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DARG Financial Support & Prizes


Postgraduate Conference Funding

DARG provides around £200 a year (the amount may vary according to the financial situation) to support postgraduate attendance at the Annual Conference of the RGS-IBG, which is usually held at the end of August or early September.

The deadline for this application is 1 December.

Applicants must be members of DARG and must be presneting a paper and/or running a session at the conference.

How to apply:

Send the following to the DARG Secretary, Dr Colin Marx, School of Geography, Geology and Environment, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston, KT1 2EE, Email: c.marx@kingston.ac.uk

1. Completed application form
2. Supporting statement from supervisor


Postgraduate Travel Award

DARG provides an annual award to a postgraduate geography student to encourage and assist fieldwork in developing countries.

It is aimed at those preparing for a PhD in topics related to development studies. Applicants should be based at a British insititution of higher education, but may be of any nationality.The award must be spent on travel costs, and preference may be given to students in the early stages of their research. The successful candidate is required to provide a short report for the DARG Website.
The award is £800, although smaller awards are sometimes made.

The annual deadline is 1 May. The criteria for the award are:

  • Quality of the project design
  • Potential significance of the results
  • Support from referee (usually the supervisor)
  • Financial need

There is no application form, but the following information must be included in all applications as Word/.pdf documents:
Outline of the proposed research (maximum 3 pages - to include full budget)
A full curriculum vitae (including all qualifications and current institutional affiliation)
Full details of all existing or expected financial support
Applicants must also ensure that a reference (normally from the supervisor) arrives before the deadline. Please note that incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Completed applications will be judged by a panel of development geographers and the result notified in June.

All applications should be sent by emails to:
Glyn Williams, Department of Town and Regional Planning, University of Sheffield, Winter Street, Sheffield S10 2TN. Tel: 0114 222 6912. Email: glyn.williams@sheffield.ac.uk
Deadline: 1 May

Previous Winners include

  • 1997/1998: Kuheli Mookerjee (UCL) "Resettlements in the Narmada Valley, India."
  • 1999/2000: Meredith Cochrane (Royal Holloway) "Local Agency in a Globalizing South Africa: Opportunities and Obstacles for Small Black Business Owners in Two Port Cities."
  • 2000/2001: Laurence Vagassky (LSE) "Settlement Upgrading in Dakar, Senegal."
  • 2001/2002: Andrea Calantonio (Royal Holloway) "Foreign Direct Investment and the Urban Caribbean: Havana in the Special Period."
  • 2002/3: Felicity Thomas (Sheffield) "The impact of HIV/AIDS on the Livelihoods of Female-Headed Households in Northern Namibia."
  • 2003/4: Suresh Rohilla (Queen's University Belfast) "The role of ground water in urban development - a case study of Delhi and its peri-urban region."
  • 2004/5: Daniel Turner (Sheffield) "The Dynamic Nature of Care and Support for People LIving with HIV/AIDS in Botswana."
  • 2005/6: Mariela Gaete Reyes (King's College, London) "Exploring disabled people’s experiences of mobility and movement in the built environment: a comparative study with women wheelchair users from London, UK and Santiago, Chile"
  • 2006/7: Anne-Line Rodriguez (SOAS) "Poverty and gender in Senegal in the context of male immigration in Europe"
  • 2008: Elodie Marandet (Brunel University) "British AIDS policies in Malawi: a (geo) politics of scale?"
  • 2009: Gisela Zapata (PhD student, Newcastle) - developing a novel study of Colombian migrants


Undergraduate Dissertation Prize

The Developing Areas Research Group in conjunction with Earthscan offers an annual prize for the most promising dissertation concerning 'The Geography of Developing Areas'. The author of the winning dissertation receives £100 worth of Earthscan books of their choice, and 25% discount on any further Earthscan books ordered.

