Soup’s on: a taste of the future

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Want to see what’s cooking among emerging human rights researchers? All will be revealed at Research SOUP, a novel human rights competition at the School of Advanced Study’s Senate House headquarters on 3 June (6.30–8.00pm).  

Organised by the School’s Human Rights Consortium (HRC) and the Human Rights Researchers Network, it’s a simple concept. People turn up, pay £5 at the door, and listen to five postgraduate students pitch ideas for their human rights research project.

Pitchers may not talk for more than five minutes, after which the audience will discuss the proposals over a simple meal of soup before voting for their favourite. The winner gets all the money taken at the door and uses it to fund their dissertation research this summer.

Based on the innovative crowd-funding movement called Detroit Soup, originally set up to help the city get back on its feet, the human rights Research SOUP is, according to Dr Corinne Lennox from HRC, an ‘exciting new opportunity for graduate students to pitch ideas for their human rights research project to an audience of their peers and win funding.

‘The winner will produce a short piece on the outcomes of their research, which will be promoted in the Human Rights Researchers Network and made available to the wider human rights research community via the Human Rights Consortium website.’

The competition is open to students at any UK university doing a dissertation in human rights (MA/MSc/LLM) over the summer term, a panel of judges made up of academics and researchers will review the applications and select the five finalists to present at the event. Research topics range from a look at the impact of international law on sustainable development, human rights defenders and Argentina’s machismo culture to the role of the Zimbabwe-UK diaspora in human rights advocacy and domestic violence from a South Asian woman’s perspective.

‘The Human Rights Research Soup will be a great event for postgrad students to network with others in the field of human rights. They will be able to meet people with similar research interests that might be useful for their dissertation or future career opportunities. 
And it is a chance for established researchers to support the next generation, hear about emerging themes of human rights studies and to share their expertise with young researchers’, says Dr Lennox. 

More information on the Research SOUP is available at:

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Notes for editors:

1. For further information please contact Maureen McTaggart, Media and Public Relations Officer, School of Advanced Study, University of London +44 (0)20 7862 8653 / Images available on request.

2. The Human Rights Consortium, founded in 2009, brings together the multidisciplinary expertise in human rights found in several institutes of the School of Advanced Study, as well as collaborating with individuals and organisations with an interest in the subject. The main aim of the Consortium is to facilitate, promote and disseminate academic and policy work on human rights by holding conferences and seminars, hosting visiting fellows, coordinating the publication of high quality work in the field, and establishing a network of human rights researchers, policy-makers and practitioners across the UK and internationally, with a view to collaborating on a range of activities.

3. The School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London, is the UK’s national centre for the promotion and support of research in the humanities and celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2015. It was officially opened on 15 March 1995, by Sir Anthony Kenny as a federation of the University of London’s research institutes and, since then, has established itself as the UK’s national humanities hub, publicly funded to support and promote research in the humanities nationally and internationally. SAS and its member institutes offer unparalleled academic opportunities, facilities and stimulation across a wide range of subject areas for the benefit of the national and international scholarly community. In 2013-14, SAS: welcomed 743 research fellows and associates; held 2,081 research dissemination events; received 26.4 million visits to its digital research resources and platforms; and received 202,891 visits to its specialist libraries and collections. A series of anniversary events and activities will take place throughout 2015. Find out more at or follow SAS on Twitter at @SASNews.