DPIR welcomes under-represented graduate talent for UNIQ+ internships


A group of talented graduates from under-represented backgrounds have started internships with DPIR this summer through the University of Oxford’s UNIQ+ programme.

The students started with the Department earlier this month and will be working on their research project internships over six weeks.

This is the first year DPIR has been involved in UNIQ+ - a summer programme aimed at talented individuals from disadvantaged and under-represented backgrounds at postgraduate level.

The UNIQ+ placements will offer first-hand research experience with supervision from DPIR academics.

Intern Joel Trenchard is working on Dr Daniel Devine’s project ‘Location of military bases: Brexit and voting patterns’ establishing whether there is a correlation between the two. He has just graduated from the University of Exeter with a 1st class BSc in Politics and International Relations.

He said: “I have been putting together a database which uses GIS techniques to map military installations to electoral boundaries. I will then be using the data to perform various regression analyses which test our hypotheses.

“As an aspiring data scientist, I hope to expand my range of statistical abilities in R and to learn new and innovative techniques in modelling geographic data using QGIS.”

“I am thrilled to be taking part in the UNIQ+ programme and it is a great privilege to be working alongside such a diverse range of fellow students who share my enthusiasm and passion for the social sciences.”

Perlina PatelPerlina Patel (pictured left), a recent law graduate from King’s College London, is working on research centring on defence arguments in international criminal trials under the supervision of Dr Yuna Han. She is interested in public international law and human rights.

She said: “By the end of the internship, I hope to have broadened my understanding of how academic research is done – specifically interdisciplinary research in politics and law – and how I can access different opportunities as a postgraduate to progress my academic career further.”

Sam Nicholson, Cathy Parry, Alfie Aldridge and Sinead Lambe are working on a project led by Dr Marnie Howlett focussing on ideas of nationhood in times of conflict.

More specifically, they are looking into the significance of bunkers in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, including how they are constructed, experienced, and understood.

Sam NicholsonSam (pictured left) is a third-year geography student at the University of Nottingham, where he is starting his dissertation research. He will be using Foucauldian theories to understand the ways contemporary job centres (Jobcentre Pluses) shape service users’ behaviour.

He said: “I’m excited to gain day-to-day experience of research and to meet as many people in the department as possible.”

Catherine ParryCathy (pictured right) has graduated from the University of Birmingham with a first-class degree BA in Geography. From her time at university, she became interested in geopolitics, identity politics, and the post-Soviet space. She is now enrolled in a MA course at the University of Birmingham in 'Global Conflict and Cooperation'.

She said: “This internship is incredibly useful in my path to determining whether a career in academic research is right for me.

“On a day-to-day basis, I am collating literature, writing notes, and collecting empirical examples whilst also working collaboratively with the other interns to brainstorm theories, ideas, and arguments that will go towards the final project.

“This internship is giving me an insight into the working life of an academic researcher, as well as providing me an opportunity to connect with more academics that have a PhD, or are in the process of obtaining one, to understand whether this would be something I could see myself doing in the future. "

Alfie AldridgeAlfie (pictured left) is a recent graduate from the University of Birmingham, where he studied for a BA in Politics and International Relations. He is interested in the relationship between music and politics, and the vast-reaching impacts that one can have on the other. 

He said: “From the UNIQ+ programme, I’m hoping to get a feel of postgraduate life at Oxford, as well as enhance both my research skills and my ability to make a competitive application to postgraduate courses.”

Sinead LambeSinead (pictured right) recently graduated from University of Sussex with a first in Philosophy and Sociology (with a year abroad – in Prague).

She is hoping to develop a career in research and, after the internship, she will be starting a Graduate Research Assistant role at the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences department at the James Hutton Institute in Scotland.

She added: “Beyond that I am considering postgraduate study, so the UNIQ+ programme is an ideal opportunity to develop skills while gaining insight into options, lifestyle, and application processes.”

This internship is incredibly useful in my path to determining whether a career in academic research is right for me.
Cathy Parry