie Marsh Institute and School of Social Sciences at the University of Manchester, particularly the opportunity for communications and collaborations with exceptional academics, allowed me to pursue my goal to develop as a mixed-methods, interdisciplinary-literate social scientist.

Without doubt, these benefits afforded by my Hallsworth Fellowship enabled me to secure a Lectureship at The University of Manchester and subsequently my current post at the University of St Andrews.

The Fellowship was also a time of great productivity in terms of outputs: I published two edited books and a co-authored book, several book contributions, a number of papers in leading peer-reviewed journals, presented at international conferences of a number of disciplines (geography, sociology, demography, statistics), and undertook impact work contributing to a REF Impact Case Study.

In addition, the networks and collaborations in the UK and internationally that I cultivated during the Fellowship led to other research projects funded by the British Academy/Leverhulme, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Economic and Social Research Council. Particularly notable of these is the ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) through which I continue my collaboration with Manchester.

Dr Yanuar Nugroho

Currently Deputy Chief of Staff for Analysis and Oversight of Priority Programmes, Executive Office of the President, Republic Indonesia, and Honorary Research Fellow in Innovations and Social Change, Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, The University of Manchester


Although I was trained as an Industrial Engineer at Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia (1990-1994), my engineering career did not last long, for I was attracted much more to multidisciplinary engagements. Between 1994-2004 in addition to teaching in the university and contributing as columnist in national newspapers, I set up three Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) in the country working in the area of development, advocacy, and research.

Awarded Chevening Scholarship by the British Government, I read MSc in Information Systems Engineering, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST, 2000-2001) to understand the roles of information technology in political communication.

After a brief return to Indonesia, I did PhD in Policy Research in Engineering Science and Technology at Manchester Business School (2004-2007) and joined the school as researcher upon completion. I worked in the area of innovation, social change, sustainability, knowledge dynamics and foresight.

I was awarded MBS' Outstanding Academic of the Year 2009 before being awarded a Hallsworth Fellowship in 2010-2012, which I undertook at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIOIR).

Contribution to my professional career

The Hallsworth fellowship provided me an incomparable opportunity to pursue my academic career that then significantly contributed to my professional one. The fellowship allowed me not only to publish more papers from my PhD, but also to further my original research into a theme that my PhD had hinted: political economy of innovations and social change in Southeast Asia. I completed fieldwork research using semi-ethnography, in-depth interviews and focus groups in Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and Cambodia in my attempt to identify factors that play role in third-sector innovation.

I was able to present the findings at numerous conferences and had an opportunity to co-organise conferences that led to special issues, ie New Models of Inclusive Innovation for Development (with R. Heeks and C. Foster, 2013), and Social Media for Development (with B. Nicholson and N. Rangaswamy, 2015). I also managed to complete a series of research reports on political economy of media in Indonesia (four reports, 2011-2013, Nugroho, et al.).

In addition, through this research, I was able to explore, learn, and deepen some methodological skills and techniques. For example, my paper on combining foresight with network analysis (with O. Saritas, 2009) was translated and re-published in Russian (2011).

These all have made up a strong foundation to my attempts to influence policy-making processes - particularly in my country Indonesia. My research into media innovation and civic engagement (co-funded by Ford Foundation, 2010-2011) has been used by the government as a basis for the revision of the Broadcasting Law.

The government then tasked me, among others, to set-up a team to use foresight method in identifying the country's future development programmes - that led me to engage much more closely with the government and policy making processes.

The Hallsworth fellowship had given me time, space and funding to undertake these important academic activities, which combined with ongoing research and teaching experience, led to my successful return to Indonesia: firstly as Special Advisor to the Head of the President's Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight (2012-2014, Senior Official/Echelon 1 level), then as Deputy Chief of Staff for Analysis and Oversight of Priority Programmes at the Executive Office of the President (Deputy Minister level).