Special Research Grants: COVID-19 Awards

The British Academy invited humanities and social science researchers to bring their specific insights to bear on the global health pandemic resulting from COVID-19.

Archard, David COV19\200446

Emeritus Professor, Queen's University Belfast, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

Ethical advice and ethics committees in the pandemic

Grant awarded: £9532


The research will conduct an evaluation of the role of ethics committees in the pandemic. Committees operate at the national level - both as part of Government and in relevant professional organizations - and at the local clinical level. They produce guidance supported by statements of general principles raising questions as to the origin, status, value, relevance and timeliness of guidance and its potential to conflict.

The research will evaluate the guidance and offer recommendations as to the best and most appropriate role of the ethics committees interpreting, supporting and implementing that guidance.

Bernardi, Dr Luca COV19\200709

Lecturer in Politics, University of Liverpool, Department of Politics

The Consequences of Covid-19 on Mental Health and Political Attitudes

Grant awarded: £10000


Life changes due to Coronavirus/Covid-19 responses are predicted to have serious implications for people’s mental health, as warned by the WHO and other experts. Given the alarming rates of common mental disorders like depression, anxiety, and stress, the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to exacerbate these already high prevalence rates. With an imminent coronavirus economic recession, these rates are unlikely to improve. These changes in mental health may have important implications for political efficacy and political support, which are closely connected to governments’ responses to the pandemic. This project addresses these issues through the use of survey research in the UK. By identifying emotional functioning as a key source of political inequality, our research is original and interdisciplinary and is important for tackling stigma associated with mental illness and for better understanding the relation between mental health and political attitudes.

Borg, Professor Emma COV19\200056

Professor of Philosophy and Director, Reading Centre for Cognition Research, University of Reading, UK, Department of Philosophy

Reshaping relations between the state and the private sector post-COVID-19?

Grant awarded: £9098.96


Measures adopted to slow the spread of COVID-19 have inflicted deep and precipitous damage on the global economy. Governments across the world have had to massively increase their borrowing to try to mitigate this unprecedented financial shock, hoping to prop up viable but illiquid firms for the duration of the lockdown and to see a swift re-starting of private sector activity once restrictions are lifted.

This unprecedented reshaping of the relationship between the private sector and the state, with governments stepping in as buyer and lender of last resort, means new oversight mechanisms are urgently needed. Society needs mechanisms via which it can assess and, if necessary, redress, moves by firms which have taken state aid. This project will explore the feasibility of adopting a 'social licence framework', based on the Enlightenment thesis of 'doux commerce' and social contract theory, and make recommendations for regulatory changes.

Boulton, Dr Laura COV19\200918

Senior Lecturer in Policing Studies, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing: School of Justice Studies

Policing a pandemic: An exploration of police use of powers during COVID-19, dis-proportionality and the impact on public perceptions of police legitimacy.

Grant awarded: £9743.40


Traditional UK policing relies on Peelian principles of policing by consent in which public views of police legitimacy are based on transparency about their powers, integrity in exercising powers and accountability for doing so. This research seeks to explore the impact of the Coronavirus Act 2020 on public perceptions towards the police and examine their use of powers. This project seeks to explore these issues within the force area of Merseyside specifically, but hopes to serve as a catalyst for further examination of these trends nationwide and internationally. A mixed methods approach will be taken via three studies: (i) an online survey exploring public perceptions of The Coronavirus Act 2020 police use of powers, (ii) an online survey examining frontline police officer experiences of the implementation of these powers, and (iii) an analysis of the COVID related arrests/use of COVID related powers in Merseyside.

Bryant Davies, Rachel COV19\201444

Lecturer in Comparative Literature, Queen Mary Unviersity of London, School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Childhood heroes: storytelling survival strategies and role models of resilience to Covid-19 in the UK

Grant awarded: £10000


The generation-defining disruption to children’s lives caused by Covid-19 has heightened reported anxiety levels among UK children, alongside fears for widened attainment gaps and exacerbation of inequalities. In response, public narratives have turned to storytelling, including rethinking concepts of heroism and resilience. However, these stories, along with online home-schooling resources, are fragmented and undocumented. Children’s own voices also risk being lost. This project aims to mitigate educational, social and mental health impacts of Covid-19, and the marginalisation of children’s voices, by 1) undertaking research into historical children’s interaction with classical role-models in early magazines which forged new communities through distanced learning and 2) creative responses to heroic narratives in light of Covid-19. Collaboration with a children's magazine offers new insights into remote reading communities, creates an archive of creative responses for future research, and produces print and digital resources exploiting historical survival narratives to transform present experiences through playful pedagogy.

Chiu, Dr Faith COV19\200837

Lecturer, University of Essex, Language and Linguistics

Communicating through COVID-19 and beyond: a multi-language study of speech perception in adverse listening conditions

Grant awarded: £9996.48


COVID-19 has reshaped speech communication dramatically. Face-to-face communication now often includes one or both parties sporting a (face) mask: the listener’s comprehension effort now involves mask-imposed distortions to the acoustic speech signal and a deprivation of visual cues. Online teleconferencing presents unique challenges: people often communicate from non-ideal physical spaces (echoes, background noise) and/or network set-ups (transmission delays). An increase in international collaboration means many people are not communicating in their native language. Using a multi-language study of speech perception in adverse listening conditions, we will investigate language-specific variation in adaptation performance to mask-distorted speech, speech embedded in noise, and comprehension in a second language. By better understanding the way individuals are adapting to the challenging listening experience, we will be able to inform communication guidance for a broad range of stakeholders to ensure information can be passed on efficiently and effectively, especially in remote settings, during COVID-19 and beyond.

Clarke, Dr Nick COV19\200422

Associate Professor of Human Geography, University of Southampton, School of Geography and Environmental Science

Learning to Live with Risk and Responsibility: Understanding Popular Responses to COVID-19

Grant awarded: £7568


During the COVID-19 pandemic, British citizens have been asked to act responsibly in novel ways because of the risks their behaviour poses to others and their role in complex chains of causation. This project investigates how citizens have responded to these demands, aiming to advance conceptual and empirical understandings of popular responses to the pandemic. Making use of data collected by Mass Observation, the research will develop a better understanding of how people interpreted demands to act responsibly and translated them into practices of everyday life. Expected outputs include publications on how government public health communications and associated news coverage problematized the daily routines of citizens during the pandemic, and how citizens responded to these publicly circulated imperatives to act responsibly. A research workshop is planned in partnership with Mass Observation to explore how the Archive’s collections can be most effectively used to advance understandings of popular responses to COVID-19.

