Top award recognises historian’s achievements

Dr Sophie Ambler
Dr Sophie Ambler

An ‘outstanding’ Lancaster University researcher whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising has been awarded a prestigious prize.

Historian Dr Sophie Thérèse Ambler is to receive a Philip Leverhulme Prize in History of £100,000 to advance her research.

The prize of £100,000 is awarded to researchers in different disciplines on a three-year cycle, with the 2020 awards made in Biological Sciences, History, Law, Mathematics and Statistics, Philosophy and Theology, and Sociology and Social Policy.

A lecturer in Later Medieval British and European History and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Dr Ambler attracted national media attention last year for her second book, The Song of Simon de Montfort: England's First Revolutionary and the Death of Chivalry, ‘a remarkable book … finely written and based on deep, scholarly knowledge of the sources.’ (Noel Malcolm, Sunday Telegraph).

Dr Ambler said: “The Philip Leverhulme Prize in History will allow me to dedicate two to three years to my ongoing research, investigating the experiences of low status combatants in the later Middle Ages, building on my previous research on political ethics and war in the same period.

“It reflects not only the strength of Medieval History at Lancaster, but also the vibrant cross-chronological and interdisciplinary research culture of the Centre for War and Diplomacy, in which this project has developed.”

Philip Leverhulme Prizes have been awarded annually since 2001 in commemoration of the contribution to the work of the Trust made by Philip Leverhulme, the Third Viscount Leverhulme and grandson of William Hesketh Lever, the founder of the Trust.

Head of the Department of History at Lancaster University Professor Ian Gregory said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Sophie and for the whole department. It will help stimulate a whole new area of research in a neglected area.”

In 2021 the Trust will invite nominations for prizes in: Classics; Earth Sciences; Physics; Politics and International Relations; Psychology; Visual and Performing Arts.

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