Over £2.7 million in British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grants awarded to support SHAPE researchers

28 May 2024

A group of researchers in discussion

The British Academy has awarded 308 British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants worth over £2.7 million to support primary research in the SHAPE disciplines.

Worth up to £10,000 over a period of up to two years, the awards will support academics working at universities and research institutions across the UK – as well as independent scholars – by covering the cost of expenses arising from a particular research project. Funding for the Small Research Grants programme is provided by the Leverhulme Trust and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, the British Accounting and Finance Association, the Journal of Moral Education Trust, Society for the Advancement of Management Studies, the Sino-British Fellowship Trust, the Honor Frost Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust.

Research projects funded in this round of Small Research Grants include those looking at how to tackle orphanage trafficking in Nepal, the school experiences of girls with ADHD, and how homeless people can menstruate with dignity.

The 2023-24 Small Research Grants include:

Upstream corrections and team performance’ – Dr Diya Abraham, University of Reading

An embodied phenomenographic approach to the evaluation of training programmes for disabled and neurodiverse individuals: A case study’ – Dr Vipavinee Artpradid, Coventry University

Young Lives in Alternative Care: Examining the role of deinstitutionalising care in response to orphanage trafficking in Nepal’ – Dr Shovita Dhakal Adhikari, London Metropolitan University

School experiences of girls with ADHD; An intervention study’ – Dr Carrie Ballantyne, University of the West of Scotland

Silver shoppers: Designing more age-inclusive clothes purchasing experiences with mobile technologies’ – Dr Rosy Boardman, University of Manchester

From rural to urban: co-production of a policy brief for Rwanda's model village’ – Dr Luca Brunelli, Glasgow School of Art

Societal Security Dilemma in post-independent Ukraine’ – Professor Alan Collins, Swansea University

Geographies of Fear: Understanding Restraining and Stalking Protection Orders (SPOs)’ – Dr Jenny Korkodeilou, Independent Scholar

The 2023-24 British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants awardees are:

Please note: Awards are arranged alphabetically by surname of the grant recipient. The institution is that given at the time of application.

Dr Diya Abraham

Co-applicant: Dr Maria Polipciuc


Upstream corrections and team performance

University of Reading

Value Awarded: £9,900.10

Abstract: The performance of a team depends on its members correcting one another. Members might refrain from doing so to avoid confrontation. This problem is heightened when it is up to subordinates to correct a supervisor. Subordinates might worry that their reputation will be damaged if they are wrong, that they are breaking a social norm or that they will suffer materially and/or psychologically in case of an unfavourable outcome. We conduct two controlled experiments to explore why under-correction occurs in teams and how interactions with supervisors who encourage corrections shapes the attitude and behaviour of their subordinates. We define under-correction here as a situation in which a subordinate fails to correct a supervisor despite holding the belief that doing so could improve the outcome for the team. The results of this study will shed light on the psychological basis for under-correction and provide recommendations for interventions aimed at attenuating it.

Dr Vasileios Adamidis


“March to the People”: Divisive strategy, populist rhetoric, and a subtle challenge to the established rule of recognition? The political campaign of Syriza on the road to the May 2023 Greek parliamentary elections.

Nottingham Trent University

Value Awarded: £5,160.69

Abstract: The project aims to identify the communication patterns of Syriza on the road to the May 2023 Greek parliamentary elections and provide an empirical insight into the campaign strategy of a left-wing party that could possibly qualify as populist. Engaging in qualitative content analysis of the speeches of Alexis Tsipras since July 2022, when an alleged wiretapping scandal was first disclosed, the project will i) reveal the focal concepts of the party’s rhetoric in its effort to return to power, ii) interpret them against the defining characteristics of populism as an ideational phenomenon, and iii) evaluate their potential impact on the established rule of recognition of the Hellenic Republic. This interdisciplinary project will provide new evidence bases and significantly contribute to the scholarship on left-wing populism studies, by providing an empirically based and theoretically supported understanding of the trajectory and potential evolution of a left-wing, influential party for European politics.

Dr Shovita Dhakal Adhikari


Young Lives in Alternative Care: Examining the role of deinstitutionalising care in response to orphanage trafficking in Nepal

London Metropolitan University

Value Awarded: £9,875.00

Abstract: Recent studies have highlighted the intersections between orphanage trafficking, child exploitation and institutional care in Nepal (Lama et al., 2023; van Doore, 2022), an area that remains under researched. Deinstitutionalising care, mainly by strengthening alternative forms of care is now viewed as the way forward for protecting children at risk (Akhtar, 2023). However, the practice of providing alternative care in response to anti-child trafficking in Nepal remains under-examined. This project aims to examine the policy and practice of deinstitutionalising care in response to orphanage trafficking in Nepal. Drawing on social control theory, it will explore whether or not alternative care (e.g. kinship, and foster care) is sufficient to block departures into risky and exploitative conditions to reduce vulnerability to trafficking. Using Nepal as a case study, the project contributes to co-creating previously unheard narratives of alternative care in response to orphanage trafficking in developing countries.

Dr Cevat Giray Aksoy


Voter Perceptions, Information, and the Quality of Democracy

King's College London

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: This project seeks to investigate global perceptions of democracy and civil liberties, identifying the factors influencing support for democracy and the impact of information on policy perspectives. The research involves surveys in 20 developed and developing countries, covering socioeconomic characteristics, media habits, and social media engagement. To ensure data quality, translation and screening measures are employed. The study includes real-stakes questions to correlate self-reported preferences with actual behavior. The survey is structured to assess respondents' background, video information treatments, knowledge of democracy, and policy preferences. It employs a control group and three treatment arms to evaluate the causal effects of specific information. The research aims to provide comprehensive insights into democracy and civil liberties at a global scale, identifying the factors influencing support. Importantly, all data will be made publicly accessible to enhance transparency and promote democratic principles.

Dr Liviu Alexandrescu


Intoxicating news: news-making practices, constraints, and stigma in portraying people who use drugs and drug harms

Manchester Metropolitan University

Value Awarded: £9,026.00

Abstract: Drug use and addiction carry and connote deep-seated negative labels and stereotypes. This project considers how drug-related stigma is reflective of wider structural inequalities and power differentials in ways that always posit ‘the drug problem’ to pertain predominantly to the powerless and most vulnerable in society. It seeks to explore how ‘dependency stigma’ is disseminated through media discourse and how institutional practices and professional values of newsworthiness shape negative depictions of people who use illicit substances and experience related harms, oftentimes compounded by other forms of material and symbolic deprivation. Drawing on in-depth interviews with media professionals from national and regional newspapers, it probes into journalists’ perceptions and processes of information selection and framing, when portraying issues relating to drug crime – in a context of increasing penal populism and ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric emanating from government, but equally of softening public attitudes on the issue.

Dr Kathryn Allinson


State Responsibility and Displacement in Armed Conflict

University of Bristol

Value Awarded: £8,055.00

Abstract: To address the global refugee crisis, it is crucial to provide a clear framework for state responsibility that ensures accountability for causing displacement is allocated at the source. Through this grant, I will develop a case study that will be applied to the responsibility framework advanced in my monograph. I will analyse data on the displacement that occurred due to the multi-actor engagement in the Syrian conflict to examine how accountability can be established for the displacement. To develop the case study, I will meet with organisations who monitored displacement from Syria during the conflict to discuss, collate and analyse available data. I will further engage in critical discussions with a wide network of practitioners to improve the efficacy of the responsibility framework and write a policy brief. By promoting an understanding of the responsibility of States for causing displacement, this project’s activities will ensure greater accountability for displaced people.

Dr Johan Andersson


Rave Revolutions: Geopolitics, Sexuality, and Nightlife

King's College London

Value Awarded: £9,840.00

Abstract: The project examines the relationship between electronic dance music (EDM) cultures and LGBTQ politics in Tbilisi, Georgia, where the current government has copied Putin’s playbook by proposing so called ‘foreign agent’ and ‘gay propaganda’ laws to ban sexual minority activism. Aligning itself with recent scholarship that views the dancefloor as an important site in struggles over the ‘right to the city’, the project contrasts the affective politics of EDM cultures with open LGBTQ activism such as Pride, which has repeatedly been met with violence and accusations of ‘western imperialism’ in Tbilisi. By rethinking (geo)politics through the body (specifically through the lens of dance), the project and the resultant monograph 'Post-Soviet Raves and Revolutions', which also includes case-studies of Kyiv, Ukraine, and Yerevan, Armenia, will contribute to debates in popular geopolitics, while filling gaps in Anglophone urban and cultural geography, where there is a dearth of scholarship on post-Soviet cities.

Dr Kiran Arabaghatta Basavaraj

Co-applicant: Dr Gloria Gennaro


The impact of search technologies on information retrieval and individuals’ confidence: Evidence from a randomized experiment

University College London

Value Awarded: £9,972.04

Abstract: When seeking to learn facts about society, individuals encounter a continually expanding range of mediums. Recent advances in Large Language Models (LLMs) have enriched this landscape with conversational AI tools. However, the choice of which medium to utilize bears significant consequences for the acquisition and processing of information. Comparing traditional search engines and LLM-based chatbots, this project asks what is the effect of different search mechanism on the quality of retrieved information and the level of confidence attributed to it? This pre-registered pilot study investigates the effects of conversational AI on information acquisition by comparing the responses of (N=)1,125 UK-based respondents exposed to two different treatments—1)LLM and 2)Search-Engine Treatment Groups. The analysis aims to quantify the intention-to-treat effect, expecting a higher occurrence of incorrect answers and higher confidence from the LLM group. Findings from this study will have implications for research on citizens’ attitudes, beliefs, online learning and misinformation.

Dr Vipavinee Artpradid


An embodied phenomenographic approach to the evaluation of training programmes for disabled and neurodiverse individuals: A case study

Coventry University

Value Awarded: £9,556.39

Abstract: The project develops a more equitable research method that is accessible for individuals who can only access movement-based forms of communication. Specifically applied to soft (intangible) outcomes evaluation, the approach shifts the attention to data that is centred on body language rather than verbal and written language. It impacts different sectors such as the performing arts, education, and third sector in terms of bringing in peoples' voices that are often left out of ableist evaluation methods that emphasise verbal and written responses, such as through interviews and questionnaires. The research builds upon existing theoretical research into an embodied approach to phenomenography and progresses it into a practical context, exploring its effectiveness, and making its impact more visible through an industry-based dance training programme for physically disabled individuals. The research takes place in collaboration with FRONTLINEdance in Stoke-on-Trent, with Stoke being one of the 20% most deprived authorities in England.

Dr Alberto Asquer


Engaging Students Through Chatbots: Improving Analytical and Critical Skills in Learning though Case Studies

School of Oriental and African Studies

Value Awarded: £7,500.00

Abstract: This project proposes the use of chatbots in case studies to address the limitations of traditional case study methods in higher education. The goal is to stimulate students' analytical and critical skills, enhance their exploration of the problem space, and improve learning outcomes. Existing literature on chatbot use in education has explored various applications but has largely overlooked their potential in case studies. The project will repurpose an existing case study into different versions, varying the number of characters impersonated by chatbots and the level of information ambiguity provided. The chatbots will enable interactive student-character interactions, allowing students to ask questions, assess information, and develop analytical and critical thinking skills. Expected results include theoretical insights into the development of students' analytical and critical skills and pedagogical recommendations for designing and delivering chatbot-assisted case studies.

Dr Suzanne Aussems

Co-applicant: Dr Susanne Fuchs


The effect of balance on the production of multimodal communication

University of Warwick

Value Awarded: £9,995.00

Abstract: Balance is important for the human ability to walk on two legs, which ultimately changed our bodies. Bipedalism influenced the flexibility with which humans produced sounds and it freed up the hands for communicating with gestures. As such, balance may be a missing piece of the puzzle in understanding how humans adapted and evolved to use language, in contrast to great apes, who walk on all fours. When people communicate, they use both speech and hand gestures to convey a message. But how does balance influence the human ability to produce speech and gesture? Would people be able to speak and gesture in the same way when standing on a wobbly surface as on a stable surface? This project will study how people produce speech and gesture in game of taboo under different levels of balance. We will test if speech and gesture production become more efficient with greater balance.

Dr Mykola Babiak

Co-applicant: Dr Jozef Barunik


The common factor in volatility risk premia

Lancaster University

Value Awarded: £7,555.00

Abstract: A plethora of research suggests that investors care about time-varying volatility. In contrast to the voluminous literature on how the risk of aggregate market variability is priced, volatility risk premia of individual stocks have received little attention. The main objective of this project is to examine the behaviour of volatility risk premia at the stock level and to consider the implications of this behaviour in the two canonical tasks in finance: cross-sectional asset pricing and stock market forecasting. We aim to demonstrate that the volatility risk premiums of US firms are synchronised. Furthermore, we aim to test how exposure to common volatility risk premium (a cross-sectional average of individual ones) is priced in the cross-section of all common stocks traded in the US. Finally, we aim to examine the predictability of future stock market returns by common volatility risk premia.

Dr Katherine Backler


Women in the Ancient Greek Epigraphic Record

University of Oxford

Value Awarded: £9,972.50

Abstract: Given the paucity of female-authored literature from ancient Greece, many scholars have assumed that it is rarely possible to speak of women’s perspectives and experiences as opposed to men’s representations of them. However, epigraphic sources—many of which women played a role in producing—allow us to ask and answer new questions about ancient Greek women. This project brings together an international network for the study of women in the epigraphic record. The network will produce an article a) setting out the value of epigraphy as a source for women’s lives; b) outlining questions which further study of women in the epigraphic record could address (women’s language use, literacy, autonomy, authorship, religious practice, relationships, economic participation), and suggesting how they might be approached and answered; c) proposing ways to promote the study of epigraphic evidence on women. We would then produce an edited volume developing ideas advanced in the article.

Dr Alice Baderin

Co-applicants: Dr Roosmarijn de Geus and Dr Maxime Lepoutre


Geoengineering and Moral Hazard: Ethical and Empirical Perspectives for a Polarized World

University of Reading

Value Awarded: £8,900.18

Abstract: How does learning about geoengineering affect individuals' commitment to climate change mitigation? The 'moral hazard' objection suggests that increased awareness of potential technological responses to climate change will undermine public support for necessary emissions reductions. This interdisciplinary project – combining political philosophy and survey research – investigates key empirical and ethical questions raised by the moral hazard hypothesis. We will conduct a novel survey experiment to test how individuals with divergent political views respond to different forms of geoengineering information. We then explore the implications of our findings for how scientists and policymakers should communicate with the public about climate engineering.

Dr Varqa Shamsi Bahar

Co-applicant: Dr Xuejun Jiang


How can firms foster resilience during uncertain times? A multidisciplinary study on the role of stakeholder relationships in UK firms

Newcastle University

Value Awarded: £9,899.00

Abstract: In the face of significant uncertainty in the business environment, such as the financial crisis in 2008, the Brexit decision in 2016, the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, and the 11.1% inflation rate in 2022, firms struggle to regain stability. To tackle this problem, this project explores the resilience strategies firms can pursue during such uncertainty. Specifically, it explores whether and how stakeholder relationships with competitors, politicians, customers, and employees foster resilience. We aim to collect longitudinal data of approximately 2000 UK public firms and evaluate their resilience strategies spanning 1998 to 2023. Our data analysis involves text analytics and regression models to test our hypothesis. This research is practically relevant, timely, and impactful given the severe effects of uncertainty on UK firms over recent decades. We aim to offer pertinent recommendations on how firms can more effectively navigate setbacks and adapt to the highly uncertain business environment.

Dr Elizabeth Bailey

Co-applicant: Professor Fiona Cowdell


Mapping multiple birth care during the first 1,001 critical days: a World Café method study

Birmingham City University

Value Awarded: £9,856.10

Abstract: Parents of twins, triplets or more (multiple birth families) face unique emotional and practical challenges resulting in poor wellbeing. Although policy addresses the importance of the early years of life, multiple birth families are overlooked and unheard. Professionals lack multiple birth specific training and parents’ needs are not met. This proposed project aims to understand the experiences and needs of parents of twins, triplets (or more), together with the experiences of professionals involved in providing care from conception to 2 years (the first 1,001 critical days). Using the World Café method, we will bring together multiple birth families and professionals, to facilitate the sharing of experiences to generate new knowledge and discover viable new pathways to drive much needed care improvements. Date generated from the Cafés will be used to develop a professional facing document alongside a family facing parent stories resource to collectively drive improved multiple birth family care.

Professor Ian Bailey


The anchoring effect of climate change acts in contentious political contexts

University of Plymouth

Value Awarded: £9,970.00

Abstract: The aim of the project is to critically examine the factors affecting the ability of national climate change acts (CCAs) to exert a clear and enduring anchoring effect on the development of climate mitigation policy in contentious political contexts. It will investigate how the provisions of CCAs, such as legislated emissions targets, carbon budgets, and government accountability mechanisms, are utilised to influence the ambition of other climate policies based on case studies from the UK and Australia, where political tensions have emerged over the adoption of CCAs and the introduction of supporting climate policies to achieve their goals. Documentary evidence and expert interviews with policy-makers, government officials and key non-government stakeholders will be used to understand why disputes occur over CCAs and aligning climate policies with CCA requirements, how tensions have been managed, and how governments can use CCAs more effectively to help achieve national and global net-zero ambitions.

Dr Fay Baldry


Student Experience of Maths Mastery Approaches: The Influence of 10 years of Maths Hubs

University of Leicester

Value Awarded: £8,910.33

Abstract: This project will explore the influence of Maths Hubs on teachers' practice and student experience. In England, the government funds Maths Hubs, which are a network of regional centres that provide professional development (PD) for teachers of mathematics; since their inception 10 years ago they have become the dominant provider of PD, with 'Teaching for Mastery' the pedagogical approach advocated. The evaluation of professional development (PD) often focusses on teachers' reactions, such as perceived usefulness; due to the range of influences on classroom activities, it is far harder to explore the impact of PD on teachers' classroom practice and student learning. Taking a nested case-study approach, we will work with four schools in one Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) to investigate how Maths Mastery is understood and enacted by teachers, and experienced by students. The results will provide a framework for extending Maths Hub evaluation processes beyond participants self-reported perceptions.

Dr Carrie Ballantyne

Co-applicant: Dr Claire Wilson


School experiences of girls with ADHD; An intervention study

University of the West of Scotland

Value Awarded: £9,936.00

Abstract: Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders among children nationally and internationally. Although the prevalence of ADHD in males and females is similar, females often show less disruptive behaviour and mask their symptoms resulting in beliefs that females do not experience the disorder. Our previous research has shown that teachers’ knowledge and self-efficacy towards supporting children with ADHD are predominantly focused on males while females tend to be missed (Wilson et al., 2023). This can lead to females with ADHD receiving a lack of support in school however, limited research has investigated this. The proposed project has two main aims; 1) Examine school experiences of females with ADHD both educationally and socially from their own and parents’ perspectives and 2) Co-design and evaluate a workshop aimed at enhancing teachers’ knowledge and self-efficacy towards supporting females with ADHD in their classrooms and schools.

Dr Stephanie Barker


The Homeless Period: Understanding experiences and how to menstruate while homeless with dignity

University of Southampton

Value Awarded: £9,914.56

Abstract: There is a fundamental gap in literature surrounding the menstruation management needs of people experiencing homelessness, this is especially true for the experiences of non-binary, trans-masculine and gender non-conforming people who menstruate while homeless. There needs to be significant efforts to understand how we can better serve people who may experience homelessness and menstruation differently. This proposal aims to amplify the voices of these marginalised groups by utilising creative methods such as photovoice and in-depth interviews with participants experiencing homelessness, to listen to and understand their perspectives and barriers to accessing basic menstrual care. Interviews with stakeholders will explore decision making and their perspectives on how menstruation provision can be improved. Data collected will be thematically analysed and findings disseminated by co-producing a Research Impact Event where stakeholders and the community provide feedback and co-create actionable recommendations for generating a policy brief about improving access to healthcare and menstrual health.

Professor Ilan Baron


Political Responsibility in The Worst of All Possible Worlds: A study of political responsibility using dystopian and science fiction

Durham University

Value Awarded: £9,962.00

Abstract: What is political responsibility and what does it mean to be responsible? Political responsibility provides a moral framework for decisions that are likely to impact strangers, but the term "responsibility" is used to mean so many different things – accountability, liability, non-liable forms of complicity, etc. – that its meaning is not especially clear. By applying philosophical methods in an investigation of dystopian and its related genre of science fiction, this project explores the meaning of political responsibility, what it means to be responsible, and in particular, how responsibility functions as a call to become a moral agent.

Dr Virginie Barral


Climate change, cultural rights, and the accountability of the state: Towards culturally sensitive climate solutions

Goldsmiths, University of London

Value Awarded: £8,459.02

Abstract: The climate crisis threatens the cultural survival of many communities, such as those of small island states or Arctic indigenous populations where the effects of global warming are most spectacular and whose traditional lifestyle is closely tied to the land. At the same time, ill, or insensitively designed climate solutions may affect the right of vulnerable and indigenous communities to enjoy their culture. Yet, the connection between culture and climate change remains under-explored in legal research and climate regulatory systems pay little attention to the cultural impact of climate solutions. This project takes stock of the fundamental rights dimension of climate justice and of the rapid rise of climate litigation to investigate the contribution cultural rights may play in holding states accountable for climate action. It also lays the ground for a much-needed wider interdisciplinary research programme on the range of interactions between cultural rights and climate regulatory systems.

Dr Tom Barry

Co-applicant: Dr David Hallford


Harnessing Large Language Models to measure and improve autobiographical memory problems among people with mental health problems

University of Bath

Value Awarded: £9,595.16

Abstract: Difficulty recalling personally experienced past events affects people with different mental health problems and predicts a worsening of these problems over time. We developed an in-person intervention – Memory Specificity Training (MeST) – that can alleviate this difficulty and the symptoms of mental ill-health. We adapted this intervention for online delivery using artificial intelligence (C-MeST), however, the advent of Large Language Models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT have eclipsed the abilities of C-MeST. This project will harness LLMs to enhance C-MeST, improve its accuracy and the fluidity with which it communicates to users, and then test the effectiveness of this ‘C-MeST 2.0’. In doing so we will a) develop a novel AI-driven tool for codifying and quantifying memories; b) create a novel intervention for improving mental illness; and, c) be at the forefront of the conversation regarding how LLMs can be used to benefit people with mental health problems.

Professor Sohnke Bartram


Currency Market Efficiency and Macro-economic Fundamentals

University of Warwick

Value Awarded: £9,980.00

Abstract: While according to theory currency movements should be related to macro-economic fundamentals such as inflation, interest rates, money supply, and international trade, the extant literature has had limited success in documenting these relationships empirically. To resolve this puzzle, we motivate our empirical approach with a parsimonious theory model that determines currency prices on the basis of supply and demand. Using data for OECD countries, we document that predictable currency price movements occur with a lag when demand exceeds supply and vice versa. The predictions, both of currency raw returns and returns net of commonly used risk factors, utilize a novel approach to demand estimation. Consistent with our thesis, monetary authorities tend to increase or decrease the supply of money in proportion to excess demand. Inflation responds to the gap between currency excess demand and to predictable increases in the supply of money.

Dr Roman Barwinski

Co-applicant: Professor Jennifer Johns


Control of Critical Assets: 3D printing industry, M&A consolidation, and technological futures

University of Bristol

Value Awarded: £9,968.00

Abstract: The current UK manufacturing context is fraught with concerns around supply chain rupture and vulnerabilities. Digital technologies have the potential to increase the national sovereignty of UK manufacturing to alter the scale and length of supply chains. However, little academic attention has been paid to the industry dynamics of the 3D printing sector which is experiencing an intense period of merger and acquisition. This is changing the 3D printing value chain and the distribution of power across the sector and in different geographical territories. This work proposes to collect and analyse quantitative data on mergers and acquisitions of the global industry. The impacts and future implications will be investigated using qualitative interviews with key stakeholders in the UK.

Dr Julian Basanovic

Co-applicants: Professor E. Samuel Winer and Professor Barney Dunn


Driven to Avoid Happiness: Examining How Motivated Avoidance of Positive Emotion Contributes to Depression

University of Exeter

Value Awarded: £9,800.00

Abstract: Diminished motivation for positive experiences is a feature of depression poorly resolved by existing therapies. While traditional therapies sought to resolve this by simply improving negative mood, it is now recognised that this does not restore motivation for positive experiences. Promising new therapies targeting cognitive processes related to motivation for positive experiences have shown early signs of effectiveness. These therapies are supported by novel theories that propose depression is maintained by cognitive processes that result in the motivated avoidance of positive emotion. However, evidence supporting these theories is still emerging. This project will test these theories by determining how motivated attentional and behavioural avoidance of positive emotion relates to depression symptoms. The project's discoveries will reveal how these cognitive processes relate to depression; will verify emerging theories of positive emotion in depression; and will reveal targets for therapies that aim to repair diminished motivation for positive experiences in depression.

Dr Naheed Bashir


The Future of AI in Pakistan: Challenges, Opportunities and Policy Framework

University of Exeter

Value Awarded: £9,600.00

Abstract: This research will explore Artificial Intelligence (AI) potential to transform sectors in Pakistan, including healthcare, education, finance, agriculture, and security systems. The adoption of AI in Pakistan is still in its initial phases, and there are significant barriers to overcome. The foremost challenges are the lack of awareness and comprehension of the technology and the growing need of skilled professionals in AI. Although, with the government's initiatives and the growing interest in technology, the future of AI in Pakistan looks promising, however, the current state of government readiness in this context is subject to cross-examine and there is a threat of it being left behind. Adopting a mixed methods approach, this study aims to explore AI adoption, challenges, opportunities, growth, and prospectus of AI. The findings would help design AI frameworks and policies to craft capacity building into AI adoption and implementation, R&D centres to forward technological advancements and growth.

Dr Nikita Basov


Statistical Modelling of Meaning Creation in Interaction: A Test of Core Social Theories

University of Manchester

Value Awarded: £9,997.40

Abstract: The project will explore the capacities of recently advanced network modelling methods in testing core social theories: symbolic interactionism and social constructivism. In doing so it will provide the first comprehensive quantitative test of such theories. These new methods enable the disentangling of the complex structures that relate persons, words, and material objects in small groups of collocated individuals. This, in turn, enables cross-validation of the fundamental assumptions the two theories have regarding how cultural meanings are formed across different types of interaction, structural levels, and time spans. The project will utilise a globally unique multi-dimensional dataset that captures socio-cultural dynamics in five groups over two years. Development of statistical models for the analysis of how cultural meaning is created in society will constitute a major contribution to social science. Results of the testing of core social theories have the potential to trigger fundamental changes in social sciences and beyond.

Professor Richard Baxstrom


Entrepreneurial Life and the Artifice of Freedom in the American Southwest

University of Edinburgh

Value Awarded: £9,985.00

Abstract: This project entails the ethnographic study of individuals who identify or in some way associate themselves with the status of ‘the entrepreneur’. Contrasting with nearly all prior research regarding the individual characteristics and experiences of entrepreneurs, this study will focus on ‘average’ subjects who live in the rural Southwest area of the United States and is designed to document and enable a targeted analysis of the contradictions, dilemmas, double-binds, and forms of violence (real and imaginary) that inevitably emerge from such forms of living. Starting from the general claim that many Americans take up entrepreneurial life as a form of seeking freedom, rather than simply ‘doing business’ or acquiring wealth, this project aims to accurately and sympathetically grasp the lives of persons who, in seeking emancipation from rules and obligations, find themselves faced with the impossibility of achieving the individual freedom, elevated status, and material wealth that popular entrepreneurialism promises.

Professor Oleg Benesch

Co-applicant: Dr Rosina Buckland


Representing the Samurai

University of York

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: The samurai stands as one of the best-known cultural icons in the world, perhaps unique in its global intelligibility. Although this familiarity has been fuelled by the tremendous postwar spread of Japanese popular culture, the samurai trope has a much longer history, having been employed in multiple contexts for nearly a millennium. Nevertheless, this trajectory has been little explored. Both in Japan and internationally, there is little awareness of the context of samurai symbols and imagery, a situation influenced by factors such as Western orientalism and Japanese nationalism. This research project will constitute the first critical overview of the history of representation of the samurai, from the mediaeval period to the present day. This collaborative project brings together 24 scholars from around the world, culminating in two special journal issues, a co-authored book, and a major exhibition scheduled to be held at the British Museum in early 2026.