Dinardi, Dr Cecilia COV19\201351

Senior Lecturer in Cultural Policy and Arts Management, and Director of Research of ICCE, Goldsmiths College, University of London, Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship

Cultural policy during and after the pandemic: international insights into the recovery of the performing arts sector

Grant awarded: £9955


Before Covid-19, the cultural sector was already in crisis - precarious labour conditions, intersectional inequalities and insufficient public funding, particularly but not exclusively in the global South. Now, performing artists have been hit hardest due to venue closures, restrictions in public space and the fact that many cannot perform to digital audiences. While public emergency funding helps cultural workers and arts organisations, its scope and impact vary internationally across socio-economic and institutional contexts as well as different approaches to lockdown. Through in-depth interviews, focus groups and policy workshops with performing artists in the UK and Argentina, together with secondary analysis of ongoing surveys, the project will examine how the pandemic is affecting cultural workers from a sociological perspective. By discussing the work strategies that 80 musicians, actors, dancers and circus artists are now deploying, suggestions will be made about how cultural policy can best support the recovery of the sector.

Dobson, Christina COV19\200122

Research Associate, Newcastle University, Population Health Sciences Institute

The two ‘Big C’s’: Colorectal cancer diagnosis during the COVID-19 pandemic

Grant awarded: £9728.14


Cancer is a leading cause of death in the UK. Public health approaches to cancer control are framed around cancer risk, and individual responsibility to manage these risks. Recently a new ‘big C’ risk has emerged - COVID-19 - which, overnight, changed the way people engage with health services. Cancer diagnostic tests and treatments have been suspended or postponed. 75% fewer people are currently awaiting help for suspected cancer symptoms, with many unwilling to attend for investigation, and 18,000 excess cancer deaths are expected in the next year. Endoscopy services, through which most colorectal cancers are diagnosed, are currently at 5% of pre-pandemic provision. This interview study will seek to understand how changes in service provision and shifting social concepts of cancer/COVID-19 risk have shaped patients’ experiences of a colorectal cancer diagnosis amidst the pandemic and identify what needs to, and can be, done to support these, and future, patients.

Gillick, Dr Ambrose COV19\201569

Lecturer in Architecture, University of Kent, Kent School of Architecture and Planning

Making-Unmaking-Remaking Home in Lockdown Margate

Grant awarded: £9926.37


Set in Dalby Square and Gardens, Margate, a vulnerable community disproportionately impacted by Covid-19, this project explores and maps home as process and network in a COVID 19 context using a transdisciplinary methodology drawing on law, history, architecture, health and housing studies. In this project home is understood as simultaneously bounded and networked, a space and a set of processes and relationships. We utilize the focus on home networking and home making-unmaking-remaking that has been the inevitable consequence of ‘lockdown’ to unpack the taken-for-granted understanding of home as a safe haven and explore issues around social and environmental regulation, inequalities, marginalization, vulnerability and dislocation as they have been intensified by COVID-19. We situate these in, somewhat paradoxical, historical understandings of Margate as a ‘haven of health’, and develop a toolkit for a rich and productive understanding of contemporary home making, unmaking and remaking during a global pandemic.

Godin, Dr Marie COV19\200330

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Oxford, Oxford Department of International Development

Refugee-led initiatives at the time of COVID-19: exploring new forms of digital information, assistance and livelihood

Grant awarded: £9950


ICTs are reshaping our lives not only under normal circumstances, but increasingly so in crises. The virus does not discriminate by race, gender or status but not everyone has been impacted in the same way by the crisis; migrant and refugee communities living in cities have been disproportionally affected. Within refugee studies, little research explores refugees’ livelihoods, well-being, and support in relation to digitalisation. This leaves a gap in multiple agendas for refugees that risks leaving them further behind at the time of COVID-19. In this small research project we explore the existence of, potential for, and barriers to digital information, assistance and livelihood through a further under-researched phenomenon: the support provided to refugees through initiatives and organisations led by refugees. This research project aims to better understand the impact of the pandemic on new digitally mediated support in three cities: London, Berlin, and Nairobi.

Gong, Dr Yundan COV19\201601

Senior Lecturer, King's College London, Department of International Development

The short- and medium-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on exports: a firm-level comparison study in the UK, China and Germany

Grant awarded: £9977.50


Globalisation and exports have been key drivers of economic development over the last decades. However, COVID-19 and associated public health policies have led to demand and supply-side shocks, which severely impact the long-running trend of increasing global economic integration. On the other hand, governments are developing special policies to encourage continued exporting. In this research, I am looking at two related research questions: 1) what is the causal impact that COVID-19 has on export performance and 2) do government export stimulus policies lead to better export performance. To study these questions, I am planning to access firm-level data from three leading exporting countries with differing policy responses to the pandemic: China, Germany and the UK and to apply econometric modelling, which I used in previous research, in order to identify causal effects. The econometric work will be complemented by interviews with a selection of 10 companies from each country.

Gutierrez Sigut, Dr Eva E. COV19\200352

Lecturer, University of Essex, Department of Psychology

COVID-19 and reduced access to communication: the challenges experienced by deaf people

Grant awarded: £9978.10


This project will measure the impact of the lack of deaf-friendly communication strategies during the COVID-19 crisis using accessible, multilanguage online surveys. Deaf people rely on visual communication (sign language and lipreading) and struggle to read at an age appropriate level. Their access to vital information has been reduced due to the 1) lack of sign language interpreting, 2) use of face-masks and 3) use of written texts above their reading level. Furthermore, remote working increases the cognitive fatigue in deaf people because they need to look at small videos of interpreters and increase the amount of reading.

We also aim to identify which of the compensatory measures to address information deficits that have originated within the Deaf community have been consulted and relied on. The findings of this research will inform future policies and we shall use them to provide guidelines for disseminating information and setting up remote working.

Hanieh, Dr Adam COV19\201285

Reader in Development Studies, SOAS, University of London, Development Studies

Pandemic Times: Covid-19, Popular Mobilisation, and Socioeconomic Inequalities in Lebanon

Grant awarded: £9780


The spread of the Covid-19 virus – and associated measures to mitigate and respond to the pandemic – is having a profound impact on patterns of inequality, marginalisation, and social exclusion. This is a particularly important challenge in many areas of the Global South, where already existing socioeconomic inequalities are likely to be intensified in the wake of the pandemic.

