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Funding success supports the School of Social Sciences’ international research links

24 August 2015

Professor Helen Sampson, Director of the Seafarers International Research Centre, was the co-applicant on a successful funding bid of £85,665.

The funding has been awarded through The Royal Society’s 2015 Newton International Fellowship scheme. This scheme selects the very best early stage post-doctoral researchers from all over the world, and offers support for two years at UK research institutions. The long-term aim of the scheme is to build a global pool of research leaders and encourage long-term international collaboration with the UK.

Professor Sampson will spend two years working with Israeli scholar Dr Jonathan Preminger to investigate the central research question: What is the role of the state in shaping labour relations in a globalised industry following privatisation?

Dr Preminger approached Professor Sampson with regard to the application in February 2015 whilst he was still a PhD student in the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. He has subsequently been awarded his Doctorate.

The funding will support the development of work on ‘Labour relations in a “national” industry following globalization’. The study will examine the transformation of Israeli shipping as a globalised and privatised industry, focusing on how the state affects and regulates labour relations in the light of the pressures of globalisation and according to its own interests and objectives. In the application Dr Preminger suggested that this research would “promote ties between Israeli scholars and the UK, with its renowned seafaring history, leading merchant navy, and leading academic research into these fields.”

Professor Sampson is well placed to support this project as Director of the Seafarers International Research Centre, one of the School of Social Sciences’ research centres. The centre was established in 1995 with a view to conducting research on seafarers and has a particular emphasis on issues of occupational health and safety. It is the only international research facility of its kind and has built up unparalleled experience of research in this field.

Professor Sampson was delighted to hear that the application had been successful. She explains: “Working with Jonathan will allow us to further develop existing international links both for the research centre and the School. The award builds upon the success of the School of Social Sciences in attracting post-doctoral scholars and international postgraduate students. We are looking forward to Jonathan’s arrival in October and to working with him on his exciting research project.”

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