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Meet The Grattan Scholars

The Grattan Scholars programme is developing as an internationally recognised scholarship programme which is helping attract the best and brightest students to Trinity. Since 2012 it has grown into community of international scholars - from twelve countries around the world - who are genuinely committed to understanding and improving society through their research, teaching and education.

  • 2014 Grattan Scholars

    • Purnima Kanther - Financial and Political Behaviour in Developing Countries

    “The Grattan Scholarship has enabled me to undertake field work in India to develop the focus of my second PhD paper. In this research I am examining voter behaviour and government responses based on the visibility of public good provision in India.” 

    PurnimaPurnima joined Trinity as a Grattan Scholar in 2014 and is researching 'Financial and Political Behavioural in Developing Countries’ under the supervision of Michael King, Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics. In her first paper, she examined short term behavioural changes as a pre-requisite for success of a financial inclusion scheme such as PMJDY in India. Her second paper explores democratic accountability. Purnima also lectures on the Introduction to Economic Policy module for first-year undergraduate students. 

    Purnima received an MSc in Economics from the University of Leicester in 2011 where she was awarded the best economics student award. Prior to her PhD, she worked as a Research Assistant at Euromoney Institutional Investors, London and as a Research Associate at CAFRAL, Reserve Bank of India, Mumbai.

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    2015 Grattan Scholars

    • Katharina Bergant - Financial Globalisation

    "After two extremely enriching research experiences at institutions (Central Bank of Ireland in 2016-17 and the European Central Bank in 2017-18), I am currently spending the 2018-19 academic year at the Harvard Kennedy School as a research fellow under the supervision of leading international macroeconomist Professor Carmen Reinhart. This would not be possible without the generous support of the Grattan Scholarship."

    katharinaKatharina joined the Economics PhD programme as a Grattan Scholar in 2015 to undertake research which will advance the understanding of the topic of 'Financial Globalisation.' Some of the concrete research questions she will approach concern the determinants of global imbalances and the macroeconomic effects of capital flows. Analysing fiscal and monetary policies in current and past crises will be crucial in her policy orientated research.

    Her most recent research focuses on the application of microdata in international financial economics which she uses to analyse the determinants international capital flows and the role of valuation effects. One of Katharina's papers titled "International capital flows at the security level - evidence from the ECB's asset purchase programme" recently received the Best Paper Award from the European Capital Markets Institute." Her research is being supervised by Agustín Bénétrix, Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics and Philip Lane, Whately Professor of Political Economy.

    Before starting her PhD Katharina undertook a Masters in Economics at Trinity College and obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.

    • Egle Gusciute - Who is Against Migration, and Why?

    "My research centres on the causes of anti-immigration attitudes in Europe, in the light of current debates on migration in the media, and political and public circles this research is particularly timely and relevant. Throughout the course of my PhD I hope to investigate determinants of anti-immigration sentiment and to find out what factors can help us to better understand why such attitudes develop in some countries and not others."

    egleEgle joined Trinity as a Grattan Scholar in 2015 and is researching ‘Who is Against Migration, and Why?’ under the co-supervision of Richard Layte, Professor of Sociology and Peter Mühlau, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. The project explores the causes of anti-immigration attitudes in Europe and aims to increase the understanding of the role of economic threat in anti-immigrant sentiment and to test an alternative explanation for such sentiment.

    Before coming to Trinity as a Grattan Scholar, Egle was a Research Assistant on the European Migration Network team at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). Egle has a BA in European Studies and an MPhil in International Peace Studies, both from Trinity College. She is currently a Teaching Assistant on Introduction to Social Research Methods and Researching Society undergraduate modules and a Sociology Tutor for the Trinity Access Programme. Last summer, Egle received a grant from the European Consortium for Sociological Research which allowed her to undertake a research visit to the Danish National Centre for Social Research in Copenhagen. 