The primary goal of this research project is to analyse how social and political movements are responding to, engaging with, and mobilising around these new socioeconomic realities. The research focuses on Lebanon, where a large wave of popular mobilisation erupted in 2019 in protest against the country’s dire economic conditions, political corruption, and the crumbling state of infrastructure and public services. Utilising fieldwork in Lebanon, the research will produce an academic article and a transcription of selected interviews for a leading Middle East-related website.

Hansen, Dr Susan COV19\200643

Senior Lecturer in Psychology, and Chair of Visual & Arts-based Methods Group, Middlesex University London, Psychology

Navigating the new normal: Shifting household activity spaces in the UK, Spain and US during the COVID-19 pandemic

Grant awarded: £9620.99


This research proposal builds on a recent project which solicited video tours of the homes of people during the COVID-19 pandemic. These videos give an insight into the ways that people in households around the world negotiated the radical restrictions of their activities during the initial lockdown period, and how they reconfigured their domestic spaces to accommodate functions that previously occurred outside the home. The current study aims to build on this project by shifting the focus to the ways that households are now adjusting to the relaxation of lockdown restrictions in the UK, Spain and the USA. We seek to explore the challenges of adjusting to ‘the new normal’; the ways that people are orienting to the novel set of social and spatial norms that characterise this crucial transitional period of the pandemic; and the ways that household activity spaces and boundaries are now being redrawn, renegotiated, and extended.

Hobolt, Professor Sara COV19\201414

Sutherland Chair in European Institutions, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Government

The Messenger and the Message: Explaining Compliance Among the Mass Public During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Grant awarded: £9455


The project aims to explain the British public’s compliance with and approval of government policies aimed at reducing and managing infections from the COVID-19 virus. Building on insights from behavioural and political sciences, this project examines the efficacy of messages from politicians and experts aimed at engendering compliance among the mass public. While scientists have collected survey and behavioural data on compliance, we know less about the factors that activate and sustain compliant behaviours and the role that public authorities play in shaping them. Employing nationally representative survey-experiments, we test the effect of elite cues on compliance and approval via appeals to individual and collective health risks. Moreover, we examine whether some individuals are more likely to respond to such messages than others. The project will contribute to our understanding of the public's willingness to make sustained sacrifices and the role of political and public health messages in shaping it.

John, Dr Stephen COV19\200862

Hatton Trust Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Public Health, University of Cambridge, Department of History and Philosophy of Science

Rethinking the ethics of vaccination

Grant awarded: £9539


Politicians and epidemiologists often claim that developing a Covid-19 vaccination is key to combating the pandemic. However, vaccine development and distribution raises difficult ethical questions: how certain must we be that vaccines are safe before using them in the general population? How should we choose whom to vaccinate when we can't vaccinate everyone? Should we make vaccination mandatory? As the high-profile MMR case exemplifies, these problems intersect with public vaccine hesitancy, and, therefore, public trust in science.

These challenges will be even more significant in the case of a Covid-19 vaccine, which will be developed in haste, probably in short supply, and administered against a general backdrop of fear and suspicion. This project aims to use existing philosophical work on vaccination to think through the principles for ethical development and distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine, with the aim of contributing to policies which are fair, effective and trustworthy.

Johnson, Dr Stephanie COV19\201517

Research Fellow, Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities and Ethox Centre, University of Oxford, Nuffield Department of Population Health

Solidarity in times of a pandemic: What do people do, and why? A comparative and longitudinal study

Grant awarded: £9625


We propose a comparative study that explores how people in nine European countries react to restrictive measures introduced to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

We aim to gain insights into, (1) new behaviours in which people engage, (2) the motivations that underpin people’s actions, and (3) how people’s actions contribute to notions of solidarity. Our findings will provide a deep understanding of how the COVID-19 crisis affects people’s lives in several European countries. Moreover, we will contribute to scholarship on the relationship between societal crises and solidarity.

We have already carried out one wave of qualitative interviews during the time of lockdown (April 2020). Pending a positive funding decision, we will invite the same individuals for another interview six months later to obtain a longitudinal perspective. We will analyse the data using a Grounded Theory approach.

Jones, Rodney COV19\201479

Professor of Sociolinguistics, University of Reading, Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics

Quarantined between cultures: Overcoming communication challenges and building resilience among Chinese students residing in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic

Grant awarded: £9999.50


This project aims to understand the communication challenges of Chinese university students studying in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chinese students comprise the UK’s largest proportion of international students and are important to HEI’s financial sustainability. The project will use principles from research in intercultural communication, health communication and media literacies to examine how Chinese students access and evaluate information, negotiate intercultural differences, and cope with COVID-19-related stigma, and how these processes affect their attitudes towards studying in the UK. It will adopt a participatory-research model, engaging participants in data collection/analysis, empowering them to communicate their findings to relevant parties and build resilience. The results will improve universities’ ability to support international students and more broadly enhance our understanding of the problems faced by people residing in different cultures during pandemics. The unique participatory approach developed will be applicable to studying and supporting other multicultural/multilingual communities in the UK.

Katelouzou, Dr Dionysia COV19\200855

Senior Lecturer in Law, King's College London, The Dickson Poon School of Law

Covid-19 and Investor Stewardship: The Need for Responsible Ownership in a Time of Emergency

Grant awarded: £9984


Institutional investors, who control the savings of millions of ordinary people, have a key role to play in ensuring that the companies in which they invest maintain high standards of governance and accountability. Investor stewardship – the responsible allocation of capital and purposeful engagement – has particular relevance here. The global coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic – and the response to it – has impacted businesses worldwide and revealed a series of short, medium- and long-term environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks. This project will examine how the Covid-19 outbreak has impacted stewardship activities in the UK and ask questions about the social function of institutional investors and their leadership in ESG practices.

This project is part of a highly innovative, longer-term and larger-scale research project on shareholder power and accountability, which can be linked to British Academy interests in “The Future of the Corporation” or other such funding agencies.

kauser, Dr saleema COV19\201225

Lecturer, University of Manchester Alliance Manchester Business School, People Management and Organization

The social and economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis on women in BAME community: a gendered analysis

Grant awarded: £9880


In this study we apply insights adopting Bourdieu's socio-cultural–structuralist approach to conceptualizing and identifying social and economic inequalities resulting from the COVID-19 crisis to BAME women in the UK. Drawing on empirical research with 30 women participants working in the health and care sector the study will aim to highlight the gendered impact and experiences of BAME women of the COVID -19 crisis. The findings will aim to elucidate the gendered social and economic inequalities taking into account the gendered experiences and dispositions of BAME women, including their habitus and the resultant inequalities to generate a number of implications for practice and policy.

