Five British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships awarded to Oxford social scientists

Five academics from the University of Oxford have been elected British Academy Fellows in recognition of their contribution to the humanities and social sciences. 

Founded in 1902, the British Academy is the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. It is a Fellowship of over 1600 leading figures in these subjects from the UK and overseas.   

Meet the 2023 British Academy Postdoctoral Fellows


Dr. Javier Perez Sandoval, Department of Politics and International Relations 
Subnational Worlds of Welfare: The Territorial Unevenness of Political Economies within Countries across Latin America

'My research examines the historical causes and the contemporary consequences of different institutional configurations across states and provinces inside Latin American countries. Specifically, the project funded by the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship uses a mixed-methods approach to explore the build-up of distinct subnational political economies and their impact on relevant outcomes such as democracy, economic development, welfare, and taxation. I am excited to pursue this project among colleagues at the Department of Politics and International Relations, their feedback, and the input of the Oxford community more broadly, will play a key role in maximizing the social impact of the project.'

X: @javierpsandoval



Dr. Shyama Vermeersch, School of Archaeology

Farming and the rise of wealth inequality in the southern Levant during the Bronze (3,600-1,550 BCE) and Iron Ages (1,550-332 BCE)

'The Bronze and Iron Ages in the southern Levant are characterised by the rise of complex urban-based societies and domination by the Ancient Egyptian and Assyrian Empires. Farming and urbanisation processes of these empires—and their relationship to inequality—have been assumed to apply to the southern Levant, but this is untested. The region’s heterarchically organised settlements, lack of overarching social identity, and absence of centralised administrative institutions stand in stark contrast to these neighbouring empires. The impact of taxation and the collapse of empires on local farming, and its effects on inequality, are unknown. Using stable isotope analysis, economics, and (bio)archaeology, I will determine the extent of past empires’ influence and impact on southern Levantine farming, the emergence of lasting social inequalities, and urbanisation. Finally, I will use my results from the past to contribute to present-day discussions on sustainability (in farming and food) by working together with non-profits and NGOs.'

dr chloe bracegirdle

Dr. Chloe Bracegirdle, Department of Sociology 
Breaking boundaries: Understanding the socio-psychological drivers of ethnic integration in schools

'I am looking forward to starting my British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Sociology. In the three-year research project, I will investigate ethnic integration in UK schools using social network analysis. Despite increasing diversity, students predominantly befriend same-ethnic peers, resulting in low levels of ethnic integration in school friendship networks. A fundamental question, posed by academics and policymakers alike, is what drives students to break ethnic boundaries and befriend other-ethnic peers? I will address this question by examining the socio-psychological drivers of inter-ethnic friendships and their relative contribution to school ethnic integration.'



Dr. Francesca Uberti, Law Faculty

Law and Conspiracy: Exploring the Use of Legalistic Rhetoric and Narratives in Anti-Authority Worldviews



Dr. Natasha Robinson, Department of Education

Belonging To The Difficult Past: The potential of history education to foster positive belonging among racially minoritized youth