Dr Jenny Benham

Co-applicant: Dr Kathleen Neal


The King's Spies: Diplomacy and Espionage in Thirteenth-Century England

Cardiff University

Value Awarded: £9,970.00

Abstract: This project explores the history of medieval diplomacy and espionage from ‘the ground up’, focusing on the spies themselves. Greater attention to informal and extra-governmental elements, and to the social and gender diversity of diplomacy and espionage is needed to achieve an integrated history of spying in the medieval period. The King’s Spies will illuminate a loose network of agents interacting with the increasingly bureaucratized organs of medieval English government to generate the intelligence on which military, political and diplomatic decision-making depended. Focusing on the thirteenth-century, we will ask who was involved in intelligence gathering and why, of what kind and in what format(s), how regularly, how formally, on whose behalf and for what return. The applicants bring complementary expertise in medieval legal, literary, narrative and administrative records to these issues, while priority research directions will be developed in collaboration with a network of participating experts on diplomacy and intelligence.

Dr Marc Berenson


Ukrainians Are Citizens: 2024 Public Opinion Survey in Wartime and Recovery

King's College London

Value Awarded: £8,400.00

Abstract: This project, comprised of a public opinion survey comprised of at least 1,000 respondents across Ukraine conducted by a leading Kyiv pollster in mid-2024, will evaluate Ukrainian perceptions of the economy and the state during wartime (or its immediate aftermath); will track recent policy changes that have been made to reduce the economic hardships of citizens, especially in relation to civic duties like taxation; will assess citizen attitudes towards democracy and tolerance; and will provide further data for academic analysis and for ongoing outreach efforts to engage key Kyiv policymakers. The survey findings will be compared to the findings of eight previous surveys conducted by the PI with many of the same questions from 2005-2023. The data ultimately will be the focus of a peer-reviewed article written by the PI for a leading political science academic journal.

Dr Yonatan Berman


Inheritance and Lost Tax Revenue: Evidence from COVID Deaths

King's College London

Value Awarded: £9,954.00

Abstract: Inheritance tax is an important tool with relevance to wealth inequality, intergenerational mobility and fiscal policy. Inheritance tax is also considered to be highly prone to tax avoidance. However, how much tax is avoided in practice is not known. This project aims to estimate the extent of inheritance tax avoidance in the UK by utilizing a novel research design that relies on COVID deaths as an exogenous large-scale mortality shock. Due to the unexpected mortality shock, tax planning and avoidance were smaller in scale during the first COVID wave. Based on this natural quasi-experimental design, and using inheritance tax microdata, we will decompose the changes in tax revenue into different components: higher valuation of wealth holdings, higher mortality, and less avoidance. This would allow providing a lower bound for lost tax revenue due to avoidance, and could also inform revenue estimations for potential wealth tax proposals.

Dr Paroma Bhattacharya


Moving from entrepreneurial intention to entrepreneurial action - exploring the impact and effectiveness of co-creative social innovation events/forums

London School of Economics and Political Science

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: Co-creative Open Social Innovation Events/Forums (eg: hackathons, themed innovation challenges, etc.) have become a popular mechanism for catalyzing social change – with the aim of mobilizing aspiring social changemakers and harnessing their collective innovation potential to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. While such forums for open social innovation are effective in bringing diverse groups of people together and generating a large volume of innovative ideas, they can also fall short of creating tangible social impact if the entrepreneurial intent of the participants does not transform to entrepreneurial action after the events have concluded. Hence, this research project will explore the current impact and effectiveness of co-creative social innovation events/forums, and will identify the factors that help or hinder entrepreneurial intent to move to entrepreneurial action among participants of such events/forums. The research findings will make an important contribution to the nascent domain of literature on co-creative open social innovation.

Dr Zeeshan Ahmed Bhatti


How organisational supervisor knowledge hiding leads to employees' knowledge seeking behaviour in online communities

University of Portsmouth

Value Awarded: £9,294.00

Abstract: Motivations to engage in online knowledge seeking (KS) has been extensively studied in the IS literature.However, extant research focuses on the personal triggers to engage in KS in online communities. We study organisational Supervisor knowledge hiding (SKH) as an antecedent to online KS. SKH is identified as a negative behaviour in organisations. Consequently, employees who are victims of SKH engage in counterproductive behaviours. We propose that SKH does not always lead to negative outcomes, but can trigger positive outcomes such as online KS. Supervisees who face SKH, tend to avoid further knowledge seeking from their supervisors, seeking other internal or external sources of knowledge. In an effort to conserve their resources, supervisees tend not to utilise internal sources (such as their colleagues) but rather prefer external source of knowledge such as online communities. The research involves a multi-study time-lagged design. We also test some boundary conditions of such Knowldge seeking.

Dr Mohammad Shehub Bin Hasan


Climate Risk and Asset Redeployability

University of Reading

Value Awarded: £9,583.55

Abstract: The project aims to investigate the effects of climate risk on firms' asset redeployability. Asset redeployability refers to a firm's ability to use its assets for alternative purposes, which is crucial for maintaining competitiveness and sustainability. While firms commonly redeploy their plant and machinery, it may become challenging as climate risk-induced restrictions may render these assets obsolete. This can adversely impact both firm value and sustainability. On the contrary, firms can view climate restrictions as opportunities to modify their production technologies to become climate-compliant and enter new eco-friendly product markets. Thus, ex-ante, it is difficult to establish how climate risk will impact asset redeployability. This study seeks to provide insight into this relationship. The findings will help businesses envisage the impact of climate risk on their long-term expensive assets, competitive strategy, and firm value. Additionally, this study will have implications for future climate policies by highlighting potential material business consequences.

Dr Marina Biniari

Co-applicant: Dr Monica Masucci


How do established organizations achieve both economic and sustainable development goals through innovation? The role of innovation managers

University of Sussex

Value Awarded: £9,998.50

Abstract: Incumbent firms are under pressure to infuse a responsible business mindset into their innovation processes to build sustainability dynamic capabilities. In engaging in sustainability-oriented innovation, firms and their innovation managers must work on balancing economic and sustainable development goals. Understanding how, when, and why innovation managers experience and navigate this tension could help us understand the interventions firms need to enact sustainability-oriented innovation. We propose to conduct empirical research on four firms operating in the manufacturing sector and study how the innovation managers’ experiences and behaviors in tackling this tension influence organizational-level engagement in sustainability-oriented innovation. Our proposed study contributes to an emergent stream of literature that argues for the importance of micro-foundations in building sustainability-related dynamic capabilities at the organizational level, while our findings will inform managerial practice.

Dr Debanjali Biswas


Unarchiving Dance through Interpreting Colonial Visual Cultures of Manipur, 1891-1949

Independent Scholar

Value Awarded: £9,379.00

Abstract: I will conduct archival research in India and the UK for a monograph exploring indigenous performance cultures in relation to colonial visual cultures. In my examination of intermedial dialogue between dance and photography from 1891-1949 or the time of colonial rule in Manipur, a region now governed as a state of India - I turn to the private papers of administrators and officers and small collections located in two countries. Through the images, I question what traces of indigenous lives can be mined in the fragments and biases of the colonial archive? How were images and objects produced, circulated and viewed in colonial contexts? What forms of performance and identity are revealed by a study of the visual cultures? I address issues of indigenous and national heritage while interrogating the conspicuous absence of performing bodies and narratives from Northeast India, within the larger discourse of performance studies in south Asia.

Rosy Boardman

Co-applicant: Dr Courtney Chrimes


Silver shoppers: Designing more age-inclusive clothes purchasing experiences with mobile technologies

University of Manchester

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: Approximately 80% of UK consumers aged 55+ own a smartphone but only 26% utilise mobile technologies when shopping, in contrast to 65% of consumers aged 18-25 (Statista, 2023). Yet, mobile technologies could make shopping more convenient and accessible for older adults, particularly those with mobility issues, as well as enhance decision-making and enjoyment. Therefore, this study aims to understand how mobile technologies can be more inclusive for older adults when clothes shopping. A quantitative survey will be disseminated to UK adults aged 55+ to ascertain what mobile technologies are being used when shopping for clothes, followed by qualitative semi-structured interviews to provide a deeper understanding about why and how they are being used, and how mobile technologies can be designed and incorporated to aid their shopping experience. Findings could be used by retailers to incorporate mobile technologies in an age-inclusive way and inform policy development aimed at mitigating digital exclusion.

Dr Pietro Bortone


Language as an ethnic marker in Greece and Turkey

University of Oxford

Value Awarded: £3,705.00

Abstract: I am writing a book for Oxford University Press about the historically variable importance given by Greeks and by Turks to language in their assessment of who is Greek and who is Turkish. Part of my book spotlights a region in north-east Turkey where a huge Greek community lived for centuries until the 1923 exchange of populations. There, some of the current population, though strongly Turkish-identified and Muslim, still speaks natively the local form of Greek – a fact that, in recent decades, many Turks and Greeks have claimed (sincerely but misguidedly) to be evidence of a Greek identity. I wish to carry out research in the archives of the Centre for Asia Minor Studies in Athens, where I have located hand-written interviews with many Greeks expelled from that region in 1923. The interviewees recall their life among the Turkish locals, describing differences between themselves, Greek-speaking Turks, and Turkish-speaking Turks.

Dr James Bothwell


Under The Radar: The East Midlands, The Manorial Court Rolls And The Revolt Of 1381

University of Leicester

Value Awarded: £8,511.43

Abstract: This project examines the 1381 Rising in the East Midlands, an area with much anecdotal discussion but limited hard empirical research to date. It will span a wider time frame (1360-1400) than the usual focus on the years immediately the revolt, and conduct an analysis of the little used, for the study of the revolt at least, manorial records for analysing patterns of local disturbance. Was there a deeper restiveness in later fourteenth century England which ran through a more extensive area than just the traditional revolt heartlands, even if it did not always manifest itself in outright rebellion? And how does this fit in the debate as to whether 1381 was more a result of endemic class conflict, domestic political tensions, or wider problems facing both society and economy (e.g. plague, war)? Why is this important to understanding, and re-evaluating, the more general run of later medieval English History?

Dr Kate Boyer


Geographies of the Menopause

Cardiff University

Value Awarded: £9,902.00

Abstract: The menopause has largely been conceptualized as a medical event in the contemporary UK: this research seeks to reposition it as a social one. Through interviews with women from different parts of the UK and different social backgrounds, this project will explore how women’s experiences of the menopause have (re)shaped their experiences of space and place; their understandings their bodies and bodily biographies; and their relationship to wage work, families and friends. As such this work fills a major empirical gap on women’s reproductive lives, which currently focuses on experiences of pregnancy, birth and motherhood and says virtually nothing about women’s experiences of this key life stage.

Dr Tony Bradley

Co-applicant: Professor Valeria Andreoni


Mapping and Developing Micro-credentials in Sustainability for Business Professionals and Graduates.

Liverpool Hope University

Value Awarded: £9,284.00

Abstract: Preparing business students and professionals for the future world of work requires them to gain an increasingly sophisticated understanding of what makes for sustainable businesses. The project aims to map the development of a range of micro-credentials (MCs) for informing the teaching of sustainability in the UK and Irish business curriculum. Micro-credentials can provide a more accessible and flexible route to learning and understanding complex and specialized topics. The project will be split into three phases: Phase 1 will survey a range of businesses and organisations in the two city regions of Liverpool and Cork on the main graduate employment destinations. Phase 2 will develop an experimental design for testing-out the ensuing suite listing of MCs with panel focus groups. Phase 3 will test the delivery, learning, and use of a small number of MCs in sustainability, with professionals drawn from local businesses, and final year students.

Dr Naomi Braithwaite


Title: Shoe shop Talk: An exploration of the British Shoe Corporation 1956-1998 and its contribution to the UK footwear industry

Nottingham Trent University

Value Awarded: £6,406.00

Abstract: This project is the first detailed research of footwear retail in the UK. The 1950s onwards witnessed significant shifts in retail business, particularly in the context of fashion and footwear. The UK footwear industry is globally renowned and while much attention has been given to the history of shoemaking, there is no study devoted to footwear retail. The project examines this under researched area with a focus on the British Shoe Corporation (BSC), a Leicestershire company who were the biggest sellers of fashion led footwear across the UK during their heyday from 1956-1998. Archival research will document the operational history of BSC, establishing its role in the UK footwear industry over a period of changing consumer behaviour and a flourishing economy. Oral history interviews with former employees will draw out the human stories of working at BSC, bringing an untouched perspective to the contemporary history of the UK footwear industry.

Dr Alexandra Bristow

Co-applicants: Professor Henriett Primecz and Dr Anna Górska


Post-pandemic experiences of women’s careers in post-socialist illiberal contexts

Open University

Value Awarded: £9,931.75

Abstract: This project will explore women managers’ career experiences in post-socialist illiberal and post-pandemic contexts. Evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread introduction of remote working have exacerbated the disproportional care and household burden already carried by women. This has been particularly significant in countries with illiberal regimes such as Hungary and Poland. More women in this region work full-time paid than their western counterparts. Yet, illiberal governments are engaging in a retraditionalisation of women’s social roles, with implications for women’s careers. This project will delineate the ways in which women managers’ careers can act as oppressive and/or liberating in this context and the ways in which women cope with, resist, or thrive in the face of the challenges they face. Data from 60 interviews will provide the basis for career theory development and for sharing insights with professional and non-governmental organisations for supporting and empowering women managers’ careers.

Dr Luca Brunelli

Co-applicant: Dr Josephine Malonza


From rural to urban: co-production of a policy brief for Rwanda's model village

Glasgow School of Art

Value Awarded: £9,915.00

Abstract: This project builds upon earlier research on Rwanda's Integrated Development Programme (IDP) model villages (Malonza and Brunelli, 2023), focusing on understanding the daily lives of low-income households relocated from at-risk settlements to denser model villages. The primary objectives are to co-produce evidence-based policy recommendations for village sustainability and offer insights for community-based implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Rwanda. The study addresses challenges such as housing density, access to farmland, and impacts on vulnerable groups. Using an innovative methodology that combines participatory narrative photovoice and mapping, residents actively collaborate in research. The project will inform discussions on affordable housing and sustainable development in Rwanda, benefiting low-income households, policymakers, researchers, and academics. Additionally, it supports capacity-building and networking between researchers in the UK and Rwanda, contributing to future ODA research projects.

Dr Luke Brunning

Co-applicant: Dr Natasha McKeever


Ethical dating online

University of Leeds

Value Awarded: £9,973.00

Abstract: Our project asks ‘what would an ethical dating app look like?’ We shall investigate the ethical issues surrounding the current use of dating apps and how these issues can be rectified in practice. This research is important because many users of dating apps – which are widespread and growing – are harmed or experience alienation. Yet relatively little consideration has been given to the ethical implications that the shift to virtually mediated intimacy is having on different user-communities and relationships in general. Through establishing a collaborative research network, organising a workshop, and producing an edited book volume, policy document, and related outputs, we will (1) facilitate research collaboration between philosophers, academics in other disciplines, and industry professionals (2) analyse the ethical implications of dating apps, and (3) produce materials to influence app design, policy, and public discourse, including an ethical app prototype.

Dr Juliana Buritica Alzate

Co-applicant: Dr Hitomi Yoshio


Making Translation Visible: Gender, Hybridity, and Border-Crossing in Modern and Contemporary Japanese Literature

University of Oxford

Value Awarded: £4,200.00

Abstract: Literary categories such as zainichi bungaku (literature by diasporic Koreans), nihongo bungaku (Japanese-language literature), and ekkyō bungaku (border-crossing literature) have been gradually moving from the margins of the national canon of Japanese literature towards a more prominent place in the discussion of the linguistic landscape of Japanese literature. The proposed research project explores issues related to gender, hybridity, and border-crossing in Modern and Contemporary Japanese literature by women writers. Ultimately, the overarching goal of this project is to engage with the possibilities and limitations of translation, and its multiple connections to gender and identity. The main outcome produced from this project is a peer-reviewed, multi-contributor volume, co-edited with Dr. Hitomi Yoshio and to be published as Making Translation Visible: Gender, Hybridity, and Border-Crossing in Modern and Contemporary Japanese Literature. In addition, there is a second output: another co-edited volume titled Language and Gender: East Asian Perspectives.

Ms Rose Butler

Co-applicant: Professor Petra Saskia Bayerl


The Moderators

Sheffield Hallam University

Value Awarded: £9,977.00

Abstract: The research will examine the use, governance, and influence of local community Facebook (FB) groups with the aim to understand polarisation mechanisms in small communities. The research need arises as indications are that online polarisation in local communities’ functions differently compared to larger online communities, as community members tend to know each other and continuously interact outside the online group. This creates particular dynamics and impacts, not present in communities of people only meeting online. In 2024 there will be a general election in the UK adding an additional and particular interaction for community members. The research aims to develop in-real-life educational strategies surrounding information and the use of social media, to better support community dialogues. To enhance an examination of 'online' and 'offline' dialogues this research brings together researchers in Art and Security to create an interdisciplinary methodology.

Dr Yunci Cai

Co-applicant: Dr Shu-Li Wang and Professor Louise Tythacott


Decolonising the Sacred: Towards Respectful Curation of Sacred Chinese Objects in British Museums

University of Leicester

Value Awarded: £5,000.00

Abstract: There exists a substantial collection of sacred Chinese objects, including statues of Daoist, Buddhist and Confucian deities, ancestral tablets, and religious paraphernalia in British museums. They are highly revered by Chinese communities who believe that they hold sacred power, but they are often displayed as historical, art or ethnographic objects in museums, devoid of their socio-cultural, cosmological and religious contexts. This scoping project is a first-step towards a larger comparative study examining their object biographies, genealogies and socio-cultural, cosmological and religious contexts to inform their storage, display and interpretation. The project brings together museum professionals, religious practitioners, and scholars of different disciplinary backgrounds to examine the diverse contexts of sacred Chinese objects in Kedleston Hall, Derby Museum, Horniman Museum and Manchester Museum to scope a larger project that proposes a culturally appropriate approach for their curation in ways that correspond to how they are used and understood in source contexts.

Dr David Calder


Performing Public Space in 21st-century Europe

University of Manchester

Value Awarded: £5,229.00

Abstract: Performing Public Space in 21st-century Europe examines how performance in public space has become caught up in European debates about democracy, sovereignty, citizenship, migration, and the meaning of Europe itself. It approaches performance in public space as both a creative sector (sustained by festivals, residencies, professional organisations, and funding bodies) and a theatrical event (an embodied encounter between performers and spectators). Public space is not neutral; it is always negotiated and contested, shaped by debates over who or what belongs there. Therefore, performances in public space become ‘public theory’: acts of theorising the public, in public. The proposed article explores how publics take shape at seven European outdoor arts festivals in countries where resurgent nationalisms are clashing with cosmopolitanism. The article, ‘Performing European Publics at Outdoor Arts Festivals’, analyses how outdoor arts festivals become sites where abstract, intangible concepts such as democracy—or even ‘Europe’—come to be embodied, practiced, and felt.

Dr Niall Carson


Women Presidents of the Irish Academy of Letters

University of Liverpool

Value Awarded: £8,012.80

Abstract: This project seeks to produce a comprehensive account of the female Presidents of what was perhaps the most important literary society in Britain and Ireland in the twentieth century in the Irish Academy of Letters (IAL). The IAL’s founding fathers were the Nobel Laureates W.B. Yeats and George Bernard Shaw and its members have been honoured with four Nobel, three Hawthornden, two Booker and ten James Tait Black Memorial prizes. It drew its membership from across the globe and some notable members included: T.E. Lawrence, Robert Graves, Cecil Day-Lewis, Louis MacNeice, Eugene O’Neill and Seamus Heaney. However, there is no account of its promotion of women writers, despite the fact that it had two female Presidents in Elizabeth Bowen and Mary Lavin. This research seeks to redress this imbalance.

Professor Robyn Carston


Metaphor and Metonymy – Referring and Predicating – Costs and Benefits

University College London

Value Awarded: £9,866.15

Abstract: Ordinary daily language use is surprisingly creative, with speakers often communicating meaning that goes far beyond the literal meaning of the words and structures they employ. Two frequent figurative uses are metaphor and metonymy, as in ‘Mary is a chameleon’ and ‘The ginger beard is getting annoyed’, respectively. These are both literally false but, in appropriate contexts, are easily understood by hearers as communicating something relevant and true. This short focused project investigates the processing costs and cognitive benefits of using language in these ways. Employing experimental techniques (specifically, reading time measures and eye-tracking), we compare participants’ processing of metaphors used both predicatively (first example above) and referentially, and metonymic referential uses (second example above), to test our hypothesis that metaphors are most effectively used predicatively and metonymies referentially. The empirical results will feed into our theoretical analysis of the nature of these two creative uses of language.

Dr Tom Caygill


Post-Legislative Scrutiny in the Scottish Parliament

Nottingham Trent University

Value Awarded: £5,381.39

Abstract: One of the main roles of legislatures is to create laws. However, it is only recently that legislatures have begun to formally evaluate whether these laws meet their objectives set at the time of passage. This is termed post-legislative scrutiny. The objective of this project is to undertake an assessment of the operation of post-legislative scrutiny in the Scottish Parliament. This original research will utilise a mix of quantitative content analysis and elite interviews (with Members of the Scottish Parliament and officials) to analyse the scrutiny undertaken by both subject committees and a dedicated post-legislative scrutiny committee. This study will identify best practice and support the creation of a typology and toolkit for post-legislative scrutiny which can be deployed by legislatures around the world. The research has been awarded an academic fellowship with the Scottish Parliament, and as such there is a solid foundation to develop an impact case study.

Dr Melis Ceylan

Co-applicant: Dr Ezgi Merdin-Uygur


Encouraging Sustainable Consumption: The Comparative Advantage of Artificial Intelligence Technology

Heriot-Watt University

Value Awarded: £9,660.10

Abstract: This research examines whether using artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing communications can promote sustainable product consumption. The ability of AI to create targeted marketing messages can improve customer engagement and adoption of sustainable practices. However, there is emerging evidence that consumers can reject AI and prefer human interaction. Therefore, the challenge is to test the effect of AI versus human interactions on consumers' purchase intentions for sustainable products for different consumer groups. In this research, a combination of online and field experiments has been designed to identify the cause-and-effect relationship between message source (AI versus human), message type, and purchase intentions for sustainable products. Findings will enable marketing practitioners to design promotions that match consumer preference to AI message generation and encourage sustainable product consumption. Overall, the research contributes to understanding the effectiveness of AI technology and hence carries essential implications for society, consumer behaviour researchers, and marketing practitioners.

Dr Konstantinos Chalkias


Protection from flood disaster in the UK: Exploring the Paradox of Insurance and Resilience across diverse stakeholders

Birkbeck, University of London

Value Awarded: £9,715.96

Abstract: Climate change has increased the frequency and severity of UK flood disasters, with devastating socioeconomic effects. At the heart of this challenge lies a paradoxical relationship between insurance and resilience. Insurance provides financial support for post-disaster reconstruction, while resilience mitigates physical damage. These concepts are intertwined but often in contradiction. For example, while subsidizing unaffordable premiums of high-risk properties ensures our society remains financially protected post-disasters, it may also disincentivise resilience investments because people will continue getting insurance on properties that require risk mitigation. Using paradox theory, I will investigate the interactions of stakeholders with different interests and objectives – such as insurers, government agencies and civil society bodies – and how they reinforce or undermine insurance and resilience processes. Insights will support them in constructing a flood risk management ecosystem that enables physical and financial protection. This will also advance our theoretical understanding of paradoxes in a multi-stakeholder context.

Dr Yee Shan Chang


Exploring Adoption of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its Transformative Value in the Tourism and Hospitality Industries

University of Essex

Value Awarded: £9,985.00

Abstract: The rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI) is ushering in transformative changes within the tourism and hospitality industries. Despite technological advancement, customer acceptance remains a challenge. This research seeks to explore the motivations behind travellers’ perceptions of generative AI chatbot performance. It aims to identify the external and internal factors influencing user evaluations, investigate the psychological mechanisms and understand the reasons behind user hesitance. This research will employ quantitative data from 600 international travellers in the UK’s most popular cities. By shedding light on these dynamics, this research provides valuable insights for both scholars and practitioners, enabling them to enhance generative AI chatbot design and usage. It also advocates for the responsible and effective deployment of generative AI technology while improving user experiences for their travel planning and fostering trust in AI-driven interactions.

Professor Dawn Chatty


Anthropology of Good: Exploring Volunteerism in the 2015 Europe Refugee Crisis.

Independent Scholar

Value Awarded: £9,900.00

Abstract: This study proposes to examine the impulses which led so many to volunteer their time and energy to welcome and make Syrians feel ‘at home’ upon arrival in the United Kingdom and Sweden. Rather than focus on the suffering of Syrians seeking safety (Chatty, 2018: Rabo et al, 2021: Beck, 2021; Cantat, 2021), it turns to interrogate the motivations which drove so many citizens and residents to step forward and be generous to those in need (Chatty, 2017). In the UK there was little media sympathy for such hospitality whereas in Sweden media was generally very supportive. These two study sites offer an opportunity to study volunteering to come to the aid of Syrians in both a relatively hostile policy environment and a sympathetic one.

Dr Zixuan Cheng

Co-applicant: Dr Dominik Manuel Piehlmaier


From Gaming Streams to Gambling Dreams: Evaluating the Impact of Video Game Influencers on Youth Gambling Attitudes in Great Britain

University of Sussex

Value Awarded: £9,200.00

Abstract: In recent changes to gambling advertisement, a new trend is emerging. Video game influencers, who have many followers online, are now showing their own gambling activities and supporting various gambling websites. This study looks at the impact of this trend, especially in Great Britain, a key place for online gambling. By looking at how social media users react to these influencers promoting gambling sites, the research aims to give information that could help improve rules around gambling ads. Using different research methods, including field studies, interviews, and experiments, the research aims to understand how these promotions affect people's choices and what this means for the gambling industry. The expected results will be important for both academic research and for making decisions about regulations, helping to shape a fair and responsible future for online gambling.

Dr Rocco Chiou

Co-applicants: Professor Beth Jefferies and Professor Roi Cohen Kadosh


Language vs. Math: A neuroimaging investigation into the brain's executive mechanisms for linguistic and mathematical processing

University of Surrey

Value Awarded: £9,996.00

Abstract: Language and arithmetic are two important capabilities that underlie pupils’ education attainment and adults’ job performance. To proficiently use language and accurately perform arithmetic, the brain needs to adeptly control the selection of words when expressing language and skilfully execute each step when solving a math problem. Surprisingly, the neurocognitive mechanisms of executive control for language and math remain unclear. The present research seeks to provide crucial evidence about the executive mechanisms of language and math, comparing their commonalities and differences. In two neuroimaging experiments, we will employ (1) multivoxel decoding to decipher the neural codes that underlie executive control for language and math and (2) connectivity analysis to reveal collective network dynamics during linguistic and math tasks. Through systematically comparisons, our research holds the promise to unveil how the brain directs the cognitive operations for language and math and will pave the way for future research on precision enhancement.

Dr Krzysztof Cipora

Co-applicant: Dr Kinga Morsanyi and Dr Florence Gabriel


From classroom to everyday life: Understanding mathematics anxiety in the wild

Loughborough University

Value Awarded: £9,966.50

Abstract: Mathematics Anxiety (MA) is a feeling of fear that occurs when interacting with mathematics. Its negative influence on mathematics achievement is well-established, but its effects on daily life remain unexplored. Study 1 will explore how often and what kind of mathematics people encounter in their everyday lives. It will inform creation and validation of a questionnaire (Study 2). Study 3 will use an experience sampling methodology, which will provide an ecologically valid data on how adults engage with and emotionally respond to numbers and mathematics on a daily basis. By delving into this novel aspect of mathematical cognition, we aim to provide insights into how MA affects adults beyond formal education. Understanding these implications can inform interventions and support systems, fostering a more positive and confident approach to mathematics in daily life. The findings will contribute to the existing literature on MA and will have broader societal relevance.

Dr Clelia Clini


Arts for solidarity: a first mapping of Sikh creative response to the Indian farmers protest in the UK.