Kerswill, Professor Paul COV19\201563

Professor, University of York, Department of Language and Linguistic Science

Developing effective communication about a global pandemic in a multilingual space: Language choice and language use in COVID-19 campaigns in Ghana

Grant awarded: £9346


This project aims to improve communication about COVID-19 in a multilingual African context. In Ghana, most COVID-19 information is communicated in English, which may restrict comprehension and efficacy. Focusing on language and using quantitative and qualitive analyses, the project evaluates the effectiveness of COVID-19 campaigns in two communities in Accra with low literacy – one monolingual, traditional and non-mobile, the other multilingual, containing female migrants from Northern Ghana. In focus groups and interviews, community members discuss their knowledge and beliefs about COVID-19 and their sources of information. This informs the development of alternative COVID-19 health promotional materials that take the linguistic and cultural characteristics of the communities into account. Their impact will be assessed in further focus groups. Findings will be presented at a workshop with stakeholders from local authorities and the Health Ministry, as well as teachers and religious leaders. A policy brief will be produced following the workshop.

Kleider, Dr Hanna COV19\201043

Lecturer in Public Policy, King's College London, Department of Political Economy

Decentralisation of health systems and subnational variation in COVID-19 responses in OECD countries

Grant awarded: £10000


Existing work on policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmingly concentrated on the national level, but more often than not responsibility for public health lies with the regional level of government. By wrongly attributing all authority to the national level, this “methodological nationalism” risks producing some misleading claims. In contrast to existing work, this project therefore analyses the divergence in regional policy responses across five OECD countries: Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Divergence in responses can be the result of policies being tailored to specific regional contexts, but given the highly interdependent nature of the COVID-19 context, uncoordinated policy decisions taken might have severe negative externalities on other jurisdictions. This project seeks to find out whether divergence is the result of a lack of coordination or does whether it reflects a coordinated decision to allow divergence?

Lee, Dr Sang Yoon (Tim) COV19\201483

Reader of Economics, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance

Helping Those Who Need It Most: The Unequal Impact of COVID-19 and Policy Responses on Observed Infection Rates and Economic Status

Grant awarded: £9966.77


Macroeconomic forecasts predict a 3 to 35 percent drop in UK GDP from the COVID-19 crisis. But there has been little forecasting of how COVID-19 and the government’s emergency measures will affect economic inequality, and how inequality affects the course of the epidemic. Moreover, most policies only take into account the negative economic consequences from the lockdown, while people’s private fear of infection also has a direct impact on inequality between socioeconomic groups.

We construct an epidemiology-economics hybrid model that captures the discrepancy between observed and true infection/mortality rates, and emphasize the disproportionate health and economic risk faced by low-wage workers and the self-employed. We differentiate voluntary from enforced social distancing, and quarantines from lockdowns. The model can predict how economic and health inequality evolve with and without government interventions, and allows for a comparison with the US and Korea, which implemented vastly different economic and public health interventions.

Lewis, Dr Joanna COV19\201292

Associate Professor, Lecturer in Imperial and African History, LSE, International History

A study of Caabuqa-Corona in the Somali Diaspora: histories of covid-19, male elders and communtiy responses in Tower Hamlets and the East End of London

Grant awarded: £9304


Preliminary official statistics and popular perceptions suggest Covid-19 has disproportionately impacted BMAE communities in Britain. This research addresses the urgent need to respond to the likely high death rates among the Somali diaspora. It seeks to provide a detailed case-study of Somali male elders and their families in some of the poorest London boroughs, by reconstructing personal histories of Covid-19 through five phases: initial responses, illness, deaths, recovery, and moving forward – a biography of a pandemic weathered by transnational migrants. Specifically it seeks to uncover the extent of mortality and illness among male elders: what factors shaped their understanding of the disease; their responses; immediate impact; their long-term health; the role of community mobilisation; and how this experience has changed (or not) their views, behaviour and attitudes to 'home' . The aim is to provide evidence and analysis to help formulate national policies to increase pandemic resilience.

Lim, Dr Miguel Antonio COV19\201439

Lecturer in Education, University of Manchester, Manchester Institute of Education

COVID and Chinese and East Asian University Students in the UK: Safety, Security, and Communication

Grant awarded: £4740


There was a marked increase (21%) in hate crimes against East Asian communities, particularly Chinese people, in the UK in the first months of the COVID outbreak. This study is concerned with the experiences and well-being of Chinese (and those perceived to be Chinese) students. There are over 120,000 Chinese students in the UK in the current academic year. Although racist incidents are known to have taken place, our initial research finds that students are not using official channels to inform their universities. Our study aims to investigate the experiences of Chinese and East Asian students and the ways in which they communicated about racist incidents during the crisis. We will explore with whom they shared this information and how. Our findings will enable university staff and local communities to improve the strategies and practices of safety and well-being of these students.

McDonnell, Dr Liz COV19\200092

Senior Lecturer, University of Sussex, Department of Sociology

Generosity in the time of COVID-19

Grant awarded: £9984


Against the backdrop of a decade of austerity measures, and in the context of a pandemic that has led to many thousands of deaths, this proposal focuses on human generosity in the UK. Generosity is one framework for understanding human giving – so important in times of crises – and our study will consider this from the rarely considered perspective of those who receive it. We see generosity as an important and productive giving practice, that occurs between people, within systems of social and economic resources. Using a range of qualitative methods (collecting stories, in-depth interviews and content analysis) our proposed research will explore: the quality, nature and experience of generosity from a receiver perspective; perceptions of the effects of generosity over time; as well as how generosity is produced within an uneven social world, paying attention to how generosity works to fill gaps left by a receding state.

McEwan, Professor Cheryl COV19\201112

Professor of Human Geography, Durham University, Geography

The meaning of masks in the COVID-19 pandemic: a comparative study of depictions of mask-wearing in public visual arts in sub-Saharan Africa and the UK

Grant awarded: £9976.85


In an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, many countries have made wearing face masks mandatory in public spaces. This research explores the role of visual arts in understanding the characteristics of masks as socially imbued objects, the multiple meanings they convey, and the influences shaping how these meanings change over time. This understanding is of critical importance in informing better comprehension of the challenges related to uptake and promoting humane innovations in response to the pandemic. Drawing on a comparative study of sub-Saharan Africa and the UK, the research focuses on street and digital public art as important spaces for scrutinising public policy, discourse and debate in emergency responses to COVID-19. It employs digital ethnography, netnography, online interviews and citizen social science to document and examine depictions of mask-wearing, the cultural meanings of masks, and the significance of visual arts in public debate, community building, resilience and recovery.

