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School of the Humanities and Social Sciences


Projects on offer for 2024 programme

When you apply to the SHARE programme, you can indicate which research projects you would like to be considered for. You may select multiple projects and only need to submit one application, but you will be asked to submit a short supporting statement for each project you select, outlining your interest in that research topic. The projects on offer for 2024 are shown below. Click on each project title for more information. 

Please note that expressing interest in a particular project does not affect your overall chances of being offered a placement; and if you are offered a placement, it may be with a project that was not your personal preference. All projects provide broad social science research experience; we aim to achieve the closest possible match when offering placements. 

We ran two webinars to provide more information about the programme and about the projects, with an opportunity for attendees to ask questions at both.  You can watch the recordings and view the presentation slides here.



Cambridge city rhythms

Host department

Department of Geography, University of Cambridge


Lead supervisor: Prof. Charlotte Lemanski  

Supervisor team: Dr Satinder P Gill (SRA, Faculty of Music), Priti Mohandas (PhD candidate), Carolyn Smith (PhD candidate), Lucy Thompson (PhD candidate), Mia Wroe (PhD candidate)  

Project overview  

Welcome to the extraordinary world of rhythm! Our project explores the fundamental role of rhythm in shaping the lives of individuals, societies, and our planet. While musicians have long studied rhythm, its relevance extends far beyond music – impacting our bodies, health, social cohesion, trust and (ultimately) our survival.  

Our research dives into the multifaceted aspects of rhythm. The project involves an innovative two-day workshop in July, focusing on rhythm as a transdisciplinary paradigm for connection. As SHARE interns, you have the exciting opportunity to participate in and facilitate this event. Following the workshop, you'll craft your mini projects based in Cambridge, exploring urban, embodied, or more-than-human rhythms. Working in pairs, you'll be working on defining the scope of projects, collecting data, conducting interviews, as well as analysing and writing up your findings. No specific training is required – projects will be tailored to each student's skill set. Join us on this rhythmic journey, where you'll explore, create, and contribute to a new understanding of rhythm as a research paradigm that engages with empathy, subjectivity and creativity. 

What we're looking for

We welcome a diverse range of students to join our rhythmic exploration project! While a background in social science is beneficial, we also value students from related fields like Architecture, Sociology, Anthropology, Geography, and (of course) Music. A solid understanding of the main themes in social science would be particularly helpful, but we're open to considering students from other backgrounds as well. As we will explore during the workshop, rhythm has implications for fields as disparate as the biological sciences, mathematics and storytelling.

If you can demonstrate your aptitude for and commitment to the project, we would love to have you on board. So, whether you're a musician or bring a unique perspective from another field, if you're passionate about rhythm and its impact on health and society, we encourage you to apply. 

Heat stress and energy cultures in Kenyan slum rehabilitation housing 

Host department

Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge


Lead supervisor: Dr Ronita Bardhan (Director of Sustainable Design Group, Associate Professor of Sustainable Built Environment)  

Supervisor team: Jiayu Pan, Sustainable Design Group, (PhD in Architecture Candidate); Maoran Sun, Sustainable Design Group, (PhD in Architecture Candidate)  

Project overview

Welcome to our research initiative focusing on the critical intersection of global warming, urbanization, and housing challenges, particularly in Africa. As temperatures rise and urbanization accelerates, the impact on the environment, energy systems, and public health becomes increasingly profound. This is especially true in informal settlements, where economically and socially marginalized residents face heightened vulnerabilities.  

In informal settlements across the Global South, over a billion people grapple with inadequate housing, dense living conditions, and the associated adverse effects. The urgent need to address housing deficiencies, especially in regions of Africa and Southern Asia, is emphasized in the Sustainable Development Goals Report. As a response, providing affordable and accessible housing has emerged as a crucial strategy to regulate informal settlements and mitigate poverty.  

Our research proposal acknowledges the urgent housing challenges arising from global growth and rising temperatures. The aim is to contribute scientific insights into the effective design of affordable housing, seeking to break the cycle of extreme heat vulnerability and associated energy burdens perpetuating poverty. This study is built upon three existing research projects at the Sustainable Design Group led by Dr. Bardhan, with members Jiayu Pan and Maoran Sun as PhD students.  

These projects include "HOME - Housing design to reduce Overheating and Malaria risk in indoor Environments" in Kenya, funded by EPSRC-GCRF, "Community engagement workshops on housing and energy in Nairobi" funded by AHRC IAA Impact Fund, and "HEROES - Health and Energy impacts of Residential Overheating in Ethiopian Slum rehabilitation housing" funded by Cambridge-Africa Alborado Trust.  

Drawing from the ongoing projects, we have gathered qualitative data through interviews, focus group discussions, and surveys on the lived experiences in slums and slum rehabilitation housing in Nairobi. The focus of this summer internship proposal is to leverage these datasets for understanding local inhabitants' experiences and attitudes towards heat, along with exploring their everyday energy cultures and practices in the context of social housing in Kenya. The goal is to develop a comprehensive understanding of sustainable, resilient, people-centric housing solutions tailored to the challenges and sociocultural norms of vulnerable urban populations. Join us in this impactful research endeavour!

As part of your journey with us, you can expect training in identifying research goals; qualitative research and data collection; quantitative data analysis from interviews and focus groups ethical and cultural considerations; drafting preliminary reports with key findings, and actively contributing to team discussions. 

We encourage active participation, collaboration, and open communication throughout the internship. Your insights and contributions are valuable as we work towards generating meaningful research outcomes.   

Benefits for you:  

Hands-On Research Experience: explore the world of qualitative research and data analysis, with expert assistance, helping you build skills beyond university. Opportunities to co-author a journal article.  

Research Contribution: play a key role in tackling real-world challenges like heat stress and energy issues in slum housing. Participate in publications and presentations.  