    • Gayane Vardanyan - The Age of Mass Migration and the Impacts of Migration

    "Being on my final year of PhD, I am confident in having contributed to the literature on analysing the long-run impacts of historical shocks. The results of my research confirm the role of the Great Famine in shaping migration decisions of Irish in the long-run. The Grattan Scholarship gave me the opportunity to work in this field. I presented my work in the 15th Annual Migration Meeting organized by IZA at Harvard Kennedy School in August 2018 where I got feedback from the leading academicians working on migration in top institutions. As a part of my visit to the States it was very exciting to be in Ellis Island, the main migration station."


    gayaneGayane joined the Economics PhD programme to undertake research on 'The Age of Mass Migration and the Impacts of Migration' under the supervision of Associate Professor in Economics Gaia Narciso. The research strategy relies on the matching of different historical data sources, with the aim of constructing and exploring a unique dataset which combines individual socio-economic characteristics with migratory behaviour. Using the combined information about the Irish migrants to the US, the project will be able to identify the basic characteristics of Irish migrants during the Age of Mass Migration.

    Before joining Trinity as a Grattan Scholar, Gayane completed an MSc in Economics at the University of Bern. Prior to this she undertook a Bachelor of Finance at the Armenian State University of Economics.

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    2016 Grattan Scholars

    Jan-Luca Hennig - Causes and Consequences of Inequality

    "My first paper investigates how European regional labour markets respond to globalization exploiting China's rise since the end of the last century, and whether the impact depends on labour market settings. In the analysis, I am exploiting variation in regional, sectoral and individual-level data to answer these questions. Future research projects concentrate on the the consequences of the polarization of the labour market observable in many developed economies." 

    Jan LucaJan-Luca joined Trinity as a Grattan Scholar in 2016 to undertake research on the role of institutions on wage and wealth inequality. His research, which is being supervised by Fadi Hassan, Assistant Professor in Economics, aims to increase understanding of the causes and consequences of widening income distributions and to provide policy recommendations to governments and their institutions when encountering wealth and income disparities.

    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.

    Elisa Maria Tirindelli - The Economics of City Regrowth

    "My research aims to investigate broadly the dynamics of city size and their hierarchies. I am using a unique dataset on city size in Great Britain and Ireland and I am observing their dynamics over a hundred years. This has allowed me draw a model of city hierarchies behaviour that has the aim of helping us to understand how bigger cities become increasingly bigger."

    ElisaElisa joined Trinity's PhD in Economics programme to undertake research in urban development from a historical perspective, with a focus on Dublin. Her research, which is being supervised by Ronan Lyons, Assistant Professor in Economics, will explore the distribution of cities within countries, Ireland in particular, and on the within cities dynamics, with a focus on Dublin.

    Before 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.

    Benoit Voudon - Vertical Relations and Market Performance

    “The Grattan Scholarship has allowed me to experience a rich and exciting first two years of PhD studies at Trinity College Dublin. I completed my first paper on vertical integration and innovation and attended the 2017 Barcelona GSE Summer School in Competition Economics and Data Science. I also developed exciting research projects during spring 2018 in New York, as I have been a visiting research student in Columbia University, under the supervision of Professor Michael Riordan, a Benoitvery influential researcher in the area of vertical relations.”

    Benoit joined the Economics PhD Programme to undertake research which will develop the analysis of Vertical Relations in Industrial Organization. His first paper, called "Vertical Relations, Integration and Technology Adoption", investigates theoretically the impact of a market's vertical structure on the speed of technology adoption and innovation. Benoit’s research is being supervised by Francis O'Toole, Associate Professor in Economics.

    Before starting his PhD, as a Grattan Scholar, 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.