McGuire, Dr Luke COV19\200585

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Exeter, Department of Psychology

Adherence to COVID-19 public health practices in adolescence: The role of morality, group dynamics and personal choice

Grant awarded: £9563


Adolescents face a reduced risk of severe symptoms or death from the novel coronavirus, yet there is some evidence that youth can transmit the virus at the same rate as adults. Until an evidence-based consensus is reached regarding transmission, it will be important to promote adherence to public health practices (e.g. social distancing, hand washing) among adolescents. Crucially, there is a need for research exploring how adolescents themselves reason about these issues. The proposed project will examine adolescents’ reasoning about public health practices and whether this is related to behavioural intentions to engage with these practices. Second, the project will examine how misinformation can impact adolescents’ reasoning and public health behavioural intentions. Together this evidence will inform the communication of COVID-19 related information in order to promote youth engagement with public health practices and challenge the potential consequences of misinformation.

McWatt, Professor Tessa COV19\200898

Professor of Creative Writing, University of East Anglia, School of Literature, Drama and and Creative Writing

CityLife: Stories of Covid-19

Grant awarded: £9995


CityLife is a project which since 2014 pairs up writers and community elders from marginalised communities to produce literary non-fiction about life in London, and then analyses that life writing data through interdisciplinary, mostly cultural studies-based methodologies. The elder population we work with is intersectionally, socio-economically underprivileged. Under Covid-19, these people and their communities are at terrible risk and under considerable mental health strain.

Funding to a new phase of the project will allow us to take this project digital, while keeping it accessible to non-internet literate people. This will reinforce our legacy of intergenerational community-building, produce new literary content and activate it in research about isolation, community and coping with Covid-19 in London.

We hope that this can represent and advocate for a segment of the population currently excluded from the conversation about Covid-19 in a public engagement, academic and policymaking context and help inform future responses.

Myers, Dr Sarah COV19\200776

Independent Scholar

Raising a Child Without the Village? Social Support and Maternal Wellbeing in the Time of COVID-19

Grant awarded: £9347


Received wisdom holds it takes a village to raise a child. Across Western countries, the social distancing measures deployed in response to COVID-19 have significantly disrupted what remained of traditional support systems. Social support is increasingly recognised as a key determinant of postnatal health, predicting postnatal depression, mother-infant bonding, and breastfeeding outcomes. However, public health research typically focuses on partners and professional ‘medicalised’ support, neglecting the role of wider support and the diverse forms it takes. There is an urgent need to understand how maternal social support networks are being impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. How social distancing is shifting access to different forms of social support will be elucidated with a UK-wide longitudinal study of mothers with young infants, and the impacts of this on postnatal depression, bonding, and breastfeeding assessed. By identifying the most beneficial network typologies we will evidence optimal targets for support interventions going forward.

Newbury, Dr Joanne COV19\200057

Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Bristol, Population Health Sciences

The role of neighbourhood conditions in mental health responses to the Covid-19 lockdown

Grant awarded: £8669


The Covid-19 lockdown has underscored how important neighbourhoods are for our mental health and wellbeing. Neighbourhood characteristics like urbanicity, greenspace, deprivation, and social fragmentation create very different lockdown experiences, even between neighbours living streets apart.

This project will investigate the role of neighbourhood conditions in mental health responses to lockdown. Data are from a longitudinal cohort of >14,000 individuals born in Bristol and surrounding areas and followed from birth for 30 years, coupled with novel data from a Covid-19 questionnaire completed by >7,500 participants.

First, I will examine associations of urbanicity, greenspace, deprivation, and social fragmentation with participants’ symptoms of anxiety and depression during and after lockdown. Second, I will control analyses comprehensively for confounds such as poverty using propensity score matching. Third, I will examine the interplay between neighbourhood conditions and individual-level factors including age, housing, household composition and garden access in terms of mental health responses to lockdown.

Ojo, Dr Adegbola COV19\201476

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Lincoln, School of Geography

The Nexus Between Social Capital and the Burden of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom

Grant awarded: £9985.42


This project is about understanding how social capital has shaped the spatial epidemiological outcomes of COVID-19, and establishing the elements of social capital that will be important facilitators of the socio-economic, mental and physiologic recovery of communities after the pandemic. Observed variations in the severity of the disease in the UK has rejuvenated debates about the social context of health inequalities. Using a social capital framework, this study will determine how aspects of social relationships within the social networks of communities influence the spatial patterning of the disease. The research will integrate recorded data about COVID-19 cases sourced from the Office for National Statistics, with data from the Centre for Thriving Places to explain causal relationships. Additionally, interviews will be conducted with a stratified random sample of participants across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to project aspects of family and community social capital that will prove important for recovery.

Olarewaju, Dr Tolu COV19\200561

Lecturer in Economics, Staffordshire University, Staffordshire Business School

The Impact of COVID-19 on BAME Owned Businesses in the UK

Grant awarded: £9448.50


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, many businesses in the UK temporarily closed with the majority of businesses that operated during the lockdown doing so at a reduced capacity with lower turnover. This would have had significant implications for BAME owned businesses because they are traditionally concentrated in sectors that were particularly affected by the pandemic and lockdown such as retailing, restaurants, fast food provision, and personal services. Furthermore, research shows that BAME business owners are less likely than non-BAME business owners to engage with mainstream business support because of ethnic enclaves dominating their attitude towards institutions and government schemes, along with the absence of trust. This research will investigate the specific challenges that BAME business owners faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, the strategies that they used to keep their businesses afloat, and how they engaged with financial and regional support.

Parsons, Dr Julie COV19\200228

Associate Professor in Sociology, University of Plymouth, Law, Criminology & Government

Finishing time at a distance: an exploration of support mechanisms for socio-economically disadvantaged and criminalised individuals during the Covid-19 crisis and beyond.

Grant awarded: £9980


This proposal is to conduct research with LandWorks CIO (LWC), a resettlement charity providing a supported route into employment and community for prisoners and people on community sentences (collectively called trainees), many of whom are socio-economically disadvantaged in terms of employment, housing and health indicators. Since lockdown LWC have maintained and/or re-established relationships with trainees, graduates and their families. In the absence of face-to-face contact, this research aims to map the ways individuals engage with the charity through mediums such as texts, phone calls, letters and email exchanges, with a view to developing an asset-based framework for use beyond the pandemic. The research further aims to explore the lived experience of criminalised individuals negotiating changing circumstances as a consequence of covid-19, whilst identifying some key areas of economic and social disadvantage in order to maximise mechanisms of support that could be initiated by LWC (and others) in the future.

