My name is Saumya Sampath, and I am a Research Associate at Oxford University’s India Centre for Experimental Social Sciences (CESS), based out of FLAME University. My journey with CESS India began when I was accepted as a student intern on campus during my under graduation. For an entire year, I was involved in qualitative research projects studying domestic violence and conflict resolution, and was given the opportunity to contribute in experiment design sessions. Upon graduation, I was offered a full time position as a Research Associate and my work in this capacity has included helping in design and execution of experimental research projects in the social sciences, particularly studying the interaction of majority and minority ethnic identities and group behaviour. This area speaks to my senior thesis which was a product of my International Studies major at FLAME University, mentored by professors who have become an intrinsic part of my academic, professional and personal journey. My work also involves engaging with government officers over projects on behavioural sciences and public policy, which has been an eye opening experience of how theory and practice interact.
Academically, I have had the opportunity to present my work on ethnic insurgency and identity conflict on multiple international platforms, including the University of Cambridge, the New York Times and the United Nations Democracy Fund. This work has been heavily influenced by my professors and mentors who continue to support my interests and curiosity even after graduation.
When I first arrived at FLAME University, I came with a vague idea of what I wanted to do in the future. I had been eyeing the International Studies major, which was unlike any other I had come across in India. During the course of my first year, I realized that I wanted to take up another major, Digital Marketing. FLAME allowed me the opportunity to take up both, not forcing me to compromise on either of my interests. The result was not only an academically stimulating university life, but also the ability to imbibe the interdisciplinary spirit in all my professional and academic undertakings.