HARDSHIP & TRAVEL GRANTS
As well as providing the college with paintings for students rooms and the gallery, The Pembroke College JCR Art Fund Collection also serves as a source of hardship and travel grants for students. Thanks to its establishment as a charity The Pembroke College JCR Art Fund Collection is now able to support students experiencing immediate hardship and provide funds for educational ventures.
Here are the testimonials of those who received a travel grant from the JCR Art Fund during the summer vacation:
"In September 2016 I undertook a research trip to the North East coast of the US to carry out essential primary research for my undergraduate thesis on the involuntary servants of Maryland during the early eighteenth century. The Pembroke Travel Grant enabled me to take this trip by providing funds which went towards paying for archive entry, accommodation in hostels, as well as travel between states via Amtrak.
I am extremely grateful to the Pembroke Art Fund which granted me the access I needed to original newspapers from the eighteenth century in the Maryland State Archives as well as indexed convict and orphan lists and a special collection of merchants papers in the Maryland Historical Society. The trip took me from working with a researcher in the Newspaper and Periodicals room of the Library of Congress in Washington DC, to independent research in the Maryland Historical Society in the cultural quarter of Baltimore before having a day in the conservation labs of the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis, the state capital of Maryland. I was able to talk to researchers and librarians who knew so much about the history of their region and wanted to learn so much from me and my research too, I found the two way process very rewarding and exciting in advance of writing my thesis in Hilary 2017."
"In August 2016 I had the opportunity to undertake a 4-week research placement at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, thanks to a generous travel grant from Pembroke College. This was an invaluable experience which allowed me to get a real insight into the world of scientific research, and to further my knowledge and interest in the study of malaria; I joined David Conway’s lab group, which is investigating the different invasion strategies utilised by Plasmodium falciparum parasites in order to enter red blood cells. I learnt a range of new practical techniques, including DNA extraction and qPCR analysis, as well as improving my communication skills by presenting work during lab meetings. The time I spent at LSHTM has consolidated my plans to pursue further study in Tropical Medicine and International Health after completing my undergraduate studies, as well as providing an amazing opportunity to experience working life in London."
"Over the summer I had the amazing opportunity to visit Chicago to carry out research for my undergraduate history thesis on the city’s place in relation to the wider American eugenics movement of the early 20th Century. To make this thesis possible, access to archival material in Chicago was absolutely essential, and fortunately, thanks to travel grants, a trip to the city was made possible for me. Independently visiting the libraries of Northwestern University, the Chicago History Museum and UIC gave me valuable first-hand experience of the practical study of history as well as the opportunity to meet archivists and researchers with their own valuable knowledge of the city and my particular area of interest. From the first consideration of my thesis, the presence of funding from travel grants allowed me to consider far more avenues of study while the trip itself has given me valuable experience in my subject area and revealed yet more potential avenues to pursue, not to mention the myriad sights, sounds and attractions of Chicago."
"Unlike many History thesis, research for my dissertation has taken me not too far from home, in more ways than one. Investigating early modern culinary and medical cook books is a field inherently based in domestic practices, and my initial online research revealed that in my own county archives there is a wealth of early modern material belonging to the local gentry, whose descendants still live here today. My summer travel grant has been used for transport costs to and from the Derbyshire archives on a weekly basis, as well as purchasing a copying licence and reader card. I am hopeful that my current research contacts will, in turn, lead me to further material held by the National Trust at Sudbury Hall and by Sir Andrew Walker-Okeover at Okeover Hall, Okeover. My grant will continue to fund the simplest means of public transport across the Peaks to visit these properties as my research continues. I am very grateful to college for providing me with the means to cover these costs."
"As a result of Pembroke JCR’s Travel Grant Fund, I was able to complete much of the research for my dissertation over the Summer Vac. As my dissertation will be on Romanticism in the West Country and how this interacted with the political phenomena of the grassroots politics of abolitionism and the agricultural labouring class, I used the money granted to travel to various archives across the region, including the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, the Bristol Records Office, the Dorset History Centre in Dorchester, and the Devon Heritage Centre in Exeter. This has allowed me to get up-close to some significant primary documents concerning my dissertation topic that are not available elsewhere. I also used part of the grant to do some field trips to areas of importance for my dissertation, including Nether Stowey in Somerset where Samuel Taylor Coleridge – one of the great Romantic poets of the West Country – and Tintern Abbey in Monmouthshire, where William Wordsworth wrote perhaps one of his most famous works, ‘Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey’."
"During the summer, the travel grant went a long way in my time at Hong Kong. I spent 6 weeks working with Jackie Pullinger, a missionary who went over in the 1960s to work in the walled city of Kowloon - a destitute ‘no-law’ zone where drug addiction, prostitution, and gang warfare was rife. She is still doing the work there and her ministry has grown across the whole state of Hong Kong and South East Asia (The book "Chasing the Dragon" is her story). I was working first hand with recovering heroine addicts and ex-gang members in their journey to get free from those things. It was an sobering insight into the life of individuals that seem so divorced from our lives in the West and has given me great regard, here in Oxford, of the homeless and drug-addict community. The money went into the plane fares without which I could not have gone in the first place. It opened enough funds to pay for food and to explore the city of Hong Kong (the Island and the Mainland) on my days off."
"My money paid for some of my flight out to the Middle East. While I was there I worked with the company Keepod to promote the proliferation of easy-use personal computing to impoverished areas. I was also able to travel to Palestine on my trip and meet some incredible people. Similarly I was able to climb a mountain in the North of Israel right on the Syrian border and talk with UN soldiers about their role in the conflict on the other side of the fence."
"This July I travelled to Peru as part of the Oxford RAG team who undertook the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. After landing in Lima, we drove to Cusco, an old Inca city located at 3,400m. Ater spending a few days exploring Cusco, we began our trek through the Salkantay mountain range pass. This involved camping under the stars in the mountains for 5 nights, and trekking up to altitudes of 4,600m. We reached Aguas Calientes and then began the climb to Machu Picchu which involved 1900 stairs and watched the sunrise from the Inca ruins.
After returning to Cusco, we finished our trip in Huacachina, an oasis located in the desert where we did activities including sandboarding and dune buggying. As a biology student, other highlights of the trip included seeing the Andean cock-of-the-rock, which is native to Andean cloud forest! Also, I really enjoyed exploring Paracas National Park and encountering wildlife such as flamingos, pelicans and sea lions!
We aimed to raise money for four charities the ‘Against Malaria Foundation’ and ‘Student Minds’ and two locally based- ‘Oxford Student Assault and Rape Crisis Centre’ and ‘Jacari’. It was my first visit to South America and I am very grateful to the JCR art fund for supporting me on this trip."
"I used my travel grant to pay for my flight to Taiwan this summer. I did a 5 week summer course at the National Taiwan University in Taipei in Chinese translation. I also conducted primary research for my dissertation on disability rights in China by visiting a school for intellectually disabled just outside Taipei."