Dr Tom Scott-Smith

Dr Tom Scott-Smith

Associate Professor of Refugee Studies and Forced Migration


Tom Scott-Smith is Associate Professor of Refugee Studies and Forced Migration, and Course Director for the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration. He holds an MPhil and DPhil from the University of Oxford, an MSc from the University of London, and an MA from the University of Edinburgh. He was previously Lecturer at the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at the University of Bristol and Senior Scholar at Lincoln College, Oxford. Before coming to academia, Tom worked as a development practitioner concerned with the education sector in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Tom specializes in the ethnographic and historical study of humanitarian relief and its impact on the lives of refugees. He has recently finished a five-year project on humanitarian nutrition, whose results appear in the monograph On an Empty Stomach: Two Hundred Years of Hunger Relief (Cornell University Press, 2020). Since 2015 he has been working on new project concerning disaster shelter, with particular attention on encampment and refugee housing. His work has appeared in a number of peer-reviewed scholarly journals including American Ethnologist, Social Studies of Science, Development and Change, Third World Quarterly, the Journal of Refugee Studies, Refugee Survey Quarterly and Disasters.

In 2020, Tom was named as one of the AHRC's "New Generation Thinkers" for his work on the history of hunger relief, and was awarded a Leverhume Research Fellowship for his research project: "From conservatism to idealism: the life of Lord John Boyd Orr".