This project aims to assess the experiences of Commonwealth students who studied science in UK higher education from the 1950s to the 1990s. The project will identify the factors that shaped later career choices and uncover how their status as transnational actors affected their research and the networks they participated in. It will use a global and postcolonial history lens to examine the implications of studying in the UK for individuals and their families, the choices they made about where to focus their research and their ongoing connections to their home nation. The project will also establish how the changing landscape of UK higher education impacted upon the experiences of Commonwealth students and their subsequent careers.
The successful applicant will be able to shape the project to their own interests and expertise by selecting a focussed case study, for example on one country or scientific discipline. The project methodology will combine oral history interviews with archival research in the UK and internationally. In conjunction with their academic work, the student will contribute to identifying best practice in supporting international students. The interviews arising from this project will, subject to the relevant permissions, be archived in the British Library.
Applicants should have a strong undergraduate degree in History, Human Geography, Science and Technology Studies, or a cognate discipline. Knowledge of oral history or qualitative interview research methods would be an advantage but is not a prerequisite. Applicants may have completed a Masters degree by September 2021, but those without a Masters can be considered for a 1+3 award.