- Posted by Amy Bell
- On November 12, 2023
Now in its 16th year, the society’s scholarship awards support post-graduates of British or Spanish nationality studying a wide range of academic disciplines. Our 2023 winners are studying or completing research projects across economics, music, neuroscience, psycholinguistics, reproductive medicine, civil engineering and performing arts. The awards receive the financial backing of the charity’s principal corporate sponsors; BBVA, Canada Blanch Fundacion, Cuatrecasas, Plastic Energy and Santander Universities.
We are delighted to present this year’s BritishSpanish Society Scholarship winners, all of whom are undertaking fascinating and worthwhile projects. Thank you to all our corporate sponsors and congratulations to all our award-winners!
More photos from the awards ceremony are available to view here.
Carlos Menéndez Vicente
University College London
PhD in Civil Engineering
Effects of Scour on the Foundation of Offshore Wind Turbines
Project supported by Plastic Energy
Carlos tells us: “My PhD research aims to contribute to the global race for renewable energies. The deployment of offshore wind turbines has become a crucial factor in the transition towards a sustainable future, given the urgent need to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. My research focuses on the foundation of offshore wind turbines, which are significantly affected by seabed erosion, caused by the hazardous marine environment of wind, waves, and currents. Through numerical simulations, the effects of seabed erosion (scour) are analysed, and protective mechanisms are designed to extend the lifespan of these devices and increase their energy output.”
Tobias Fernández Borkel
University College London
Brain Sciences Master Research
Dystonia in Pianists
Project supported by the Valencia headquartered cultural foundation Fundación Cañada Blanch
Testing improvements in finger representation within the somatosensory cortex after prolongated retraining and transcranial stimulation. The study proposes to investigate the effectiveness of bi-hemispheric transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and a mirrored motor task in the treatment of focal hand dystnonia (FTSD) in pianists. The project extends previous research and pretends to improve the fine motor control, potentially preventing career-ending impacts for musicians who suffer from FTSD. The study also aims to confirm the interconnection between the motor and sensory system by finding the optimal sequential order of application by tDCS and mirrored motor tasks. These findings could advance the clinical treatment of dystonia and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Laura Casas Cambra
Royal College of Music
PhD in Music
Interwar Women Composers: Sound Connections between Britain and Spain
Project supported by BritishSpanish Society members.
This project will be enabling a unique intersection between the Interwar Women Composers from Britain and Spain. My doctoral research combines methodologies from archival work, digital humanities, historical research and practice-led approaches, establishing a rigorous and original research model that allows the investigation of the lives and works of women musicians from new perspectives. By intertwining the performance of works written by both generations of women composers, it will not only allow conversations for exchange and progress, but also creating an unprecedented space for British and Spanish interwar women composers to resound once more.
University of Cambridge
PhD in Psycholinguistics
The influence of L2 instructed exposure in bilinguals’ L1: Relative clause attachment preferences in L1 Spanish-L2 English bilinguals
Project supported by Santander Universities
Extensive use and exposure to a second language (L2) may influence how bilinguals comprehend and process their mother tongue (L1). This flexibility of the L1 has been associated with successful L2 acquisition and has been largely proved in bilinguals living in an L2-speaking country but, what about bilinguals who are formally instructed in a classroom setting? This project aims to explore whether L1 Spanish-L2 English bilinguals in Spain who study a degree taught in English, their L2, also experience cognitive readjustments in their L1 processing and how this is modulated by other variables like working memory and individual language profile.
Medicine & Sciences
Ángel Martín Bastida
University of Valencia to study at Cambridge University
PhD in Reproductive Medicine
Learning the technique of in Vitro culture of human embryos up to post-implantation stages and development of new techniques for the study of aneuploidy Project supported by Santander Universities
The project aims to develop advanced techniques for studying human embryogenesis, including extended embryonic culture up to post-implantation stages and alternative techniques for studying aneuploidies. This research will allow for the observation of new in vitro events and structures related to the formation of early lineages, and will improve our understanding of how aneuploidies are segregated throughout embryogenesis prior to and following implantation. The knowledge gained from the project has the potential to improve clinical outcomes after in vitro fertilization (IVF) and increase the reproductive chances of patients suffering from infertility.
Environmental, Social and Governance
María Magdalena Sánchez Moreno
Royal College of Music
PhD (Music Education)
A Cultural Citizen is Born: Equity, Inclusion and Access to Public Cultural Programming
Project supported by BBVA
This PhD departs from the need to address the inequity in access to arts and culture from birth, in England, Spain and across diverse European countries. It aims to advocate for the right of access and participation in culture since birth (Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN, 1989), by: 1) mapping the extent to which this is being guaranteed 30 years after its declaration and international embrace (by analyzing countries’ compromise through the inclusion of early childhood in artistic education, cultural institutions/programming), and 2) by transferring knowledge to the industry through cultural/policy advocacy and applied proposals.
Virginia Ballesteros Kisielewska
University of Oxford
MPhil in Economics
Comparative Study of Education and Labor Market Policies and their Impact on Youth Unemployment in the United Kingdom and Spain
Project supported by law firm Cuatrecasas
The aim of this research is to conduct a comparative analysis of the labour market in the United Kingdom (UK) and Spain, with a particular emphasis on the issue of youth unemployment. I would like to explore how different economic policies in the areas of education and labour regulation have contributed to improve or deteriorate the employment opportunities of young people (18-24 years old) in both countries over the past 30 years.