Pautz, Dr Hartwig COV19\200127

Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences, University of the West of Scotland, School of Education & Social Sciences

Social Care in Times of Crisis

Grant awarded: £9375


The project will explore how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting the job quality of social care workers in Scotland to highlight pre-existing and new problems in the social care sector and to propose solutions. The sector has been severely affected by the pandemic but has been deemed in crisis for many years. Using the ‘decent work’ concept, the project will conduct interviews with key sector stakeholders – with a focus on social care workers from all care settings – and link these to existing data and research to assess job quality. The policy solutions proposed will be for the Scottish context, building on the applicants’ existing research and sectoral links. However, the project will be of relevance to a UK-wide debate bolstered by unprecedented focus on care workers as ‘key workers’ and significant public, media and political concern on the increased personal risk and pressures they face due to COVID-19.

Read, Dr Rosie COV19\200760

Principal Lecturer in Sociology and Social Anthropology, Bournemouth University, Department of Social Sciences and Social Work, in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences.

Staying home, connecting care: Infrastructures and experiences of home care and voluntary support given and received at home during the UK covid 19 lockdown and beyond.

Grant awarded: £7239


The UK covid 19 lockdown and ongoing social distancing has increased the dependence of many older people on care services provided to them in their homes. This has brought additional pressures to home (domiciliary) care provision in the social care sector and volunteer services for people at home provided by charities and non-profits, both of which were already financially stretched and operationally disconnected from each other. This research project will investigate in detail how these two strained infrastructures of care are responding to increased demand, focusing on experiences of care providers (volunteers, their coordinators, care workers and their managers) as well as care recipients who rely on both types of service. This research will inform scholarly and policy dialogues about the interface between home care and volunteer support to people at home, by considering how these separate services could be strengthened through greater cooperation.

Regmi, Dr Pramod COV19\201296

Lecturer International Health, Bournemouth University, Health and Social Sciences

Fear, Stigma and Othering: The Impact of COVID-19 rumours on marginalised population groups of Nepal

Grant awarded: £9520


There have been rumours of returnee migrant workers from India and Muslims (who had attended religious gatherings in Nepal and India) spreading COVID-19 in Nepal. These rumours are spread and exaggerated by social media and online news portals blatantly blaming these groups as COVID-19 carriers responsible for spreading the infections into communities. We aim to explore the extent and wider impact of such mis/disinformation and rumours on returnee Nepali migrants and Muslims and establish their resilience (if any) and coping strategies. This multi-method study comprises: (a) content analysis of media contents (newspapers, online news portals, YouTube), and (b) interviews with returnee Nepali migrants, Muslims and relevant key stakeholders. Findings from this study will help develop strategies to dispel rumours and mis/disinformation targeted to these socio-economically disadvantaged/minority population groups in Nepal. We will work closely with a Nepal-based charity for field work and dissemination of this study.

Rodgers, Dr Sheila COV19\201403

Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh, School of Health in Social Science

When Distance is an Act of Love: Exploring the use of Video Diaries for Family Members of Intensive Care Patients.

Grant awarded: £9711.08


Due to Covid-19, intensive care (ICU) patients are not allowed visitors or have severely restricted visiting at the end of life. Most ICU patients are unconscious or extremely weak and cannot speak on a phone or video call to their family. Before these visiting restrictions, family members of ICU patients were already known to suffer significant psychological distress and now face increased distress as they are unable to visit. NHS Scotland are introducing video diaries as an emergency measure to try to support communication with families and reduce distress. The diaries may have a positive impact but there is a risk they could also have negative effects. We will explore staff and family members’ experiences of using video diaries and test out using measures of distress and psychological well-being of family members. We can then make some initial recommendations and plan a larger subsequent study to test effect.

Ruggieri, Dr Alessandro COV19\201102

Assistant Professor, University of Nottingham, Economics

Twin Peaks: Covid-19 and the Labor Market

Grant awarded: £8070


The Covid-19 epidemic has posed significant challenges to public health. Since the virus outbreak, governments have implemented confinement measures aimed at reducing the spread of the virus. Nevertheless, these measures have potentially huge economic and social costs. Understanding costs and benefits of alternative confinement policies and supporting labour market policies is of first order.

To this purpose, we build a quantitative framework that merges a search and matching model of the labour market to a standard SIR epidemiological model of contagion. Standard epidemiological frameworks abstract from modelling individual behaviour in the labor market, while standard models of labor market are not able to capture the effect of the current epidemic shock, and its heterogeneity in the population. This is the first project to fill this knowledge gap.

We calibrate the model to UK data and we use it as a laboratory to evaluate welfare and distributional consequences of government policies.

Sjoberg, Dr Laura COV19\200629

British Academy Global Professor of Politics and International Relations, Royal Holloway, University of London, School of Law and Social Sciences, Department of Politics and International Relations

Everyday COVID-19 Art ‘at home’ and across borders: Community, Politics, and Resilience

Grant awarded: £9065


Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many people’s interactions with visual art had been confined to galleries or museums, touring curated exhibits of art chosen for ‘us’ to consume. During COVID-19, the ‘museums’ have gone online, and many more people and households are engaging in producing and sharing art than had before the pandemic. This project explores and curates everyday COVID-19 art with global themes, interested in its implications for global community, resilience, and everyday art/museums. It does so through the production of an online museum of the everyday, produced by a collaboration of politics scholars with an interest in art and artists with an interest in politics. It aims to produce curations and research articles focused around the visual economies of everyday art in COVID-19 times, and their meanings for cosmopolitanism and globalization in times of crisis.

Snee, Dr Helene COV19\201055

Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University, Sociology

Learning to care in unprecedented times: the impact of COVID-19 on nursing education

Grant awarded: £7901


Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, there was a crisis in the healthcare workforce, with 40,000 unfilled nursing vacancies. This case study of a group of final year pre-registration nursing students aims to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on this group in the midst of the emergency and the immediate aftermath, and the wider repercussions for nursing education. It will explore the students’ experiences of the pandemic and inform any immediate support they may require. The project will document the short-term graduate outcomes for this cohort and their ‘imagined futures’, exploring the role of class, gender and ‘race’ in shaping their educational trajectories. In doing so it will offer vital sociological insights into the impact of the pandemic on nursing education, the support that this cohort and future nursing students may require, and the implications for addressing the workforce shortage.