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    2017 Grattan Scholars

    Stefano Ceolotto - The Influence of Moral Licensing and Magnitude Effect on Pro-Environmental Behaviours

    "For my first paper, I am investigating how moral licensing affects pro-environmental behaviours. The Grattan Scholarship gave me the possibility to study this phenomenon through a lab experiment involving hundreds of participants. This kind of experiment, and of this size, allows me to conduct a much more structured and robust research, thus leading to more reliable results, and it would never have been possible without the support of the Grattan Scholarship."

    stefanoStefano joined Trinity as a Grattan Scholar in 2017, to undertake research in the field of energy and environmental economics under the supervision of Eleanor Denny, Associate Professor in Economics. His research will analyse whether doing a pro-environmental deed makes individuals less inclined to engage in subsequent pro-environmental behaviours.

    Stefano completed a Masters in Economics at Ca' Foscari University of Venice and spent six months at the University of Copenhagen as visiting student. Before that, he obtained a Bachelors Degree in Foreign Trade at Ca' Foscari University. Prior to his arrival at Trinity, Stefano was also a Teaching Assistant in Microeconomics for undergraduate students and Ca' Foscari University.


    Friedrich Kreuser - The Role and Transmission of Technology in the Economy

    FriedrichFriedrich joined the Economics PhD programme to undertake research into the role and transmission of technology in the economy under supervision of Professor Carol Newman. Technology here is an encompassing term including machinery, software, and the internet as well as management styles, worker skills and even corporate structure. His first paper is on the role of firm level training programmes on worker embodied technological spill-overs in the context developing countries.

    Before joining Trinity as a Grattan Scholar, Friedrich obtained a MSc in Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences through a Commonwealth Scholarship. In addition, he holds a Masters in Economics from Stellenbosch University where he also received his undergraduate degree in Commerce and Law.

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    2018 Grattan Scholars

    Miceal Canavan – Prejudice Reduction and the Implications for Political Behaviour

    micael"In recent years, we've seen an upsurge in prejudice in our politics and on the streets – UK home office figures found that hate crime increased by a third in 2017, whilst in the USA hate crimes rose by 12.5% in the ten largest cities. Surprisingly to many, a recent study in Ireland indicates that prejudice towards immigrants is worse than the European average. To this point research has focused on the prejudice itself. The Grattan Scholarship gives me the unique opportunity understand how we can reduce these prejudices in our increasingly diverse and divided societies."

    Micael joined the Political Science PhD programme to undertake research into the effectiveness of prejudice reduction and the impact this has on political behaviour. His research seeks to understand why interventions to reduce prejudice are effective in some contexts but ineffectual in others, analysing how individual, group and national factors mediate potential prejudice reduction. The research, which is being supervised by Gizem Ariken, Assistant Professor in Political Science, will then consider the potential implications for political behaviour and outcomes.

    Before joining the PhD programme Miceal undertook an MSc in International Politics at Trinity, graduating with a distinction. His thesis was focused on the impact malnutrition and food availability has on civil conflict. Prior to this he was conducting research with the World Bank in South Africa. He also holds a Laws BA from the University of Cambridge.

    Stefanie Sprong - Explaining the ‘Migrant Gap’ among Children in Ireland

    stefanie“In today’s increasingly diverse societies one of the key questions is how to foster the structural integration of immigrants. Education is a critical resource for economic and societal progress and a crucial factor structuring socio-economic outcomes and life chances of individuals. The Grattan Scholarship gives me an outstanding opportunity to further develop and challenge myself whilst adding to the limited knowledge on this topic of high societal relevance.”

    Stefanie Sprong is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at Trinity College Dublin. Her primary research interests lie in the field of interdisciplinary and comparative studies of the integration of immigrants and their descendants. She also takes an interest in the field of prejudice and intergroup relations.

    In her PhD project, Stefanie examines the school performance of children with a migration background from a comparative and longitudinal perspective. She is supervised by Richard Layte, Professor of Sociology, and Jan Skopek, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. 

    Before joining Trinity as a Grattan Scholar, Stefanie completed an MSc in Migration, Ethnic Relations and Multiculturalism at Utrecht University, at the top of her class. She also holds a BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences from University College Utrecht. In addition, she has been involved in several research projects related to labour market discrimination, multiculturalism and economic inequality.

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