Desai Shan

Desai’s research focuses on Chinese seafarers’ compensation claims following workplace accidents, especially their understanding of rights and experiences of claiming process.

Desai is currently a SIRC/Nippon Foundation Research Postgraduate Fellow at the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University. In her PhD research project, she has conducted large scale fieldwork with various stakeholders of the shipping industry, including shipowners, managers,operators, crew agencies and maritime courts. She also offered research and consultancy service for some shipping organisations.

She was awarded the Diploma in Social Science Research Methods in the summer of 2012. Now she is at the final writing-up phase of her PhD research project. She is the Teaching Assistant of SI0075 Inequality and the division of Labour and SI0237, Sociology, Society and Social Change; and the mentor of international postgraduates.

Before joining SIRC, Desai was an assistant lawyer with Chinese Legal Professional Qualification working in a top maritime law firm in mainland China, Wang Jing & Co., Xiamen Office. Through the legal practice, Desai accumulated relevant experience handling compensation claims arising from personal injuries and death at sea, disputes arising from shipbuilding contracts, arrests of ships, and cargo damage claims.

Desai graduated from Dalian Maritime University with a Bachelor degree (with Distinction and Principal Scholarship) in Maritime Law in July 2010. The undergraduate study in Dalian Maritime University equipped Desai with good knowledge of Chinese legal system and maritime law knowledge. In 2009, Desai was selected as a visiting student to join one-year exchange study program in the law school of University of Nottingham. This exchange study experience has improved Desai’s understanding of English law.



  1. Lijun Tang, Desai Shan, Peidong Yang (2015). Workers’ rights defence on China's internet: an analysis of actors. Information, Communication and Society Online Publication:
  2. Desai Shan (2015). Book review: Richard Mitchell, Anthony O’Donnell, Shelley Marshall, Ian Ramsay and Meredith Jones, Law, Corporate Governance and Partnerships at Work: A Study of Australian Regulatory Style and Business Practice. Work, Employment & Society, 29(3), 523-525.

Invited Talks:

  1. Desai Shan (2015) “Workplace Death at Sea: Chinese Surviving Families’ Experiences of Compensation Claims,” In International Conference on Regulation, Change and the Work Environment, Canada Research Chair on Occupational Health and Safety Law, University of Ottawa, Nov 30th – Dec 2nd, Ottawa, Canada.

  2. Desai Shan (2014) “Invisible workers’ blood and tears: Chinese Seafarers’ Compensation Claims for Occupational Casualties” In International Symposium on Governance, Change and the Work Environment. Cardiff University, June 30th - July 2nd.

Conference Papers

  1. Desai Shan and Victor Gekara (2016) “Liabilities for workplace injuries in the context of global labour supply chains,” In International Labour Process Conference: working revolutions, revolutionising work, Wissenschaftszentrum, Apr 4th – 6th, Berlin, Germany

  2. Desai Shan (2015) “Work-place injuries compensation claims in the global labour market: the experiences of Chinese seafarers” In Socio-legal Studies Associations 2015 Annual Conference: Socio-legal in culture: the culture of socio-legal, University of Warwick, March 31st – April 2nd, Coventry.

  3. Desai Shan (2015) “Workplace Injury compensation claims and transnational industrial relations” In British Universities Industrial Relations Association 65th Annual Conference 2015: Politics, Labour and Missing Voices, De Montfort University, Leicester.

  4. Desai Shan (2014) “The Impacts of Work-Place Injuries Compensation Claims on Chinese Seafarers’ Mental Health” In International Congress for Occupational Health and Work Organisation and Psychosocial Factors. University of South Australia, 14-17th, September, Adelaide.

Research grants

  • 2014-2015 National award for Outstanding Self-financed Chinese Students study abroad, awarded by Chinese Scholarship Council and Chinese Embassy (Amount USD 6000)

  • 2016 Maritime Conference Initiative Grant, Awarded by TK Foundation (Amount USD 2374)

Cardiff life