Balliol Interdisciplinary Institute

The Balliol Interdisciplinary Institute (BII) cultivates and supports interdisciplinary research in Balliol College, straddling the humanities, the social sciences, and the physical and medical sciences. The Institute provides opportunities for Senior Members, graduate students and alumni to propose and lead pioneering research projects that

  • require contributions from more than one discipline;
  • have high potential impact;
  • and may be radical or speculative in nature.

Types of research projects supported

The BII supports both gestational projects and more fully fledged proposals. Pioneering interdisciplinary research sometimes requires a period of open-ended exploration and time to build strong teams. By helping gestational projects, the BII can facilitate experimental freedom with low risk, or it can boost more developed projects that are still small in scale or require only modest resources. More mature projects oriented towards sharply defined outcomes may benefit from leveraging BII support in order to attract more external funding. 

The BII considers new projects for funding each term. The application form for BII funding is here

Balliol Research Committee

  • Professor Daniel Butt (Chair of the Balliol Research Committee; Associate Professor of Political Theory)
  • Dame Helen Ghosh (Master)
  • Dr Nicola Trott (Senior Tutor)
  • Professor Timothy Endicott (Professor in Legal Philosophy; Dean of the Faculty of Law 2006-2015)
  • Professor Tom Melham (Praefectus of Holywell Manor)
  • Sir Charles Godfray (Director, Oxford Martin School)
  • Mrs Elinor Richardson (BII Administrator)

Some current BII research projects  

AI with Impact: Oxford-India Biodesign Workshops: This project proposes to use the needs-led innovation and ideation process to identify applications for machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to address some of the most pressing clinical needs in limited-resource settings in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC).

Feminism Beyond the Academy: This project aims to become a nexus for feminist research within the social sciences and the humanities at Oxford.

Queerness Beyond Borders: A one-day symposium will explore issues surrounding categories of queerness and their intersection with geographical, academic, and political borders.

Death and Mortality in the Humanities and Social Sciences: One-Day Postgraduate and Early Careers Conference: This small one-day conference aims to bring researchers together for a meaningful day’s workshop with substantive exchange in an informal, supportive atmosphere.

Contact details

For all enquiries, please email elinor.richardson@balliol.ox.ac.uk or write to Balliol Interdisciplinary Institute, Balliol College, Oxford OX1 3BJ.