At a time when the ‘internet lectures’ are seen by students as hollowing out their university experience, the New Silk Roads Academy seeks to use the internet to enrich it by mentoring final year bachelor and masters students engaged in writing their final-year theses. The Academy will also have a closed student discussion group and will occasionally organise special forums. The members of the New Silk Roads project who will act as mentors represent a wide range of humanities and social science disciplines and teach and research in countries throughout the world.

Academy Staff List

Under the mentoring scheme, advanced students will be coupled with a mentor to guide them in framing and executing their research. Preference will be given to students writing on a country or region that is not their own. Please note that the mentors are not acting as thesis supervisors, and they take no responsibility for content or academic level of the final thesis. The period of mentoring is limited to six months.

If you are interested in applying, please write to with subject line ‘NSR Academy’. The
application should include:


Email address

Thesis proposal

University Course of study

‘Home country’ – This is the country of your permanent residence, not the place you are studying

For students applying for mentoring for an MA thesis, we will also require a draft literature review of minimum 1,500 words.

Professor Griffiths reflects on the Joys and Challenges of on-line teaching in a video made by Leiden University – click to watch. 

Below are a series of podcasts initially prepared for the Coursera MOOC specialism ‘Global Challenges’ in which participant, many with little academic background, had to write short 2,000-3,000 words assignments and subsequently used in normal courses. They may be helpful for other students.

HOW TO Series