Swift, Laura COV19\200383

Senior Lecturer, The Open University, Classical Studies

Making Theatre in a Time of Covid

Grant awarded: £8835


This project investigates the role of performance arts at a time when conventional performance is not possible. It will use a small group of artists as a microcosm of the sector, to research what is lost when live performance cannot take place, and what the benefits to the public are of seeking new ways to recreate it in a form compatible with social distancing. The PI will work in close collaboration with a small group of theatremakers with different types of expertise. They will devise and deliver two different models of socially distanced performance, and seek feedback from an audience as to their impact and benefit. A workshop at the end of the project’s lifespan will allow these models to be showcased more widely to other academics and practitioners, and will allow the sharing of good practice for how live creative work can be made in this period.

Tasker, Dr Fiona COV19\201169

Reader in Psychology, Birkbeck University of London, Department of Psychological Sciences

LGBTQ* UK COVID-19 Lockdown Researching Young Adult Experiences Vulnerability and Resilience Over Time

Grant awarded: £9926


The main objectives of our programme are to assess the psychological health of LGBTQ* young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown and to understand the pathways underlying their psychological health, vulnerability and resilience. Given the current circumstances of health anxiety and social isolation, alongside intensifying pressure on household and family relationships, a rising rate of mental health problems among LGBTQ* young adults is widely anticipated but as yet under examined. The project proposed will expand upon our newly launched online survey investigating the social support networks and psychological health among UK LGBTQ* people (aged 18- 35 years). We propose adding further follow-up survey waves (using both bespoke and standard measures) and qualitative data from an interviewed sub-sample to examine effects and pathways over time. The project develops understanding of UK LGBTQ* well-being experiences and additionally contributes internationally through comparison with equivalent data from Portugal, Italy, Brazil and Chile.

Thomas, Dr Nicola COV19\200891

Associate Professor in Cultural and Historical Geography, University of Exeter, Geography

Making it through COVID-19: the praxis of livelihood generation within craft communities of practice

Grant awarded: £9999


Responses to COVID-19 in the UK has seen teams of people sewing scrubs in their homes, maker-spaces fabricating 3D printed PPE masks, recreational craft providing a release from lockdown, and people enjoying the Sewing Bee on TV. Craft seems to have defined part of the pandemic experience. However, for professional makers and organisations who rely of making things for a living, COVID-19 has thrown livelihoods into disarray. Many practitioners and craft development organisations are only surviving as a result of Arts Council emergency funding or swift pivots to locate new audiences. This research dives into the professional craft community to understand the impact the disruption caused by COVID-19 has had on this industrial sector. Working with individual designer makers, long established maker collectives, high profile arts organisations and craft museums, the research will ask how (and if) the craft sector will survive in the long term.

Thornton, Dr Rod COV19\201075

Senior Lecturer, Security Studies, King's College London, Defence Studies Department, School of Security Studies

Mitigating the effects of national crisis: the case for a dedicated Civil Defence or Emergency Situations organisation in the United Kingdom

Grant awarded: £9842


The United Kingdom was found wanting when the covid-19 pandemic struck. The military had to step in to provide support. Its personnel, for instance, planned and built temporary hospitals, took over the NHS logistics system and ran the vast majority of mobile testing facilities in the country (92 out of 96). The UK government was lucky in that, almost uniquely, a large number of military personnel were available in early 2020. It may not be so lucky next time. Other European countries, though, do not rely on luck. Virtually every one of them has a standing Civil Defence or Emergency Situations body whose sole function it is to deal with sudden national emergencies. This project examines, by comparing and contrasting with other European states badly affected by the pandemic (Italy, Russia and Spain), and which utilised their Civil Defence bodies, whether the UK needs such a body of its own.

Tovey, Dr Robert COV19\201422

Lecturer Environmental Graphic Design, Loughborough University, School of Design and Creative Arts

‘We will remember them’: Covid-19 and Grassroots Memorial Practices

Grant awarded: £9982.58


In March 2020, the WHO classified Covid-19—a novel coronavirus—as a pandemic. By late-May, the UK death toll had passed 35,000. The restrictions on burial rituals and closure of faith spaces may have impacted the commemoration of Covid-19 victims but the emergence of grassroots memorial practices—from yellow hearts in the windows of bereaved households to crowdfunding campaigns for local tribute events—has demonstrated the extent to which communities have adapted ceremonial processes in a period of trauma. This project will investigate these makeshift memorial activities and their post-lockdown counterparts. Data will be analysed to assess their societal role: the methods used, the groups involved and the relationship to community resilience. Alongside scholarly publications and two exhibitions, project outcomes will include the founding of The Covid-19 Memorial Archive, a digital collection of artefacts from across the UK, reflecting the scale and diversity of commemorative responses to Covid-19.

Twamley, Dr Katherine COV19\200774

Associate Professor of Sociology, UCL, Department of Social Science

Families and Community Transitions under Covid (FACT-Covid)

Grant awarded: £8080.12


This research will investigate the challenges experienced by families with children during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will explore both how individuals understand and respond to public health measures, and how these are negotiated within the family. As such, it will unpack both inter- and intra-household differences, examining how position in the household (such as that determined by gender and generation) and access to various forms of capital (such as that determined by socio-economic class), shape the ways and means through which individuals can respond to challenges in the context of a public health crisis. The study will follow participants over a year, thus examining the long-term consequences of the pandemic and the potentially changing reactions of families to public health measures. The project is part of an international network of projects, in ten different countries, led by us, all using the same methods and addressing the same questions.

Wahl-Jorgensen, Professor Karin COV19\201302

Professor, Cardiff University, Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Culture

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on community journalism start-ups in the UK

Grant awarded: £9932.95


This project will investigate the experience of community journalism start-ups in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic, through 30 in-depth interviews and a survey of 100 practitioners. Community journalism start-ups – small, independently owned publications that focus on locally relevant news - are sometimes viewed as a solution to the crisis in local news provision. Their role is particularly vital in the current pandemic, where local knowledge is more crucial than ever. Yet they are highly precarious and under significant financial threat due to the pandemic’s economic fallout. There is little research on these organisations, and none on their fate in the context of the pandemic. The proposed project will shed light on how the pandemic has changed the financial situation, ways of working and community relationships of these crucial news providers. The project will generate new scholarly knowledge and contribute to urgent ongoing industry and policy debates.