London Metropolitan University

Value Awarded: £8,956.00

Abstract: This project maps the creative response to the 2020-2021 Indian farmers’ protest within the British Sikh diaspora. As Sikh farmers played a prominent role in the protest, their contribution sparked a strong response from Sikhs abroad, including the UK. Some British Sikh artists contributed their artworks to the cause, often referencing landmark moments of struggle and resilience in the (post)colonial history of India, particularly Punjab. This project will be the first to map the British Sikhs’ response to the protest, the meanings it acquired in the diasporic imagination, and the role of arts in promoting transnational solidarity. Focusing on arts and solidarity, this project offers a significant contribution to research on Sikh diasporic activism, still dominated by studies on nationalism and separatist movements. The findings will inform the design of a digital map of British Sikh solidarity and resistance, in collaboration with the organisation A Little History of the Sikhs.

Dr Nicole Cocolas


Adverse impacts of (anti) aviation climate campaigns

University of Surrey

Value Awarded: £9,848.00

Abstract: Misinformation spread through environmental campaigns can contribute to disillusionment and confusion regarding what to do about climate change. Campaigns from both airlines and grassroots climate activist organisations have emerged in recent years, with airlines attempting to portray progress towards climate goals while activists seek to draw attention to aviation’s unaddressed emissions growth. While existing research focuses primarily on airline communications, research is yet to explore the impact of these binary approaches on consumers understanding of their carbon footprint. Building on this gap, and guided by a theory of moral disengagement, this study will employ an experimental design to test the impact of airlines and activist climate campaigns on consumers’ emotions, moral disengagement with climate issues and perceptions of airline credibility. Through exploring the impact of these two approaches, this study will generate insights of value to environmental campaign groups and airlines in terms of the impacts of their campaign efforts.

Professor Alan Collins

Co-applicant: Dr Marharyta Yuriivna Lymar and Dr Alina Iovcheva


Societal Security Dilemma in post-independent Ukraine

Swansea University

Value Awarded: £9,998.00

Abstract: Was the seizure of Ukrainian territory by Russia an inevitable consequence of Ukrainian nation-building? To answer this, we utilise the societal security dilemma to examine whether competing narratives about what it means to be Ukrainian had the unintended consequence of driving a spiralling process of insecurity, not dissimilar to a security dilemma, that lead to a fracturing of the Ukrainian nation resulting in separatist desires in the Donbas and Russian intervention. A security dilemma spiral is driven by weapons that appear threatening to another’s territory. In a societal security dilemma, the spiral is competing narratives determining what an identity means, which appears threatening by alienating alternative understandings. In Ukraine, three narratives are identified which are in turn supported and opposed by narratives from the EU and Russia. We examine these competing narratives through seven identity markers, representing political, historical and societal elements of Ukraine’s search for a national identity.

Dr Hannah Collis

Co-applicant: Dr Emma Gritt and Dr Rashpal Dhensa-Kahlon


Understanding the female early career experience: Exploring early career academics within UK Business Schools

University of Exeter

Value Awarded: £7,399.80

Abstract: Despite efforts to improve gender disparities within academia, differences endure across all academic disciplines. While research into this topic focuses on STEM disciplines, an under-studied discipline is Business or Management Schools, where males hold more professorial positions than females, have lower teaching loads and stay for longer. Moreover, we propose the first five years are vital in facilitating female success, promotion, and retention. This project aims to conduct a UK-wide investigation to understand the lived experiences of early career academics within accredited Business/Management Schools. Interviews will focus on gendered experiences (e.g., discrimination), career aspirations, and support resources. Overall, we aim to underscore the ongoing experiences of female early career academics, to identify the consequential effects of early experiences on turnover intent. By exploring support resources and systems, we will provide advice and guidance for both academics and institutions. This project will make valuable contributions to enhancing research within the discipline.

Dr Robert Cord


Presidential Addresses to the American Economic Association: Evidence from the Archives

Independent Scholar

Value Awarded: £2,240.00

Abstract: Each year since its founding in the 1880s, the American Economic Association (AEA), the primary professional association for economists in the United States, elects a president. This appointment is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious honours that can be bestowed on an academic economist. One of the key functions of the president is to deliver a Presidential Address at the annual meeting of the AEA. The main aim of the proposed research is to examine the early-years archive of the AEA held at Duke University, North Carolina, to uncover how and why the Association decided to make a Presidential Address a requirement for the holding of the office of president, whether there were any attempts by the Association to frame the subject matter of the early Addresses and how the Addresses themselves developed during the opening decades of the AEA.

Professor Sarah Corrie

Co-applicant: Professor Johanna Finch


What are the Experiences for University Staff of Initiating and Undertaking Student Fitness to Practice Procedures on Accredited and Regulated Programmes?

University of Suffolk

Value Awarded: £7,185.67

Abstract: This study aims to explore the experiences, emotional labour and psychological challenges facing university tutors when they either instigate or are involved in student fitness to practice investigations. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the emotional consequences of these investigations for tutors can be significant with the potential for inducing emotional distress or even trauma. There is a lack of research however, that examines fitness to practice investigations in general or from a university staff perspective. This study aims to address this gap by focusing on the experiences of university staff of initiating or conducting fitness to practice investigations or of being a fitness to practice panel member. The research seeks to identify good practice in this area, develop a better understanding of how staff undertaking such investigations might be impacted, personally and professionally and consider how universities might support fitness to practice investigators and panel members in their own institutions.

Dr Sebastian Cortes Corrales


Strategic Allocations in Weighted Networks

University of Birmingham

Value Awarded: £9,060.00

Abstract: The proposed research will investigate how individuals allocate scarce resources (e.g., time, effort, attention) across differently weighted connections within networks. Existing literature highlights the effect of influential, resilient, or valuable connections on decision-making. However, empirical evidence in this area is lacking. Utilizing economic experiments, we will explore this phenomenon, contributing both theoretically and experimentally. We will design novel experiments to induce weighted networks, analyzing allocations in various conflict scenarios. Our methodology eliminates potential confounds on how the weighted nature of our connections affects how we allocate scarce resources. Our study's findings will be disseminated widely, enriching the understanding of actual strategic resource allocation in network contexts.

Dr Kirsten Cowan


Conservation through Innovative Technology: Explaining Why and When VR Influences Sustainable Behaviours

University of Edinburgh

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: Aligned with the UN’s sustainable goals, more brands than ever before are tackling issues like climate change/social responsibility. Specifically, museums, aquariums, and zoological societies have strategic goals related to educating the public about conservation and sustainability. Many of them are doing so in innovative ways, such as using virtual reality (VR), a 3-dimensional technology that takes users to a virtual environment that they can experience as if real. By using VR, brands’ efforts are more persuasive. For instance, a 2020 gala used VR to raise $1.16 billion for charity. Bridging conservation issues with technological innovation, the project aims to determine the extent to which virtual environments increase visitors’ attitude toward, behaviour toward, and knowledge of wildlife conservation and sustainability. Additionally, we seek to understand why VR might be influential and under which conditions it might be more or less effective.

Dr Elizabeth Craig-Atkins

Co-applicant: Dr Jennifer Vanderpool


Untold Stories: Sheffield

University of Sheffield

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: 'Untold Stories: Sheffield' is a collaborative archival and social action research project investigating how late twentieth-century deindustrialization impacted the city of Sheffield, England. It will reveal nuanced, multivocal perspectives on the creation of vulnerable, working-class communities with multi-faceted identities and examine the human cost of the catastrophic socio-cultural and political ramifications which accompanied industrial decline. The findings will reveal the complexity of workers and their work and their stories of history, place, and making community. We will present our research as a co-authored journal article and a community-specific and site-responsive exhibition at Wentworth Woodhouse, South Yorkshire, during the 2024-25 gallery season.

Professor Vicki Cummings

Co-applicant: Dr Hugo Anderson-Whymark


A lost passage tomb found: the excavation of the Neolithic chambered tomb at Blomuir, Holm, Orkney

Cardiff University

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: In 2023 excavations at Blomuir in Orkney revealed the remains of a long-lost Neolithic passage tomb. This site was unknown to archaeology, but notes made by an Antiquarian in the 19th century when the site was being robbed for stone left enough clues for the applicants to reconstruct the location of the site. The excavations revealed the remains of a robbed out passage tomb, but remarkably while the walls were mostly destroyed the tomb deposits were intact. One side cell contained the remains of a a minimum of 14 individuals, 7 adults and 7 children. These remains will enable us to reconstruct the lives of these 5000 year old people. This application is for funding to support the excavation of the remainder of the monument in 2024 and 2025.

Dr Corentin Curchod


Professionals' coping with de-professionalization: The case of pharmacists between 'medecine experts' and 'shopkeepers'

University of Edinburgh

Value Awarded: £9,825.00

Abstract: Professionals have traditionally been characterized by their capacity to mobilize a specific expertise to solve problems. They are however increasingly under pressure to take on roles that are not core to what ‘being a professional’ entails. More and more professions report cases of burn out, mental health issues, demotivation and exits due to the increasing emphasis given to the least valorising tasks. This ‘de-professionalization’ trend is encouraged by governments and generally supported by the general public, leading to professionals’ struggling to reconcile who they think they are (their professional identity) and the roles that others expect from them. Understanding how professionals can effectively cope with these tensions is thus very important. My project intends to build a discussion around how professionals can routinely influence others’ perceptions of their role, based on interviews and observations of pharmacists in situation. My analysis will draw on, and extend, occupational role identity studies.

Dr David Wei Dai


Developing transpositioning and transcultural abilities in foreign language learners

University College London (UCL)

Value Awarded: £9,993.00

Abstract: Effective communication in foreign languages requires more than linguistic proficiency. Transpositioning is recognised as an essential capacity for the 21st century in state-of-the-art multilingualism and language learning theories. Nevertheless, there is scarce empirical research that investigates how language learners develop the ability to travel across (hence ’ trans’) various social positions and sociocultural contexts. This study starts this line of empirical investigation by examining how Chinese learners, an under-research learner group, display transpositioning and transcultural abilities in interaction. The study analyses an existing learner corpus where Chinese learners performed scenario-based role-play tasks that required them to communicate in Chinese with interlocutors that had different social roles (e.g., a classmate, an employer, a neighbour) in diverse sociocultural contexts (academic, workplace, and mundane discourses). Using Membership Categorization Analysis to analyse learner performance, this study generates important insight into how to assist language learners in developing stronger transpositioning and transcultural communication skills.

Dr Nick Davis

Co-applicant: Dr Matt Brooks


A prison as a lab: Psychological effects of social isolation

Manchester Metropolitan University

Value Awarded: £9,872.80

Abstract: There are many situations where a person is isolated from human contact, then asked to perform a cognitively difficult task. For example, a person arrested in connection with a crime may be isolated in police cells for a number of hours, then brought out for an interview. Recent evidence has suggested that social isolation can affect the way that people process information, or make decisions. In addition, stress research has recognised mental health difficulties associated with social isolation. In this work we will set up a ‘lab’ for studying social isolation, where people can be isolated from human contact, and will use this lab to investigate questions relevant to information processing in suspects and witnesses. The research has the potential to inform practice and guidance when processing individuals within the criminal justice system, which can unintentionally induce stress among those who come into contact with it.

Dr Swati Dhingra


Accounting for the Unaccounted: Street Vendors in India

London School of Economics and Political Science

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: 93 percent of 2 billion informal workers in the world are concentrated in low-and middle-income countries. This informality often takes the form of street vending. Though highly visible, street vendors are the most unaccounted form of informal employment after home production. We plan to systematically collect new data on this largely undocumented subset of informal workers across four cities in India through a survey. This data will help us address important economic questions related to occupational choice, organisation of street vendors, supply chain networks and constraints to formalisation, and characterise any gender differences in this sector. The project aims to understand the economic choices of street vendors better by 1) bridging the data gap and 2) creating a baseline to design interventions relaxing the constraints to upward mobility or formalisation in the future.

Dr Ahrash Dianat

Co-applicant: Dr Mikhail Freer


Revealing Preferences and Choice Procedures

University of Essex

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: Classical economic models assume that the decision-maker acts in a way to maximise her preferences. However, the economics literature is largely silent about the procedure that the decision-maker uses to maximise her preferences. In particular, when confronted with observed choice inconsistencies, most behavioural economists attempt to tweak the underlying assumptions about preferences to explain the inconsistencies. Instead, we argue that the observed inconsistencies can be attributed to one of two sources: either a failure to perform the preference maximisation procedure or a failure to hold classically rational preferences. In this project, we aim to disentangle observed choices along the procedural and preference dimensions. To do so, we conduct a laboratory experiment to collect data on the potential procedures that decision-makers might use in order to implement the maximisation of their preferences.

Dr Demet Şahende Dinler


Designing inclusive and sustainable markets: How do digital auctions transform UK fisheries in the context of Brexit and economic deprivation?

University of Sussex

Value Awarded: £9,805.00

Abstract: UK coastal communities face economic deprivation, unemployment and poor well-being. The fish market collapse during the pandemic, limited fish quotas and export costs in post-Brexit period add further challenges. Little attention is paid, however, to why some markets reverse those challenges with higher fish volumes and prices. This research investigates the role the new digital auction Kosmos, which was implemented in Brixham, Newlyn, Plymouth, Shetland from 2019 to 2021, plays in this change. Unlike auctions where large traders control prices, Kosmos displays transparently data on boat name, fish grade, fishing method and enables buyers to offer competitive bids from any computer. The project explores to what extent Kosmos makes markets more inclusive (generating benefits for fisherpeople including the most vulnerable), and more sustainable (encouraging fishing methods protecting habitats). It also investigates why some markets grow less than others despite the same auction design to inform policy interventions supporting fishing communities.

Dr Jenny DiPlacidi


British Magazine Fiction in Early American Periodicals

University of Kent

Value Awarded: £7,370.00

Abstract: This project concerns the appearance of fiction published in eighteenth-century periodicals, primarily the Lady’s Magazine (1770-1832), in early American periodicals. It will lead to a book chapter, digital resource and scholarly event and will provide the basis for a monograph on the subject. The project will uncover and outline the large but as yet undocumented reprinting of eighteenth-century British magazine fiction in early American periodicals. The research identifies the fiction being republished and considers its specific geographical and historical contexts to demonstrate that British short fiction had a significantly more varied and long-lasting afterlife in American magazines than previously thought. The project contributes to a new understanding of American periodical fiction as more engaged with, and responsive to, British fiction at a crucial period in American history – a period when what it meant to be American and what distinguished America from Britain was being determined.

Dr Sara Dominici


The Photographic Darkroom in the Northern Transatlantic World, 1850s-1910s

University of Westminster

Value Awarded: £7,460.00

Abstract: This project explores the development and use of the photographic darkroom in Britain and North America between the 1850s and 1910s. From portable dark-tents to dedicated structures, the darkroom was central to photographers’ lives as simultaneously a site of often unruly physical conditions and social relations, and a modern laboratory of memories and the imagination kindled by processing photographs. By reconstructing how people across the English-speaking world responded to the challenges and opportunities of operating the darkroom in vastly different environments, this study is the first to provide a comprehensive account of how this space affected photographers’ relationship to their practice and identity. In doing so, it elaborates a conceptual framework for historical studies of the darkroom globally. The grant will support the archival research into photographic journals, images, and darkroom equipment held in Bradford and Wroughton (UK) and New York and Rochester (US), and the dissemination of its results.

Dr Abiodun Egbetokun

Co-applicant: Mr Adedayo Olofinyehun


Evaluating the Impact of Entrepreneurship Education on Youth Entrepreneurship: A Comprehensive Study of Young Nigerians

De Montfort University

Value Awarded: £8,430.67

Abstract: In 2006, Nigeria's National Universities Commission (NUC) introduced an entrepreneurship education intervention: a compulsory entrepreneurship course that all undergraduates must take. The purpose is to stimulate interest in entrepreneurship, potentially reducing the burden of youth unemployment in the country. This interdisciplinary project will combine fresh and existing data to perform the first rigorous long-term impact evaluation of the intervention. The project will produce the largest ever longitudinal dataset on entrepreneurial characteristics of young Nigerians and two scholarly articles aimed at high-ranking journals. One article will present a detailed analysis of entrepreneurial characteristics and gender differences while the other will present the long-term impact evaluation results. The findings of the research will also be presented in a blog, a newspaper article and a workshop to engage major stakeholders including the NUC, thereby creating a pathway to policy and practical impact.

Dr David Eldridge


Documenting the Stories of International Gay Rugby: 25 Years of LGBTQ+ Inclusive Rugby Around the World

University of Hull

Value Awarded: £9,889.00

Abstract: International Gay Rugby (IGR) was formed in October 2000, when six grassroots teams from the UK, USA, France and Australia joined forces to promote rugby as an all-inclusive, non-discriminatory sport, open to all players regardless of sexuality. In many of the 23 countries where over 140 IGR clubs now exist, LGBTQ+ acceptance has accelerated greatly in the last 25 years, with IGR itself contributing significantly to the changing culture within sports. However, no substantive account of IGR, its history and its international impact has yet been undertaken. This project aims to address this gap, using intra-team oral histories to document the evolution of IGR and the lives of its members, showcasing how different IGR clubs around the world have overcome prohibitive and unwelcoming cultures and contributed new creative approaches and effective strategies for sport inclusion.

Dr Jose Elias Ulloa


The phonetics of VOT and aspiration in aspirated and non-aspirated consonants in Bora

University of Oxford

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: This project investigates the unusual interaction between Voice Onset Time (VOT) and aspiration in Bora. Cross-linguistically, VOT is the main phonetic cue used to distinguish between aspirated and non-aspirated consonants. Bora seems an exception. Based on a small data set from a Bora traditional story, non-dorsal aspirated consonants showed a VOT average of 22 ms (sd: 5 ms); while in the non-dorsal unaspirated ones, the average was 13 ms (sd: 4 ms). However, when a vowel followed an aspirated consonant, aspiration was conspicuous in extending onto the first two-thirds of the vowel duration, rendering aspiration, and not VOT, the main phonetic cue for distinguishing between those types of consonants. This study not only seeks to gain a deeper understanding of the phonetics of Bora VOT and aspiration and determine its implications cross-linguistically but also it is an urgent opportunity to document an important aspect of a severely endangered Amazonian language.

Professor Marwa Elnahass

Co-applicant: Professor David Higgins


Decoding Corporate Failures: Unveiling the Determinants of Resilience in the UK Business Landscape

Newcastle University

Value Awarded: £9,956.00

Abstract: The UK business landscape has faced financial challenges throughout history, including the Great Depression, the global financial crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic. These events have highlighted vulnerabilities in the corporate sector and emphasized the need to understand the factors that determine resilience. This research project aims to provide practical insights of broad significance for investors, stakeholders, regulators, policymakers, and businesses. The study goes beyond academic investigation by examining financial and non-financial indicators, the impact of macroeconomic shocks, and lessons from past economic crises. It utilizes big data analytics to build unique datasets for assessing resilience and stability of UK firms, both financial and non-financial. Additionally, historical research delves into the determinants of corporate resilience during the critical period of the 1931-1932 depression years. Overall, the project seeks to contribute to a more resilient and sustainable future for the UK business landscape and potentially beyond, offering valuable insights for various stakeholders.

Dr Albin Erlanson


Matching with Interviews: the importance of interviews in labor markets

University of Essex

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: In labor markets where salaries are sticky and difficult to adjust, such as early career academics, teachers, and doctors, interviews play a crucial role in in determining the matching between employers and employees. These labor markets are often centralized, and it is key to choose whom to interview before offers are made to prospective employees in the centralized manner. In our project we will create a model for analyzing the interview stage preceding the centralized offer stage. Our findings will apply to the job market for junior doctors in the US. More broadly, we will examine which prospective employees will be interviewed and how interview decisions determine labor market outcome. With our model we will be able to identify sources of inefficiencies in labour markets more generally.

Dr Alejandro José Estudillo

Co-applicant: Dr Emma Portch and Professor Charlie Frowd


Optimizing Face-Recall Interviewing to Help Eyewitnesses Create more effective Facial composites

Bournemouth University

Value Awarded: £9,764.34

Abstract: In criminal investigations, eyewitnesses often create facial composites of unknown offenders based on their memory. Pre-construction face-recall can help solidify this memory, however, little is known about the impact of repeated elicitation of face-recall, via interview. Transfer-appropriate-processing predicts that detailed face-recall might enhance composites in systems with a feature-focus but disrupt those that emphasise whole face recognition (holistic systems). Experiment 1 examines the impact of initial interview recall (minimal or detailed) and pre-construction face-recall on feature-based and holistic composites' effectiveness. Experiment 2 investigates whether holistic composite accuracy improves when a self-administered written face-recall is introduced between the detailed interview and pre-construction face-recall, potentially reducing reliance on verbal memory. Experiment 3 explores if this self-administered recall approach can enhance feature-based (e.g., PRO-fit) and manual (e.g., Sketch) techniques. Thus, this research aims to explore the optimal face-recall procedures that could be practically implemented by forensic practitioners across multiple composite systems.

Dr Samantha Evans


Addressing the class bias in research on the menopause – exploring the lived experiences of menopausal women in the workplace.

University of Kent

Value Awarded: £8,624.81

Abstract: It is estimated that the adverse impact of menopausal symptoms on work performance and participation costs the UK economy £10 billion. Yet existing studies have neglected to get a full sense of women’s menopausal experiences in the workplace with research heavily reliant on quantitative surveys and focused on women in professional and managerial jobs. Consequently, little is known about the lived experience and impact of the menopause on women working in lower skilled, lower paid work. This class bias is a critical gap as firstly, women are more likely to hold a lower class occupation and secondly, it has been shown that social class has an amplifying effect on women’s experiences of menopause with those in lower classes more adversely affected. This project will address these problems using qualitative methods to explore social class-based differences in the lived workplace experiences of menopausal women in the UK.

Dr Muhammad Farooque

Co-applicants: Professor Haris Aslam and Professor Matthias Thürer


Satellite Remote Sensing Technology for Enhancing Transparency in the Apparel Supply Chains: Going Beyond the Conventional Transparency Mechanisms

University of Essex

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: In the recent years, supply chain transparency which refers to publicly disclosing detailed and accurate information about operations and products has increasingly been demanded by external stakeholders including consumers, investors etc. Despite this firms across different industries are struggling to enhance the transparency of their supply chain operations beyond 1st tier suppliers and customers- while the reasons remain less known. This project aims to address this important research gap by developing a thorough understanding of the current modes and practices for establishing transparency besides identifying key barriers and challenges in achieving transparency in the extended supply chains (i.e., involving all tiers of supply chain) in the context of apparel industry. Moreover, this research will also explore the potential of innovative digital technology such as satellite remote sensing for improving transparency in the cotton farms which is the starting point of most apparel supply chains.

Professor James Fenske

Co-applicant: Professor Carlo Ciccarelli


Italian industrial geography in the twentieth century

University of Warwick

Value Awarded: £9,230.77

Abstract: We propose to digitize multiple waves of the Italian industrial census, starting in 1911, in order to produce a panel dataset on Italian industrialization over the twentieth century at the commune level. We will use these data to answer three questions. First, we will use a panel data approach to assess the extent to which market access shaped industrialization, specialization, and modernization of industry across Italy during the entire century. Second, we will use instrumental variables approaches to assess the degree to which patterns of Italian economic geography established by 1911 persisted over the century that followed. Third, we will use a spatial regression discontinuity design to evaluate whether historic institutions such as medieval republics have had enduring impacts on Italian economic geography over the long run. Answering these questions will enable us to understand Italian industrial geography over the twentieth century.

Dr Emilia Ferraro


Where are Women? Engendering Andean Metallurgy

University of Dundee

Value Awarded: £9,951.86

Abstract: The scholarship on Andean pre-Hispanic metallurgy is silent about the role women played in it. This project aims at understanding the reasons for such silence via a gendered-focussed literature review of the specialized scholarship; the creation of an international network on the subject, and in-depth interviews to key Andean scholars. This project will: contribute to deeper and novel understandings of Andean worlds, ancient metallurgy processes and craftswomen; advance archaeology revisionist efforts to engender the study of ancient technologies and social labour; provide “a framework for reconstructing gender relations as they are mediated by material culture”; and rectify the historical scholarly assumption of a special relationship between metallurgy and men. Its findings - relevant to a host of disciplines beyond archaeology- will inform the curating of an international exhibition in Ecuador, and the design of a wider research project on women and metallurgy in the Andes.

Dr Francesca Fiori

Co-applicants: Professor Daniele Vignoli and Dr Raffaele Guetto


Low fertility in Scotland. Is there a scope for policy interventions? Exploring people perceptions using Factorial Survey Experiments

University of Strathclyde

Value Awarded: £9,995.00

Abstract: In 2020, fertility in Britain fell to a historical low. In Scotland, levels have been persistently lower than in the rest of UK since 1970, to the extent that low fertility is regarded as one of the country’s future challenges, and the Scottish Government is committed to reduce barriers preventing individuals from starting a family.

This project will contribute new knowledge on the impact of family policies in low-fertility contexts, by using Factorial Survey Experiments to collect primary quantitative data from a sample of respondents of childbearing age living in Scotland. This approach, novel within demographic research, allows the appraisal of hypothetical and complex scenarios. Research participants will be asked to evaluate the likely fertility response of a fictitious couple under different policy packages (vignettes). The project will overcome some limitations of past research on the policies-fertility nexus and generate empirical evidence to support the Scottish Government’s policy agenda.

Dr Daniel Fisher

Co-applicant: Dr Simon Alistair Parker


'I'm not a train nerd': the influence of intra-group identity conflicts on UK train drivers' performance

University of Sussex

Value Awarded: £9,606.00

Abstract: Research on professional identity has focused heavily on white collar professions and the identity conflicts that relate to inter-organizational groups. There has been less attention given to intra-group blue collar professions that are essential for public services. This study zooms in on an occupation that is essential for the smooth running of the UK rail network by considering two divergent intra-group identities among UK train drivers: heritage-driven identities and salary-driven identities. The former is highly influenced and constructed by the past (pre-privatisation), while the latter is more attributable to the present-day marketization of the UK rail industry. Initial research suggests intriguingly that the influences of past and present are not understood by age, but by identity. This project will allow us to theorize how these conflicts can be managed, with implications for practice (driver managers, the public at large and public policy) as well as theory on intra-group identity conflicts.

Dr Daniel Fitzpatrick

Co-applicant: Dr Mark Turner


Exploring brokerage in democratic social movements: a sociological analysis of the Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) network in English football

Aston University

Value Awarded: £8,596.00

Abstract: This project examines the role of brokers in democratic social movements, using the case study of Supporter Liaison Officers (SLO) in English football. It addresses a knowledge gap on the significance of brokerage in progressive social movements, exploring the biographies, networks, and meanings brokers ascribe to their actions. Qualitative data will be gleaned from twenty in-depth interviews with brokers at different levels of English football and fieldwork observations at SLO-network events. At a critical juncture in English football, the project responds to an urgent need to analyse how brokers can contribute to the sustainability and democracy of the national game. It will also yield insights for understanding the broader role of brokerage in contemporary democracy, which is underdeveloped in the literature. Two academic journal articles will be produced, alongside a stakeholder event and report to inform key policy actors on the role of social brokers in enabling democratic governance.

Dr Ginevra Floridi

Co-applicant: Dr Ramina Sotoudeh


Age at independence: Understanding delayed transitions to adulthood in the United States and United Kingdom

University of Edinburgh

Value Awarded: £9,900.00

Abstract: The transition to adulthood is a critical stage of life that involves becoming independent from parents. Economic independence, defined as the absence of financial or co-residential support, has important societal implications. Over the past three decades, young adults in the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) have experienced delays in achieving economic independence, but little is known about the population and individual-level determinants of this phenomenon. Drawing on demographic and life course analysis, our project will generate the first population-level indicator of age at economic independence from the parental home. We will study the determinants and evolution of economic independence over time; analyse individual trajectories in-and-out of independence in the US; and inform data collection on these trajectories in the UK. The US–UK comparison will help us contextualise continuity and change in transitions to adulthood in two countries where economic independence is culturally valued but increasingly difficult to achieve.

