Liverpool students receive prestigious travel award

Shirley J Thompson OBE

Two students at the University of Liverpool have received prestigious travel awards to conduct research projects in countries across Africa and Asia.

Second year undergraduate students, Robert Simpson and Claire Wormald, took part in the Circumnavigator Fellowship competition for the chance to win a £9,000 award to carry out research in various countries around the world. Robert, a Combined Honours International Development and English student, received first prize for a research proposal focusing on the links between adult literacy and democracy in developing countries.

Due to the high standard of research submissions, Claire, an English student, was awarded a second prize of more than £4,000 to travel to China to study the changing nature and status of the English language. Claire and Robert will begin work in June and return to the UK in September for the start of the new academic year at Liverpool.

Robert said: “I am travelling to Mali, Ethiopia, India, Laos, El Salvador and Nicaragua, spending two weeks in each location. Adult literacy is a growing problem in many countries around the world, so it will be interesting to experience first-hand the work that is being done in different countries and how economic and political issues impact on the level of literacy adults can achieve.”

The University is the first institution in the UK to take part in the competition, and globally, only five students a year participate in the Circumnavigator Fellowship.

Claire said: “I am looking forward to experiencing a completely new culture and exploring how the English language has evolved in China. I would encourage other University of Liverpool students to compete for future awards, as it has helped me learn new skills and develop knowledge of issues that have global significance.”

Each student will conduct their study at the end of the academic year and will have three months upon return to compile a report of their findings to be presented to the Circumnavigator Foundation.

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