Women's studies/feminism and scholarship

(16 Posts)
barretbonden Sun 14-Feb-21 19:41:00

Excuse this probably bonkers question.

I am very lucky to be able to fund a scholarship on an ongoing basis.

I'd like to support women doing pro-women research. This would probably be PhD level therefore.

I know Oxford has a women's programme, and Cambridge a gender studies school. My question is, is there a university known for its profile in feminist thinking, where perhaps less privileged women might be studying?

OP’s posts: |
SarahAndQuack Mon 15-Feb-21 09:07:10

I couldn't swear to it, but I think at PhD level the demographic inequality of Oxbridge is quite a lot less than at undergrad level.

But maybe somewhere like Birkbeck, which is accessible for people who can't study during normal work hours, would be good?

Out of interest, why would you be funding a PhD place specifically?

barretbonden Mon 15-Feb-21 09:20:54

Thank you. Birkbeck is a good idea.

I'd be happy to fund any level student - I just assumed research would fit with PhD level.

OP’s posts: |
SarahAndQuack Mon 15-Feb-21 09:28:00

Oh, I follow you.

Do you mind me asking how come you want to fund research?

I can't get my mind around having this sort of money, which sounds amazing, so I am probably very naive. But, just to be really pessimistic, I'd be worried that you could fund a studentship now and in five years the department will have been closed down and the academics working in it made redundant, because what's needed isn't more people doing funded PhDs.

titchy Mon 15-Feb-21 09:37:15

Would you limit the scholarship to biological women only? That might restrict the number of universities willing to host it sadly.... though that's not what you asked of course.

If memory serves London Met have an internationally recognised women's studies and women's abuse research centre.

titchy Mon 15-Feb-21 09:40:44

* because what's needed isn't more people doing funded PhDs.*

I disagree. PhD research can have huge reach across a very many disadvantaged groups - its research remember, and putting the outcomes of that research into action could benefit lots more people than funding a few undergraduates from council estates. At UG level access to money isn't a problem.

SarahAndQuack Mon 15-Feb-21 09:43:38

titchy

* because what's needed isn't more people doing funded PhDs.*

I disagree. PhD research can have huge reach across a very many disadvantaged groups - its research remember, and putting the outcomes of that research into action could benefit lots more people than funding a few undergraduates from council estates. At UG level access to money isn't a problem.

But it can only be done if there are supervisors to supervise it, and a department to work in.

Are you a working academic, do you mind me asking?

I'm not suggesting funding undergraduates as opposed to PhD students; I'm asking why the OP wants research money to go to the most junior level of researchers, because the current situation in HE would make me quite concerned that might result in the money simply being wasted.

GCAcademic Mon 15-Feb-21 10:14:01

It wouldn't necessarily be wasted money if it was carefully targeted. I'm assessing scholarship applications right now which include proposals from women in developing countries doing female-centred work which will definitely have an impact on those communities. That could be one way around it, though you would need to be able to fund an international rather than home fee (the difference between those fee levels where I work is eye-watering).

SarahAndQuack Mon 15-Feb-21 10:21:05

That's a really good idea, if it's financially doable. Any kind of ring-fencing to avoid it just becoming 'a studentship in women's studies' would help, though.

qudylogra Mon 15-Feb-21 11:02:59

though you would need to be able to fund an international rather than home fee (the difference between those fee levels where I work is eye-watering).

No, you just need to find an institution that waives the international part of the fees in return for receiving the scholarship. This is quite a common type of agreement with donation funding.

Phphion Mon 15-Feb-21 11:28:58

I think you would need to consider the aim of your donation and what type of purpose and scholarship you want to prioritise.

Is it to support the discipline of Gender Studies because you believe it should have that level of visibility and viability in its own right and your donation would help to sustain a gender studies department?

Is it to advance feminist thought and critical engagement with debates around that?

Is it to support women doing research that aims to advance the situation of women?

PursuingProxemicExactitude Tue 16-Feb-21 07:56:40

Given the number of times I've had to shelve research because there was no (access to) funding I find it extraordinary that an actual human being (YKWIM) has this sort of ... power and influence.

I'd like to think what I do is pro-women, simply because I'm the person doing it, but it wouldn't fit under any gender studies / feminist heading. And I might actually be reluctant to find myself in any way boxed-in with regard to creative work.

parietal Tue 16-Feb-21 22:23:12

For any scholarship like this, you need to pick

a) give the money to one specific university & let them choose the recipient (within your stipulations).
b) set up an independent foundation that could fund the right person at a number of different universities (or pair up with a foundation that already does this to increase impact).

Also, is this a fixed sum term donation (e.g. funding for 3 studentships @ 3 years each = 9 years funding and then the money runs out) or is this an endowment (donate a big chunk of capital and use the interest to fund studentships for ever). If an endowment, you risk that particular university closing departments or changing its focus so you lose the specificity of your aims.

if you speak to the fundraising dept of universities, they will be very happy to flatter you & tell you wonderful things that they will do. But working via an independent foundation might give more flexiblity.

parietal Tue 16-Feb-21 22:27:40

there is a very useful pdf called 'The Alternative Guide to
Postgraduate Funding' which lists lots of small charities / funders that support PhDs & would give you an idea of what else is out there.

QueenoftheAir Wed 17-Feb-21 17:54:06

I know Oxford has a women's programme, and Cambridge a gender studies school. My question is, is there a university known for its profile in feminist thinking, where perhaps less privileged women might be studying?

Sadly, both those programmes are in thrall to the "sex doesn't exist and there are a 100 genders" current --madness- thinking.

What about your own university? Do you work at one, or are you an alumna of one?

KatySun Wed 17-Feb-21 20:34:35

Are you aware of this organisation which is a charity which provides funding for female graduates?

www.ffwg.org.uk/

I don’t know much about them except one of the students I supervised applied for funding from them. I don’t know if they would be interested in helping you run a bursary, which could then be held at different institutions, depending on the successful candidate.

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