We are delighted to announce the first recipients of funding awards from the Gil Loescher Memorial Fund: Abdirashid Ahmed and Salma Daoudi. The Fund was established to support the costs of original research on any topic related to refugees and forced displacement by a graduate student (Masters or DPhil) at the University of Oxford.
Abdirashid Ahmed is studying on the MSc Education (Research Design and Methodology) course at Oxford. His research project explores the effectiveness of support provision to primary school children from refugee backgrounds. It features a case study of a primary school in Greater Manchester, in the northwest of England. Abdirashid will be speaking with parents/guardians, school support staff and senior leadership team, and engaging children through creative ways to understand the school support landscape and the different kinds of challenges it attempts to address and its outcomes.
Salma Daoudi is pursuing a DPhil in International Relations. Her project proposes to better conceptualise and understand the use of health as a weapon. Using the patterns of health weaponisation in Syria and their repercussions on Lebanon and Jordan as a case study, it addresses the following research questions: In what ways is health being weaponised in contemporary asymmetric conflicts and to what extent does it represent a departure from classical modes of exercising violence? How can this weaponisation of health jeopardise human security beyond the locus of violence?
Professor Gil Loescher was one of the world’s leading researchers on the politics and international relations of refugee protection. He taught and undertook research at the Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford for more than two decades. He had an illustrious career in which his many books and articles shaped the policies and practices of the UN Refugee Agency, as well as governments and NGOs around the world. The Gil Loescher Memorial Fund was set up to honour Gil's memory by his wife Ann, his friends and colleagues, and the Refugee Studies Centre.
On hearing of the recipients, Ann Loescher said:
“It is a fitting memorial to Gil that these awards will support young scholars in the field of study so close to his heart.”
One of the Fund’s founders and long-term friend of Gil, Professor James Milner (Carleton University) commented:
“Gil believed deeply that rigorous, sustained research could contribute to better responses to the needs of refugees. It is a wonderful tribute to Gil’s legacy that the work being undertaken by Abdirashid and Salma so clearly shares this belief.”
About the Fund
The Gil Loescher Memorial Fund supports research with a connection to refugees or forced displacement, ideally with policy relevance. Awards are for up to £2000, and eligible costs include travel, subsistence, and data collection costs in any region of the world. All graduate students at the University are eligible to apply, although priority will be given to applicants from the Global South and/or with lived experience of displacement. Applications can made twice per year (deadlines tbc).