Scholarship scheme continues for students investigating the history of business

chinese coin string

String of 100 Chinese cash coins. Qing dynasty, copper-alloy © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Doctoral students at the University of Oxford will be able to complete their research in business history thanks to a renewed commitment from global investment firm Walter Scott & Partners.

The firm’s generous gift will provide funding for students during the final year of their doctoral studies. Successful applicants to the single-year scholarship will be entitled to tuition fees, living expenses and a research allowance, and may also have the opportunity to produce a case study about the history of a business related to their research.

The scholarship will be awarded to one current Oxford DPhil student per year for the next three years, and will be managed by the Global History of Capitalism Project within Oxford’s Faculty of History.

The Global History of Capitalism Project contextualises the history of capitalism beyond the West and investigates the deep institutional roots of capitalist systems. Its case studies, which are all free to download, cover important but often overlooked topics, from the long-term success of the London wine merchant Berry Brothers & Rudd to the birth of the modern Chinese banking industry.

Dr Christopher McKenna, Co-Director of the Global History of Capitalism Project, says: ‘We are very grateful to Walter Scott & Partners for supporting our scholars at a crucial time during their research. Studying the trends and shocks in business history is key to understanding how capitalism developed, and can help us better contextualise the challenges facing businesses today.’

Jane Henderson, Managing Director of Walter Scott & Partners, says: ‘As a global investment firm, we highly value research and taking a long-term perspective. Therefore, we are delighted to support Oxford scholars in their efforts to uncover insights that improve the understanding of our complex world.’

Walter Scott & Partners’ commitment follows previous philanthropic support for students undertaking research for the Global History of Capitalism Project. James Hollis received funding from the firm in 2018. As part of his doctoral scholarship, he wrote a case study about the birth of multinational tax planning in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

‘Without the generous support from Walter Scott & Partners, I would have struggled as I did not have funding from other sources,’ says James. ‘Writing the case study was a fascinating exercise, and has prepared me for future academic work and teaching.’