Attending a Domus Research Prize Competition Final does not require audience members to be specialists: all it takes is the willingness to learn something new, thanks to our students’ research communication skills. And attendees get to cast a vote, which is always exciting!

The 2019 edition, which took place during the Gaudy celebrations on Saturday 21 September, was no exception: six students from both STEM and HSS subjects, previously selected from a longlist of candidates, presented their work to a very attentive audience made up of alumni, Fellows and students. Shout out to all of them for being so engaging, and for competently addressing the audience’s questions – and to the Senior Tutor Dr Jane Hoverd for organising and moderating the competition!

The finalists’ solid knowledge and excellent storytelling was reflected by the extremely close competition to secure the prizes. While counting the votes, our predictions on the prizewinners would change with every ballot; but a final list was bound to take shape, and it looked like this:

Busuttil Domus Prize (for the areas of Business, Criminology, Government, International Relations, Law or Politics)

  • Manuel Hepfer, DPhil Cyber Security (CDT) – “Management Cognition and Organisational Resilience: Anticipating a Cyber-Attack”

Keene Domus Prize (for all subjects)

  • Josh Dorrington, DPhil Environmental Research – “Fighting Sea Gulls: Predicting European Weather Months Ahead”

Moorbath Domus Prize (for all subjects)

  • Alifa Haque, DPhil Zoology – “The Prehistoric Beasts: Sawfishes in Bangladesh: Plentiful to Periled and the Promise to Preserve”

Ahmadian Runner-Up Prizes

  • Mary Dominic, MSc Modern South Asian Studies – “Cultural Expertise and the Indian Courts: A Study of Religious Disputes”
  • Kirsten Rowe, DPhil Psychiatry – “AHEAD: Adolescent HIV Executive Function and Drumming”
  • Minje Su, DPhil English – “Becoming Wolf, Becoming Man: Werewolves in Old Norse-Icelandic Literature”

At Linacre, we’re delighted to be able to financially reward our students for their excellent research communication: the three prize winners are awarded £500, and the runner-ups receive £50. We are extremely grateful to those who allowed us to set up eponymous prizes: our alumni Professor James Busuttil (1990) and Mr Afshin Ahmadian (2009); the late Professor Stephen Moorbath, who was a Linacre Fellow; and Dr Anne Keene, Emeritus Fellow and former Director of Development.

The Keene Domus Prize is a particularly meaningful example of what Linacrites can achieve together: Anne seed funded the Prize and, as a final and memorable act before retirement, invited the Linacre community to join her in ensuring that the Prize could be endowed and thus run in perpetuity.  Response from Alumni, Fellows and Friends was astonishing: once again, we renew our gratitude to those who helped us reach this achieve this target; and we look forward to more research insights at the 2020 edition of the Domus Research Prize competition final.