The prize is open to any student taking a first degree in Geography. Students taking joint degrees are eligible to enter for the prize, provided that at least half their course is in Geography. It is suggested that no Department of Geography submits more than one dissertation for this prize. Dissertations will be evaluated by three members of the DARG Committee. Usual Deadline: 1 July



Dissertations, along with a copy of the instructions given to students, should be sent to the DARG Undergraduate Prize Committee at the following address:

Dr Sara Parker
DARG Undergraduate Dissertation Prize Co-ordinator
School Humanities and Social Science
68 Hope Street
Liverpool John Moores University
L1 9BZ

Previous Winners

  • 1995: Ming-Lee Lim (Oxford) 'Kotadesasi Zones: A New Hypothesis on Megalopisation in Asia: A Case Study of Beijing, China'
  • 1996: Rachel Jenkings (University of the West of England) 'What role does female participation play in the effectiveness of community development? A Case study of the Christian Community Services Department in the Machakos Diocese of the Church of the Province of Kenya'
  • 1997: Rebecca Dell (Birmingham) 'Visions of Africa: Pictoral Images in Oxfam Publications'
  • 1998: Haleh Darwazeh (University College, London) 'Micro-Credit Enterprises and Women's Empowerment'
  • 1999: Simon Hayden (Oxford) 'Fair Trade Coffee as a Strategy for Human Development in Rural Peru'
  • 2000: Alice Pettigrew (Durham) 'Shaka to Shakespeare: An Examination of the Relationship between Education and Identity in Twentieth Century KwaZulu-Natal'.
  • 2001: Samantha Shepherd (UWE) 'The Attitudes of Indigenous People to Their Environment: A Study of the Bajau Community in Tukangbesi Archipelago, Indonesia'.
  • 2002: Emilie Filou (Oxford) 'Camels, Marabouts and Docs: Health Care Provision for Tuaregs in Northern Niger'.
  • 2003: Sarah Rothmell (Birmingham) 'The Connectivitea of Britain and Sri Lanka'.
  • 2004: Edward Poulter (Edinburgh) 'Challenging the Epidemiological Transition: An Investigation into the Influence of Urban Slum Environments on health with Kibera Slum, Nairobi'.
  • 2005: Harriet White (Edinburgh) 'Governance and performance: A case study of identity construction among two Karen groups'. [List of shortlisted dissertations]
  • 2006: Siobhan Luikham (UCL) 'Why don't the kids go to school? A comparative study of the constraints on achievement of free compulsory universal basic education (fCUBE) in Ghana from a household perspective'. [List of shortlisted dissertations]
  • 2009: Richard Mallett (UCL) ''It's like one leg is in the village, one leg is here': Transition, Connection and (Uncertain?) Aspirations among Urban Internally Displaced Persons in Kampala, Uganda


David W. Smith Memorial Prize

DARG is holding a report-writing competition for UK schools in memory of David W. Smith, a Geographer who was committed to researching Third World cities.

David W. Smith, who published for most of his life under the name of David Drakakis-Smith, died in December 1999. He was an excellent scholar of urban South-East Asia, and devoted much attention to housing problems. He raised awareness of the urban geography of low-income countries through his publications, including his last - the second edition of Third World Cities (Routledge, 2000), which was published posthumously - and through his research and teaching at (among others) the University of Keele and The University of Liverpool.

Reflecting David's research, students are asked to write an essay on the following question:

Write a briefing paper for the United Nations on the role that developing country cities can play in the promotion of sustainable development

The competition is open to school students in the UK who will be 16 years of age or over by the closing date of 1 May. The essay should be between 1,000 and 1,500 words and should be word processed. Please include your name, age, year and school address with your report. The winning student will receive a prize of £100 in book vouchers from Routledge and will have their essay submitted to the Teaching Geography journal.

Essays should be submitted to the David W. Smith Memorial Prize Co-Ordinator::

Gill Miller, Department of Geography & Development Studies, University of Chester, Parkgate Road, Chester CH1 4BJ, Email: g.miller@chester.ac.uk

2007 Winner: Samantha Kelley from Coombe Sixth Form, New Malden

2006 Winner: Kimberley Lye from Haberdashers Askes School for Girls, Hertfordshire

2009 Winner: Sophie Davies, King's School, Peterborough


last updated: April 24, 2012
site maintained by: Dr Dorothea Kleine, Department of Geography,
Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX
Email: dorothea.kleine@rhul.ac.uk