Congratulations to Dr Fiona McConnell who, it was announced today, has been named as one of five recipients of the Philip Leverhulme Prize for Geography. The award supports researchers at an early stage of their careers whose work has had international impact and whose future research career is exceptionally promising.

Dr Fiona McConnell

Fiona McConnell is an Associate Professor in Human Geography and Tutorial Fellow at St Catherine's College, joining the department in 2013. As a political geographer Fiona's research aims to develop new areas of thinking regarding governance beyond the state, how political legitimacy is articulated by marginalised communities, and changing practices of diplomacy and mediation.

The £100,000 Prize will fund McConnell's research over the next 2-3 years into how marginal geopolitical actors - diaspora groups, stateless nations, indigenous communities – engage in international politics, play a role in conflict mediation, and can shape alternative geopolitical futures.

Dr McConnell said, "The prize funds will enable me to map hitherto hidden geographies of diplomacy, establish unique archives of the foreign policy strategies of stateless communities, and establish new ways of thinking about diplomacy as an inherently spatial practice."

The Leverhulme judging panel commented on the encouragingly high standard of all nominees, and that the recipients of the 2019 Prizes were "truly outstanding in their fields, with records of proven achievement, as well as telling promise for the future".

The 2019 Philip Leverhulme Prizes will be celebrated at a gala dinner in March 2020, where prize winners and their nominators will be invited to attend.