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The British Academy and Wolfson Foundation announce six new Fellowships for early career researchers

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The British Academy and The Wolfson Foundation have awarded funding to six talented early career researchers as part of a major initiative to promote and support high quality research in the humanities and social sciences across the UK.

Designed to empower early-career researchers who show exceptional talent in both research and public engagement, the British Academy/Wolfson Fellowships have been made possible thanks to a generous £10 million donation from the Wolfson Foundation, the largest ever single grant awarded in the humanities and social sciences by the Foundation.

These awards, worth up to £130,000 over three years, provide researchers with time away from some of their administration and teaching duties to pursue outstanding research, along with funding for public engagement and travel, to ensure the work reaches a global audience. 

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation, said:

‘It is very exciting to be able to announce funding for some superb early career researchers. The range and quality of research is extraordinary, and there could be no more important moment to support the next generation of researchers.’

Robin Jackson, Chief Executive of the British Academy, said:

‘We are delighted to continue to work with the Wolfson Foundation and are truly grateful for its support. Fostering the next generation of talented humanities and social science researchers is a major priority for the British Academy, and our new British Academy/Wolfson Fellowships scheme is a vital part of that endeavour. We wish the Fellows every success and look forward to seeing the results of their work.’

The full list of award-holders is:

From Report to Court: Crimes Against Older People – Dr Hannah Bows, Assistant Professor in Criminal Law, Durham University

Working in partnership with Northumbria Police, Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service, Dr Bows will examine how the criminal justice system (CJS) responds to older victims of crime and the experiences those victims have of the CJS. The findings will influence criminal justice policy and practice and will raise awareness of crimes against older people among the general public through a documentary-style video, media articles, radio documentaries and a short, accessible book.

The Western Indian Ocean in Late Antiquity – Dr Rebecca Darley, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History, Birkbeck, University of London

Dr Darley will produce the first ever study of the Western Indian Ocean in Late Antiquity (c. AD 200-800), arguing for this as a distinct period that offers new ways to understand global history. This period and region witnessed numerous societies, from huge empires to kingdoms and chieftaincies undergoing processes that simultaneously led to comparative political and economic homogenisation, and social diversification and division.

Addressing the Adverse Impacts of Domestic Violence During Pregnancy – Dr Aja Murray, Lecturer in Psychology, University of Edinburgh

Domestic violence against women during pregnancy is a common problem, with an estimated 14% of women across the world exposed to physical abuse during pregnancy, 8% to sexual abuse, and 28% to emotional abuse by their partner or ex-partner. Dr Murray’s project aims to inform the prevention of these and other adverse outcomes by examining the factors that predict domestic violence during pregnancy, and the characteristics of individuals, families, and communities that either mitigate or exacerbate the negative effects of exposure to domestic violence during pregnancy.

Knowing the Nazis, Inside and Out: Anti-Fascist Publishing in Austria, Germany and Britain, 1927-40 – Dr Ellen Pilsworth, Lecturer in German and Translation Studies, University of Reading

Eighty years after the outbreak of WWII, the British public is well informed about Hitler’s rise and fall. This history forms a key part of GCSE and A-Level syllabi and is still a popular media topic. Less well documented are those Germans and Austrians who actively resisted the rise of National Socialism, both at home and from positions of exile. Dr Pilsworth’s project focuses on five refugees who spread anti-fascist messages through the British media, and explores the murkier backdrop of British politics in this period, where British fascism was a more powerful force than is usually recognised.

Climate Smart Cities: Responsible Policies for Governing Artificial Intelligence in Transitions to Low Carbon Societies – Dr Katharine Rietig, Lecturer in International Politics, Newcastle University

By using Artificial Intelligence to create efficient public transport systems, control energy consumption in buildings, and increase security, Climate Smart Cities promise a high quality of life with minimal carbon emissions. Such technologies have the potential to bring about low carbon societies and increase economic prosperity but only if public policies address the accompanying social and political challenges for employment, communities, privacy and industrial sectors. Dr Rietig’s project will examine how cities experiment with the governance, regulation and implementation of new technologies, and evaluates how governance innovations can be transferred via regional and global city networks.

Recaptured Childhoods: Exploring the Lives of Children Liberated from the Slave Trade in the 19th Century – Dr Christine Whyte,Lecturer in Global History, University of Glasgow.

With a focus on the experiences of 60,000 African children liberated from slavery in the 19th century, Dr Whyte will explore the relationship between the abolition of slavery and child labour. These children experienced a wide variety of ‘emancipations.’ Some were indentured as labourers, others trained as servants, and a few were educated as future anti-slavery activists in various settlements.

By examining these experiences, Dr Whyte will support children in communities formed in the aftermath of slavery, and develop a new way to research and teach the history of non-Western childhoods.