School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies

Dr Sojin Lim


Sojin is an expert in international development with a particular focus on the turbulent development co-operation relations between North and South Korea. Before arriving at the University in 2017 she was engaged in research and teaching across a number of international aid agencies, government institutions and universities based in Seoul.

Sojin Lim

After working as a Research Assistant at the Korean Women’s Development Institute, Sojin was accepted for a prestigious internship at the headquarters of the United Nations (UN) in New York in 2004. After obtaining her PhD in the UK, she returned to her homeland to take up the role of Senior Research Fellow at the Korea International Co-operation Agency (2011-14) before progressing to a similar position at the Export-Import Bank of Korea (2014-16).

Sojin’s current research focuses on international development, public policy and political economy in the context of North and South Korea. In recent years she has undertaken research projects in collaboration with several high profile global companies, including the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank.

Recently Sojin has engaged in networking and collaborative activities with universities based in Washington DC, Slovenia and elsewhere. The outcomes of the discussions are likely to open up several unique prospects for students, graduates and staff in the near future. These could potentially include internship programmes, dual degrees with partner institutions, joint research projects and sabbatical opportunities.

Sojin was born and educated in South Korea. After gaining a BA in Elementary Education and Business Administration, closely followed by an MA in International studies (both from Ewha Womens University in Seoul), Sojin travelled to the UK in 2007 where she completed her PhD in Development Policy and Management at the University of Manchester’s Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM). She has also worked as an external lecturer at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and Sejong University in Seoul. At present Sojin is teaching four modules in Asia Pacific Studies and Korean Studies, and leads North Korean Studies MA courses. She explains: “It’s a unique course which can open up doors to incredible opportunities across the globe. Many of our graduates can go on to enjoy successful careers in international diplomacy, intelligence agencies, teaching foreign languages and more.”

Her students benefit from opportunities to collaborate with partner institutions abroad. On one module they harness the power of Skype to engage in real-time learning exchanges and research projects with students and academics based at one of our European partner institutions. Students also have the opportunity to apply for the prestigious bursary schemes offered by the British Association of Korean Studies, with the successful applicants getting to spend a full academic year living and working in South Korea. Sojin is closely involved with the work of UCLan’s International Institute of Korean Studies (IKSU), a multi-disciplinary hub of research, teaching and public policy which brings together expertise on North and South Korea. It focuses on issues including East Asian security; maritime law and conflict in East Asian security; Korean language and linguistics; Asian studies; and the society, economics and international politics of North Korea. She has regularly organised events and guest speakers, including a recent international workshop on Taiwan and Korean Studies and an exploration of the “ghost bride” phenomenon.