Fourth-year doctoral scholarships in American History, American Literature, and American Politics and International Relations

Each year, the Rothermere American Institute invites applications from current third-year graduate students at Oxford University working in the fields of American History, American Literature, and American Politics & International Relations for election to one-year graduate scholarships. Each of these is to a value of up to £9,000 per annum.

These studentships are intended to support outstanding students who are in the process of finishing their doctoral research, and for whom a fourth year would allow the completion of their thesis. Preference will be given to candidates who have consistently and demonstrably contributed to the intellectual life of the Institute. Successful candidates will be expected to continue to play a strong role in the Institute’s activities. Candidates must not already have secured research funding elsewhere.

The RAI is very grateful to The Hon. Esmond Harmsworth for his generosity in making possible the two annual fourth-year scholarships in American literature.

Applications for 2017-18 have now closed. Scholarships for 2018-19 will be advertised in the academic year 2017-18.


Graduate Scholars 2016-17

Roosmarijn (Rose) de Geus is a D.Phil. candidate in Politics and studies voting behavior in the US. Specifically, she explores how partisan voters respond to negative information about their preferred party or candidate. Examples of these ‘difficult decisions’ are political scandals or the recent economic crisis. Her research relies on empirical analyses of survey and public opinion data, as well as the use of quasi-natural and lab experiments. Roosmarijn holds an MPhil in Comparative Government from Oxford, an MA in Conflict Studies & Human Rights and a BA in International Relations, both from Utrecht University.  

Oenone Kubie is a D.Phil. candidate in US History at St. Cross College. Her research is a study of working class and immigrant boys’ street cultures in Chicago in the early twentieth century. While much has been written about the new juvenile institutions created and expanded in the Progressive Era United States, Oenone’s thesis will consider how boys evaded, challenged and lived outside of institutional spaces. In doing so, she hopes to demonstrate that boys’ use of urban space in Chicago disrupted official plans for the city and altered the urban experience for Chicagoans, old and young. She is currently the recipient of a three-year RAI studentship.

Christoph Nitschke is a D.Phil. candidate in US history at Keble College. His dissertation, tentatively titled America in the world of crisis: the Panic of 1873 and U.S. foreign relations, will explore the transnational history of this late 19th century financial crisis. Tracing the extensive financial networks of the time, he is particularly interested in the movement of commodities, people, and ideas connected to the crash. This study will allow an assessment of how Americans and American capitalism interacted with the world, and how an international economic crisis potentially changed these dynamics. His supervisors are Dr. Jay Sexton and Dr. Stephen Tuffnell.

Daniel Rowe is a D.Phil. candidate in US History at Lincoln College. In his thesis, Fighting Rust: America’s Long Economic Crisis and the Rebuilding of the Northeast and Midwest, 1974-88, he analyses the responses of members of the business community, civic leaders, labour unions and elected officials (national and local), to the overlapping industrial and economic crises of the 1970s and 1980s. Probing topics that have received relatively little scholarly attention, he highlights the efforts that subnational and national actors made to assist struggling cities, regions and industries in coming to terms with large-scale transformations in the global economy that took place during this age of crisis.  Challenging top-down, ideologically focused, Reagan-centric interpretations of the 1970s and 1980s—that have been advanced in recent works of business history, the history of capitalism, and contemporary political history—he argues that in order to understand the roots of the economic boom of the late 1980s and early 1990s we need to look beyond Washington and ‘Reaganomics’ and examine the important, but mostly overlooked role that local politics, sub-national actors, and informal community networks played in shaping the national response to the challenges of post-industrialism.

Nina Yancy is a D.Phil. candidate in Politics studying how matters of race, class, and geography intersect to influence white Americans' opinions on policies related to race and redistribution. Focusing on the contemporary period and using both quantitative and qualitative methods, Nina's dissertation explores how racial policy preferences vary according to the conditions of racial diversity and material inequality that whites experience in cities across the US. She is supervised by Professors Desmond King and Ben Ansell and is the recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship to support her graduate study at Oxford. She holds an M.Phil. in Comparative Government from the University of Oxford and an A.B. in Social Studies from Harvard University.

Previous Years

“I am extremely grateful to the RAI for providing this terrific opportunity. More time to work exclusively towards finishing and hopefully publishing my doctoral thesis will be invaluable. The RAI's support will also facilitate further fieldwork and contribute to the amount of primary evidence, particularly oral testimony, that I can access."
Travers McLeod, former holder of RAI Graduate Studentship
“The RAI graduate studentship allowed me to complete my doctoral work among the Institute's vibrant and supportive graduate community, as well as benefit from the wonderfully extensive resources available via the Vere Harmsworth Library. I was constantly stimulated by working with colleagues old and new to maintain and develop the RAI's rich intellectual engagement with all aspects of American history and politics."
Dr David Sim, Lecturer in American History, University College London, and former holder of an RAI graduate studentship in history, when working on a thesis entitled 'The Irish Question and American Diplomacy, 1840-1890'.