Professor Gary Fooks

Co-applicants: Dr Tom Mills and Dr Mahmoud Elmarzouky


An Inconsequential Measure of Pain? Corporate Crime, Enforcement Action, and Surrogates of Deterrence

University of Bristol

Value Awarded: £9,795.18

Abstract: What happens to companies, their senior executives, and owners when they have violated the law? Despite ongoing interest in the limitations of the criminal law as a means of holding corporations to account, we know surprisingly little about the effects of enforcement action and associated penalties in the UK on these different constituencies. The proposed research seeks to investigate these effects. Exploiting a new dataset on regulatory violations in the UK, it will examine the impact of enforcement action on ‘surrogates of deterrence’ - such as changes in executive compensation and capital distributions to shareholders – across eight different regulatory domains. This will be the first project comparing the effects of enforcement action across different regulatory fields, and the first to examine and compare effects on different corporate stakeholders. The findings will contribute to contemporary debates in the UK on the efficacy of enforcement action and accountability of élites.

Dr Lisa Forsberg


The Ethics of Motivational Interviewing

University of Oxford

Value Awarded: £9,470.00

Abstract: Motivational interviewing (MI) is a person-centered counselling method aimed at strengthening individuals’ own motivation and commitment to change. It is used to promote behaviour change, especially among people ambivalent about such change. MI has a strong evidence base and as such has significant potential to benefit people in contexts within and beyond healthcare. But MI is also ethically contentious: sometimes accused of being manipulative and sometimes used in ethically dubious or impermissible ways. This project will clarify and critically evaluate ethical concerns about MI, and identify factors relevant to its ethical practice. This project matters because MI is widely used within and beyond healthcare and being rapidly disseminated to new areas and target behaviours. The project also has more general importance; since MI can be fruitfully employed as a case study to investigate crucial, broader questions in the ethics of psychotherapy about when interpersonal influence is morally problematic.

Dr Stuart Fox

Co-applicant: Dr Christopher Stafford


Public Opinion and Promoting Youth Voter Turnout through Volunteering

University of Exeter

Value Awarded: £9,730.00

Abstract: Declining youth voter turnout is a pressing challenge facing European and American democracies, particularly its concentration among those from poorer backgrounds. Interest has grown in the potential for volunteering schemes to connect young people with electoral politics, but their success is in part dependent on public support for both the goal of reducing turnout inequalities and the efforts of national and community institutions to promote volunteering as a solution. Not only is little known about public support in this regard but recent research on Votes at 16 suggests it may be limited by citizens’ assessments of the impact of any changes in youth turnout for their own political agendas. Using a combination of surveys and experiments, this project investigates public support for the promotion of volunteering as a solution to low youth turnout, so that measures to secure public support for efforts to reduce turnout inequality can be identified.

Dr Amy Fuller


Challenging Colonial Narratives

Nottingham Trent University

Value Awarded: £8,623.00

Abstract: This project has two key aims: to challenge and deconstruct Eurocentric narratives of conquest and colonialism; and to counter their continuing legacies through knowledge exchange and tangible support for BIPOC scholars (Black, Indigenous; People of Colour). Fieldwork will underpin research for my monograph on the appropriation and subversion of Indigenous imagery in creating the History of the Conquest of Mexico, which helped to construct notions of European superiority over ‘conquered peoples’. I will also continue my series of online research seminars: ‘Challenging Colonial Narratives’ and create public-facing podcasts with the speakers, accelerating ‘trickle down’ scholarship, and providing a paid platform for marginalised, early career researchers to present their histories to both academic and public audiences. The synergy of scholarly and public communication is central to my work, as the ongoing erasure of Indigenous histories from narratives of conquest has far-reaching implications for how Native peoples are treated and viewed globally.

Dr Francesca Fulminante

Co-applicant: Professor Janet Montgomery


Warriors and Weavers II. A bio-scientific approach to Assess and Challenge Gender Stereotypes in Pre Roman Italy (1000 BC-100 AD) and Beyond

Independent Researcher

Value Awarded: £7,990.00

Abstract: By considering burial evidence and by adopting up-to-date statistical approaches, spatial analyses and demographic parameters, my previous project, Warriors and Weavers I (HWK, Germany), analyzed comparatively and diachronically sex and gender identities in central and southern Italian communities during the first Millennium BC. This project showed that, in several case studies, beside people self-represented or represented by their community mostly as females or males, there is also a relatively large group of ungendered people and a small percentage with mixed or miss-matched gender identities that cannot be any more justified with simple anthropological error or votive offering of a relative of the opposite sex. Establishing sex of these individuals using enamel amelogenin peptides it will be possible to compare this with gender indicated by objects and assess more precisely if these individuals really display a mixed and/or opposite gender identity. This will be groundbreaking for specialists and the public.

Dr Alexander Gagatsis


Modern Jazz Quartet: Fontessa

University of Manchester

Value Awarded: £9,912.00

Abstract: This investigation into the African American group the Modern Jazz Quartet addresses contemporary issues in jazz studies, with specific reference to Black respectability politics and the proliferation of black artists in the North-American and British jazz press of the 1950s and 1960s. I plan to undertake archival research at the Institute of Jazz Studies (New Jersey, US), and the Schomburg Centre for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library, to examine contemporaneous responses to the quartet's best-selling album 'Fontessa', released in 1956, which I will measure against the increased commitment to social change during the American Civil Rights Movement. The project challenges concepts used to analyse the quartet’s oeuvre and invites readers and listeners to interrogate the ways in which prescribed notions of Black respectability politics reckoned with technologies of mediations, circulation, audibility and visibility that offer ever more complex and public renderings of those politics.

Professor Gregor Gall


Assessing the efficacy of the UNITE union's strike strategy

Independent Researcher

Value Awarded: £9,969.28

Abstract: The UNITE union claims to be the most successful union in Britain for gaining significantly improved pay rises during the continuing cost-of-living crisis, attributing this success to its strike strategy. This is based upon announcing a large tranche of strike dates to take place over a short period of time, and the use of sustained striking where daily strike pay is provided to strikers. This research will examine veracity of this claim, with the underlying purpose being to identify the circumstances in which ‘power to disrupt’ an employer’s operations through industrial action is most effectively translated into ‘power over’ an employer in order to gain a union’s bargaining demands. This will be carried out comparing UNITE’s collective bargaining outcomes before and after Sharon Graham became general secretary in 2021 as well as by comparing the collective bargaining outcomes of other unions (e.g. GMB, UNISON) to those of UNITE since 2021.

Dr Clara Garavelli


On the Politics of Mixed-Media Representation: Argentine Artist Graciela Sacco’s UK Legacy

University of Leicester

Value Awarded: £6,640.00

Abstract: The aim of this project is to examine Argentine artist Graciela Sacco’s international legacy – particularly her UK-based activities – to fill a lacuna in Anglo-Saxon literature and generate underpinning research for two academic articles and a proposal for a documentary film. Sacco represented her country at prestigious international art biennials, including Sao Paolo and Venice, yet her oeuvre lacks significant critical attention outside Latin America. Her unique mixed-media techniques, especially her pioneering work on heliography, promote a change of medium for the arts, inciting debates on representational challenges of human emotions and experiences. As an important neglected figure, Sacco’s case is crucial to unveiling unexplored processes of marginalization of female artists from the global south. This project will document and examine Sacco’s uncharted UK legacy, focussing on the politics of formal experimentation and channels of production and consumption, while supporting the consolidation and dissemination of Sacco’s archive.

Dr Maria Garcia-Vega


Artificial Intelligence Adoption and British Manufacturing Firms

University of Nottingham

Value Awarded: £9,791.23

Abstract: The recent increase of artificial intelligence (AI) opens unimaginable opportunities to businesses and organizations, but it has also raised concerns among policymakers, academics, unions, and wider society for their potential impact on employment and growth. The proposed research measures the effects of AI on British firms. We construct a measure of firm-level AI adoption based on information of online job postings, specifically the jobs characteristics requested in the advertisement. With additional patent and balance sheet data, we can analyse whether AI adopters shift their innovation strategies towards a more exploitative and less exploratory (novel to the firm) research; whether AI changes firms’ hiring strategies of skilled and unskilled workers; and the importance of universities for the human capital needed to adopt AI. Our overarching objective is to contribute to a better understanding of the potential opportunities and disruptions that new technologies might bring to firms and to the society.

Professor Niels Gaul

Co-applicant: Professor Panagiotis Agapitos


Byzantine authorial/autograph manuscripts: typology, terminology, methodisation

University of Edinburgh

Value Awarded: £9,648.00

Abstract: The large number of authorial and/or autograph manuscripts that survive from the middle and later Byzantine periods notwithstanding, students of such manuscripts still lack a coherent terminological and methodical framework in which to place them. Drawing on synergies between two current book projects, this proposal is designed to (a) take steps towards offering a detailed typology of such manuscripts alongside a more precise terminology; and (b) illustrate ways in which these manuscripts can fruitfully be analysed and integrated in literary, historical or cultural studies, thus offering a blueprint for approaching authorial/autograph manuscripts with confidence. Given Byzantium’s cultural connectivity, the project will open pathways into meaningful cross-disciplinary work, with comparative insights into practices of authorship and manuscript publication across pre-modern Eurasia. An open-access peer-reviewed article will make its key findings freely accessible, while the two 'affiliated' monographs (both under contract/review with CUP) will ensure wide dissemination of the outcomes.

Dr Alina Geampana


Understanding the reproductive body through fertility tracking: A comparative investigation into digital and non-digital practices

Durham University

Value Awarded: £9,416.50

Abstract: For millions of people trying to conceive or contracept, tracking bodily signs of fertility is a necessity, whether app-based digital methods are used or not. Despite recent interest in high-tech digital fertility tracking, new commercial technologies come with a slew of risks, including misinformation, inaccuracy, and personal data misuse. However, we know very little about alternative non-digital solutions and how they might compare. The aim of this research is to investigate and conceptualise how different methods (digital vs non-digital) shape individual self-tracking practices and knowledge about the reproductive body. The study will take a novel comparative approach where qualitative in-depth interview data will be collected both from users of app-based methods and users of non-digital methods. With technology now being touted as key to solving issues in women’s health, this investigation is instrumental for a deeper understanding of reproductive tracking needs and possibilities.

Dr Barbara Gentili


The Inclusivity of Opera: the Case of Italy 1950s—1980s

University of Surrey

Value Awarded: £9,625.00

Abstract: This project offers a groundbreaking approach to opera studies by producing the first oral history of operatic culture in Italy between the 1950s and 1980s. By interviewing those who were involved with the art form both as makers and as audiences I aim to offer a bottom-up, inclusive approach to opera history, which will challenge the entrenched image of opera as elitist and disconnected from the forms and concerns of popular culture. Through a combination of oral history and archival research, my project will lead to publication outputs that offer new perspectives on the social and cultural positioning of opera in the period under examination. I will also reconsider the contribution of opera singers to the nation’s popular culture and appraise singers' shifting relevance within the production system of the operatic spectacle. These perspectives will also be workshopped with stakeholders asking how they illuminate debates surrounding the art form.

Dr Katy Gibbons


Religion, Identity and Reputation Management: constructing the reputation of Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland (1525-1572), in national and transnational contexts

University of Portsmouth

Value Awarded: £9,301.30

Abstract: This project will bring together scattered traces of the life, death and material afterlife of Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland (1525-1572), one of English Catholicism’s most controversial martyrs. Executed for his rebellion against Elizabeth I, Percy’s legacy of religious dissidence and armed resistance was complex, and was evaluated and appropriated differently within a variety of familial, international and transnational networks. This project will re-examine how texts and objects, created, conserved and consumed in a number of ‘national’ settings and by a range of stakeholders, were used to form his reputation and memory, and how that process related to English Catholic identities in a time of persecution. This project thus illuminates how a religious minority undertakes identity-formation whilst living in a hostile context. In a world where the relationship between religious minorities and the state remains contested, this project thus seeks to open up dialogue between past and present.

Dr Dawn-Marie Gibson


Imam W.D. Mohammed and the World Community of Al-Islam in the West: African American Islam after 1975

Royal Holloway, University of London

Value Awarded: £5,800.00

Abstract: Imam W.D. Mohammed is one of the most influential leaders of American Islam in the post-1975 period. Yet, little has been documented about the American Muslim leader. Mohammed inherited the leadership mantle of the Nation of Islam in February 1975 when his father Elijah Muhammad passed away. The small faith community that he inherited was almost exclusively African American and divorced from the American Muslim community. Imam Mohammed renamed the small faith community the World Community of Al-Islam in the West (WCIW) and imposed Sunni Islam within twelve months of succeeding his father. This project seeks to examine Imam Mohammed’s leadership of the WCIW, the domestic and foreign aid that supported the transition to Sunni Islam and the impact of this transition on first and second generation converts. Further, the project explores Mohammed's contribution to the exponential growth of Sunni Islam amongst African Americans in the post-1975 period.

Professor Helen Gilbert


Transnational Mobilisations of Climate-related Live Arts from the Pacific

Royal Holloway, University of London

Value Awarded: £7,960.00

Abstract: This project examines the vital roles that Pacific performance-makers are playing in transnational efforts to mobilise art forms that address the human causes of ecological breakdown connected with climate change. The core focus is on eco-activist performances staged at the 2024 Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture, which is a major quadrennial event bringing together Indigenous artists, activists and cultural leaders from Pacific Island communities across Oceania. The project also encompasses study of climate-related works by Pasifikan artists and communities that have circulated in Britain in the last decade via international festivals and global conventions such as the UN-sponsored COP26 conference in 2021. Based on findings from performance observations, interviews and archival studies in Hawai’i, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, the research will track and analyse ways in which Pacific performances urge civic and/or political action on global warming and its associated ecological, social and cultural impacts.

Dr Marcello Giovanelli


Reading Covid Poetry

Aston University

Value Awarded: £9,135.00

Abstract: This project investigates the ways in which readers respond to ‘Covid poetry’, defined as poetry written during or about the Covid-19 pandemic. This is an emerging and important literary sub-genre yet, so far, very little empirical work has been undertaken to understand the ways that readers might draw on Covid poetry to make sense of their own pandemic experiences and how reading covid poems might help empathise with the experiences of others. The project extends previous work by the principal investigator and draws on a newly established body of Covid poetry collections published since March 2020. The project findings will provide new knowledge on how readers engage with and interpret Covid poetry, enhance scholarship on the sub-genre, and explore the potential for the use of Covid poetry in applied contexts such as education, community arts and writing, and bibliotherapy.

Dr Nikos Gkekas


Living in a complex world: statistical learning of complex visual information

Edinburgh Napier University

Value Awarded: £8,653.55

Abstract: A fundamental aspect of any intelligent system is its ability to learn from experience. However, understanding how the brain develops statistical models of the world seamlessly and automatically remains an open challenge in cognitive psychology. Even though observers tend to learn simple models that are consistent with their observations over more complex but veridical models, they are not limited by environmental complexity given the right conditions. Here, I will implement a novel experimental psychophysical paradigm to measure the evolution of complex representations of visual features during learning. I will quantify how learning develops over time and reveal whether it follows a series of “eureka” moments or a continuous and smooth progress. Understanding the computational secrets of the brain will help us address issues that affect its correct function and inform our understanding of what learning is and how to facilitate it in the real world.

Dr Birgan Gokmenoglu


High Speed Railway 2 (HS2): Infrastructure and Inter-Regional Inequalities

Birmingham City University

Value Awarded: £7,894.00

Abstract: The proposed study is a comparative multi-sited ethnographic project that explores inter-regional inequalities between the North and South of England that are (re)produced by the discontinuation of the High Speed Railway 2 (HS2). It will evaluate the social consequences of the partial cancellation of the HS2 by situating it in the social-historical context of the cost of living crisis and levelling up initiatives in contemporary UK, by comparing Crewe in the northwest with Old Oak in the southeast. Based on qualitative interviews and participant-observations at public community events in both locations, it will examine the future imaginations and emotions of residents, local authorities, and other stakeholders to map them onto the North-South divide. The results will not only test the HS2’s promises of connectivity and economic growth, but also shed light on contemporary inter-regional social inequalities in England. As such, the study has potential for public impact and academic contributions.

Dr Ayla Gol


Rethinking Hybrid Regime and Neo-Islamism in Turkey under the AKP Governance

York St John University

Value Awarded: £6,897.70

Abstract: One year after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US, when the pro-Islamist Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi - AKP) came to power in 2002, Turkey was described as 'the only Muslim democracy in the Middle East' and a 'bridge' between Islam and the West (Lewis 1994; Huntington 1996). The survival of the AKP regime under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan for two decades was unrivalled. This project questions what went wrong under the AKP governance because Turkey's pseudo-democracy has turned to autocracy tainted by neo-Islamism. The project traces the process of Turkey's regime change to a hybrid and neo-Islamist one by exploring the correlation between economic growth and democratic backsliding and what role the European Union (EU) leverage played within this process. Its methodology will be based on the interdisciplinary study of Turkish politics, comparative democratic studies and international relations.

Dr Oleg Golubchikov

Co-applicants: Dr Wolfgang Haupt and Dr Sina Shahab


Unlikely climate pioneers: local governments’ net zero actions in left behind places in the UK and Germany

Cardiff University

Value Awarded: £9,975.00

Abstract: Local governments are known to play an increasingly central role in climate change governance. The research of local climate responses has, however, been dominated by studies on larger and/or internationally prominent cities, while neglecting smaller and less-resourceful local governments, particularly those responsible for running structurally disadvantaged and ‘left behind’ places. This project will address this gap through a study of disadvantaged local council areas in the UK and Germany. The research particularly aims at: (a) identifying ‘unlikely pioneers’ in such left behind places that are leading the way in net zero actions; (b) assessing key factors that explain their leadership; (c) comparing these factors across the two nations. The strategies and initiatives of such places are expected to be more widely applicable than those operating under privileged conditions. This knowledge will be shared widely to encourage local practices to go beyond business as usual.

Dr Mark Goodall


Revisiting the UNESCO Film Archive

University of Bradford

Value Awarded: £9,717.50

Abstract: The UNESCO film archive is a rich source of material on post-WW2 global events; however, it has been under-utilised as a research resource. The 'Revisiting the UNESCO Film Archive' project is designed to develop and support a range of original, creative, independent research uses of the archive and to help promote the archive in its goal to secure funding for the preservation the materials within it. The applicant is seeking initial funding from the British Academy to 1) audit the archive and 2) scope out new and innovative uses of the materials in the archive for a variety of future research projects. The work undertaken will also begin the process of developing methodologies for future large-scale research projects made in collaboration with the archive.

Dr Lewis Goodings

Co-applicants: Dr Clare Nicholson and Professor Mick Finlay


Digital inclusion for people with learning disabilities: a qualitative pilot study of the risks and benefits of social media and other interactive online platforms.

Anglia Ruskin University

Value Awarded: £9,471.80

Abstract: People with learning disabilities are more likely than the general population to have mental health difficulties, lower income and employment outcomes, and to experience bullying, exploitation, and social exclusion. Many individuals in this group have found the digital world provides welcome opportunities for peer support, autonomy, knowledge, social connectedness, enjoyment, and voice. However, people often find these technologies difficult to navigate and engage with, and have experienced stigmatisation, bullying and exploitation online. This pilot study will explore the uses of digital technologies by people with learning disabilities in the context of online safety and positive digital inclusion. The research will collect data on online experiences from people with learning disabilities and from those who support them. This project aims to identify positive instances of digital inclusion, experiences of online exploitation, bullying and hate, and document existing strategies for supporting positive digital inclusion.

Dr David Gordon

Co-applicant: Dr Megan Birney


Effect of existential risk on family-planning decision making: a life history approach

Staffordshire University

Value Awarded: £6,840.00

Abstract: Human technological progress means we face an evolutionarily novel type of risk: existential risk, i.e., threats to the permanent curtailing of human progress (e.g., climate change). Yet, there is little experimental evidence regarding the effect of this risk on general “pace-of-life” decision-making, i.e., how individuals vary on the typical present vs future focus of their decisions. Participants (N=1000) will be aged 18-30 and representative of the UK based on gender and ethnicity. Participants will either read about extrinsic risks (local crime), existential risks (asteroid impact), or a control (lost keys). After this, participants will answer questions about family planning. The pattern of results will help us further understand the impact of existential risks on decision-making. Given the existential risks we now face, it is important to understand how these might impact human behaviour. Otherwise, we may find our well-intentioned attempts at communicating about such risks produce unintended consequences.

Dr Nicholas Grant


Apartheid in the Air: Race, Decolonisation and South African Airways, 1948-1994

University of East Anglia

Value Awarded: £9,917.00

Abstract: This project analyses the racial politics of mobility to show how technologies of travel have been a key site in the struggle for decolonisation. Based on archival work that will recover the contested history of South African Airways (SAA), it documents – through a range of outputs – how imperial power was shaped by the ability to move freely through the air. As a mechanical symbol of apartheid that literally connected South Africa to the rest of the world, the history of SAA underscores the way in which imperialism, whiteness and capitalism were enmeshed on a global scale. Acutely aware of these connections, activists and politicians worked to ground and divert SAA as part of the global anti-apartheid movement. In the process these individuals and organisations worked to decolonise the skies by constructing the ability to travel and move freely as a key citizenship right.

Dr Leanne Gray


Exploring Early Childhood Studies students' beliefs about mathematics

Anglia Ruskin University

Value Awarded: £9,909.00

Abstract: Funding is requested to explore the beliefs about teaching mathematics to the under-fives, as reported by students studying a degree in Early Childhood Studies (ECS). Research indicates that children’s understanding of mathematics in the early years determines their achievements in mathematics at the end of secondary schooling, which in turn impacts on their socio-economic status for life, thus highlighting the importance of high quality teaching in the early years. This study aims to understand how ECS students - the early years practitioners of the future - view the teaching of mathematics to the under-fives.

This study will begin with an online questionnaire, distributed to UK universities, exploring ECS students’ beliefs about teaching mathematics. Those students who participate in the online questionnaire will then be invited to take part in an interview where they will be asked to further explore and reflect on their beliefs and the reasons behind these beliefs.

Dr Meg Gundlach


'Here I Am': The Global Shabti Project

Swansea University

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: Shabtis are one of the most prolific and recognizable artifact types from ancient Egypt. For nearly 2000 years (c. 2000–30 BCE), shabtis were considered a burial necessity by the elite and surviving numbers are minimally in the hundreds of thousands. These items are now found in every known public and private collection, with individual sets scattered across the globe. Very often, these are the only remaining attestation of ancient individuals, but they are frequently overlooked in scholarship due to their dispersal and haphazard cataloguing. Anyone wishing to study these objects must first virtually reunite sets, starting each inquiry from scratch. The Global Shabti Project is a multi-phased undertaking to create a dynamic web-based hub to support and advance the study of Ancient Egyptian shabtis. This initial phase focuses on the creation and development of the site, including several specialized search functions to facilitate research at all levels.

Professor Simon Gunn


Creating the Pop Nation: Britain 1957-1967

Independent Scholar

Value Awarded: £5,787.00

Abstract: Why did pop culture became such a powerful force in 1960s Britain? This project analyses the unique circumstances that made the pop explosion possible in the UK from the late 1950s. It examines the production side of pop in the form of the music business and the consumption side exemplified by the growth of youth audience across the UK. Investigating the origins of this phenomenon, the programme directs attention away from swinging London, with which pop is conventionally associated, to cities like Manchester, Belfast and Glasgow, bringing into focus the promoters, journalists, fans and musicians who made pop a nationwide phenomenon. This application for funding is for research in the regional archives which will enable the local scenes to become visible for the first time. The result will be a new picture of how pop became a dynamic part of Britain’s emerging creative economy in the 1960s.

Dr Craig Harper

Co-applicant: Dr Rebecca Lievesley


Turned on by tech: Exploring the ethical use of AI in sexual contexts

Nottingham Trent University

Value Awarded: £9,509.00

Abstract: This research project will investigate the ethical use of artificial intelligence (AI) in sexual contexts, examining its current applications and potential future implications. By surveying the perspectives of both the general public and professionals in sex therapy, technology companies, law enforcement, and the adult entertainment industry, the proposed research will shed light on the opportunities and challenges surrounding AI's role in this domain. Understanding the ethical considerations of AI in sexuality is crucial in today's technology-driven world. It not only helps us navigate complex issues such as consent, privacy, and human connection, but also ensures that AI technology is harnessed responsibly. This research will inform discussions and policymaking, promoting a safer and more informed use of AI in matters of human sexuality, while respecting diverse perspectives and values in different disciplines and fields.

Professor Christopher Hart


Gesture in the Communicative Style of Right Wing Populism

Lancaster University

Value Awarded: £6,819.00

Abstract: The rise of right-wing populism has brought with it a new style of political communication, a key feature of which is ostensive appeal to the body as a semiotic resource played out through co-speech gestures. This project draws on gesture studies in language-related cognitive science to investigate two specific gestural forms, points and shrugs, which have not previously been studied in political communication but which appear to be characteristic features of the communicative style of right-wing populism. Thirty hours of video data will be analysed to identify points and shrugs based on specific formulation features. Those gestures will then be subject to context-of-use studies to establish their semantic and pragmatic functions as well as particular form-function correspondences. The project will provide key insights into the role of gesture in political communication as well as a deeper understanding of two understudied gestural forms.

Dr Emily Haslam

Co-applicant: Dr Suhraiya Jivraj


Public Consultation and Local Democracy in Re-naming Processes

University of Kent

Value Awarded: £7,395.60

Abstract: Debates about whether to remove, rename or 'retain and explain' monuments, building and streets play an important part in contemporary disputes about the construction and meaning of history. They are also contributing to a significant cultural re-assessment of Britain's colonial and slave-trading past. This research asks how local government legal processes are responding to controversies about the commemoration of controversial historical figures in the cityscape. In particular it explores how far such processes facilitate the participation of stakeholders, particularly local citizens. It explores how law and legal processes might navigate contestation about the memorialisation of controversial historical figures with a view to contributing to a more transformative understanding on all sides of often anguished debates about contested heritage in the urban landscape.

Dr Sophie Hatchwell


Re-defining artistic mobility in regional public collections in Britain after 1945

University of Birmingham

Value Awarded: £7,443.74

Abstract: How can we define artistic mobility in post-war Britain? How might the movement of artworks into public collections shape our understanding of this term? This project uses the Derbyshire Schools Loan Collection (1947-2018) – a major public arts initiative that facilitated cultural education and regeneration – as a test-case for mapping the regional, national and global networks and processes that brought artworks into British public galleries. The research will analyse records held in Buxton Museum detailing the collection’s formation, and will chart the acquisition of artworks between 1947-1965, sharing findings via a peer-reviewed article and a digital exhibition. By challenging the existing London-centric narratives of public art acquisition, the research will transform our understanding of the international character of British art collections after 1945, revealing the regions’ role in fostering such internationalism. The ultimate aim is to reassess the causes, scope and impact of ‘mobility’ in regional post-war art cultures.

Dr Graeme Hayes

Co-applicants: Dr Steven Cammiss and Dr Joanna Gilmore


Justifying Protest in the Courts: Voice, Democracy, and the Law

Aston University

Value Awarded: £9,415.80

Abstract: This project investigates the criminal trials of protesters. Despite the significance of trials to campaigns for social and political change, there has been little in-depth research on how the courts provide an arena for democratic challenge. Combining legal analysis with qualitative social research, the project explores the democratic potential of these trials, investigating how expression rights are effectively managed in the criminal justice process. We combine ethnographic observation of four trials with post-trial interviews with defendants and other interested parties to examine: (1) the legal strategies of defendants and legal teams; (2) how court procedures and space function in protest trials; and (3) the political potential of protest trials, and their importance for democracy. We bring together expertise from Sociology, Law, and Politics, and will draw on collaborative ties with campaign groups and NGOs developed through previous work to maximise the impact of the research.

Dr Maxi Heitmayer


Challenging Netiquette: Unpacking the impact of digital social norms on pressure to be available in work-related contexts

University of the Arts London

Value Awarded: £8,173.33

Abstract: Professional interactions are often mediated through digital channels. The conduct in these digital interactions is regulated by digital social norms (DSNs). DSNs are the customary behavioural code for digitally-mediated interactions and shape our tacit understanding of what is expected in a given situation (Heitmayer & Schimmelpfennig, 2023). Prior research links digital interactions to time stress and well-being issues (Giurge & Bohns, 2021; Lutz et al., 2020), yet the influence of DSNs on these pressures remains largely unexplored. This Grant Proposal outlines three pre-registered studies that seek to investigate how DSNs interact with the pressure to be constantly available, particularly in work-related contexts. In these studies, we propose to explore the correlational association of DSNs and experienced pressure, and furthermore test how digital social norm interventions can mitigate such pressures.

