British Academy announces 2016 Skills Innovator Awards winners

29 Mar 2016

The British Academy has today announced the recipients of its Skills Innovator Awards for 2016. The awards extend the Academy’s support to promote innovative research methods using languages and quantitative skills, through skills development, acquisition, collaboration and dissemination. 

The awards enable researchers with outstanding ideas for the development of skills in these areas, allowing them to experiment with new quantitative methods through a variety of means, or to experiment with methods and vehicles for teaching languages in higher education. 

The awards will in particular be valuable to researchers wishing to pilot new methods and approaches in order to apply for larger grants in the longer term.

The full list of the successful applications is listed below:

Age, period and cohort modelling: critiquing bad solutions, and coming up with practical suggestions for researchers
Dr Andrew Bell  
Lecturer in Quantitative Social Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield Methods Institute
This project will examine three criteria that affect the way change occurs in people and society: 
People age (A), 
Time passes (P)  
Generations replace each other (C)
Each has different policy implications and will fund conferences for idea sharing and networking as well as training workshops and data analysis.
Value of grant requested: £14421

Introducing Q methodology to the analysis of soft power
Dr Valentina Feklyunina
Lecturer in Politics, Newcastle University, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology
This project will introduce an innovative quantitative method (‘Q-method’) to the analysis of soft power in International Politics. The final stage of the project involves development of a teaching manual and a series of publications.
Award value: £6610

Quantitative Text Analysis Training Workshop
Dr Brian Fogarty
Lecturer of Quantitative Social Science & Interim Director of Glasgow Q-Step Programme, University of Glasgow, School of Social and Political Sciences
This project will host a four-session training workshop for quantitative text analysis for staff and graduate students in the School of Social and Political Sciences and School of Education at the University of Glasgow. The sessions will build on one another and be taught by leading academics from the UK, Europe, and the US. 
Award value: £13400

MorpheusWeb: Reading Latin and Greek Online
Dr Peter Heslin
Reader, Durham University, Classics and Ancient History
This project will take a number of existing digital tools for learning Latin and Greek and to make them useful for reading any text online, proposing to redesign existing open-source programmes and data and create a new tool that will give guidance on vocabulary, morphology and syntax. This can be used with any text in Latin or Greek anywhere on the web. The result will be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in learning the ancient languages.
Award value: £14653

Using machine learning methods to correct for survey misreports in cross-national surveys
Dr Gabriel Katz
Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter, Politics
This project aims to explore the feasibility of using machine learning methods, in order to correct for misreporting and measurement error in representative political surveys.
Award value: £6990

Living Meta Analysis: Pilot for Psychology
Dr Jacek Kopecky 
Senior Lecturer, University of Portsmouth, School of Computing
This project proposes to develop and pilot a web-based ‘Living Meta-Analysis’ tool with three core objectives: 
(1) To provide a user-friendly generic platform for public, ‘living’ meta-analytic databases.
(2) To add tools to the platform to make doing a meta-analysis as easy and intuitive as playing with Lego blocks.
(3) To promote research integrity and transparency.
Award value: £13904

Beyond the Black Box: Building Algorithmic and Statistical Literacy through Digital Humanities Tools and Resources
Dr Anouk Lang
Lecturer in Digital Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Department of English Literature
This project will develop a suite of ten workshops, each accompanied by an online resource, provide guidance not only on how to use digital humanities tools, but also about the statistical and algorithmic processes at work. It will be overseen by a scholar who is trained in both conventional literary studies and digital humanities.
Award value: £14772

Testing, Targeting, Tracking: Quantitative and Spatial Analytical Skills for Evidence Based Policing
Dr Adegbola Ojo 
Senior Lecturer, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing 
This project uses the framework of evidence-based policing to promote a sustainable foundation for raising graduate and researcher quantitative skills in policing studies. By developing skills and establishing a research network, funding for this project will create a foundation for future training, research and networking activities in later years.
Award value: £14934

Style and/or Substance? Developing Teaching in Statistical Communication for Social Scientists
Dr Alasdair Rutherford
Senior Lecturer in Social Statistics, University of Stirling, School of Applied Social Science
The project will cover three elements of statistical communication: verbal, graphical and numeric. It will bring together expertise in social statistics and graphic design to develop and test both a workshop and a postgraduate module for social scientists. 
Award value: £11947

Big Data in Developmental Science: Generating Analytical Training Tools
Professor Gaia Scerif
Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Oxford, Department of Experimental Psychology
Analysing ‘Big Data’ is critical to understanding childhood educational and health outcomes. With the proposed skill training programme, this project will develop a set of training tools and resources geared to tackling questions and problems that are specific to the developmental sciences.
Award value: £14985

Quantitative language research: Exploring the potential of corpus linguistics in education
Dr Vander Viana
Lecturer, University of Stirling, School of Education
This project addresses the deficit in quantitative and language skills in the UK through corpus linguistics (CL), demonstrating innovation by showing the participants how they may develop their own and their supervisees’/students’ quantitative/language skills. 
Award value: £14994.36

Notes to Editors:

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