Personal profile


I work on the Knowledge for Development (K4D) programme, which provides policy-relevant research on humanitarianism and development issues to the Department for International Development (DFID).

Before then, I researched a variety of historical humanitarian work from famine relief to political advocacy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. After BA in politics and modern history (2008) and an MA in cultural history (2009), I completed a PhD at Manchester in 2013 entitled 'British humanitarians and Russia, 1890-1923'. I have also worked as a research assistant on several history projects in universities and the charity sector.

I have taught history and politics at Manchester, Salford and Bangor universities. 

Research interests

Most of my research has been in the history of humanitarian aid. My doctoral thesis looked at the efforts of churches, pressure groups, charities, politicians and journalists to promote religious and political liberty and to relieve the victims of famines in late-tsarist and early communist Russia. It analysed these actors' methods and motivations for helping faraway peoples, particularly highlighting the role of Christianity, liberalism and notions of civilisation in shaping their humanitarian engagements. Parts of the thesis have been published as articles and as a book.

I have also worked on research projects about child migration in the British empire, the history of the British charity Merlin, and pet-keeping in British families.

My current research on the K4D project looks at a number of topics relevant to the humanitarian sector.


K4D Research:

Article: “Humanitarian sentiment and forced repatriation: the administration of Hungarians in a post-war DP camp,” Journal of Refugee Studies (2017)Vol. 30, issue 3, 387–406,

Article: “‘George Woodcock and the Doukhobors: peasant radicalism, anarchism, and the Canadian state,” Intellectual History Review (with Matthew Adams, Loughborough University),

Article: “British Humanitarianism and the Russian Famine, 1891–2.” Historical Research (2016), Vol. 89, issue 246, 824-845,

Article: “Christianity and Humanitarianism in the Doukhobor Campaign, 1895-1902,” Cultural and Social History (2016),

Book: “British Humanitarian Activity in Russia, 1890-1923,” Palgrave MacMillan (2018).



I convene the following courses:

-the Professional Experience Project (HCRI 20220)

-Humanitarian Diplomacy and Neogtiation in Practice (HCRI 60221)

-Third year dissertation (second semester)

Please get in contact with me if you have questions about these courses.

Office hours

Ellen Wilkinson C1.43

Tuesdays 11-12 and Fridays 16-17

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute


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