Dr Simon Hill


Liverpool’s whaling industry 1823-1986: History, Ecological Sustainability & Engagement

Independent Researcher

Value Awarded: £5,377.40

Abstract: Liverpool has a rich maritime heritage. However, a lesser-known aspect of the port’s history is its whaling background. It has been argued that Liverpool’s whaling trade ended in 1823. But it is also known that Merseyside-based Lever Brothers used whale-oil in its products in the twentieth-century. How are we to reconcile this apparent inconsistency? By looking at contemporary records we will show that, contrary to current orthodoxy, Liverpool continued to engage with whaling long after 1823. Thus, we fill a gap in the maritime-environmental history of the ‘great port’. Additionally, this project seeks to alleviate twenty-first-century environmental challenges. Certain whale populations are still hunted, and global fish stocks are stressed by over-fishing. Looking at twentieth-century whaling practices may provide solutions. Did Liverpool-linked companies have policies to preserve whale stocks to protect their own commercial viability? What was their impact? These findings will be disseminated to public, academic, and policy-making audiences.

Dr James Hodgson


The Mass Observation of Everyday Mystery

University of Manchester

Value Awarded: £9,870.00

Abstract: Mystery is everywhere in social life. But there exists little empirical work that explores the topic as a commonplace aspect of everyday experience. The proposed project builds from recent work (Hodgson, 2022) that framed ‘mystery’ as a social accomplishment, one that can be ‘made’ within spiritual or wellbeing settings through coordinated, collaborative activities like group-wide silence. Expanding the focus of this work, the project considers how mystery might be brought about in everyday life contexts. It will generate a large, publicly available dataset through a Mass Observation Project directive. This will help better understand the role of ‘non-knowledge’ in social life, bringing a sociology of everyday life perspective to the field of ignorance studies. The project will also examine the mysteries of the self - those mysteries internal to us - contributing new insights to recent sociological perspectives on mental health and wellbeing.

Dr A R Shaheen Hosany

Co-applicant: Dr Christopher Cannon


The Unintended Consequences of Secondary School Decision-Making

Goldsmiths, University of London

Value Awarded: £7,008.00

Abstract: The choice of secondary school by 10- to 11-year-olds in England and their families is a yearly, resource-intensive event. In 2023, only 70% of pupils from major cities in England received their top choice, leading families to encounter complex emotions. Through a unique study covering the different stages of secondary school decision-making, this research investigates the unintended consequences of the process. As evidenced through suggested revisions from A to T-levels, government recognises that changes are necessary in the schooling system. Understanding the family decision-making process behind a life-changing event is thus relevant and timely. Theoretically, the research will contribute to the family decision-making, scarcity and education literatures. Practically, the topic demands urgent research attention and intervention to achieve quality education (SDG 4), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), and reduce inequalities (SDG 10). Findings will inspire policy makers, families and the wider community towards better secondary school decision-making.

Professor Robert Hosfield

Co-applicant: Dr Sally Hoare and Dr Sam Nicholson


Fire & climate: Speleothems and the British Palaeolithic

University of Reading

Value Awarded: £9,918.96

Abstract: Human occupations of Britain in the Palaeolithic (Stone Age) were ephemeral and episodic, evolving over time: understanding why reveals the lived experiences of our ancestors and their adaptations to climatic changes. However, investigating occupation histories and climatic conditions at the scale of the lived human experience is highly challenging. Isotope signatures in cave speleothems (stalagmites, stalactites and flowstones) provide high-resolution climate records, while soot layers in those same speleothems accumulate from anthropogenic fires and represent a novel method for examining short-lived occupations by Neanderthals and humans. This interdisciplinary project will reveal patterns of human occupation and climate change by applying established state-of-the-art scientific techniques to the Creswell Crags speleothem record - a novel combination of methods and evidence that will reconstruct late Palaeolithic human behaviour and climate in Britain.

Dr Margaret Husted


Understanding the Landscape: Imposter Participants and Fraudulent Data in UK Qualitative Research

University of Winchester

Value Awarded: £8,783.00

Abstract: The problem of bots and false data in quantitative research is well known. However, the issue is now being seen in qualitative research with a recent study reporting up to 80% of online questionnaire responses potentially being fraudulent. Imposter participants are also emerging in traditional interview/focus group research. However, little is known about the reach and impact of this problem. The risk of imposter participants and false data to applied qualitative research is significant. Online methods are an effective means to access marginalised populations, but the presence of suspicious data or participants calls into question research quality and integrity and has clear implications for practice. Similarly, there are questions around ethics and research process when considering potential solutions. Therefore, there is a clear need to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to understand the scope and impact of this problem within UK applied qualitative research and to determine best practice for researchers.

Dr Quynh Huynh


Socialism, trade, and female labor supply

University College London (UCL)

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: Female labor market decisions and gender norms vary greatly across countries, cultures, and levels of development. This project investigates how socialist regime influences female labor supply in the context of an emerging economy, and the gendered implications on labor market outcomes of such state institution when interacting with economic opportunities. We plan to exploit the setting of the Vietnam reunification and provincial variation in export shocks after Vietnam’s trade liberalization in the 2000s. In the first step, we examine how export shocks affect labor market outcomes of men and women differently. We then shift the focus to heterogeneous effects (if any) for women in North Vietnam (always socialist) and South Vietnam (once capitalist). The existence of such effects would suggest the persistent impacts of different politico-economic regimes on female labor market attachment and gender role attitudes.

Dr Eleni Iacovidou

Co-applicants: Dr Spyridoula Gerasimidou and Dr Susy Katikana Sebayang


Integrating plastics with the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus: a systems approach to combating plastic pollution

Brunel University London

Value Awarded: £9,971.00

Abstract: In Indonesia, tailored solutions are crucial in tackling plastic waste pollution. Whilst there are several efforts aimed at tackling plastic pollution, these often fall short of capturing the inter-relations of plastics with other provisioning systems, such as food, energy, and water (FEW) and may lead to unexpected consequences. This became evident through the use of the Complex-Value Optimisation for Resource Recovery (CVORR) approach, a systems-based tool used to perform a holistic analysis of the impacts of plastic pollution in different Indonesian settings identifying the barriers to and drivers of suitable sustainable interventions. This grant will make it possible to carry out research to understand and incorporate elements of FEW systems that operate in tandem with the plastics system. This will shed light on the realities of tackling plastic pollution in local and regional-specific contexts and interventions that can deliver the desired outcomes.

Dr Alessandro Iaria

Co-applicant: Dr Michele Fioretti


Capturing Subsidies or Storing Carbon: Evidence from the North Sea

University of Bristol

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: Addressing climate change is an absolute priority. Carbon capture and storage technologies emerged as a primary tool to mitigate global warming by removing atmospheric CO2. Although capture technologies have become cheaper and available, investment in storage is still insufficient. To this end, several governments have proposed CO2 storage subsidies. The upstream oil and gas sector (O&G) expects to win a large share of these subsidies by increasing investments in Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), a technology that improves fossil-fuel recovery rates via CO2 injections into a reservoir. In this project, we propose to contribute to this public debate in the context of the O&G in the North Sea. In particular, we aim to investigate:

(1) Whether these subsidies incentivize firms to adopt EOR.

(2) The impact of technology adoption on competition and production.

(3) Whether CO2 storage subsidies reduce CO2 emissions by the O&G – the most polluting global industry.

Dr Iulia Cioroianu


Large Language Models and Party Policy Positions

University of Bath

Value Awarded: £9,981.50

Abstract: As chatbots based on Large Language Models (LLMs) gain the ability to answer questions about current events, they are predicted to be increasingly used for political communication and information seeking purposes. Using data from the upcoming UK general election campaign, this project evaluates the ways in which two advanced LLM chatbots that already have this ability (Google Bard and GPT-4 with Bing Search) present the policy positions of political parties to their users. Combining computational text analysis with human coding, the text generated by these models on ten salient campaign issues is compared with the policy positions expressed by UK political parties in their electoral manifestos, press releases and social media posts. 6300 pairwise comparisons under different experimental setups are used to evaluate differences in the output produced by the two models, as well as changes in the party policy positions that they present over the course of the campaign.

Dr Philip Jagessar

Co-applicant: Dr Henry Gillies Fell


Forecasting in the past: historicising climate and disease modelling

King's College London

Value Awarded: £8,821.45

Abstract: Statistical, scientific and other forms of modelling are ubiquitous and profoundly shape modern societies. Less widely understood are the historical antecedents behind efforts to predict and spatially visualise future trends which has had a significant, if underappreciated, impact on modelling today. The proposed research is an interdisciplinary collaboration between a historical geographer and a disease ecologist to co-examine the pioneering forecasting work of Sir Leonard Rogers (1868-1962) in the early 1930s. Rogers’s largely forgotten work trying to forecast the incidence of diseases in India based on climatic factors foreshadowed work today which looks at how a changing climate will influence diseases. Through a series of collaborative meetings and two workshops, this project will recreate Rogers's forecasts to answer pressing questions about the history of data visibility and access, and highlight the troubling relationship between the acquisition and use of colonial data in the development of modern forms of modelling.

Dr Rehan Jamil


Neighbourly Politics: The Impact of Migrant Social Networks on Political Attitudes amongst Young British Pakistanis

London School of Economics and Political Science

Value Awarded: £9,990.00

Abstract: Minority citizen participation in political and civic life are central to the quality of Britain's multicultural democracy. The Pakistani-British community is the second largest ethnic minority in the United Kingdom. In addition to greater representation in British politics, British citizens of Pakistani heritage, continue to be connected politically to Pakistan, their country of heritage. Sustained linkages through kinship and social networks between many migrant communities and their country of heritage suggests a wide range of important enduring ties that can influence political attitudes. This study uses a mixed methods research design to examine whether where minority citizens live and who they interact with influences their political attitudes both towards their country of heritage and citizenship. By studying variations in political attitudes in ethnically mixed and congruent neighbourhoods in London, this study seeks to shed light on how minority citizens’ daily interactions and social networks may influence their political attitudes.

Dr Lena Janys

Co-applicant: Professor Xavier D’Haultfoeuille and Dr Martin Mugnier


Heterogenous treatment effects in grouped fixed effects models and revisiting the child penalty

Newcastle University

Value Awarded: £5,911.00

Abstract: In empirical research, uncovering causal treatment effects can be a daunting task. This is particularly true when relying on observational data, where researchers often turn to temporal variation to identify causal relationships. However, these methods come with a set of restrictive assumptions that are hard to justify in practice. Specifically, two assumptions are often shown to be particularly problematic: homogeneous treatment effects and parallel trends. While researchers have adapted existing methods to address heterogeneous effects, incorporating non-parallel trends has been neglected. Our project aims to fill this gap by explicitly allowing for unrestricted time-varying heterogeneity within groups. By doing so, we can refine the estimation of the child penalty phenomenon using high-quality administrative data from the Netherlands. This innovative approach will uncover a deeper understanding of the child penalty and its causes, leading to more accurate causal analyses in the future.

Dr Aya Jazaierly

Co-applicant: Ms Rasha Sukkarieh


The Tenuous Interface of Fear: Mapping Invisible War-borne Social, Architectural and Urban Practices in the Making of Beirut

Loughborough University

Value Awarded: £9,818.75

Abstract: The Lebanese Civil war broke out in 1975 dividing the capital Beirut between East and West. During a 15-year period of multi-facetted conflicts, Beirut’s residents first resorted to make-shift solutions to protect their homes; as the war persisted, permanent solutions were needed. While spatial manifestations of fear were evident during times of conflict, long-term impacts remain invisible. Using architecture as a lens, this research aims to unveil the way fear was integrated in the design process even after the war ended, directly influencing the way people inhabit domestic spaces. Through detailed mapping and analysis of residential building case-studies built between 1975 and 2005 within Beirut, this research investigates how architects designed buildings with fear in mind. What impacts did these practices have on the residents’ social and urban fabric? How did this spatial design process deeply embedded in a culture of fear reflect on the city beyond the war years?

Ara Jo


Climate policy and industry dynamics

University of Bath

Value Awarded: £9,992.00

Abstract: The research programme develops a theoretical framework to investigate the interaction between climate policy and industry dynamics. A central economic force is the selection between firms that differ in their flexibility to switch from dirty to clean energy which induces the endogenous exit of least flexible firms when the price of dirty energy increases due to climate policy. The exit of inflexible firms improves the average economy-wide fuel substitution capacity, increasing the effectiveness of the policy at reducing emissions. Policy experiments with the calibrated model will explore how lower costs of mitigation will then enable policy makers to implement more ambitious climate action, giving rise to a potential virtuous cycle to a zero-carbon economy.

Dr Thomas Johnson

Co-applicant: Professor Anna Lora-Wainwright


Zero Waste Living in Urban China

University of Sheffield

Value Awarded: £8,667.00

Abstract: China faces a serious and growing waste challenge. In recent years, narratives about “zero waste” (ZW) and “zero waste living” (ZWL) have emerged from both state and non-state actors. This project explores tensions and synergies between individual practices of ZWL, civil society promotion of ZWL, and the Chinese state’s narratives of “ecological civilisation” and “circular economy”. Its methodological core is ethnographic research on individual citizens’ efforts to pursue ZWL in Hangzhou. This is complemented by interviews with campaigners involved in China’s Zero Waste Alliance, analysis of related documents and online spaces, and analysis of state documents on ZW. The project illustrates how everyday practices allow ZWL advocates to articulate subjectivity and care between private and public spheres. By questioning the binary between “everyday environmentalism” and collective action, as well as promoting more nuanced understanding of agency, subjectivity and ethics, this project contributes to the study of activism in authoritarian contexts.

Dr Andrew Jolly


Rediscovering the radical social work tradition in the West Midlands

University of Birmingham

Value Awarded: £4,592.00

Abstract: The 1970s was a time of experimentation in grassroots social practice in the UK, with a flourishing of new methods and approaches, and the creation of grassroots resources for radical social workers at a local level. This project uses the radical social work magazine Treaclestick which was published in Birmingham between 1971 and 1974 as a case study to understand both the themes and interests of radical social workers in 1970s Birmingham, and as a lens to gain insights for social work practice in the West Midlands today. Using a combination of archival research, semi-structured interviews and participatory workshops with social workers in Birmingham, the project seeks to rediscover the issues explored in the pages of Treaclestick magazine, explore how these themes compare and contrast with contemporary concerns in social work, and assess what insights can be learned for social work practice today.

Dr Benjamin Jones


Dialect merchandise in Wales: attitudinal responses to ‘enregistered’ Welsh English (WelE) and Welsh vocabulary commodities

Swansea University

Value Awarded: £2,665.20

Abstract: Dialect commodification has been studied in a range of regional contexts, but has not yet been studied in the Welsh context. What constitutes an ‘authentic’ dialect word in the eyes of its speech community (called enregisterment) can be explored One way is by examining commercial dialect commodities such as advertisements t-shirts, mugs, and Prints. Whereas previous studies have looked at commodities themselves, no study has yet engaged the speech communities with these items to explore the attitudes, perceptions and stances that are evoked via this commodification. The purpose of this research is to accumulate a small start-up resource pool of such ‘Welsh’ items that can be used in both the construction of surveys and focus groups across a small region of south Wales. gaining preliminary insight into these evaluations will help develop a methodology that could be replicated by other dialect/sociolinguistics researchers across Wales and around the world.

Dr Philippa Joseph


Designing Modern Italy

Independent Scholar

Value Awarded: £7,750.00

Abstract: The classic narrative of Italy’s post-war design phenomenon is widely celebrated as a period when the country’s iconic designs achieved something approaching cult status – think of Piaggio’s Vespa, Olivetti’s Lettera 22 portable typewriter, and Fiat’s Nuova 500 – stylish, brilliantly engineered, innovatory designs that quickly lent an aspirational air to Italian products, capturing the broader, international zeitgeist of renewal and optimism of the boom years of the late 1940s and 50s. This proposed research programme, 'Designing Modern Italy', will provide a fresh, critically up-to-date account of the role that design played in the creation of modern Italy up to the present day. Importantly, this research will place Italy's -successful design cultures within the wider context of Italy’s social and cultural evolution from the country’s unification in the late nineteenth century through to the present. Research outputs will include a highly-illustrated monograph, recently contracted, to be published by Reaktion Books.

Dr Saba Joshi


Gender, Agriculture and Land-Use Change in South and Southeast Asia

University of York

Value Awarded: £9,980.00

Abstract: Rising global demand for biofuels, minerals, and food crops have led to surges in large-scale land acquisition and natural resource extraction in developing countries. While we know that extractive forms of land-use can negatively affect smallholders’ livelihoods, the intersectional impacts of commercial land acquisitions on smallholder property rights, political and economic participation, are less understood. In this project, I investigate how land acquisition for plantations, contract farming and mining projects have shaped and impacted upon gender relations in local smallholder communities in selected regions of Cambodia and India—key hotspots for large-scale land acquisitions in Asia. Using ethnographic methods and interviews with affected communities, this project scrutinizes the impact of large-scale commercial agricultural and mining ventures on local smallholder women's a) rights and access to land, b) employment opportunities and c) political decision-making. This research will contribute to an academic monograph and an article submitted to the journal Development and Change.

Dr Katarzyna Kaczmarska

Co-applicant: Dr Mykola Kapitonenko


Foreign and Security Policy of Ukraine

University of Edinburgh

Value Awarded: £8,519.09

Abstract: This collaborative research project aims to provide a better understanding of how Ukraine formulates, communicates and carries out its foreign and security policy while deterring Russia’s invasion. Research-wise, the main output of this project will be a dataset of Ukrainian official foreign policy narratives and an academic article discussing it. The open-access dataset will help analysts and students better understand Ukraine’s relations with the world with a particular focus on the processes of foreign policy-making at the time of war. The project’s broader objective is to contribute to the process of decolonizing post-Soviet studies by introducing research and teaching that prioritizes (rather than marginalizes) Ukraine. We will achieve this by holding two workshops to advance the programme of research, establishing the Ukrainian Politics Network, composed of HEIs and NGOs interested in Ukrainian politics, preparing an open-access syllabus on Ukrainian foreign policy, and organising an essay competition for undergraduate students.

Dr Marcin Kaczmarski


The politics-economy nexus in Russian foreign policy: the case of energy companies

University of Glasgow

Value Awarded: £8,670.00

Abstract: Scholars agree that under Vladimir Putin’s leadership, the Russian state has re-asserted control over energy companies and employed them to further its foreign policy objectives, within a context of intensifying great-power rivalry. The company Gazprom has become a symbol of a commercial actor subordinated to geopolitical and strategic needs. However, each energy company important to the Kremlin – e.g. Rosneft in the oil sector, Novatek in the natural gas realm – is linked to the Russian state and to Putin in distinct ways. This project will explore to what extent different types of state-company relations impact the ways in which the Russian state employs those companies in foreign policy. I will address this question by constructing a typology of state-company relations in Russia, compiling a dataset of international activities of selected Russian energy companies and using case studies to identify how companies’ relations with the state impact foreign policy.

Professor Roger Kain


Cartography in the Nineteenth Century

Independent Scholar

Value Awarded: £9,744.00

Abstract: Cartography in the Nineteenth Century is part of a project led from University of Wisconsin, Madison to research and write a world-wide History of Cartography. Five of the Project’s six volumes have been published by University of Chicago Press to wide critical acclaim. Roger Kain is editor of Cartography in the Nineteenth Century which, when delivered to the Press in 2025 and published in 2027, will complete the whole Project. It is organized in encyclopedic format, will comprise one million words of essays of varying length by 179 contributors, and one thousand images

Professor Yelena Kalyuzhnova


Investigating the resilience of the creative industries in the UK: evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic

University of Reading

Value Awarded: £9,914.96

Abstract: This project aims to investigate the resilience strategies of the creative industries faced with the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on our previous research on organisational resilience and the creative industries, this research will explore lessons learned from the UK experience in responding to the pandemic to prepare for future crises. We will do so by conducting interviews with the creative industries representatives (e.g., the performing arts, museums, IT and software) to learn about their COVID-19 resilience strategies. The results will be relevant to other industries and countries, where response to shocks may significantly affect the economic performance of firms.

Dr Ursula Kania


Sinophobia/Anti-Asian racism in the UK press post-Covid

University of Liverpool

Value Awarded: £4,804.41

Abstract: As of May 2023, Covid-19 is no longer considered a public health emergency of international concern. However, the repercussions of this global crisis can still be felt on many levels. One socio-cultural legacy is the continued stigmatisation of (predominantly East & Southeast) Asians, triggered by the outbreak being associated with a 'wet market' in China, and exacerbated by media coverage drawing on longstanding stereotypes of (alleged) Chinese foodways (e.g., consuming bats). As the 2022-23 UK Home Office report shows, the 'new normal' includes approx. 33,600 hate crimes targeting Asians per year. Given the media's role in shaping public perceptions, this project will analyse UK press coverage of Chinese food culture and Anti-Asian hate crime 'post-Covid'. By identifying potential 'best practice' in responsible hate crime reporting while also scrutinizing negative stereotyping potentially exacerbating Anti-Asian sentiment, this work will contribute to anti-racist efforts to raise awareness of and challenge discriminatory discursive practices.

Dr Jonathan Kasstan

Co-applicant: Professor Michelle Sheehan


Towards safeguarding Chagossian Creole: Understanding how language attitudes and ideologies shape practice in exile and exodus

University of Westminster

Value Awarded: £9,966.20

Abstract: In collaboration with Chagossians in Mauritius, the Seychelles, and the UK, this project begins a language-revitalization agenda for Chagossian Creole (CC) by first establishing: (i) the extent to which Chagossian language attitudes are impacted by the particular circumstances born of exile by comparison with those of onward migration following exile; and (ii) how these operate on language maintenance and shift. We develop a mixed-methods design targeting narrative accounts of language use and direct elicitation of attitudes. The project asks how Chagossians evaluate CC in relation to other language varieties in speakers’ repertoires, and how CC is used alongside other varieties to achieve interactional goals. By providing a clearer understanding of how language attitudes impact on use in these settings, this study will not only inform community-driven interventions to revitalize a critically endangered language, but it will also fill empirical and theoretical gaps in the sociolinguistics of language maintenance and shift.

Dr Jasmine Kelland


Caregiving Fathers in Prison- experiences and intentions

University of Plymouth

Value Awarded: £9,607.00

Abstract: This qualitative study explores prisoner fathers' experiences of managing caregiving and work before imprisonment, caregiving experiences within the prison and intentions upon release. Prisoner fathers have been identified as a 'hard to reach population', despite approximately one-half of prisoners being fathers (with children under 18) they are largely considered to be an ‘invisible group’ in our society (Ministry of Justice/Department for Schools, Children and Families, 2007). This research aims to readdress this balance. Findings from this research will be used to feed into academic and policy debates about the experiences of this grouping and provide recommendations to improve the prison experience for fathers and the challenging process of resettlement for prisoner fathers

Dr Nini Kerr

Co-applicant: Dr Lucinda Rose Stroud


Soundwaves of Change: Addressing Poverty Through Youth-Powered Media Production

University of Edinburgh

Value Awarded: £8,246.00

Abstract: This project, in collaboration with SHMU, addresses deepening inequality in Aberdeen's regeneration areas through the engagement of socially disadvantaged youth as community activists. In Scotland, nearly a quarter of children and young people reside in low-income households. The rising cost of living, exacerbated by the persistent socioeconomic impacts of Covid-19, amplifies the daily struggles of poverty. Poverty is examined as a complex, interconnected condition where severe material deprivation is compounded by social marginalisation, leading to profound insecurity for individuals and their communities. Young people experiencing poverty endure lasting disparities in health, education, and social opportunities, perpetuating social marginalisation with consequences affecting wellbeing and prospects across generations. Through participatory action research, this project engages with young people as co-creators of knowledge, facilitating collective reflection and dialogue. These collective experiences will be transformed into a publicly accessible podcast series addressing poverty and the vital need for transformative change as envisioned by participants.

Professor Laleh Khalili


Quartermasters of Capital - A History of Logistics from the Global South

University of Exeter

Value Awarded: £9,730.00

Abstract: The aim of this project is to produce a history of modern logistics, re-narrated from the Global South. Such a history takes account of the global asymmetries of power, colonial and imperial relations, and the intertwined contributions of capitalism and coercion to the production of the bundle of practices and processes today we call “logistics.” In this project I make two arguments. First, I argue that logistics is in a sense the clearest distillation of the ways in which global capitalism operates today. Second, arguing against claims of newness of the peculiarities of the logistical, the book makes a case for the persistence and simultaneity of historic forms in current practices embedded in logistical trade and infrastructures –whether of corporate governance, colonial-style geopolitics, route-making, labour migration, and work.

Dr Philip Kirby


Codifying clumsiness: A historical geography of dyspraxia (1960–present)

King's College London

Value Awarded: £7,057.00

Abstract: Dyspraxia (or Developmental Coordination Disorder) is a neurodevelopmental difficulty that affects the development of motor coordination. Although this difficulty affects 5% of the population, it is much less known than other learning differences including dyslexia, ADHD, and autism, and its history has gone untold. This project investigates this history through mobility theory – a geographical approach that examines how mobility, and mobility impairments, are produced and made meaningful in society. Building on my work on the history of dyslexia, it will: 1. Create the first detailed account of dyspraxia’s modern science from the mid-20th century. 2. Record the voices of pioneering scientists, teachers, and campaigners, as well as individuals with dyspraxia, who set the stage for dyspraxia’s modern recognition and understanding.

Dr Boon Han Koh

Co-applicant: Professor Nisvan Erkal


Improving Team Production through Feedback Provision

University of Exeter

Value Awarded: £9,904.81

Abstract: Many economic activities are carried out in teams. This project aims to use insights from behavioural economics to understand the role of feedback provision in mitigating the free-riding and coordination problems in teamwork. Feedback provision may play an important role in resolving the strategic uncertainty in teamwork by informing team members about other members’ efforts, thus allowing them to signal their intentions and/or coordinate their contributions. We examine whether providing time-based feedback about progress or on the achievement of intermediate goals (i.e., milestones) is more beneficial for increasing effort in team production. We consider various teamwork environments where the team outcome is determined by either all members’ effort choices, the highest individual effort choice, or the lowest individual effort choice. These environments reflect the diversity of teamwork in practice. The findings will have important implications for the appropriate design of feedback mechanisms in environments involving team production.

Professor Alexandra Kolb


On air: Exploring the historical, scientific and political impacts of inflatables in choreography

University of Roehampton

Value Awarded: £9,479.60

Abstract: This project examines choreographic experiments with inflatables: performance works involving small or large-scale PVC objects filled with air, on- and off-stage. From the 1960s when plastics first became commonplace, such works have had a socially progressive and even utopian character. Operating at the threshold between performance and visual art, everyday life, and science, they challenge artistic and social conventions. This study focuses for the first time on how the materiality of plastic and air helps drive the choreographers’ aesthetic composition and political messages. Its objectives are threefold, comprising historical, contemporaneous and exploratory strands: (1) to examine how 1960s works with pneumatic structures entailed interplays between choreographic and visual arts, scientific innovations and countercultural movements; (2) to analyse the socio-political resonance of 21st-century choreographies with inflatables and their legacies from earlier works; (3) to establish a network and enable productive exchange between relevant artists, engineers and environmental stakeholders through a symposium-workshop.

Dr Jenny Korkodeilou


Geographies of Fear: Understanding Restraining and Stalking Protection Orders (SPOs)

Independent Scholar

Value Awarded: £9,869.00

Abstract: The suggested 2-year research project "Geographies of Fear: Understanding Restraining and Stalking Protection Orders (SPOs) aims at examining and gaining an in-depth understanding of the use, implementation and effectiveness of restraining and stalking protection orders in England and Wales (see Korkodeilou, 2016; 2017; 2020). Recent research (surveys) looking into the use and effectiveness of these safety measures for stalking victims has shown that restraining orders and/or SPOs are either not applied consistently by all police forces or not used at all (Suzy Lamplugh, 2021; Dunstan, 2021). Taking into account the increase of stalking incidents during Covid-19 pandemic, the often serious and/or fatal risks involved when protective orders are consistently breached and cases of stalking-related femicides (McFarlane et al., 2002; Korkodeilou, 2020), it is important to understand whether socio-legal remedies such as SPOs and stalking-related restraining orders work by identifing key issues, challenges or barriers in their implementation.

