Record number of Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships awarded to Oxford social scientists

A record number of highly prestigious Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships have been awarded to researchers across the Social Sciences Division in recognition of their research excellence and future potential.

Seven researchers spanning seven different disciplines were announced as recipients of the highly competitive Fellowships – the highest number ever awarded across the Division in a single year.

The renowned scheme, which enables researchers to undertake a significant piece of publishable research, recognises those who have already demonstrated research excellence in their fields but who have not yet held a permanent academic post.

Professor Heather Viles

Professor Heather Viles, Associate Head of the Social Sciences Division (Research) said:

‘I’m absolutely delighted that half of all our departments will be hosting a new cohort of Leverhulme Early Career Fellows for the coming three years. It is a credit to both the new Fellows’ records of research excellence, and to the supportive research environment at Oxford that will nurture their careers as they continue to produce social sciences research of the highest quality.’


Meet the 2022 Leverhulme Early Career Fellows:

ashwiny o kistnareddy

Ashwiny O. Kistnareddy, Department of International Development 

‘Refugee Children as a Site of Critical Intervention’

Drawing from a wide range of disciplines, my project will be a comprehensive study of refugee children’s experiences. It pioneers the work to recognize refugee children as autonomous human beings who are worthy of individual consideration.

lorena becerra valvidia

Lorena Becerra-Valvidia, School of Archaeology

‘The role of abrupt climatic shifts in the initial settlement of South America’

My Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship will test the role of abrupt climatic shifts in the early settlement of South America, by synchronising archaeological and paleoclimatic data using radiocarbon dating and statistical methods. This novel research has the potential to elucidate the early settlement of the continent, as well as providing important insight on modern human adaptation to new land and climatic changes.

laura sochas

Laura Sochas, Department of Social Policy and Intervention

‘Policing Reproduction via Migration and Family Policies: Stress, Stigma & Health’

I’m thrilled to receive funding from Leverhulme to conduct research on the link between Reproductive Justice and Health over the next three years, and to continue collaborating with colleagues in the Department for Social Policy & Intervention.

seunghoon chae

Seunghoon Chae, Department of Politics and International Relations


My research explores how the capacity of the state can critically condition the attainment of key political goals. In previous works, I have examined how state capacity and regime type jointly affected human rights and terrorism. My current project examines how state capacity may have affected COVID-19 responses and their effectiveness.


Daniel Robbins, School of Global and Area Studies

‘New strategies of survival in Venezuela: migration, and alternative remittances’

I’m looking forward to starting my Leverhulme Fellowship at OSGA to research Venezuelan migration and alternative remittances.

katarina almeida warren

Katarina Almeida-Warren, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography

‘Primate Archaeology Beyond Technology – Delving Deeper into our Primate Heritage’

The archaeological study of primate tools, known as Primate Archaeology, has been instrumental in uncovering hidden aspects of our technological heritage. In this fellowship, I will be taking this approach one step further by investigating, for the first time, the archaeology of non-technological chimpanzee behaviours, providing the first glimpse of what is yet to be unearthed from our distant past.

dominik krell

Dominik Krell, Faculty of Law

‘Islamic Legal Imperialism: The Global Spread of Saudi Law’

I feel honoured to have been awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. From May 2023 on, I will join the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and conduct a research project on Saudi Arabia’s influence on the application of Islamic law in African and South-East Asian legal systems.