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The British Academy announces 23 new Rising Star Engagement awards

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The British Academy has announced 23 new Rising Star Engagement awards for some of the most promising and talented academics in the UK, in a drive to boost engagement and collaboration within the humanities and social sciences.

Funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), British Academy Rising Star Engagement Awards (BARSEAs) are held for a 12-month period and provide funding of up to £15,000. They are designed to encourage wider engagement with the humanities and social sciences within and beyond academia through events, training, and mentoring activities.

As part of this year’s programme, the award holders will be organising engagement activities in a wide range of different areas.

Dr Rhiannon Evans (Cardiff University) will attempt to return sociology to the centre of suicide research through the development of a Sociology of Suicide Research Network. Dr Evans will undertake four inter-related activities: an early career research masterclass, an expert meeting to develop the research agenda, networking with an international critical suicidology research group to translate learning about network infrastructure to the UK context, and grant application development to support the increased application of sociology in the study of suicide.

Dr Emanuelle Degli Esposti (University of Cambridge) will seek to establish a conceptual language to explain forms of identity, conflict, and cooperation among British Muslims by bringing together academics, policymakers, and community members from Sunni and Shi’a branches of Islam for a conference, discussion workshop, and film screening. Together, these events will generate new discussions about the place and resonance of Islam and Muslim minorities in Britain.

Meanwhile, Dr Ben Noble (University College London) will examine why authoritarian leaders close down legislatures. In spite of the academic, policy, and public interest in examining this question, there is surprisingly little knowledge about moments of parliamentary shutdown. Dr Noble’s project will address this knowledge gap by creating a network of earlycareer researchers in political science studying legislative closures in non-democracies around the world; by holding a workshop to bring this network into dialogue with senior political scientists (mentors), non-political science area studies scholars, and country- and region-specific research analysts from the UK policy community; and by organising a public engagement event to disseminate initial research findings.

Other projects include:

  • #Resistance: Exploring Digital Protest by Marginalised Groups – Dr Laura Teresa Loyola Hernandez, University of Leeds
  • Mapping the Quartet: The Living Legacy of a Female Philosophical School – Dr Clare Mac Cumhaill, Durham University
  • The Aesthetics of Drone Warfare – Dr Beryl Pong, University of Sheffield
  • Sounding (Out) 19th-Century Italy – Dr Francesca Vella, University of Cambridge
  • Novel Impressions: Literature and the Hand-Press in the Eighteenth Century – Dr Helen Williams, Northumbria University.

To be eligible for a BARSEA, candidates must be early career scholars within ten years of the award of their doctorate, and ordinarily live in the United Kingdom.

Candidates must also be able to demonstrate their academic credentials to be leaders in research through suitable marks of esteem awarded prior to the submission of the application. Applicants are required to have a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) champion their candidacy.