Dr Isuru Koswatte

Co-applicants: Dr Sabiha Mumtaz and Professor Christian Harrison


The driving and restraining forces for students’ self-directed learning adoption in higher education: A force field analysis approach

University of the West of Scotland

Value Awarded: £7,330.00

Abstract: Learning is acknowledged by many as a lifelong process and self-directed learning (SDL) plays a key role in this step as they take the responsibility in controlling what they learn to reach their goals and objectives. Despite the transformation of global education from a teacher-centric to a student-centric approach, especially with the pandemic situation, emerging contexts have seen a reduced impact. The study aims to explore this phenomenon in the emerging context of India and Sri Lanka to first identify the present context of SDL and identify the key drivers and challenges associated with the learning transformation. The study aims to capture both the learners' and educators' perspectives in this regard to build a stronger foundation and deepen the knowledge on more context-specific factors that are yet to be explored in the emerging nations' perspective.

Dr Hanna Kovshoff

Co-applicant: Professor Sarah Parsons


Why are so many autistic girls absent from mainstream secondary school? Knowledge co-production with autistic girls and their families.

University of Southampton

Value Awarded: £9,969.24

Abstract: Persistent absenteeism from school is increasingly prevalent amongst adolescent autistic girls with serious consequences for mental health and achievement. Autistic girls are more likely to be absent from school relative to autistic boys, and neurotypical girls and boys. However, barriers to attendance are poorly understood, and the ‘red flags’ that lead to or exacerbate non-attendance are either unknown or ineffectively managed to support many autistic girls to re-engage with education. The current project aims to understand the scope and impact of this issue through two interrelated strands: (1) a Freedom of Information request to Local Authorities in England for geographically relevant data on persistent non-attendance by gender, ethnicity, free school meals, and autism status and (2) co-production of resources with non-attending autistic girls and families to understand experiences, augment voices, and outline strategies for how schools can support and build relationships to enable autistic adolescent girls to reengage with school.

Dr Derek Kramer


A New Kind of Energy: Fantasies of an Atomic Age in the Cold War Koreas

University of Sheffield

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: “A New Kind of Energy” explores what happens when ideas about political liberation and scientific revolution intersect. This is done through a comparative examination of post-1945 North and South Korean encounters with the promises and perils of a new atomic age. The study traces the conceptual foundations of a postcolonial politics that emerged across the Cold War divide. The project examines encounters with the atomic age across colonial, socialist, and liberal renditions of the Korean nation. Rather than reduce the contemporary question of nuclear proliferation to the whims of political leadership or the contours of international exchange, “A New Kind of Energy” focuses on the social and ideological dimensions of science in the nation building process. With implications for the broader history of global nuclear proliferation, this is the first study to comparatively explore the sociopolitical character of atomic science in two mirroring postcolonial states.

Dr Andrea Krott

Co-applicant: Dr Cecilia Zuniga-Montanez


The shape bias as a word learning strategy in children born preterm

University of Birmingham

Value Awarded: £9,808.63

Abstract: Language is fundamental for children's academic success and social development. Children born preterm often have smaller vocabularies than children born full-term. In other child populations with language problems, smaller vocabularies have been argued to be related to the absence of a common word learning strategy, the so-called ‘shape bias’, which is the tendency to extend names of objects (i.e., nouns) to other objects of similar shape. The current study will therefore investigate if preterm children show a shape bias and, if so, whether it is as strong as that of full-term children. Preterm and full-term children (each n=21, aged 24-42 months) will be assessed on a noun extension task and tests of cognitive and motor development. Parents fill in background questionnaires, for instance, a vocabulary checklist. Results will provide the basis for larger-scale investigations into relationships of shape bias strength with variables such as gestational age or general cognitive development.

Dr Vimala Kunchamboo

Co-applicants: Dr Soo Yeong Ewe and Dr Feray Adiguzel


Breaking Down Barriers: Overcoming Resistance to Adopt Upcycled Food in the United Kingdom

Nottingham Trent University

Value Awarded: £9,925.00

Abstract: Food-upcycling offers a potential supply-side solution to the problem of food-waste; whereby innovators develop new consumer products created from surplus food. However, marketing of upcycled-food products is challenged due to end-consumer rejection. This research investigates the potential of food upcycling for solving the wicked problem of food-waste by exploring factors influencing upcycled-food product adoption among consumers in the United Kingdom and the role of food-culture practices on the effect. We apply a mixed-method design, using Behavioural Reasoning Theoretical framework to investigate the influence of both consumers’ ‘reasons for’ and ‘reasons against’ upcycled-food adoptions, to gain an understanding of consumer market, culture and characteristics. Focusing on waste management, the study supports relevant SGDs, is aligned with UK’s Courtauld Commitment 2030 that aims to achieve a 50% per capita reduction in food waste by 2030 and is expected to generate fundamental knowledge to support stakeholders in preventing food-waste.

Dr Yasser Kureshi

Co-applicant: Dr Karabekir Akkoyunlu


Strange Bedfellows: Intra-elite rivalries and populist-elite bargaining in tutelary hybrid regimes

University of Oxford

Value Awarded: £9,538.00

Abstract: This project seeks to understand how populist challengers emerge to disrupt established political orders of hybrid regimes, and the political consequences of these disruptions. The literature on democratic backsliding and populism largely ignores a) populist outsiders that challenge the status quo in hybrid regimes and b) complex webs of alliances and rivalries that cut across ‘people vs. the establishment’ binaries in such regimes. Through an in-depth comparative study of intra-elite rivalries and populist-elite bargaining in Turkey and Pakistan, we aim to uncover dynamics of political contestation and transition within hybrid regimes facing populist ascendancy. We will disseminate findings through peer-reviewed journal articles, workshops and blog posts. This research is a first step in a broader project on populist-elite bargaining across a wider comparative scope. Our project will significantly contribute to the field of comparative politics by breaking new ground in our understanding of hybrid regimes, populism and elite bargaining.

Dr Maria Kyriakidou


Crisis reporting beyond television news: A cross-platform analysis of British broadcasters' coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict

Cardiff University

Value Awarded: £9,796.00

Abstract: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has monopolised the attention of news media after the Hamas attack on October 7, 2023. This coverage has been widely questioned with regards to its perceived bias. Past research has indicated the lack of impartiality of similar television coverage in the UK. However, reporting has since evolved beyond television news, to include broadcasters’ social media accounts that reach different publics in diverse ways. This project aims at exploring how BBC and Channel 4 news have reported the conflict through their different media platforms, including television news bulletins, Instagram and Twitter/X. Analysing the first two weeks after the Hamas attack (7 – 21 October 2023), it will compare coverage between broadcasters as well as across their media platforms. The study will contribute to debates about the news coverage of war, as well as how journalistic content travels across media platforms.

Dr Holly Langstaff

Co-applicant: Professor Patrick McGuinness


Class in Modern French Literature

University of Oxford

Value Awarded: £6,341.55

Abstract: There is no single-authored or edited book on class in modern French literature, and the subject is significantly understudied. This project builds to a two-day closed workshop involving 15 invited participants. The workshop will identify new material and syntheses rather than examining individual authors. The focus will be on representations of the working class, drawing impetus from the revival, in France and the Francophone world, in working-class writing and thought, countering the often flat representation of the working class in 19th- and 20th-century writing. This project identifies a working-class canon, offering innovative approaches to thinking class – social, economic, cultural – and its representations, politics, paradoxes and blind spots. The project is intersectional: we will have contributions on class and race, class and disability, class and work. It will lead to an edited volume, two journal articles and a new research network, with a view to running future public-engagement initiatives.

Dr Dimitra Lazaridou Chatzigoga

Co-applicants: Professor Edward Matthew Husband and Dr Suzi Oliveira de Lima


Investigating generics across languages: a toolkit

University of Cambridge

Value Awarded: £9,996.00

Abstract: All languages are thought to have ways to express generalisations over individuals and/or events, like ‘Tigers have stripes’ or ‘Jessie delivers the mail’ (Krifka et al. 1995). Such expressions, termed ‘generics’, inform our understanding of the cognitive capacities that underpin our ability to go beyond particular experiences and communicate about the nature of our world. Generics have been claimed to be cognitive ‘defaults’ in children and adults (Leslie et al. 2011; Gelman 2008), yet they are not as well-understood across human languages as other linguistic forms. While much is known about generic expressions in English and a few closely related languages, a significant limitation to our current understanding, and to future research on generics and related research areas, is the lack of wide-ranging typological investigation that systematically examines their different forms across a representative sample of human languages. We propose this project to address this gap.

Dr Sung-Hee Lee

Co-applicants: Dr Ijin Hong and Dr Chui Man Chau


To what extent do work-family balance policies sustain fertility rates and women’s reproduction? Focused on the cases of the UK, Italy, South Korea and Taiwan.

University of Derby

Value Awarded: £9,997.84

Abstract: The study questions whether work-family balance policies (hereafter ‘WFBP)’ can sustain fertility rates and if so, how they affect women’s reproduction. Focusing on four distinct welfare systems, the UK, Italy, South Korea and Taiwan, this research is, firstly, aimed at exploring the stratified patterns of lower fertility rates among women, depending on their education, income level, employment type, immigrant status, marital status and regional location. It will then be aimed at examining how different WFBP responses have affected the stratified reproduction as well as the fertility rates among women. Taking secondary data analysis and small-N qualitative policy analysis (in-depth interviews and policy document analysis), the study will illuminate how the WFBP could be shaped in order to ensure women’s equal and universal access to reproduction. Finally, the findings will be utilised to draw up policy recommendations for those research sites where there is a particularly pressing crisis regarding fertility rates.

Dr Haili Li


Navigating Digital Exclusion and Inclusion: Exploring the Grey Digital Divide in the UK

University of Exeter

Value Awarded: £9,688.80

Abstract: Population ageing has become an increasingly pressing global issue, exacerbated by the accelerated digital transformation that amplifies the digital divide among the elderly. Against the backdrop of the UK’s rapid digitalisation and population ageing, this project will first interrogate how elderly individuals in the UK experience the digital divide and exclusion when adopting and using digital technologies. Second, it will examine how the UK government, charitable organisations, and local communities endeavour to mitigate the grey digital divide by developing tailored policies and programmes. This research will employ a mixed-method approach, including semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and content analysis. The findings of this project will expand existing research on digital inequalities and ageing studies. More importantly, this research will offer practical implications for policymakers and practitioners in developing public policies and programmes aimed at facilitating digital inclusion among the elderly population, contributing to enhancing social equality, diversity, and inclusion.

Dr Sheng Li

Co-applicant: Professor Andrew Marshall


ESG Performance-Linked Compensation and CEO Pay–Performance Sensitivity

University of Strathclyde

Value Awarded: £9,930.00

Abstract: The CEO's critical role in company operations necessitates careful selection, effective performance, and appropriate motivation, making CEO compensation design crucial for corporate boards. Traditionally, boards of directors have structured compensation contracts to maximize profits, contingent on the CEO’s efforts. However, in the past decade, there has been a heightened focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues by various stakeholders. Consequently, corporate boards are increasingly integrating ESG performance metrics into incentive plans. This research project aims to bridge existing gaps in the literature by presenting new findings on CEO compensation and turnover decisions within the context of the rising trend of linking ESG performance to CEO pay. The study also explores whether and to what extent this integration enhances the components of ESG performance. Consequently, this project offers valuable insights for industry professionals and policymakers, shedding light on the appropriateness of incorporating ESG goals into annual and long-term incentive plans.

Dr Hyun-Joo Lim


How effective are menopause policies at universities in England?

Bournemouth University

Value Awarded: £9,928.82

Abstract: This research aims to better understand how English universities support their menopause-affected employees. Despite increasing efforts to destigmatise and raise awareness of the menopause, there is still insufficient information and support available to employees in UK universities. Additionally, there is no data on which institutions have menopause policies and how effective they are to support staff, including employees with protected characteristics. To address these gaps, first, the study will evaluate how effectively universities support their menopause-affected employees; second, it will investigate how/if they provide tailored support for staff with protected characteristics. It will deploy an online survey on menopause-affected university employees, three focus groups with staff having protected characteristics, and the review of universities’ menopause policies in England, selected as the regional focus to generate nation-wide data within the feasible time and budget frame. The findings will be disseminated widely to improve our understanding of menopause support in English universities.

Professor Catherine Liston‐Heyes

Co-applicant: Professor Anthony Giles Heyes


What’s in a Number? An Experimental Study of How Policy Professionals Assess the Credibility of Statistical Research

University of Sussex

Value Awarded: £9,952.00

Abstract: Notions of a single and objective scientific ‘truth’ have dissipated rapidly in recent years, along with rising scepticism towards politicians and government officials and the emergence of media that amplifies ambiguity in the interpretation of scientific numbers. While ideological pre-disposition can distort the way numbers are interpreted and/or framed in policy-related communications, there may also be differences in how the validity of statistical evidence is assessed by different audiences. These differences matter for the purposes of policy-making for obvious reasons. Yet, to the best of our knowledge, these have not been formally and robustly investigated. We propose to do so through a ‘vignette’ experiment with representatives from the Canadian policy community and the wider citizenry. While an important objective in itself, the experiment will also be used to lay the foundation for a larger multi-country grant application that would explore these issues in Canada, the UK and the Netherlands, later.

Dr Kai Liu

Co-applicants: Professor Robert Moffitt and Dr Taehee Oh


Capital market imperfections, skill accumulation, and inequality over the lifecycle.

University of Cambridge

Value Awarded: £9,960.00

Abstract: The wage gap between high and low educated individuals grows substantially over the lifecycle. This project studies the interactions of capital market imperfections, skill accumulation, and their impacts on inequality. We consider two sets of inter-related factors that drive inequality and wage growth. One includes investments in skills in the form of college education, occupations, jobs as well as unexpected shocks. The other is family background, which may affect skill accumulation through initial skills passed from parents to children as well as parental transfers. Credit constraints and parental transfers may change skill investment and alter initial occupation choice, consequently leading young adults to different career trajectories. Combining economic theory with data that follows cohorts of young men from the time of high school completion to working life, we will investigate and quantify the role of parental transfers and credit constraints in individuals' career choices, wage progression and inequality.

Dr Morgana Lizzio-Wilson


“I hate those feminazis, too!” Interacting with likeminded (sexist) men may explain the emergence of the men’s rights movement

University of Exeter

Value Awarded: £8,242.93

Abstract: Current research points to men’s sexist attitudes as a “gateway drug” into the men’s rights movement. However, this ignores group processes which might give rise to this broader political movement. Using a novel online group interaction paradigm, this project will examine whether: 1) interacting with likeminded men validates (and increases) sexist men’s sense of injustice about feminism’s negative impact on men; and 2) if this heightened sense of injustice increases their intentions to engage in actions on behalf of men’s rights. This project will inform our understanding of men’s resistance to gender equality beyond individual differences (i.e., sexism) by highlighting important group processes (i.e., validating social interactions) which reinforce and politicise men’s individually held misogynistic attitudes. Moving forward, this evidence can be used to inform interventions which leverage these processes to subvert the formation of such hostile social movements.

Dr Anna Llewellyn


‘Non-traditional’ LGBTQ+ Students’ Experiences of Inclusion and Belonging at University

Durham University

Value Awarded: £7,940.00

Abstract: This project aims to utilise lived experience to establish mechanisms of institutional support for non-traditional’ LGBTQ+ students, within ‘traditional’ (pre-1992, high ranking) universities. It is known that students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and first-generation students (described here as non-traditional) are most exposed to the impact of the current UK ‘cost of living’ crisis. The problem may be compounded for ‘non-traditional’ LGBTQ+ students, who experience universities as both safe and unsafe, where this continuum is related to varying levels of institutional support. This project explores this concern by instigating in-depth case studies of two ‘traditional’ universities over one academic year, with ‘non-traditional’ LGBTQ+ participants being cases within a case. The expected academic outcomes include new knowledge and theoretical advancement. The most vital outcome, however, is professional, and concerns practical recommendations for universities to support those occupying the edges of the already marginalised.

Dr Helena Lopes


Chinese Women and Transnational Resistance: A Global Microhistory of Wartime Cultural Diplomacy

Cardiff University

Value Awarded: £9,927.00

Abstract: This project aims to investigate the prominent role played by Chinese women who acted as informal cultural ambassadors for Chinese resistance in the Second World War. Using a global microhistory approach, it will delve on the case study of transnational mobility and cultural activities of Guo Jingqiu (Helena Kuo), a Chinese woman who had a stellar, albeit forgotten, career as a journalist, writer, public speaker and translator in Britain, France and the United States in the 1930s and 1940s. Analysing her wartime activities, the project will explore the professional opportunities opened for women during the conflict, the role of multilingual women in harnessing international support for Chinese resistance, histories of wartime migration and gendered border- crossing, and the role of the arts in Chinese diplomacy. The project includes an international workshop that will gather experts of different career stages working on gender, diplomacy, and global connections in modern Asian history.

Dr Lerong Lu

Co-applicant: Dr Rhys Michael Bidder


Reinventing Money in the Context of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Adoption: Exploring The Practice and Regulation of China’s Digital Yuan as A Case Study

King's College London

Value Awarded: £9,940.00

Abstract: Global monetary authorities have been proactively experimenting central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) which are revolutionising our monetary and payment systems. Over 65 central banks have been engaged in CBDC research and testing, representing 91% of global economic output and 72% of population. Studying CBDC is a pressing task for legal scholars and economists to identify its best international practices and limitations. So far, China’s digital yuan, or DC/EP, has been the most advanced CBDC pilot among G20 economies, having reached the stage of mass application where 20 million citizens and 3.5 million businesses hold active CBDC accounts. This interdisciplinary research, between King's Law and Business Schools, explores the legal and regulatory challenges presented by digital yuan, such as systematic stability, data protection, and financial inclusion. It provides valuable policy recommendations for central banks, including the Bank of England’s digital pound, and international organisations such as BIS, IMF, and World Bank.

Professor John Da Silva Luiz

Co-applicants: Professor Camille Meyer and Professor Hamieda Parker


Building sustainable seafood supply chains in developing countries: Using technology to support marginalised small-scale fishing communities

University of Sussex

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: The fishing industry is a major contributor to food systems at a global level. Yet, the global seafood industry is criticized for its lack of transparency and sustainability in terms of environmental and social impacts. We intend to investigate the institutional ecosystem and the technological ICT platforms and Apps developed by a global social enterprise to not only build sustainable seafood supply chains but to improve the nature of work and the livelihoods of marginalised small-scale fishers. Focusing on the South African context characterised by extreme inequalities, we unpack how this technology offers more transparency and traceability in the seafood supply chain and addresses information voids that negatively impact marginalised fishing communities and their ability to conduct their work. Using a social ecological approach,we establish how this technology uses storytelling to connect fishers to consumers in order to generate higher income for fishers, while creating markets for under-valued fish species.

Dr Sergio Lussana


Going Native, 1485 – 1966: A New History of The British Empire

Nottingham Trent University

Value Awarded: £9,977.00

Abstract: This project examines cases of 'going native' in the history of the British Empire, focusing on colonial America, Australia, and New Zealand. It examines how British colonists were attracted to the cultural world of the Native American, Aboriginal, and Maori people they encountered: they rejected British ways, married local women, learnt indigenous languages, and adopted new cultural values. This project examines the different motivations of these colonists and assesses the consequences of their actions. It considers what challenges these racial transgressions posed to British power, culture, and identity, and how they shaped the development of the British Empire across time and space. The project will result in two peer-reviewed articles focused on America and Australasia. It forms part of a monograph project examining the phenomenon of 'going native' throughout the entire history of the British Empire, from Tudor Ireland through to the end of British rule in India and Africa.

Professor Anastasios Magdalinos


Uniform inference with autoregressive processes

University of Southampton

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: The project will develop a unified theory of estimation and inference for p-th order autoregressive processes with characteristic roots that lie on arbitrary closed intervals covering the stationary, nonstationary and explosive regions. New limit distribution theory will be derived for Jordan forms arising from repeated characteristic roots on the boundaries between the above regions. A novel estimation procedure, based on endogenously constructed instruments, delivers an asymptotic mixed-Gaussian theory of estimation. The resulting t and Wald statistics based on the new IV estimator for testing individual and joint restrictions on the autoregressive coefficients will have standard Gaussian and chi-squared limit distributions, thereby conforming to standard asymptotic theory of hypothesis testing across all autoregressive regions independently of the distribution of the innovations. These t and Wald hypothesis tests will be shown to have correct asymptotic size (uniformly over the parameter space) establishing a general and unified framework for inference with autoregressive processes.

Dr Ewa Majczak


Social media influencers in West Africa: women, work and redistribution in digital economy

London School of Economics and Political Science

Value Awarded: £9,500.00

Abstract: This study of Cameroonian influencers examines how economic value is generated in social media influencer economies. Recent figures show that the fashion industry in Africa is forecast to grow at one of the most rapid rates globally (Forbes, 2022). Most studies of social media influencers not only omit Africa, but also as in the case of the forecast understand economic value in financial terms. In contradistinction, this study asks what counts as values for social media influencers in Cameroonian influencer economies and how these values, and thus the economy, are created and sustained. By investigating practices of social media influencers building their networks of followers, sharing their images, and building their brands, this project – the first fully-fledged study of influencer economies in/from West Africa – examines models of valuation underpinning influencers economies in view of shedding light on alternatives for the digital economy.

Dr Emily Manktelow


BIPOC Christians in Imperial Britain

Royal Holloway, University of London

Value Awarded: £9,952.00

Abstract: This project creates a new perspective on British histories of colour by studying the history of the many colonial Christians from around the British Empire who came to Britain during the nineteenth century. It decentres white Christian histories by prioritising those colonial peoples who traversed the complex boundaries between white and non-white, British and non-British, Christian and non-Christian that were erected and policed by colonial systems and cultures. As literate and prolific individuals, with a strong sense of their own fluid identities, the writings and experiences of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) Christians provide a unique archival window into Britain’s complex and diverse past. This project thus utilises media coverage, personal writings, and Christian missionary archives to complicate white-washed histories of nineteenth-century Britain, and to illuminate the subjectivities of colonial peoples more often seen as objects – of intervention, of ‘civilisation’ and of Christianisation.

Dr Silvana Mareva

Co-applicants: Dr Rachel Hayes and Dr Anna-Lynne Adlam


Beyond Diagnoses: Exploring the needs and priorities of families accessing neurodevelopmental diagnostic services

University of Exeter

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: This research addresses a gap in our understanding of neurodiversity and healthcare provision. Traditionally, conditions such as autism and ADHD are defined by distinct profiles, but contemporary evidence suggests that they are poor predictors of individual strengths and needs. Paradoxically, healthcare systems devote most resources to the diagnostic processes rather than providing support. This leads to lengthy assessment waits, impacting the wellbeing of children and families. Service providers acknowledge this and are shifting toward needs-led support, irrespective of diagnostic status. However, research is needed to understand the social considerations and challenges of reducing reliance on diagnoses. This study uses survey methods co-produced by researchers, families, and clinicians to explore the needs and priorities of families seeking neurodevelopmental diagnostic services. It will also delve into their perspectives on traditional diagnostic versus needs-led approaches. By gaining insights from those accessing care, we aim to improve services for neurodivergent children and their families.

Dr Alexandra Martin

Co-applicants: Professor G James Rubin and Dr Louise Smith


The impact of self-isolation on healthcare workers' psychological wellbeing and how to reduce it: a systematic review

King's College London

Value Awarded: £9,909.01

Abstract: Self-isolation is a critical public health strategy in global efforts to curb infectious diseases, but its impact on healthcare workers' psychological well-being is poorly understood. A previous systematic review found that self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic can affect psychological wellbeing in the general population, especially post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. The review also highlighted gaps in the research base and made recommendations for public health practitioners implementing containment measures in the future. However, healthcare workers were particularly vulnerable to poor mental health during the pandemic, including heightened risk of PTSD compared to the general population. It is crucial to bring together the evidence produced during the pandemic on the risk and protective pathways and the interventions that work to support wellbeing during self-isolation in this high-risk population. This will help to inform the development of targeted interventions to support healthcare workers' psychological wellbeing during future outbreaks of infectious disease.

Dr Cristina Martinelli

Co-applicant: Dr Goffredina Spano


Disordered sleep and eating in adolescents at risk for an eating disorder.

Kingston University

Value Awarded: £9,950.78

Abstract: The project aims to explore the interplay between sleep and eating disturbance in adolescents at risk for an eating disorder (ED). Sleep problems have been identified as important risk factors across most psychiatric conditions but sleep research in EDs is far behind. To date, studies focused on the prevalence of sleep disturbance, and its associations with clinical features such as symptoms severity, course of illness, and relapse risk. However, very little is known about the way sleep problems and ED behaviours interact, particularly in young ‘at risk’ populations. The current project is the first to use continuous (actigraphy) and naturalistic (ecological momentary assessment) methods to track daily sleep and ED behaviours in adolescents at risk for ED. The study will lead to an increased understanding of the way sleep and disordered eating interact in the early phases of EDs development, thus contributing to the much-needed identification of early intervention targets.

Dr Gabriel Antonio Martinez Vera


Narration strategies in Saraguro Kichwa: bringing a severely endangered language to the foreground

Newcastle University

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: This projects studies narration strategies in Saraguro Kichwa, a severely endangered Andean language spoken in the province of Loja, Ecuador. This project ultimately aims to contribute to the revitalisation of Saraguro Kichwa in a process that brings community members to the foreground. In collaboration with a local institution, Yachay Kawsay, this project will document narrations from the local Saraguro community. These narrations will feed a database that will be incorporated into teaching materials at local schools, and will be made available more broadly on the project’s website. This project will further analyse discourse strategies (used when narrating) as related to evidentiality marking, which corresponds to English expressions such as I witnessed, I heard, I inferred, etc., thus bringing together two areas, discourse and evidentiality, that have, in general, been studied separately in linguistic theorising.

Dr Antia Mato Bouzas


The Pakistani Gulf: Migration and Nation Building Processes in the Global South

London Metropolitan University

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: The Pakistani Gulf is a transnational space of extraordinary dynamism shaped by continued interactions over decades between Pakistan and the oil-rich Gulf Arab states. Migration plays a central role in shaping this space because there are three to four million Pakistani migrants in the Gulf. Migration, however, triggers other relations in the fields of development, economy and politics that ultimately define relations between Pakistan and the Gulf. This project investigates the political, economic and cultural dimensions of this space to reveal the influence that Pakistan exercises in the region, which has consequences for nation building processes in Pakistan.

Dr Christos Mavrodimitrakis

Co-applicant: Dr Robert Forster


Monetary and Macro-Prudential Policies' Interactions and the Optimal Policy Mix

University of Reading

Value Awarded: £9,915.00

Abstract: Modern economies face various shocks in the short run on their demand or their supply side; e.g., lockdowns and shutdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic. These shocks impact on certain macroeconomic variables (output; unemployment; inflation; debt). Governments and central banks have specific (policy) instruments on their disposal and can use them to tackle those shocks, stabilise the economy and improve social welfare. This project aims at building a mathematical model for the macroeconomy, starting from explicitly defining the decision-making process of various economic agents (firms; households; banks) in the economy, to explore how monetary and macro-prudential policies should be set under various scenarios (alternative shock configurations) to maximise social welfare; and to investigate how this optimal policy mix can be achieved in practice by two distinct authorities, namely a monetary authority and a macro-prudential authority (or two distinct committees inside a central bank), with separate policy instruments and objectives.

Dr Christopher McCorkindale

Co-applicant: Professor Aileen McHarg


Legislative consent after Brexit

University of Strathclyde

Value Awarded: £7,106.65

Abstract: Although the UK Parliament retains unlimited law-making powers in devolved areas, this is tempered by a political rule – the Sewel Convention – that the UK Parliament will ‘not normally’ do so without the consent of the relevant devolved legislature(s). The Convention both facilitates co-operation between the UK and devolved authorities and provides a safeguard for devolved autonomy against unwelcome UK legislation. In the pre-Brexit era the operation of the Convention was mostly uncontroversial. Our hypothesis is that Brexit has resulted in an increased willingness on the part of the UK Parliament to legislate in devolved areas without consent. Through textual analysis of legislative consent memorandums lodged in the three devolved legislatures and interviews conducted with political actors and officials engaged in the process, this project seeks to demonstrate, understand and analyse this change and what it means for devolved autonomy and the proper functioning of the UK Constitution.

