Hannah Wilt (2019 Cohort)

Hannah Wilt

About me: Growing up in California and France in a French-German family, I have always been fascinated by multilingualism and language learning. During my BSc in Psychology and Language Sciences at UCL, I grew a specific interest in the neurological substrates of speech perception, and a strong vocation to become a researcher in the field. I am currently on the MRes Speech, Language and Cognition programme, conducting research on the role of the primary motor cortex (M1) in speech sound learning as well as undertaking training in web programming and machine learning.

My research: Simulation accounts of speech perception suggest that listeners covertly imitate incoming speech stimuli in order to enhance sound perception. This theory is supported by extensive evidence of enhanced activity in articulatory areas of the primary motor cortex (M1) when listening to speech sounds produced by corresponding articulators. My research explores how this phenomenon relates to second language learning. Using a range of tools (Stimulus-Response Compatibility tasks, transcranial magnetic stimulation, machine learning), I aim to answer the following questions: How does M1 activity during non-native speech sound perception evolve through speech perception training? Can individual M1 activity patterns during speech perception training predict training outcomes?

Supervisors: Dr. Patti Adank

Pathway: Linguistics

Location: UCL Speech Hearing and Phonetic Sciences

Email: hannah.wilt.15@ucl.ac.uk

David Suber (2019 Cohort)



About Me:  My academic background is in history and political science (BA SOAS; MA Tüebingen University & American University in Cairo), with regional focus on the North Africa and Middle East regions. I work as a freelance journalist for various international media through radio, writing and illustration (Rassef22, Middle East Monitor, Al Araby Al Jedeed), as well as being Creative Director of the journalism platform Brush&Bow

My Research: My research focuses on international migration and counter-migration policies, with a focus on the role of applied security measures in EU bordering states, geo-spatial analysis and human rights.  I currently work in UCL’s Security and Crime Science Department.

Such research aims to broaden perspectives on migration as a human historical and political complex phenomenon, undertaking considerations in policy, human rights and international security.

Supervisors: Dr. Ella Cockbain; Dr. Ben Bradford; Dr. James Cheshire


Pathway: Politics and International Relations

Location: UCL Security and Crime Science Department



Abigail Hill (2019 Cohort)



About me: I previously studied at the University of Essex and gained a BA in Criminology and an Msc in International Management before starting my PhD in Human Geography at UCL.

My Research: My research focuses on developing a comprehensive understanding of the spatio-temporal dynamics of high-street retailing in Great Britain. Specifically, I am interested in developing a measure of retail vibrancy which can be mapped across the British high streets. The research aims to act as a basis for forecasting changes in British retailing and contribute to the development of  vibrant and sustainable retail spaces.

Supervisors: Dr James Cheshire and Professor Paul Longley

Pathway: Human Geography

Location: UCL Department of Geography

Email: abigail.hill.19@ucl.ac.uk



Andy Preston (2019 Cohort)


About me: I am currently studying for an MRes in economics at UCL, before moving onto the PhD programme. I completed my undergraduate degree in economics at the University of Exeter in 2017, and then completed an MSc in economics at UCL in 2018. For the last year, I have been working as an Assistant Economist at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), where I have been involved in analysis on a wide range of tax-related policy issues.

My research: My research focus lies within the field of macroeconomics primarily. I am particularly interested in how workers and households react to the threat of unemployment by changing their spending and saving decisions. Large scale job losses were a particularly notable feature of the Great Recession, and I am interested in how these operate to worsen economic downturns. More generally, I am interested in the effects of heightened uncertainty on the macroeconomy. This was again highly prevalent during the financial crisis, and has plagued the UK economy following the vote to leave the European Union in 2016. I pay particular attention to uncertainty specific to conditions in the labour market conditions, and the detrimental effects this can have. Finally, I am interested in how machine learning techniques can be used in macroeconomics to address a range of questions.

Supervisors: Prof Franck Portier

Pathway: Economics

Location: UCL Department of Economics

Email: uctpapr@ucl.ac.uk

ESRC Business Boost Programme Funding

The UBEL DTP currently has a small amount of funding (of up to £2,500 per application) through the ESRC Business Boost Programme to facilitate knowledge exchange between social science research and business (e.g. profit making including social enterprises) based in the UK. Preference will be given to applicants who can utilise the funding and report on the impact of the project/activity by the end of October 2019.

Please find additional information on the Expression of Interest Form and please note the following:

  • The funds can be used for existing or new projects or activities such as: networking events, sandpits, workshops, meetings, the development of CPD short courses, setting up advisory boards, market testing and assessment, and UK travel expenses for UCL academics or postdocs (not for externals);
  • Partner organisations are external, non-academic organisations who will participate in the project or activity with UBEL DTP project participants and will benefit from the potential outcomes of the project or activity. The activity can include public agencies and third sector organisations as well, but it is important that at least one business be included;
  • The funds don’t cover public engagement;
  • In exchange, funded projects agree that after the activity, they will participate in a case study coordinated by our partner, UCL Innovation & Enterprise, in order to report back on its impact to the ESRC, and to exploring ways in which we could further support.

We have limited funding available so it’s advised that you apply at your earliest convenience. We hope to have a quick turnaround process.

For further details or queries, please contact Prof Li Wei.