Prizewinners Dr Ryan Hanley, Professor Maziyar Ghiabi and Dr Adrian Currie were joined at the event by Professor Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova and Professor Helen Berry

Pioneering University of Exeter experts have celebrated being awarded prestigious academic prizes at a special ceremony.

The three researchers – all from the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) – have received Philip Leverhulme Prizes, awarded by the Leverhulme Trust. These highly competitive and coveted prizes are given to new generation researchers whose work has had international impact and whose future research career is exceptionally promising. Each prize is worth £100,000.

The prizes were given out at an event in Drapers’ Hall in the City of London.

Prizewinners Dr Ryan Hanley (History), Professor Maziyar Ghiabi (Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies) and Dr Adrian Currie (Philosophy), were joined at the event by Professor Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova, University of Exeter Vice-President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Impact and Professor Helen Berry, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the HASS Faculty.

Dr Currie is a world leader in the philosophy of the historical sciences of archaeology, palaeontology and geology. The prize will support Dr Currie’s work will analyse the strategies scientists adopt in ‘lost world’ situations, and the consequences this has for the value and nature of historical knowledge. He will use philosophy, art and music to explore the science of the deep past.

Professor Ghiabi’s Leverhulme-funded research will aid understanding of the lived experience of drug consumption and addiction recovery in conditions of war, political repression and human displacement. The pioneering work will see Professor Ghiabi collaborate with an artist to create a graphic novel based on his fieldwork in Lebanon; and produce a documentary film on digital addiction in rural Iran.’

Dr Hanley is an expert in race and slavery in modern Britain. His study, spanning almost 200 years of history, will bring together the early 19th century origins of British anti-slavery with the contemporary problems of human trafficking and modern slavery by examining metropolitan activism, humanitarian imperialism, the history of international relations, and contemporary anti-trafficking politics.

At the award ceremony guests – including the prize winners, their families and colleagues, together with judges, senior academics, Vice-Chancellors and many other prominent figures from the worlds of higher education and research – were joined by the Trustees and Trust staff. A celebratory address was delivered by the Chairman of the Leverhulme Trust Board, Dr Niall FitzGerald.

Professor Berry said: “We are extremely proud of Ryan, Maziyar and Adrian. The fact we have three academics in HASS who have been honoured with this prestigious award is a sign of the incredible pioneering research being carried out by our researchers at the University of Exeter – work which is having an impact around the world.”