Summer Research 2021

In 2021, the Trust awarded five Summer Research Scholarships of up to $3,000 to support particular research over the summer. The awards were open to British citizens enrolled on doctoral programmes at Harvard or MIT.

Phoebe Braithwaite
PhD Candidate, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Dept of English

Phoebe is interested in the relationship between cultural study and social movements, and her dissertation focuses on the work of the cultural theorist Stuart Hall. The project traces the influence he had on British public life and the impact it had on him: he arrived in Britain as a Rhodes scholar from Kingston, Jamaica in 1951, soon abandoning his PhD in English to become a founding editor of the New Left Review and later one of the progenitors of the disciplinary intervention that was Cultural Studies. She will use the Kennedy Summer Research Scholarship to undertake research in Hall’s archives in Birmingham, UK. Phoebe also teaches literature at the adult education centre City Lit.


Benjamin Miller
PhD Candidate, Mechanical Engineering, MIT

Ben develops colour-changing materials inspired by nature, with applications including healthcare, robotics, fashion, and human-computer interaction. He plans to create an interactive installation that uses these materials to teach people about light, materials science, and biologically inspired design. Previously Ben was a Fulbright Scholar, and studied Computer Science at Oxford and Biomedical Engineering at Imperial.

Helen Swift
PhD Candidate, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Dept of History of Art and Architecture 

Helen is an art historian specializing in early-modern and modern Japanese painting and prints. Her dissertation research on Kuroda Seiki, a Meiji period artist who studied in Paris, explores how European oil painting was relocated and transformed in Japan at the turn of the twentieth century. The Kennedy Summer Research Scholarship will allow Helen to expand her study of Japanese oil painting and its global reach through research on rare examples in American collections, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art. Helen is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

Matthew Stewart
PhD Candidate in Environmental Science & Engineering, Harvard University School of Engineering & Applied Sciences

Matthew's Ph.D. at Harvard University focuses on the development of sensing systems to study the atmospheric chemistry of the Amazon tropical rainforest, working with a combination of drones, microcontrollers, and machine learning. With the support of the Kennedy Summer Research Scholarship, he hopes to develop a cheap, low-power gas monitoring system using tinyML to track gas anomalies for the purpose of emissions compliance and forest fire monitoring. Matthew is a mechanical engineering graduate of Imperial College London and the National University of Singapore.

Hollie Buttery
PhD Candidate, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Dept of History of Art and Architecture

Hollie is an art historian researching the enduring potency of caricature. Returning to caricature’s origin in Seicento Italy, her work reveals the primacy of images to persuade, ignite violence and transform. Working as a catalyst to imagination since its development, Hollie’s work will show how caricature - balanced between the poles of violence and humour, destruction and creativity - has shaped our political and social realities for both good and ill. Hollie will use the Kennedy Summer Research Scholarship to conduct research trips to the collections of the Istituto Nazionale per la Graphica in Rome and the Museum der Bildenden Kunst in Leipzig to examine Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s caricatures. When not researching, Hollie is an enthusiastic, though tragically unskilled, knitter.  



Scholar Profiles
Cathy Gormley-Heenan, 1996
"The Kennedy Scholarship has really meant the world to me."
Cathy Gormley-Heenan, 1996