Grattan Scholars’ research addresses the major challenges of our time

8 December 2016

The School of Social Sciences and Philosophy awarded prestigious Grattan Scholarships to three postgraduate students at a reception recently hosted by Dr Patrick Prendergast, Provost of Trinity College Dublin. Grattan Scholarships are awarded to outstanding PhD students who are committed to understanding and improving society through their research, teaching and education.

The Grattan Scholars programme supports exceptional PhD students who have the potential to become future academic leaders and influential voices for social and economic development. These Scholars are undertaking valuable research which addresses some of the major challenges of our time such as migration, development, inequality and financial globalisation. Fourteen scholarships have been awarded to students from ten countries since the programme was established in 2012.

 “In naming these scholarships for Henry Grattan, we commemorate Trinity's long, distinguished tradition of research in the social sciences. Our Grattan Scholars typify all that is best in Trinity research and education,” commented the Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast.

Professor Gail McElroy, Head of School of Social Sciences and Philosophy, 2016 Grattan Scholars Elisa Maria Tirindelli, Benoit Voudon and Jan-Luca Hennig with Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast

Stressing the importance of studying the social sciences, the Provost added “We need to get a more thorough understanding of human behaviour and of societal dynamics – and we need to show courage and empathy in searching for solutions to human problems. The kind of expert research conducted by the Grattan Scholars requires dedication, skill and resources. To support such essential high quality research in a climate where public funding to universities is dropping, Trinity increasingly relies on innovative funding methods. We've been most fortunate with this programme, which has been established with the generous support of Trinity's alumni and friends.”

Recipients of the 2016 Grattan Scholarships are:

  • Jan-Luca Hennig - before starting his PhD at Trinity, Jan-Luca obtained an MSc in Economics from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and undertook a BSc in International Economics at the University of Tübingen, both in Germany.

His research, which is being supervised by Dr Fadi Hassan, Assistant Professor of Economics, will focus on the role of institutions on wage and wealth inequality.

  • Benoit Voudon - before starting his PhD in Economics, Benoit undertook a Masters in Economics and Public Policy at Sciences Po Paris, Ecole Polytechnique and ENSAE, in France. Prior to this, he obtained his undergraduate degree at Sciences Po Paris.

His research, which is being supervised by Dr Francis O’Toole, Head of Department of Economics, will develop the analysis of Vertical Relations in Industrial Organization.

  • Elisa Maria Tirindelli – prior to joining Trinity as a Grattan Scholar, Elisa undertook a joint Masters in Mathematical Economics between Paris I and Paris School of Economics and obtained her undergraduate degree in Economics at Bocconi University in Milan.

Elisa will undertake research in urban development, from a historical perspective, with a focus on Dublin. Her supervisor is Dr Ronan Lyons, Assistant Professor of Economics.

2016 also marks the graduation of Trinity’s two inaugural Grattan Scholars:

  • Christina Kinghan - has undertaken research in the field of Development Economics under the supervision of Professor in Economics, Carol Newman. Part of her PhD focused on the importance of access to finance for households and firms in a developing country context. Christina is continuing this work in an Irish context, working in the Central Bank on projects around household access to finance in the Irish mortgage market.
  • Sara Mitchell – has researched the synergies from geographic clustering of literary artists in historical UK and Ireland, under the supervision of Professor John O’Hagan in the Department of Economics. Sara will shortly join Indecon, an independent economic consulting firm, which provides independent economic research to voluntary organisations, government departments, local authorities and other clients. 

About the Grattan Scholars Programme

The Grattan Scholars programme builds on the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy’s record of teaching and research excellence ensuring that Trinity continues to play a leading role in key areas of research expertise within the disciplines of economics, philosophy, political science and sociology.

The scholarship program gives the best and brightest students from around the world the opportunity to develop their research and teaching skills and professional networks. Since the programme was established in 2012, fourteen scholarships have been awarded to students from ten countries including Armenia, Austria, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Poland, the Ukraine and the United States.

Funding for the Grattan Scholarships has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Trinity College alumni and friends, including Anke Heydenreich, Nicholas O'Donohoe, John Pearson, Rupert Pennant-Rea, Declan Sheehan, Peter Sutherland SC, Niall Coakley, Donal Donovan, David Kitterick, Susannah McAleese, Hamish and Frances McRae, Michael O'Higgins, Anrai O’Toole,  John Teahan, The UK Trust for TCD, University of Dublin Fund (US).

For further details please visit the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy's website.

Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast with eleven of Trinity’s Grattan Scholars

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Sally-Anne Fisher, Head of Communications | fishers@tcd.ie | +353 1 896 3606

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