Waller, Dr Alison COV19\200794

Reader, Children's Literature, The University of Roehampton, English & Creative Writing

Reading for Normal: Young People and Fiction in the Time of Covid-19

Grant awarded: £5120.92


For young people finding their way in the world, what it means to be normal and live an ordinary life are crucial concepts. But the Covid-19 pandemic has meant navigating a ‘new normal’ in which the very notion of ordinariness is destabilised. ‘Reading for Normal’ will work with young people to interrogate the ‘connective tissue’ of commonplace reality that currently feels out of reach. Recognising the value of literature for making sense of diverse experience, it will build a digital reading community to explore ideas of normality in recent young adult novels. The project will create an important record of young readers’ responses to Covid-19 through their engagement with textual portrayals of everyday British life, and develop a framework for how they might support each other at a distance through shared reading practices. Outputs will be a journal article and monograph chapter, and a framework and guidance paper for teachers.

Weller, Professor Paul COV19\200323

Professor, Coventry University; Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations

The Organisational, Financial and Human Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the Christian Faith-Based Organization Service Sector in Great Britain

Grant awarded: £9624.07


Faith-Based initiatives historically provided foundational pillars for the development of the welfare and service sectors in Britain. Of the c.15,000 Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) that today provide significant scaffolding for contemporary social welfare needs (National Council for Voluntary Services UK Civil Society Alamanac, 2019) a substantial number are Christian. Britain has one of the highest rates globally of COVID-19 infection and excess mortality, and because of the extra demands on Non-Governmental welfare support services to buttress this distressed landscape, it is critically important better to understand the organisational health and durability of FBOs. This exploratory pilot study focuses on geo-mapping Christian FBOs in distress due to COVID-19 and to identify any particularly affected sectors. By also identifying the causal, consequential, contextual and strategic issues experienced, it will enable an assessment of initial and projected short to medium-term human, financial and organisational impacts on these FBOs and their services.

Willson, Professor Suzy COV19\201709

Independent Scholar

Supporting healthcare professionals during Covid-19: Non-verbal communication and arts-based approaches

Grant awarded: £9876


With the outbreak of Covid-19 healthcare professionals face new challenges to their

non-verbal communication, as they adapt to the introduction of widespread use of Personal Protective Equipment, video-call consultations, social distancing and limiting of physical touch. The urgent need for research into this area is clear, demonstrated by proactive requests for help from London hospitals such as UCLH answered by Performing Medicine in the first weeks of the crisis. Through interviews with healthcare professionals and workshops with artists, this project will investigate how arts-based approaches can help to better understand the challenges faced by healthcare professionals during this period and to create, disseminate, and test resources to support them. A collaboration between Performing Medicine, sector leaders in non-verbal approaches to healthcare education, and the Emergency Medicine department at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, this research will use a live case study to gather insights into best practice in this area.

Wilson, Dr Steven COV19\201019

Lecturer in French Studies, Queen's University Belfast, School of Arts, English and Languages

The Languages of Covid-19: Implications for Global Healthcare

Grant awarded: £10000


Recent scholarship has identified that an interdisciplinary approach is urgently required to make sense of the biomedical, social and political implications of Covid-19. This project makes the case for the vital though to date underappreciated role that modern languages and translation studies, working together, can play in generating new understandings of the disease. Moving beyond the codes, contexts and cultural values that underpin anglophone articulations of Covid-19, the project aims to analyse what new facets or understandings of Covid-19 might be revealed by a linguistic and cultural encounter with non-anglophone languages and societies. The project will focus on the language used to frame Covid-19 in multilingual healthcare settings, in international public health campaigns and by patients across the globe, asking how these reveal new, and potentially useful, ways of thinking about and communicating the disease. The project will therefore be of benefit to medical practitioners, global policy makers and patients.

Wood, Dr Philip COV19\200243

Reader in Education, Bishop Grosseteste University, Research and Knowledge Exchange Centre

COVID and change in the public sector: A case study of newly qualified teachers

Grant awarded: £9650


The COVID pandemic is having fundamental impacts on society which will have repercussions for years to come. The positive response of the public sector to the pandemic is crucial if the long term health of society is to be maintained. This project considers the experiences of newly qualified teachers (NQTs), taking up their first career role having missed a considerable part of their work-based practice prior to employment. This makes them especially vulnerable in a period when schools will have little capacity for early career professional development, with a backdrop of a retention crisis, with many teachers already leaving the profession in their early years.

This project will follow NQTs through their first year of teaching to understand the challenges and opportunities they face and how they can be better supported professionally and emotionally to inform practices and policies to ensure sustainability within the sector during and after the pandemic.

Zazzo, Dr Lawrence COV19\201050

Lecturer in Music, Newcastle University, Music

Voiceless? Classical Singers and COVID-19

Grant awarded: £9367


Classical singers are part of a fragile ecosystem of live music performance that is currently in deep-freeze during the current Covid-19 crisis, and that will likely suffer long-term damage as social-distancing measures and audiences' fear of crowds inhibit attendance at live performances for years to come. This two-year study will examine both short-term and long-term effects of Covid-19 on the creative and socio-cultural well-being of this discrete cohort of performers. Core data and analysis will be generated from individual interviews and focus group sessions with twenty professional singers of classical music from five countries in Europe and America, followed by a response-driven questionnaire of a wider sample of singers from the same countries. An important objective of the study is informing policymakers at both national and international levels, in order to ensure the well-being of this endangered classical music ecosystem and to give a voice to the artists sustaining it.

Zeyen, Dr Anica COV19\200111

Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Sustainability, Royal Holloway University of London, Strategy, International Business and Entrepreneurship

For better or worse? An immersive diary study of the effects of return to work policies on disabled employees

Grant awarded: £9988


One in five employees in the UK (19% of the working age population, or 7.9 million people 16-64) reported a disability in 2019. Although 53.2% or 4.2 million of disabled people were employed, an increase of 2% or 354,000 from the prior year, the unemployment rate is 2.5 times that of non-disabled people, as employers have historically resisted the range of accommodations instantly implemented across a wide range of occupations and workplaces during the home quarantine stage of the COVID19 pandemic. Most of these social distancing policies will be progressively released through the staged return to work with interruptions and updates projected until late 2021. Disability organizations warn against “a return to ableism” instead, as work accommodations originally exclusively extended to disabled people became a burden to undo for those without disability. This 18-months diary study follows 20 UK-based disabled employees/free-lancers who repeatedly renegotiate vulnerabilities and accommodations.

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