Skip to content
Loading Events

Applying a Decolonial Lens to Research Structures, Norms and Practices

September 18 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm


About this Event

In recent years, ethnocentric and racialised paradigms in knowledge production and asymmetries in higher education have been profoundly challenged, reflecting on movements to decolonise curricula, pedagogy and admission standards in higher education institutions. SOAS has been at the forefront of this effort, as exemplified in the establishment of the Decolonising SOAS Working Group to provide a forum for debate, resources and toolkits on the decolonising process to connect up with other educational institutions and the wider community.

Considerably less attention has been given to the structural and institutionalised mechanisms of research development, funding and dissemination and how these may or may not be conducive to the diversification and decolonisation of knowledge production in the world. These are especially urgent issues to assess for grants with an international reach, such as those delivered through the GCRF or the EU Horizon 2020 funding schemes. Norms and practices perpetuated at the level of research offices, which operate predominantly within the EU/UK governance framework, also require evaluation. Individual researchers who must navigate the complex funding landscape in Europe/UK may feel challenged to form and cultivate egalitarian partnerships, with implications for global knowledge production.

This event aims to bring together leading decolonial thinkers, representatives from UK funding bodies and research support services in higher education institutions in the UK and internationally to discuss research structures, norms and practices reflexively and to explore creative strategies for addressing them. The various panels, with the first being led by Dr. Meera Sabaratnam, are structured so as to achieve these aims, culminating in a final roundtable. The event is anticipated to result in a report that will be communicated to UKRI and the research councils of England and the wider public.

The event is supported by the London International Development Centre (LIDC) and is open to both SOAS members and external attendees involved in higher education research, research development and funding. If you would like to be involved more actively, please email the organiser: Dr Romina Istratii (

Tentative Programme

Paul Webley Wing, Room S113

13:30 – 14:00

Registration and refreshments

Lecture Theatre, SWLT 110

14:00 – 14:10

Welcome from organisers

Introduction, Dr. Alex Lewis, SOAS

Event objectives and structure, Dr. Romina Istratii, SOAS

14:10 – 14:50

Panel 1: Applying a ‘decolonial’ lens to higher education and research funding


Dr. Meera Sabaratnam, SOAS

Dr. Matthew Harris, Imperial College London

Dr. Kerry Harman, Birkbeck University of London

Q & A

14:50 – 15:40

Panel 2: Assessing funder language and structures and research office practices


Dr. Romina Istratii, SOAS

Prof. Simon Goldhill, University of Cambridge

Dr. Alex Tubawene Kanyimba, University of Namibia, Namibia

Dr. Mulugeta Berihu, Aksum University, Ethiopia

Dr. Jude Fransman, Open University

Q & A

15:40 – 16:00

Break for refreshments and cakes

16:00 – 16:40

Panel 3: Assessing attitudes and norms in collaborative global research


Dr. Maru Mormina, University of Oxford

Prof. Michael Hutt, SOAS

Dr. Seira Tamang, Kathmandu, Nepal

Dr. Daniel Hammett, University of Sheffield

Prof. Jonathan Goodhand, SOAS

Q & A

16:40 – 17:00

Roundtable discussion

What have we learned?

What can be done better?

How can we create better communication outlets between academia and funders in the UK?

SOAS logo

SOAS University of London
10 Thornhaugh Street
London, WC1H 0XG

+ Google Map

Scroll To Top