Dr Daniel McDonald


Catholic Action and the Global Cold War in Latin America

University of Oxford

Value Awarded: £9,990.00

Abstract: The Roman Catholic Church envisioned Catholic Action, a mass movement of lay people, as an essential means to combat the spread of communism during the Cold War, especially in Latin America. In 2020, Pope Francis released the records of the papacy of Pius XII (1939-1958) and the following year KU Leuven made available the archives of the international secretariat Catholic Action’s wing for workers, the Christian Youth Workers (JOC). These new archives make a transnational history of Catholic Action possible for the first time.

This project examines the rise and fall of Catholic Action in the world’s most populous Catholic country, Brazil, from the 1930s to the 1980s. This case study of Brazilian Catholic Action will demonstrate that lay people in Latin America typically excluded from such histories pushed the global Church to take more progressive stances on issues of inequality, poverty, and human rights during the Cold War.

Dr Siobhan McGuirk


Queer legacies of asylum: A longitudinal study of identity, expression and belonging among LGBT+ migrants in the United States

Independent Researcher

Value Awarded: £7,952.00

Abstract: While numerous studies of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers’ experiences exist, few scholars have asked: What comes after the ruling? This project explores how claiming refuge and subsequently transitioning through legal statuses (asylee, resident, citizen, undocumented, and/or deportee) impacts LGBTQ+ migrants in the United States over the long-term. Collaborating with interlocutors to research I conducted 2012-2014, I specifically examine how social media platforms have been used to assert identities, opinions and expressions of belonging (or otherwise) over a decade of changing personal circumstances and shifting socio-legal landscapes. The project will deepen understanding of queer identities forged over time at the intersections of immigration, law and society, and knowledge of digital platforms as mailable repositories of lived experience, self-reflection and expression. Our use of interlocutor-led and sensorial methods will further contribute to debates concerning ‘collaboration’ in anthropology, prompting critical reflection on how participants’ identities may be further shaped by the research process itself.

Dr Siobhan McHugh

Co-applicants: Professor Jessica Mesman and Dr Suyin Hor


Developing a model of reflexivity as 'accountability outwards' in participatory research

Leeds Beckett University

Value Awarded: £5,851.00

Abstract: Reflexivity is commonly used in qualitative research and has been accepted as a method researchers can use to legitimise, validate and question their research practices. Video-reflexive ethnography (VRE) is a participatory methodology used increasingly across the social sciences to support collaborative rethinking and reorganisation of working practices and processes. Of the four foundational principles of VRE, the principle of reflexivity is the most complex and uncertain. Reflexivity is not simply a way for researchers to reflect about VRE, but it is a central principle working across multiple dimensions; it is accountability or reflexivity outwards to the multiple others involved. We aim to develop a model of reflexivity to centre and legitimise the value of that which might be uncomfortable or uncertain in participatory methodology.

Dr Mark McKenna


Understanding Star Brand Narratives in the Post Studio Era

Staffordshire University

Value Awarded: £7,417.00

Abstract: The proposed research will interrogate the role of historical brand narratives constructed around film stars, considering the effect that those narratives have on the popular perception of particular stars, and the agency of the star in that process. Using Sylvester Stallone as a case study, the project will challenge the widespread belief that film stars achieved autonomy with the decline of the Hollywood studio system from the 1960s onwards, through an exploration of the fabricated narrative of disadvantage and determination that was imposed on Stallone by United Artists in the promotion of Rocky in 1976. This narrative rewrote Stallone’s life of relative privilege, recasting him as a working-class hero, and has since become the cornerstone of his biography. Through a combination of ethnographic and archival research, this project will consider the continued value of narratives like this in the contemporary marketplace.

Dr Jenny McLeish

Co-applicant: Dr Zoe Darwin


Information Specialist role for a Priority Setting Partnership for LGBT+ perinatal health

University of Oxford

Value Awarded: £9,975.00

Abstract: Background: The number of LGBT+ people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other sexual orientations/gender identities) experiencing pregnancy, birth and parenthood is increasing. The needs of LGBT+ people within this sphere are unique in many areas. LGBT+ people experience worse pregnancy outcomes and more often disengage with healthcare. This is partly due to lack of trust and experience/fear of discrimination. The areas that need further research are highly multidisciplinary, from sociological to psychological and physiological questions. Objectives: To work as a collaborative team of LGBT+ people, academics and clinicians to identify questions related to LGBT+ perinatal care, review the literature to see if these have been answered and prioritise those that have not been answered. Methods: The project is a James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership. This grant is for the specialised component of a consultant Information Specialist to manage data and survey the literature after stakeholders submit their research questions.

Dr Ali Meghji


Thinking between decolonisation and anti-racism: the case of Kwame Nkrumah

University of Cambridge

Value Awarded: £9,250.00

Abstract: Kwame Nkrumah is widely recognised as being one of the most important political figures of the 20th century. In bringing resolution 1514 to the United Nations in 1960, which granted the right for colonies to have self-determination, Nkrumah paved the way for the decolonization of the African continent, and himself became the first prime minister of newly independent Ghana. Despite Nkrumah’s importance to the global polity, sociologists still know very little about the time that Nkrumah spent in the United States between 1935-45. My project will fill this lacuna, questioning how Nkrumah’s time in America shaped his overall conceptual approach to understanding colonialism, and how this time spent in America created synergies between projects of decolonization in Africa with anti-racist projects in America. In turn, my research will develop our understanding of the formal links that developed between anti-racism and anti-colonialism in the 20th century.

Dr Rosa Maria Mendizabal Espinosa

Co-applicants: Dr Viviana Ramírez and Dr Sonia Hernández Cordero


Exploring the wellbeing experiences of Mexican families with a preterm baby admitted into a public hospital

University College London

Value Awarded: £9,930.85

Abstract: The World Health Organization estimates that 13.4 million babies were born preterm (before 37 weeks of gestation) in 2020, that is, between 4% to 16% of all births; many of them requiring lifesaving medical care in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) for days, weeks and even months. The experience of premature birth and admission to the NICU are key determinants of child mortality and health in the short and the long term. This process also entails a critical disruption to the stability of the family unit, that can have significant impacts on their wellbeing. Combining digital diaries and semi-structured interviews, this qualitative research seeks to scrutinise the wellbeing experiences of families in Mexico, from disadvantaged backgrounds, during the admission to the NICU of their preterm babies. Looking at the wellbeing of families could unveil important challenges in the implementation of newborn care policies in this context.

Dr Anna Metzger

Co-applicant: Dr Guido Maiello


Synthesising Haptic Textures through Unsupervised Learning

Bournemouth University

Value Awarded: £9,934.40

Abstract: Imagine running your fingertips over smooth marble or rough tree bark. Without looking, we can easily tell these materials apart. Our ability to discern materials by touch is remarkable, yet the underlying perceptual computations remain unknown. I developed a simple model to represent and synthesise vibratory patterns elicited by natural materials during tactile exploration. While the model successfully predicts perceptual judgments, it is unknown whether vibratory patterns synthesised by the model truly feel like touching real materials. We will test whether my model’s vibrations feel like touching real-world textures. We will deliver vibrational patterns generated by my model to human participants and employ psychophysical methods to evaluate whether synthetic patterns evoke the perception of touching natural materials, and whether the model’s internal dimensions align with perceptual dimensions. This will reveal the computational principles of haptic material perception and develop the technology to deliver realistic haptic inputs in virtual environments.

Dr Valentina Migliarini


Linguistic Ableism and Migrant Students in an English Local Authority: Students, Families and Local Authority Responses

University of Birmingham

Value Awarded: £7,011.80

Abstract: ‘Linguistic ableism’ refers to the complex intersection of processes by which some migrant students are subject to stereotyping that draws on assumptions about language, ability and race. This project investigates these issues within an English local authority, with relatively high levels of social disadvantage, and examines how the Ethnic Minority Achievement Service (EMAS) tries to mitigate such ableism for migrant students, classified as using English as an Additional Language (EAL). As a qualitative case study informed by Disability Critical Race Theory (DisCrit) and Raciolinguistics, the proposed project follows six students, across primary and secondary schools, their families and five EMAS professionals in the city of Portsmouth, over one school year. The project will shed light on what EMAS services and schools may require, in terms of continuous professional development and resources, to respond to the issues faced by students living at the intersection of race, language, ability, and migratory status.

Dr Clement Minaudier

Co-applicant: Dr Greg Chih-Hsin Sheen


The Effect of Media Coverage of Experts and Politicians on Policy Attitudes

London School of Economics and Political Science

Value Awarded: £9,976.00

Abstract: Governments often need to convince the public that they are implementing the correct policy for a policy to be successful. The effectiveness of communication about a policy depends on who communicates it and through which media. In recent years, governments have debated whether elected politicians or appointed bureaucrats are best placed to communicate policies. Because of their impact on the public’s behaviour and welfare, communication strategies can have wide-ranging effects. Yet, there is little systematic evidence on the effectiveness of different communication policies. In this project, we propose to bridge this gap by carrying out a survey experiment examining how different sources of policy information -- namely experts and politicians -- and different media of communication, -- namely newspapers with different political leanings -- affect policy attitudes. We expect our results to contribute to our understanding of policy persuasion and to help policymakers design better communication strategies.

Dr Andrew M'manga

Co-applicant: Dr Uma Patel


Modelling the Dimensions of Contactless Transaction Literacy for Overseas Students in the UK: An Equity Approach

Bournemouth University

Value Awarded: £9,987.22

Abstract: Studies have shown that international students, particularly those originating from developing nations, find themselves notably challenged by the foundational shift in managing contactless transactions leaving them susceptible to experiencing self-isolation and a sense of not fitting in. However, research on the enculturation of international students to contactless transactions is limited. Conducting focus groups at 15 universities across the UK, this study will investigate and model the dimensions of contactless transaction literacy for international students using security, privacy, trust, risk awareness and wellbeing as foundational principles. The study aims to inform a more equitable design of education material thereby promoting international students’ successful integration into the UK academic and societal fabric.

Dr Joel Montgomery

Co-applicant: Professor Patricia Lewis


Developing employability of refugees in the Southeast: Can local councils provide more assistance?

University of Kent

Value Awarded: £9,824.56

Abstract: Local governments play a pivotal role in supporting the successful integration of refugees. However, data reveals significant employment disparities of 20% between refugees and the broader UK population (Home Office, 2023). As the global refugee population grows and the UK's hosting capacity is often contentiously debated, there is a need to understand the factors which impact on refugee integration. A key component is the issue of employment and employability. While literature has shed light on individual and organisational challenges for refugees, the role of local government is largely underexplored. This research, therefore, employs qualitative interviews with 35 key figures in local councils in the Southeast to investigate how they address the issue of refugee employment and employability. By focusing on the activities of local councils, the study seeks to reveal the way in which government activity 'on the ground' supports or impedes the employment opportunities available to refugees.

Dr Chanki Moon

Co-applicant: Professor Giovanni Travaglino


Unpacking the Link between Ideology and the Endorsement of Political Violence: When and How Justifying the Status Quo Can Fuel Radicalization

Royal Holloway, University of London

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: This research project investigates the conditions under which individuals’ beliefs in the overall suitability of the existing political system and status quo might paradoxically foster a more positive attitude towards political violence. Recent findings suggest an association between the acceptance of the status quo and a tendency towards political violence when individuals perceive and endorse a large social distance between authorities and subordinates. This effect, termed the "dependency-counterdependency dynamic", has significant implications for our understanding of the psychological and motivational bases of radicalization, yet it remains little explored. The current project employs two large-scale surveys to investigate the mechanisms associated with the dependency-counterdependency dynamics. Two experimental studies will establish the existence of causal relations among constructs. The project will significantly contribute to theories about how system-level appraisals might interact with the acceptance of hierarchies to encourage a propensity for political violence amid growing global instances of such behaviour.

Dr Tiziana Morosetti


The Making of African Theatre: Academics, Playwrights, and Theatre Practitioners at the University of Ibadan, 1952-1970

Goldsmiths, University of London

Value Awarded: £8,011.66

Abstract: The moment of transition from colonial to postcolonial education at the University of Ibadan, one of the oldest HE providers in West Africa, proved pivotal to theatre studies with the founding of the School of Drama (1962) and its Travelling Theatre company. Emerging from the collaboration of British and African scholars with indigenous theatre makers, the School of Drama supported some of the most important modern and contemporary African playwrights. Furthermore, the making of ‘African Theatre’ as a subject at Ibadan also foregrounded changes in British academia, as scholars at Ibadan returned to the UK to establish innovative African Theatre curricula. The project investigates the conditions that allowed this colonial institution to engage with indigenous theatre practices, examining ways in which this engagement informed definitions of, and approaches to, African Theatre, arguing that this paradigmatic case study can set an example for contemporary calls to diversify curricula in HE.

Dr Charlotte Morris


Teaching in Turbulent Times: Recognising and Responding to contemporary populist discourses about universities in the humanities and social sciences

University of Portsmouth

Value Awarded: £9,996.60

Abstract: This project will identify populist discourses surrounding universities in UK media and explore how they emerge and are responded to in higher education. Populism pertains to constructions of ‘the people’ versus ‘the elite’, with universities often discursively associated with the latter (Hussain & Yunus, 2021; Read, 2018). Populist arguments are underpinned by prejudice and constructions of ‘common-sense’ rather than evidence (Bakir & McStay, 2018). Language is deployed to elicit prejudice rather than inform, reducing debate to polarising ideological conflict (Stanley, 2018). A key aspect of contemporary post-truth populism is anti-intellectualism, entailing ‘fake news’; decrying of ‘experts’ and academics and bolstering of hate speech - including in universities (Read, 2018). Social sciences and humanities disciplines involve critical discussions and may include political and social justice orientated content and approaches (such as critical race theory) which are positioned as controversial (Stanley, 2018) and so these subjects will be the key focus here.

Dr Mohsen Mosleh

Co-applicant: Professor Katherine Milkman


Does Diversity Count? Using Feedback to Boost Gender and Racial Representation

University of Exeter

Value Awarded: £9,870.00

Abstract: How do individuals react when confronted with data revealing they have not provided women and racial minorities with a fair share of the opportunities they have provided to others? Do they strive for greater inclusion or do they double down? While some theories suggest that drawing attention to the topic(s) of race or gender when people are making decisions could trigger discrimination, we posit that in the modern era, exclusion often isn't intentional, and feedback of this type can therefore motivate greater inclusivity. Here we propose to investigate the impact of providing individuals with descriptive feedback on their past selections of women and racial minorities in a large-scale field experiment on Twitter/X. We examine how this feedback affects future selection decisions and motivates individuals to diversify their social networks. Our results will provide important insights to increase diversity in a wide range of settings.

Professor Stewart Motha


Expanding the Scope of Litigation that challenges Climate and Ecological Destruction

Birkbeck, University of London

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: A growing number of cases before courts seek to address climate change through human rights. Juridical devices such as legal personality and tort are also being asserted on behalf of humans, animals, rivers, mountains, seas, and oceans which are all affected by ecological destruction. Despite this creative extension of legal forms to meet the demands of climate change, nonhuman animals and things which have the status of ‘nature’ struggle to enter judicial discourse. When nature is protected, it is often as a corollary to safeguarding the interests of humans. ‘Nature’ remains an essential though inert backdrop. How might nature enter the the court in a manner where it is not a mere backdrop of human affairs, or as a thing being acted upon? I draw on indigenous knowledges, norms, and practice, especially from the Pacific Ocean region, in examining their potential to inform climate litigation and scholarship in the humanities.

Dr Katrin Mueller-Johnson

Co-applicant: Dr Lasara Kariyawasam


Police investigations of sextortion reports: Offence patterns, officers’ perceptions of victims and victim satisfaction

University of Oxford

Value Awarded: £9,988.00

Abstract: Sextortion is a crime where perpetrators threaten to distribute sexual images/videos of victims unless these comply with certain demands (e.g., sending money or more sexual images) (Powell & Henry, 2016). It is a relatively new phenomenon which has seen a dramatic increase since the Covid pandemic. Police forces are still in the process of developing their expertise on this issue, with most investigating sextortion cases as part of their standard fraud/ blackmail investigations while others have created more specialised units focusing on online crime. We plan 1) a quantitative study of police data of sextortion reports to describe offence patterns, victim characteristics and investigative outcomes in two forces with differing approaches, 2) a qualitative study of police officer perceptions of the challenges to the investigation and perceptions of victims of sextortion, 3) an exploratory small-scale study of victims' experiences reporting the crime to the police in the two different forces.

Dr Paul Muhle-Karbe

Co-applicant: Dr Daniel Baldauf


Dissociating pathways for selective attention

University of Birmingham

Value Awarded: £9,961.85

Abstract: Attention enables us to selectively focus on goal-relevant information in our environment, while discarding irrelevant distractions. Classic theories posit that attention relies on top-down signals that are generated in the prefrontal cortex and serve to amplify the processing of goal-relevant information in sensory brain regions. This general framework is widely appreciated, but the precise mechanisms by which attention biases sensory processing remain to be specified. Recent evidence suggests that spatial and non-spatial forms of attention may utilise distinct pathways in the human brain. This project seeks to put this hypothesis to a rigorous causal test using an innovative multi-method approach to measure and manipulate brain activity with high spatial and temporal resolution. Results from this project will place important constraints on theories of attention, and may provide a springboard for translational research examining atypical attention in mental illness.

Dr Tine Munk

Co-applicant: Dr Ian Mahoney


The Complex Web in Memetic Warfare. Societal Dynamics, Interactions and Impact.

Nottingham Trent University

Value Awarded: £9,824.00

Abstract: The research project aims to decode how Ukrainians and their allies employ memes as a defensive weapon to counter Russian misinformation and propaganda in the ongoing war. This project uses a mixed methodology to study memetic warfare within the North-Atlantic Fella Organization (NAFO), a global online resistance group, shedding light on the motivations driving these memetic approaches and assessing public perceptions of the war. The research encompasses secondary analysis, an online survey, and interviews with NAFO members and Ukrainians, focusing on uncovering motivations, tactics, and perceptions of memetic warfare. The research outcomes include a public report, an online public event, and three journal articles that delve into the methodology, ethical considerations, and the use of memetic warfare. These outputs contribute to advancing our comprehension of this evolving field. These insights are invaluable for academics, practitioners, and policymakers, providing essential information to develop effective counter-propaganda strategies and cybersecurity measures.

Dr Mark Murphy

Co-applicant: Professor Chris Gill


Law and education: the impact of juridification on school governance

University of Glasgow

Value Awarded: £9,981.55

Abstract: The aim of this project is to examine the impact of law on education governance. The project seeks to answer the question: In what ways and to what extent does law influence the governing of schools, at both institutional and professional level? The study is placed in the context of broader studies of juridification in education and public policy internationally, a trend that researchers have indicated can have both positive and negative consequences for schooling quality and equitable outcomes. Using Scotland as a case study, the study will survey school principals and teachers at selected schools in order to better understand how law influences school policies and professional practices. The study will use the findings to identify implications for future integration of law in schools as well as highlight consequences for equity-driven education policy.

Dr Giuseppe Musarra

Co-applicant: Dr Verdiana Giannetti


An Investigation of the Antecedents and Consequences of Corporate-NGO Alliances: The Roles of Financial Performance and Social Performance

University of Leeds

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: A corporate-NGO alliance is a partnership between a for-profit corporation and a non-governmental organization (NGO). These partnerships can take many forms, such as a company funding an NGO's programs, an NGO providing expertise to a company on a particular issue, or the two organizations jointly implementing a project or campaign. While the literature has primarily focused on their public value creation outcomes (i.e., the bright- side), it is possible that some alliances may backfire, when, for instance, interpreted as hypocritical or as attempts to wash away the corporation’s past sins (i.e., the dark side). The literature remains silent with respect to the dark side of corporate-NGO alliance. In response, this study reconciles this tension by studying the impact of disclosures of corporate-NGO alliances on corporations’ stock market performance and how the effect of such disclosures is contingent upon both the corporation’s and the NGO’s characteristics.

Dr Mohsen Nagheeby


Reunited in dreams: future proofing the 1973 Helmand Water Treaty between Afghanistan and Iran

Newcastle University

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: This small project aims to a) design an alternative future-proof legal arrangement b) develop a pilot plan to implement and c) to discuss them through an established network of local experts in response to the historical controversy over the Helmand River between Afghanistan and Iran. The alternative will offer a new legal arrangement to balance the competing interests of both sides in light of the modern international water law and by taking into account the existing and future challenges including climate change, development interests, environmental issues and like that. The perceptions of both sides will be challenged by holding two (or three) round table discussion among local experts for considering both short-term and long-term impacts of the alternative law. This project will offer a fresh insight to design legal arrangements for sharing transboundary waters and enable the advancement of research in collaboration with partner scholars for a bigger project.

Professor Darren Newbury


Picturing a New World: Postwar Photographic Internationalism at the United Nations and its Specialised Agencies, 1945-1975

University of Brighton

Value Awarded: £8,373.00

Abstract: As the postwar world order took shape, with the formation of the United Nations (UN) in 1945 and UNESCO a year later, the medium of photography was called to serve an internationalist agenda. Believed by many at the time to offer a universal language, and uniquely suited to promoting mutual understanding between nations, photography was put to work not simply as propaganda but as a medium of postwar visual literacy and political imagination. Looking beyond existing critiques of postwar photographic humanism, this study will examine the formation of this internationalist photographic project, how was it conceptualised, organised and coordinated, the resources and networks on which it depended, the visual products it circulated, and how it evolved over time, not least in relation to decolonisation. The funded programme comprises primary research in the document and visual archives of the UN and selected specialised agencies.

Dr Trang Nguyen

Co-applicant: Dr Kirak Daniel Kim


Undocumented Immigrants, Labour Market Dynamics, and Firm Performance

University of Bristol

Value Awarded: £9,552.07

Abstract: This project aims to offer novel insights into the impacts of unauthorised foreign workers on the performance and growth of firms in developed economies. A recent survey reports that approximately 750,000 unauthorised immigrants live in the UK as of 2020 (Greater London Authority, 2020). Similarly, unauthorised immigrants reportedly constitute 23% of the foreign-born population in the U.S. (PEW Research, 2017). Despite a volume of research investigating economic impacts of unauthorised immigrants, prior studies focus their analysis on employment of citizens, wages, and welfare implications. We pursue this controversial question from a different angle by examining firm-level outcomes and the underlying economic channels that are likely in play, such as the supply of flexible labour, complementarity to core productivity, and bargaining power. We expect our research output to contribute to addressing the important political, social, and economic issues concerning undocumented immigration that continue to evolve in developed countries around the world.

Dr Kate North

Co-applicant: Professor Alan Dix


Stories on the Edge of Memory: Connection through narrative and place using TalkOver technology

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Value Awarded: £9,998.77

Abstract: This project uses innovative digital technology TalkOver to explore and preserve the stories of Tiger Bay—Wales’ oldest multi-ethnic community. Tiger Bay is the local name for an area of Cardiff covering Butetown and Cardiff Docks, with workers from over 50 countries settling there since the mid 19th century. Past experiences of life in Tiger Bay exist on the edge of memory and are at risk of being lost forever. Telling the stories of former residents, we will address the vulnerability of narratives from this community.

We will preserve the narratives and make them accessible for current and future generations, through the creation of methods and assemblages of technology that can be reproduced in other vulnerable post-industrial, working-class community settings. The narratives will provide resources for sustainable methods of cultural and heritage conservation, especially as Tiger Bay does not currently have a physical space for cultural heritage.

Dr Hamiisi Junior Nsubuga


Devising an insolvency toolkit to enhance SME rescue and sustainability in Uganda's business sector

City, University of London

Value Awarded: £9,805.00

Abstract: Small – Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) make-up 90% of Uganda’s business sector but the rate of corporate failures/liquidations outside formal insolvency proceedings is relatively high, impacting the business and financial sectors, and the economy at large. While there exit legislation, policies and statutory instruments that prescribe formal insolvency processes premised on enhancing corporate restructuring and rescue, as opposed to unnecessary liquidations, the uptake of these formal rescue processes is relatively low. Only a small fraction of SMEs file for formal insolvency proceedings, yet a high number of them go out of business due to corporate insolvency. Debtor companies and insolvency practitioners opt for receivership and liquidation as loan enforcement/recovery mechanisms that in turn, impact the socio-economic livelihoods of those connected with the failed businesses/companies. This research project seeks to investigate the lack of usage and/or misunderstanding of the role of corporate insolvency laws and process to enhance sustainability.

Dr Uchechukwu Nwoke

Co-applicants: Dr Godswill Agbaitoro and Dr Comfort Tioluwani


The Role of Local Informal Institutions in the Implementation of Effective Corporate Social Responsibility Policies in Nigeria

University of Essex

Value Awarded: £9,972.00

Abstract: It is becoming increasingly evident that institutions play a significant role in shaping corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. Institutions symbolise a series of locally developed habits, practices, and prospects that provide a norm structure to shape and guide human interaction. They may be formal (laws, government, money, etc) or informal (culture, philosophies, languages, religion, art, etc.). While Nigerian corporations (especially those in the oil sector) have been scrutinized for their CSR practices, there is no empirical research on the role of local informal institutions in developing CSR policies. To address this gap, our study will explore the role of local informal institutions in building an effective CSR framework. We will use a hybrid of empirical and doctrinal methods through qualitative investigation including document reviews, observations, interviews, and focus groups. This study will move scholarship forward by providing a new CSR blueprint for stakeholders in developing economies.

Dr Pau Obrador

Co-applicants: Dr Maartje Roelofsen and Dr Dave Loder


Digital mediations of home through short-term rental platforms

Northumbria University

Value Awarded: £9,999.00

Abstract: Short-term rental platforms have taken on an essential role in mediating practices and imaginaries of home. The homely atmospheres that users advertise through digital images on these platforms have been critical to the success of a rapidly evolving global temporary housing market. This project is concerned with the digital mediation of home spaces and imaginaries on various short-term rental platforms. It seeks to understand how the platform´s domestic aesthetic regimes shape understandings of home and feelings of homeliness and how these affect the organisation and inhabitation of interior spaces. Using a combination of visual methodologies and semi-structured interviews, it questions how home interiors are imagined and experienced through digital images and what social differences and power relations are consequently made visible and invisible on platforms. By focussing on the impacts of platform economies inside the home, this project will help better understand the digital reordering of the private sphere.

Dr Valeria Occelli

Co-applicants: Dr Themis Karaminis and Professor David Bolt


Challenging Ocularcentric Bias: Transforming Media's View of Blindness

Edge Hill University

Value Awarded: £9,904.00

Abstract: In the UK, over 340,000 people live with blindness or low vision, facing significant challenges. Employment rates for visually impaired individuals are alarmingly low at 48%, negatively affecting independence and overall well-being. Ocularcentrism, a belief in the dominance of vision over all senses, leads to stereotypical representation of blindness and contributes to discrimination. Media plays a crucial role in perpetuating harmful misrepresentations, portraying blind people as either helpless or "superheroes," both limiting true understanding. These stereotypes lead to discrimination, affecting mental health and hindering inclusion. Yet, change is possible. This project aims to uncover ocularcentric language in the UK press and, by fostering a partnership between media and the blind community, it seeks to challenge stereotypes and promote equitable representation. The impact is far-reaching, as it can change media narratives, dismantle stereotypes, and improve opportunities for the blind community, ultimately fostering a fairer and more inclusive society.

Dr Terri Ochiagha


Chinua Achebe: The Final Years (1993-2013)

University of Edinburgh

Value Awarded: £9,190.00

Abstract: As part of my work on his first full-length biography (Princeton UP), this project explores the unchronicled final years of the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe (1930-2013), acclaimed ‘father of modern African literature,’ and one of the key literary figures of the twentieth century. In 1993-2013, coinciding with distinguished professorships at Bard College and Brown University, Achebe embarked on an intensive period of self-memorialisation. Harvard acquired his papers, he published two volumes of autobiographical essays and a war memoir, and created the Achebe Colloquium, in which artists, thinkers, and political leaders deliberated on African socio-political issues. This project examines the complexities of Achebe’s conscious definition of his own legacy against the wider contexts of his life and work, thus enabling a re-evaluation of Achebe’s status as a writer on the world literary stage and complicating his hitherto simplified and—to a degree—misleading public identity as simply the anti-colonial African writer par excellence.

