Royal Geographical Society EGRG postgraduate prize 2009

I was very pleased to hear that Karen Lai has been awarded the 2009 RGS Economic Geography Research Group prize for best PhD in the sub-discipline. Her thesis, “Approaches to ‘Markets’: The Development of Shanghai as an International Financial Centre”, was undertaken here in the School of Geography at the University of Nottingham.  I co-supervised her doctoral research with Shaun French. In 2008, Karen was awarded a prestigious Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Canada. Following that, Karen will be taking up a position in the Department of Geography, National University of Singapore.

New Masters of Research & MA/MSc by Research degrees

The School of Geography at the University of Nottingham is offering four new Research Masters from September 2009: Masters of Research (both MRes and MRes Sc), an MA by Research and an MSc by Research.

These courses are suitable for students who wish to focus primarily on undertaking a research-based Masters level qualification, with the option of taking up to 60 credits (a third of the degree) through taught modules. All students will be allocated two supervisors from the academic staff of the School of Geography, appropriate to research interests.  Meetings between students and supervisors will take place on a regular basis to provide advice and guidance and ensure that students are are fully connected to the research community in the School of Geography. These degrees offer the opportunity to experience what it is like to do a full PhD degree, but without the requirement to undertake three years of study.

Further details and application forms are available here or from Jenny Ashmore, Postgraduate Research Administrator, School of Geography, The University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD. Tel: 0115 951 5575. Email: . Potential applicants should give an indication of their area of research interest and include a brief research proposal with their application.

ESRC CASE Studentship – Re-configuring service space in rural communities: bank and building society branch closures and ‘alternative’ economic networks

The School of Geography has been awarded an ESRC CASE Studentship to investigate the problem of financial exclusion in rural areas, in collaboration with the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC).  The studentship, which is fully-funded and pays fees and a stipend, will run from October 2009.  An advert appealing for suitable candidates will appear shortly (some useful pointers on eligibility requirements, which are more relaxed than conventional ESRC awards, can be found here).  The PhD will be supervised within the School of Geography by Dr Sarah Hall and Professor Andrew Leyshon, and by Dr David Land at the CRC.  Informal enquiries and initial expressions of interest should be directed to either Sarah Hall ([email protected]) or Andrew Leyshon ([email protected]).

Update 26.3.09:  see University Press Release, which has more details on this and other CASE awards at Nottingham.

Current and former PhD students


I am always keen to supervise PhD students and would welcome applications in any area of economic geography and/or geographies of music. The School of Nottingham currently has four PhD scholarships available each year, and more details on the application process can be found here:

Please contact me if you would like more information on the application process: [email protected]

Note that to be eligible for ESRC funding you must have been resident in the UK for three years prior to taking up the award and will require the completion of an ESRC recognised masters course (1+3). For more information on the range of masters courses available at Nottingham, go to:

Current PhD students

James Corah, ‘The Economic Geographies of Religious Institutions’. Economic and Social Research Council.

Amanda Huskinson, ‘Blues, Identity and Place’. Economic and Social Research Council.

Kevin Milburn, ‘Re-imagining the city: shifting time, space and place in modern electronic ballads’, Economic and Social Research Council

Former PhD students

Chiung-wen Chang, ‘Taiwanese high technology production in the Yangtze River Delta, People’s Republic of China’. Self-funded.  Examined and passed October 2009.

Thomas Wainwright, ‘The Geographies of Securitisation and Credit Scoring.’. Economic and Social Research Council.  Examined and passed September 2009.

Karen Lai, ‘Approaches to ‘Markets’: The development of Shanghai as an International Financial Centre’, 2004-2007. University of Nottingham/ORS Scholarship. Examined and passed January 2008. First destination: Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia.

Keith Jones, ‘Networks of Ambience: networks of sound, technology and society’, 2001-2004. Economic and Social Research Council Scholarship. Examined and passed March 2005. First destination: ESRC postdoctoral fellowship, University of Nottingham, 2005-2006.

Julian Clarke, ‘The development of call centres within the context of the retail finance sector’, 2000-2003. University of Nottingham Scholarship. Examined and passed, March 2004. First destination: Research Associate, University of Leicester.

Martin Roche, ‘Constructing spatial accounts of social capital: case studies of the Catholic Church in the UK and Ireland’, 1995-1998. Economic and Social Research Council Scholarship. Examined and passed December 1999. First destination: Research Associate, University of Wolverhampton.

Shaun French, ‘Bristol and the reconfiguration of financial space in the UK: fields-of-learning in the Life Assurance industry’, 1994-1997. Economic and Social Research Council Scholarship. Examined and passed, November1998. First destination: Research Associate, University of Bristol; Subsequently Lecturer, School of Geography, University of Nottingham.

Duncan Fuller, ‘Financial exclusion in Hull’, 1994-1997. University of Hull Scholarship. Part-time. Examined and passed, April 2000.

Jonathan Pratt, ‘Re-placing money: the evolution of banking systems in Britain and Germany’, School of Geography and Earth Resources, University of Hull, 1991-1994. Part-time. University of Hull Scholarship. Examined and passed, February 1996. First destination: Teaching Assistant, University of Southampton; Subsequently, Research Manager, Stepahead Research Ltd., Kent.


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