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Kennedy Scholars 2023

New Kennedy Scholars for 2023-24

The Trustees of the Kennedy Memorial Trust are delighted to announce the selection of seven new Kennedy Scholars for the 2023-24 academic year. All will receive substantial scholarships to attend Harvard University and MIT for postgraduate study, following a competitive UK-wide selection process. The new Scholars embrace a broad range of academic and professional interests, but are united by a determination to make a positive difference to society through their academic research and future careers. The Kennedy Trustees have also renewed Kennedy Scholarships for three 2022-23 Scholars for a second year, in order to complete their degrees.

The Kennedy Scholarships were established as part of the UK's national memorial to US President John F. Kennedy, following his assassination in 1963. The Scholarships were envisaged as a "living memorial" which would invest in future generations and advance the ideals with which President Kennedy was closely associated: intellectual endeavour, leadership, and public service. Offered by the Kennedy Memorial Trust each year, more than 570 Kennedy Scholarships have been awarded since the programme's inception, with alumni going on to distinguished careers in a wide range of fields and professions.

Dr Gaurav Agarwal
Master of Science in Computational Biology & Quantitative Genetics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Gaurav is a practicing doctor in the NHS. He attended Oxford Medical School, graduating with the Gibbs Prize in Medical Sciences. Gaurav is passionate about improving human health through understanding the genome. As a student, he pursued research at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Gurdon Institute, developing an interest in using genetics to unpick disease biology. He has also worked translationally in clinical trials and with industry to implement new genomic tests in the NHS. As an academic clinician, he currently splits his time between research studying cancer predisposition and caring for patients.

Gaurav is excited to undertake a Master of Science in Computational Biology and Quantitative Genetics at Harvard. He will learn how to interrogate large genomic datasets; Gaurav will apply these methods as a Research Fellow at the Broad Institute, to study why some patients develop blood cancers. Upon returning to the UK, Gaurav plans to train in haematology. He hopes to come back with the skills, perspectives and relationships required to translate genomics into better patient care. Outside of work, Gaurav is a keen pianist and enjoys racquet sports.

Jordan Andrew
Master of Education (EdM), Harvard Graduate School of Education

Determined to transform his adversities as a young carer of a disabled sibling into his ‘superpower,’ Jordan has made it his mission to advocate for young people ‘invisible’ to society. At 11, he became the inaugural recipient of a school citizenship award, named in his honour, after developing a swimming programme to connect his mainstream school with his sibling’s special needs school – the intervention aimed to break the social barriers perpetuating the stigmatisation of disabled children.

At the University of Cambridge, Jordan’s dissertation, ‘The Invisible Dandelions,’ was the first UK-based study interpolating photo-taking with interviews to explore resilience in siblings of disabled children. After graduating with five academic prizes in Psychological and Behavioural Sciences, Jordan has continued campaigning for improved educational and social care policy support towards young carers, presenting his work in neuro-disability forums at Great Ormond Street hospital and schools across London.

By working alongside a diverse set of changemakers in Harvard’s Human Development and Education programme, Jordan hopes to create empowering transatlantic interventions for young carers to defy their adversities and discover more ‘invisible’ children lost in the education system.

Heather Annan
Visiting Fellow in Philosophy and Psychology, MIT

Heather studied at the Open University while caring for her grandmother – graduating with a BA in Philosophy and Psychology. Concurrently, she was a volunteer adult literacy tutor working with individuals with additional support needs, including autism. She then completed an MSc in Philosophy of Mind and Psychology and is now studying for the PhD in Philosophy and Psychology – both at the University of Glasgow – funded by the C.K. Marr Educational Trust. She is spending the summer of 2023 at the University of Tokyo on a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science scholarship.

Heather’s research specialisations are philosophy of mind, perception and attention. In her thesis, Heather is developing a new theory of autism in which attentional differences are a core aspect of autism that explain the perceptual variation associated with the condition, among other aspects. She is keen to ensure that this work captures how autistic individuals report experiencing the world. She plans to investigate how her theory could provide improved support opportunities for autistic individuals and their families. She will attend MIT as a visiting research fellow in the philosophy department but will work closely with autism researchers in other fields.