Membership in a Diverse Research Group: become part of the Sustainable Design research group. Sharpen your presentation skills, get feedback, and spend time with our group members.  

Mapping archaeological heritage in South Asia

Host department

Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge


Lead supervisor: Professor Cameron Petrie   

Supervisor team: Dr Rebecca Roberts (Project Coordinator), Azadeh Vafadari (Training Coordinator), Afifa Khan (Research Assistant), Jack Tomaney (Research Assistant), Dr Kuili Suganya (Research Associate), Junaid Abdul Jabbar (Database Manager)    

Project overview

Welcome to the Mapping Archaeological Heritage in South Asia (MAHSA) project. Ancient archaeological sites in Pakistan and northwest India are at risk due to urban growth and agriculture. Join us in preserving this rich history by learning how to document and manage archaeological sites. 

As an intern, you'll team up with the MAHSA experts to learn the new methods and skills used in the project workflow, where you'll be assigned a small geographical area to explore. Using various data sets, you'll extract information about archaeological sites, ranging from ancient villages and cities to more recent historical monuments. 

We have successfully hosted several student interns, and now we want to share this training programme with you. Each week, you'll embark on tasks such as georeferencing historic maps, compiling data from published sources, and using QGIS software to analyse digitised maps, the outputs from machine learning, and satellite imagery within your study area. 

Work with the MAHSA team to identify potential archaeological sites for future fieldwork, thereby contributing to their documentation, study and eventually their protection. 

What we're looking for

We welcome students with a background in Archaeology or Geography to join our multidisciplinary large and friendly team. While prior knowledge of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) is advantageous, it's not a requirement. We will customize your tasks to start with smaller-scale activities and dedicate time to empower you with GIS skills during the internship.

This hands-on experience will involve producing your own small-scale datasets as part of the MAHSA project. A strong desire to learn and apply GIS and digital methods is crucial, as the project revolves around these technologies. We are also passionate about archaeology and heritage, and we hope you are too. Don't worry if you're new to GIS – we'll guide you through every part of the process. 

New words

Host department

Humanities and Social Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University


Lead supervisor: Professor Melanie Bell  

Supervisor team: Prof. Melanie Bell, David Jay, and Gemma Harvey  

Project overview  

‘New Words’ is an exploration of the nature of language and how people use it to communicate. Our project is investigating compound words, like "teacup" or "laptop", exploring the remarkable world of language and how we communicate. These words, born when people need names for new things, can be quite complex. Take "laptop" – it could mean a computer, part of the body, or who knows what else! Recent research has revealed that these compound words are much more ambiguous than we thought. Different people come up with many different meanings for a single word. The current project builds on this recent finding by asking how speakers resolve the ambiguity to achieve successful communication. We’re aiming to find out whether newly-coined compound words have default meanings, or more likely meanings, or whether any interpretation is possible given a sufficiently clear context. What contextual and other factors determine the interpretation someone arrives at?

This is where you come in!  

You'll be diving into existing data, coding and processing interpretations of compound words. We've got texts from online experiments, recordings from phonetics labs, and snippets from vast online text collections. Your tasks might include categorizing interpretations, annotating language examples, measuring speech data, and managing datasets. As you get the hang of it, you'll work on analysing the coded data, and perhaps even contribute to a project publication.  

Benefits for you:

  • Learn specialized academic skills in linguistics.  

  • Pick up general research skills like data management and coding qualitative data.  

  • Develop transferable skills like problem-solving, communication, IT skills, and project management.  

  • Build a solid foundation for future studies and careers, whether in academia or elsewhere.  

This internship will include on-the-job training from the project supervisor.  

What we're looking for

  • An interest in language and fluency in English.   
  • English native speakers would probably be most suitable.  
  • Knowledge of linguistics or phonetics could be a bonus for some tasks, but not essential.
Digital inclusion for people with learning disabilities  

Host Department 

Psychology and Sport Science, Anglia Ruskin University 


Lead supervisor: Professor Mick Finlay  

Supervisor team: Dr Clare Nicholson (early career researcher at St Mary’s), Dr Lewis Goodings (ARU), ARU post-doctoral fellow 

Project overview  

We're embarking on a vital research project exploring the experiences of adults with mild and moderate learning disabilities in their use of social media and online platforms like gaming and dating apps. While these platforms offer connection and empowerment, there are evident risks such as exploitation and bullying. Our goal is to develop a peer education intervention and secure research funding for its development and evaluation.  

This project focuses on gathering insights on how user-friendly popular social media and digital platforms are. Now, we're in the process of crafting grant proposals for the next two years, and this information is key. As interns, you'll play a crucial role in our mission. You'll have the opportunity to analyse existing data, such as interview/focus group data or legal case transcripts related to internet access and mental capacity. Additionally, you'll delve into the accessibility features of various digital interactive apps and platforms widely used today.  

What's in it for you? Hands-on experience and training in qualitative data analysis, exposure to issues of accessibility and digital inclusion, and insight into the lives of adults with learning disabilities. This internship isn't just about tasks; it's a chance to work with a dynamic research team, attend scoping meetings on social media platform accessibility, and receive training in ethics and content analysis.  

As part of your journey with us, you can expect training that covers qualitative research, including ethics and content analysis. We'll provide guidance on navigating the intricacies of finding accessibility information for interactive digital platforms and guide you in summarizing and presenting information concisely.  

For entry, a strong command of spoken and written English is essential, especially for data analysis. We welcome individuals from diverse academic backgrounds in the humanities, social sciences and psychology – your unique perspective and skills will enrich our team and contribute to the success of the project. Join us and gain valuable training, experience, and insights into the intersection of accessibility, digital platforms, and the lives of adults with learning disabilities.