Philippa (Pippa) Frizzelle
Master of Laws (LLM), Harvard Law School

Pippa is currently a lawyer at Allen & Overy, working in the litigation and investigations team on a range of cross-border cases. Before joining the firm, Pippa completed two undergraduate degrees: one in History at the University of Durham and one in Law (as a Senior Status student) at the University of Cambridge, where she was awarded the Winifred Georgina Holgate Pollard Memorial Prize. She also spent an Erasmus exchange programme year at Sciences Po University in Paris, where she developed a keen interest in public international law (as well as a love for living and learning abroad).

At Harvard, Pippa intends to deepen her understanding of the laws between states, now with some years of private practice experience behind her, and to explore for the first time the world of international criminal law. She is particularly interested in ad hoc international criminal tribunals and their potential role in ongoing conflicts around the world. Pippa also hopes to strengthen her practical research and advocacy skills through involvement with the international human rights clinic, led by expert clinicians at Harvard Law School.

Tegan (Tigs) Louis-Puttick
Special Student, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Tigs is an academic-activist working in the field of migrant solidarity and asylum rights, particularly related to sea border crossings and the associated trauma experienced by people on the move. She is currently an Operational Coordinator for Sea-Watch e.V, a German rescue ship and political organisation, and has been involved in the rescue of many people crossing the sea to seek safety. She is also the founder of her own nonprofit organisation, Reclaim the Sea, which teaches refugees with sea-related trauma how to swim and surf in order to reclaim the sea as a safe space.

Tigs graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2021 with a Human, Social and Political Sciences degree, with a particular focus on refugee rights, NGOs and border coloniality. She is currently writing a paper with Dr S Srinivasan, Co-Director of Cambridge’s Centre of Governance and Human Rights, on in/visibility at borders. Whilst at Harvard, she hopes to expand her knowledge on the technicalities of international maritime and public law, while going deeper into the sociological aspects of refugee rights and humanitarian work which will contribute to her aims to finish writing a book by the end of her year in the US. 

Robert McDonald
Visiting Fellow in Applied Mathematics, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Rob uses mathematics to provide effective, equitable solutions to far-reaching global problems. Using topology – the mathematical study of shape and space – Rob researches the global decline of coral reefs, the optimisation of urban transport networks, and the progression of cancer in the human body. Following an undergraduate degree at the University of Warwick, Rob is now working towards a DPhil in applied mathematics at the University of Oxford. At Harvard, he will continue to research multi-scale mathematical modelling as a Visiting Fellow within the Computational Science and Engineering laboratory.

The applicability of complex mathematics to such a wide range of problems is what motivates Rob, and he shares his passion for the subject through teaching. Having worked with charities, universities and NGOs across the world, Rob is a great believer in the power and universality of mathematical thinking. Through his teaching, research and collaborations, Rob seeks to unlock the mathematical spark he sees within each individual, and to use this for the benefit of broader society.

Outside of the classroom and the lab, Rob is a student fellow at the Zoological Society of London, he is an avid parkrunner, and he coxes novice and competitive crews at his college rowing club.

Julia Pamilih
Master in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

After graduating from the University of Oxford with a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Julia has spent the past three years working on foreign policy in Westminster.

She helped to establish a parliamentary group on China, working closely with two Chairs of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee during a time in which UK policy towards China rapidly evolved. She particularly enjoyed working on economic security policy in areas such as foreign investment screening and semiconductors. She subsequently worked for a Cabinet minister, and then spent time at a think tank setting up a major research project on UK-China relations.

At Harvard, Julia hopes to engage more deeply with US policymaking on China and its wider national security strategy. She also hopes to explore her interest in the political economy of Indonesia and South East Asia. She is looking forward to exploring the US, particularly during the 2024 presidential election.

Kennedy Scholarships renewed for 2023-24:

Vidit Doshi - Master in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Oliver Hamlet - Master in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Huw Spencer - Master in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Scholar Profiles
Miratul Muqit, 2000

It was a hugely enriching time socially and culturally and one that I will never forget

Miratul Muqit, 2000

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