Dr Oyedele Ogundana

Co-applicants: Dr Deborah Ikhile and Dr Amon Simba


Migrant women entrepreneurship, health-related crisis & crisis management framework: An intersectional perspective

Nottingham Trent University

Value Awarded: £9,943.75

Abstract: This research examines the disproportionate impact of health crises on vulnerable groups, specifically migrant women entrepreneurs, exacerbated by entrenched societal biases along the lines of gender, race, and class. Focused on the UK, it investigates how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the enterprises owned by migrant women. It will introduce an instructive crisis management framework to use as a ‘playbook’ in strategy and policy development to support migrant women’s entrepreneurial activities during future health-related crisis. With migrant women entrepreneurs leading 14% of women-owned enterprises and contributing approximately 200,000 jobs in the UK, this research is pivotal. As health crises become more prevalent in business activities, effective responses are crucial for survival. This study significantly contributes to women's entrepreneurship, offering policymakers crucial insights for formulating supportive measures that better support migrant women. It equips migrant women entrepreneurs with survival strategies (traversing race, gender and class) that can be adopted during future crisis.

Dr Chiara Orsini

Co-applicants: Professor Joan Costa-i- Font and Dr Nilesh Raut


Caregiving across generations

University of Sheffield

Value Awarded: £9,544.00

Abstract: Despite the increasing population aging around the world and the related importance of understanding drivers of informal care across generations, no work has looked at the role of public long-term care policies in affecting informal caregiving across several generations. We propose to use a unique policy change that generated time and state variation in the decline in the provision of public home health care to the elderly in the United States to address this gap. We will use longitudinal data spanning three generations to study the extent to which those exposed to a more pronounced reduction in the provision of public funding to home health care to their elderly parents changed the provision of informal care to them and the extent to which many years later when they were old the policy affected their receipt of informal care from their children.

Dr Styliani Panetsidou

Co-applicant: Dr Angelos Synapis


Climate change and firm value: The impact of severe weather warnings

Coventry University

Value Awarded: £8,846.40

Abstract: This study will examine the effect of climate change on financial stability and economic growth. In particular, it will assess the impact of severe weather warning alerts received in mobile devices across the UK, on firms’ value and volatility. The findings of this study will expand our knowledge on the effect of climate change on financial markets. The project’s target is to assist policy makers in understanding the impact of climate change and severe weather events in the economy and the role of environmental policy initiatives and regulations on financial markets’ stability and economic growth, in order to take informed decisions. Furthermore, this study is important to our society more broadly, as studying climate change and its economic effects is crucial for creating sustainable practices, protecting the economy, and ensuring the well-being of future generations.

Dr Matteo Pazzona

Co-applicant: Dr Jan Auerbach


Funding practices, politician characteristics, and politician behaviour.

Brunel University London

Value Awarded: £9,994.00

Abstract: This project seeks to better understand the relationship between money and politics by investigating the associations between the sources and amounts of funding raised and the characteristics and behaviour of members of the United States Congresses. As there is no single dataset that offers the combination of dimensions and detail we require, we will assemble an original micro-dataset with detailed information on the characteristics, fundraising, and behaviour of the members of the last 45 U.S. Once completed, the dataset will be uploaded to recognized data depositories, and we will draft a working paper to disseminate it. This organized information will provide us and all interested researchers with a resource to identify patterns of interest and answer important questions related to the role of money in politics.

Dr Altman Yuzhu Peng

Co-applicants: Professor Stephanie Schnurr and Dr Shixin Zhang


Countering Southern authoritarian regimes on Twitter through distant witnessing: An affective-discursive approach

University of Warwick

Value Awarded: £9,999.58

Abstract: This project foregrounds how distant witnessing constitutes a form of cross-border activism, using the Great Translation Movement (GTM) as a case study. The GTM originated with dissidents translating China's official and grassroots pro-Kremlin commentaries into other languages and sharing them on Twitter (X) to challenge the regime's foreign policy in the Russo-Ukrainian war. While holding the potential to contribute to China's activist momentum, the GTM also risks being hijacked by right-wing populists to fuel anti-Asian racism. This raises an urgent question about how to maximise the GTM's impact and prevent its manipulation. In addressing this question, the project advances an affective-discursive approach to critically examine the posting strategies of GTM activists, collecting original empirical data from the GTM's Twitter account. By organising a public-facing forum to share the findings, this project sets the groundwork for future intellectual interventions, offering additional recommendations to support participatory initiatives from within the Global South.

Dr Qi Peng

Co-applicants: Dr Nicolas Scelles and Professor Yuhei Inoue


Pregnancy and the gym: a cross-cultural study of experiences, barriers and facilitators of gym use for pregnant women in China and the UK

Manchester Metropolitan University

Value Awarded: £9,066.00

Abstract: Regular exercise is crucial for pregnant women, yet studies reported low levels of physical activity in this population, and governments are reluctant to provide them with exercise guidance. This suggests potential cognitive, structural, and cultural barriers that prevent pregnant women from being active. Whilst gyms are popular choices for women to exercise, whether they are suitable and safe spaces for pregnant women is not yet established. Adopting a mixed-methods approach including policy document analysis, four focus groups, interviews (N = 20), and surveys (N = 600), we will examine the experience, barriers, and facilitators of gym use for pregnant women in China and the UK. Our comparative study aims to influence policymaking in both countries, offering recommendations to policymakers and practitioners for more effective health promotion interventions for pregnant women. The findings will help create a more supportive and inclusive exercising experience for pregnant women, leading to their better well-being.

Dr Shannon Philip


Digital Youth Masculinities, Dating Apps and Gendered Relationships in Digital India

University of Cambridge

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: Dating applications have transformed the way young men and women form sexual and gendered relationships. In India where arranged marriages and familial control over young people’s sexuality remains powerful, these dating apps provide youth new avenues for sexual autonomy. However, India has a huge digital gender gap with women making-up only 15% of users and men 85%, hence making digital spaces in India highly masculinised and often violent. Little academic research has focused on how heterosexual men create digital masculinities, engage in online dating and their profound gendered consequences for women. Through this project, I will fill this gap by qualitatively exploring the ways in which young Indian men perform digital youth masculinities on dating apps and the ways in which masculine desire, anxiety, intimacy and violence manifests online. Hence I seek to make an original contribution to Digital Sociology and Sociology of Gender and Inequality from a Global-South perspective.

Dr Marco Pino


Turning towards death: Moving from allusions to open discussions about mortality in palliative care interactions

Loughborough University

Value Awarded: £9,970.20

Abstract: Chronic diseases and extended end-of-life trajectories are increasingly common in Western societies. More people face the task of preparing for their own and others’ death, and this includes engaging in open discussion and planning for a dignified death. Death nevertheless remains a difficult subject to raise in conversation. Whilst reluctance to discuss death has been investigated in psychology, sociological contributions have been scarce. A sociological lens is needed to understand the wider death systems in which individuals operate, including societal obstacles to death discussions and ways of overcoming them. The interactional level of death systems has been especially neglected. This project will address this gap by examining interactions in a hospice-setting through an observational approach. Hospices are natural laboratories in which practices have been developed to initiate death discussions. This project advances an interactional sociology of death by addressing the complex and neglected role of allusions in initiating death discussions.

Dr Christopher Pittard


Touristic Representations of Cornwall and the South West in Victorian and Edwardian Popular Culture

University of Portsmouth

Value Awarded: £6,593.88

Abstract: The proposed project explores the touristic representation of Cornwall and South West Britain in the popular literature of the late Victorian and Edwardian period, focusing primarily on the work of Wilkie Collins and Arthur Conan Doyle. It investigates the potential relationship of these authors to the late Victorian establishment of Cornish nationalism, their deployments of the Cornish language to construct Cornwall as an other, un-English place, their reinvention of tropes drawn from earlier nineteenth century travel writing on the south west, and the role of textual illustration in creating a touristic and romanticised Celtic fringe. The project considers Collins’ collaboration with the artist Henry Charles Brandling in the Cornish travelogue *Rambles Beyond Railways*, and expands the cultural geography of Doyle studies beyond the usual focus on London and Edinburgh, arguing for an imagined south west as a vital component of Doyle’s vision of British national identity.

Dr Michael Poll


Rhetoric or aesthetics in the music of C.P.E. Bach: A Study of Original Manuscripts at the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin

Independent Scholar

Value Awarded: £7,634.56

Abstract: I plan to study the original manuscripts of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) held at the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin. The project's objective is to explore C.P.E. Bach's relationship with the rhetorical past (read: his father’s framework for writing music) and how it interfaces with the emergence of aesthetics as the mode of apprehending music. I seek to provide new insights into C.P.E.’s contributions to the transition from Baroque to Classical music. An investigation of these primary sources will not only enhance the historical understanding of his works but also inform contemporary performance practice by giving players a better understanding of the way in which the composer understood the art of composition. This is in turn helpful to animate strategies for analysing and expressing the music for an audience. The application of historical frameworks that resonate with the period of composition can be useful to give music special resonance and vibrancy.

Dr Ben Pollitt

Co-applicant: Dr Janelle Evans


The Floating Feather: A European–Australian Dialogue on the Visual Presentation of Air

Independent Scholar

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: This collaborative project centres on a scholarly discussion between a British art historian and an Australian artist, curator, and writer. The European perspective focuses on the early exploration of Australia and expands upon that pictorial convention linking birds to elemental air. Referencing Renaissance and seventeenth-century Dutch visual material, the project looks at how Europeans first pictured Australia through the image of birds before going on to consider the illustration of ornithological specimens taken in Australia by British and French artists in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Imagining birds in flight encourages shifts in viewpoint. Birds-of-paradise featured on early Dutch maps of Australia, so, too, the project works across pictorial and cartographic visual modes, the image of birds and the bird’s-eye view; so, too, in terms of the Australian perspective, the airiness of the project encourages cross-cultural discussion, inviting questions regarding air and the avian imaginary in Indigenous culture.

Dr Nina Polytimou

Co-applicants: Professor Jo Van Herwegen and Dr Erika Berenice Roldan Roa


There is music in the math and math in the music: can MusicMath support the teaching of fractions in UK schools?

University College London

Value Awarded: £9,991.85

Abstract: The understanding of fractions can be challenging for primary school students. Music, like mathematics requires an understanding of subdivisions of numbers and proportional reasoning. Musical experience has been shown to enhance cognitive skills and most children like music (in contrast to maths). Yet, experimental work that has integrated the teaching of mathematical and musical concepts is scarce. In this study, we will test the feasibility of MusicMath in UK schools, an innovative game-based approach that combines the teaching of fractions with the building of musical rhythms. We will employ a mixed-methods approach: a qualitative strand will explore implementation of MusicMath with teaching staff and a quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test design study will examine whether MusicMath can improve fraction skills in Year 4 students in the UK. We envisage this study as a precursor to further pilot and efficacy studies that will allow us to test the intended outcomes in a larger population.

Dr Max Posch


Religiosity over Time and Space: Evidence from 300 Years of U.S. Local Newspapers

University of Exeter

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: This research delves into the heart of America's religious journey over the past three centuries, seeking to uncover how shifts in religiosity affect economic prosperity and innovation. We will apply advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) to quantify religious intensity and normative 'tightness' in a unique corpus of U.S. local newspapers consisting of 250 million pages and spanning 300 years. We will examine the links between religion, positive economic shocks—like innovation—and negative ones, such as natural disasters. Our interdisciplinary team, with over four decades of combined expertise in economics, psychology, and cultural evolution, ensures a robust analytical approach. We anticipate revealing critical insights into the interplay between religiosity and economic development, offering a rich dataset for future scholarly work and valuable guidance for policy-makers, both within and outside the United States, positioning religiosity as a potentially important factor in understanding the origins and outcomes of economic shocks.

Dr Maike Pötschulat

Co-applicant: Dr Laura Harris


Curating sociological photography

Liverpool John Moores University

Value Awarded: £9,931.00

Abstract: This project will be the first of its kind to bring curatorial theory and practice to bear on sociological photography in order to consolidate the field and raise its public profile. We will achieve this via an exhibition, the publication of a photobook and an academic article as well as a conference paper. We operate with a broad definition of sociological photography as photographs generated by research which draws on sociological theory in its design and/or analysis, allowing us to capture a range of image-making practices. The project is based on the recognition that sociologically-informed photographs are currently under-valued, under-theorised, and lacking distribution channels, despite the mainstreaming of visual methods in sociology. The lack of sociological photography as a distinct and widely-recognised visual genre means that little is known about it beyond the confines of the academic social sciences, a shortcoming that this project aims to address.

Dr Anders Poulsen


Negotiation Overload: A Novel Experimental Investigation of Multi-Issue Bargaining Situations

University of East Anglia

Value Awarded: £9,000.00

Abstract: Many bargaining or negotiation situations require people to reach an agreement on several issues, such as price, quality, warranty and delivery terms. As another example, the members of a household need to agree who should work how many hours, and who should do which chores. Such situations are known as multi-issue bargaining situations. How good are people in practice at realizing the potential gains from bargaining -- how does complexity in the form of a large number of issues affect their ability to negotiate effectively? Will negotiators sometimes prefer to consider fewer rather than more issues? The purpose of this project is to collect experimental data that shed light on these questions.

Dr Preethi Premkumar

Co-applicant: Dr Dominic Rees-Roberts


Moving voices: a multi-sensory multi-user proof-of-concept VR application to address voice-hearing in young people

London South Bank University

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: The aim is to significantly reduce the distress of young people who hear voices by designing a novel virtual reality (VR) application that allows young people to share their experience with a trusted confidante. The proposed intervention will encourage young people who hear voices to positively reframe their voice-hearing by building a coherent narrative with a trusted confidant and creating a multi-sensory space for the voice hearer to interact with personally-relevant stimuli. Our design will build on earlier public involvement discussions with young and older voice hearers. A research assistant shall test the acceptability of the VR environment among 20 voice-hearers through one-to-one interviews, and analyse the data from the interviews. Delivering a self-managed VR application that helps the voice-hearer to interact with the multi-sensory environment and build relationships could cost-effectively lower distress and enable them to live meaningful lives.

Dr Sofia Puchkova


Power and “Otherness”: Situating Late Antique Near Eastern Biblical Exegesis in the Empire

Independent Scholar

Value Awarded: £9,965.00

Abstract: This project explores late antique biblical exegesis from the perspective of postcolonial theory. It will address the interpretation of the Bible by Near-Eastern bilingual authors, ethnically Syrians but writing only in Greek (CE 320-460). Methodologically, employing postcolonial theory as a “reading practice,” this project will investigate the representations of the ethnically and religiously “Other” in these authors’ biblical commentaries in light of imperial Christian ideology and the interactions of Syrian intellectual traditions with imperial discourse. This postcolonial approach will disclose the power and ideology involved in the patristic interpretation and will reveal the overlooked common intellectual culture that the Greek exegetes shared with Syrian authors in the Near East. In the framework of this project, a research stay at Durham University, a workshop, and participation in the conferences are proposed for funding.

Rehenuma Rahman


Development with Numbers: A case of Bangladeshi farmers

University of the West of England, Bristol

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: This research aims to explore the multiple perceptions of Bangladeshi rural and illiterate farmers on the use of reports and documentations to drive development by national and Supra-national entities. Accountability is crucial for development because it provides a basis for holding people responsible for their actions or inactions. Reports and documentations are central tools of accountability as they serve as evidence of developmental progress. Developmental initiatives by the UN and the Sustainable Development agenda are outcome driven, relying heavily on numbers for target setting, monitoring performance and achieving targets. Yet little is known of its accountability role. Thus, based on a study on SDGs, this research will explore how accounting technologies are used in the field of development to reformulate accountability; how numbers (i.e., targets, indicators) are used to make development visible in discharging accountability to various stakeholders. It will highlight the implication of SDG on its less-vocal bystanders.

Dr Dominic Rahtz


On the Mode of Existence of Industrial Objects: The Photography of Bernd and Hilla Becher

University for the Creative Arts

Value Awarded: £3,005.00

Abstract: This project aims at an original art-historical interpretation of the work of the German art photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher, concentrating on the period 1967-1974. The Bechers typically photographed industrial buildings as individual objects detached from their surroundings, which they arranged in series to bring out variations in form. This ‘formalist’ approach has been criticized for being ahistorical (the industrial worker, for example, remains invisible), but I argue that such criticisms depend on an aesthetic conception of form which is itself ahistorical. To move beyond this problematic opposition between form and history in the reception of the Bechers’ work I adopt a theoretical perspective derived from the philosophy of technicity (especially Gilbert Simondon and Bernard Stiegler) where the forms of industrial objects are seen as having their own constitutive stages of genesis, a historicity which is in, but not the same as, history in its wider sense.

Professor Jonathan Reinarz

Co-applicant: Professor Gayle Davis


Playing Doctors and Nurses: A History of Medical Simulation in Twentieth-Century Britain

University of Birmingham

Value Awarded: £9,321.00

Abstract: Simulation – the artificial representation of a real-world process to provide experiential learning – has been associated particularly with the high-risk aviation profession. While the medical adage 'see one, do one, teach one' conveys the heavy responsibility once placed on trainee doctors, and the consequent risk to patients, over the twentieth century the use of simulation techniques became integral to the education of doctors and nurses, a transition that scholars have yet to scrutinise. Situated at the historical interface between medical education, technology and material culture, this project will examine the introduction, use and refinement of this pedagogical approach across a diverse range of specialisms, including anaesthesia, dentistry, emergency and disaster medicine, nursing, midwifery and obstetrics. We will explore the forms that these increasingly authentic proxy patients took, from injection practice on the humble tangerine to high-tech manikins, and consider how these objects shaped student learning and patient-practitioner-public relationships.

Dr Anna Reynolds


Shakespeare’s Wrinkles: Paper and Skin in the Early Modern Imagination

University of Sheffield

Value Awarded: £7,540.00

Abstract: This research will focus on the proximity of paper and skin in early modern literary and scientific thought. By examining the use of metaphors that render the human body a sheet of paper in Shakespeare’s works, it explores how early modern intimacy with the colours and textures of paper made it a productive vehicle through which to conceptualise the boundaries of the self. Within the works of Shakespeare, flimsy, yellowing, and wrinkled sheets made from repurposed rags emerge as potent representatives of the uncertain authenticity, corporeality, masculinity, and whiteness of the early modern self. The grant will enable me to practice rag-based papermaking at the Iowa Center of the Book and to undertake archival trips to a number of UK libraries. By the grant's end I will submit a book proposal and two draft chapters to the University of Pennsylvania Press, in addition to producing a public-facing, long-form article.

Dr Hazel Richards

Co-applicants: Ms Claire Westwood and Dr Thomas Hopkins


'Experiences of neurodivergent Speech and Language Therapy students during practice-based learning: an exploration of what works and what challenges'

Birmingham City University

Value Awarded: £4,905.00

Abstract: Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) is seeking to increase diversity and representation in the workforce. This includes ensuring neurodiversity is recognised and supported. Neurodivergence shapes the way a person experiences and interacts with the world around them. How this is navigated in SLT practice is less well understood. Autism is a type of neurodivergence. This project will explore what is working and what challenges neurodivergent SLT students who are autistic during practice-based learning. It will do this to identify challenges and possible solutions for supporting this group of students on placement. The knowledge gained will enable HEIs to better equip placement educators to support our future neurodivergent SLT practitioners. This will help inform reasonable adjustments, address ableism, reduce the attainment gap between neurodivergent and nondivergent students, and enable the transformative potential of neurodivergent students to shape SLT services and practice.

Dr Anouk Rigterink


The politics of green consumerism. Consumer response to the possible negative social consequences of ‘green’ choices in developing countries.

Durham University

Value Awarded: £9,894.75

Abstract: What we consume can have consequences, or externalities, for others – often those in developing countries. Negative externalities include inhumane working conditions and child labour, positive externalities include environmental benefits. Ethical or green consumerism – consumers avoiding (preferring) products with negative (positive) externalities – can ‘regulate’ these externalities. Focusing on electric vehicles, the proposed research studies how consumers trade off positive environmental externalities and negative social externalities in developing countries. The proposed research introduces the concept of ‘social risk aversion’, allowing us to understand how ethical consumerism can best be harnessed - by raising general awareness of negative externalities of a product, or by certifying or shaming individual brands. It proposes a survey experiment (N=2000) in Germany and Sweden, which varies information about the negative social externalities of electric cars in general and specific brands, and uses an innovative way to solicit respondents’ preferences for electric versus combustion vehicles.

Dr Jon Robson


Developing Meta-aesthetics

University of Nottingham

Value Awarded: £9,392.47

Abstract: While metaethics (roughly the study of the underlying nature of moral language, thought and pratice) has long been one of the central areas of research in value theory, the equivalent area in aesthetics (meta-aesthetics) remains comparatively underdeveloped. While some central works in metaethics over the last fifty years have offered tantalising suggestions as to how their conclusions could be adapted to apply in the aesthetic domain also, it is rare to see these suggestions developed (either by the original authors or subsequent researchers). The primary aim of this project is to kick start the development of meta-aesthetics as an independent and fully systematised field of philosophical study. The project will develop a more complete map of the terrain in meta-aesthetics and, in particular, of the avenues for future development which have been previously suggested but left unexplored. The funding requested is for a research assistant to help facilitate this research.

Dr Roberto Roccu


Fragmentation Against Democracy? Special Economic Zones as Authoritarian Extrastatecraft in Jordan and Tunisia

King's College London

Value Awarded: £9,345.51

Abstract: Despite contributing to transforming not only the global economy, but also politics, sovereignty, and statehood, special economic zones (SEZs) have received limited attention in IR/IPE. This project addresses this gap by investigating how political regimes in Jordan and Tunisia use SEZs as tools of authoritarian extrastatecraft, pursuing global market integration on a smaller scale while seeking to insulate zones and regimes themselves from popular accountability. Through a comparative adaptation of the extended case methodology, the project examines the fragmenting effects of SEZs in spatial, legal, and socio-economic terms, and their implications for the reconfiguration of authoritarian rule. Through this application I seek support to conduct fieldwork in the SEZs of Aqaba (Jordan) and Bizerte (Tunisia), and their respective capitals of Amman and Tunis. This project contributes to debates on the political economy of the contemporary Arab world, and to IR/IPE literature on sovereignty and democratisation and on authoritarian neoliberalism.

Dr Edgar Rodriguez-Dorans


Developing an embodied model for bereavement support for LGBTQIA+ individuals through choreography as a method of inquiry

University of Edinburgh

Value Awarded: £8,590.16

Abstract: This project will explore how the moving body can help the grieving process for individuals from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and + (LGBTQIA+) communities who have experienced bereavement. The study will seek to understand how movement and choreography can help the emotional processing of suffering beyond dominant verbal and intra-psychic approaches to grief. To do so, the project will apply an embodied and group therapeutic approach to bereavement processing through choreography as a method of inquiry. The embodied lens attends to the poorly researched aspects of physical manifestations and their therapeutic processing in bereavement counselling. In contrast, the group dimension listens to the reported benefits of collective work amongst LGBTQIA+ individuals. Participants will engage in an exploration of movement and choreography through improvisation as an emergent construction in which the living (experiencing) body is moving and being moved by the death of a loved one.

Hettie Roebuck

Co-applicant: Dr Barbara Manini


Exploring the relationship between mental representations and cognition in deaf and hearing individuals

University of Derby

Value Awarded: £9,956.00

Abstract: Deaf individuals often have co-occurring difficulties that do not involve sound. These difficulties include controlling and coordinating complex behaviour, known as ‘cognitive control’. Cognitive control development depends on language. Deaf individuals do not have full access to spoken language, and their linguistic development may be delayed or discontinuous. We wish to test whether deafness and language experiences impact cognitive control via mental representations. Mental representations describe the experience of picturing/hearing concepts in our minds. Not everyone does this in the same format or extent. Differences in mental representations or their impact have not been explored in deaf individuals. Mental representations are grounded by linguistic experience, and linguistic experience is related to cognitive control. Explaining this process could shed light on the individual differences in cognitive control performances in deaf individuals highlighted by previous studies. The outcomes of this research could influence educational and accessibility policies by providing individualised learning strategies.

Dr Naomi Rudoe

Co-applicant: Dr Ruth Ponsford


Relationships and Sex Education in England: challenges faced by schools in parental engagement

University of Westminster

Value Awarded: £8,900.00

Abstract: While Relationships and Sex Education [RSE] became compulsory in all English schools from 2020, only 40% of respondents to the Sex Education Forum's Young People's RSE Poll 2022 rated the quality of their school RSE as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. The gaps in coverage remain stark: 30% of poll respondents learnt nothing about navigating pornography, and 28% learnt nothing about power imbalances in relationships. School-parent partnership plays a crucial role in young people's learning about relationships and sex (PSHE Association, 2019). Parents are largely supportive of school RSE, but parental engagement can be a difficult area for schools to address, since myths and misinformation circulate, particularly relating to school-based RSE starting too early, covering ‘inappropriate’ material, or being too LGBTQ-inclusive (Sex Education Forum, 2023). This research investigates the challenges faced by schools in parental engagement with RSE and will identify effective ways to strengthen parent-school partnership.

Dr Neil Russell


AI Natural Language Processing and Computational Text Analysis of Arabic: Analysing Official State Islamic Sermons

Glasgow Caledonian University

Value Awarded: £5,123.80

Abstract: This project aims to examine the relationship between authoritarian regimes and religious control in the Middle East, by creating a corpus of Arabic-language texts of official state Islamic sermons, and using AI natural language processing (NLP) to analyse them. Text-based methodologies offer a valuable alternative to fieldwork-based methodologies in dangerous contexts. While the potential of these methods is recognised in political science, their application to non-Roman script languages, such as Arabic, remains neglected. These methodologies rely on competency in advanced computational and programming skills, placing them beyond the purview of many area-studies scholars, where more traditional research methods have dominated. This grant will comprise a comprehensive training programme in quantitative methods and advanced NLP research skills. It will create a corpus from 322 official state sermons distributed by Egypt’s Ministry of Religious Affairs for delivery within mosques between 2014 and 2020, and subject them to term-frequency counts and text mining.

Dr Mairead Ryan


School Health Pulse: developing a one-stop shop for research evidence

Independent Scholar

Value Awarded: £9,648.88

Abstract: In the UK, 10.3 million children and adolescents are enrolled in primary and secondary education. Schools could play an important role in promoting student health, but key stakeholders lack the time and expertise to navigate relevant but complex scientific literature. Efforts to address this 'last mile’ problem have gained traction in other areas (maths, literacy, science), but platforms disseminating high-quality, school-based health research are lacking. This makes it challenging for policy-makers, teachers, and other stakeholders to make research-informed policies and implement evidence-based practices.

‘School Health Pulse’ aims to address this gap, by establishing a single platform that translates long, dense, academic-focused scientific journal articles into short, accessible, action-oriented summaries for key stakeholders to use, including teachers, principals, and policy-makers. This project will assemble relevant experts to review pilot content for the platform. Finalised outputs will be published online and presented at conferences to share research findings and pilot learnings.

Dr Oriola Sallavaci


Evaluating the Impact of Forensic Evidence based on AI technologies in Criminal Proceedings

University of Essex

Value Awarded: £9,986.15

Abstract: This research focuses on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to produce forensic evidence for purposes of criminal proceedings. This research will throw light on the impact of AI based forensic evidence on fundamental principles of a fair trial, due process, equality of parties in adversarial trials, the presumption of innocence, the allocation of the burden of proof, and the role of experts in criminal proceedings. It will analyse the litigation practice in four jurisdictions (USA, UK, Australia and Canada) and will explore, via semi structured interviews, the perspectives of key criminal justice stakeholders including forensic practitioners, judges, law enforcement officers, prosecuting and defence lawyers. This research will enhance the understanding of issues surrounding the use of computational algorithms and probabilistic reporting of forensic evidence in criminal trials and contribute to a better regulation of AI, without diminishing the value that scientific evidence can bring in criminal proceedings and beyond.

Dr Navjot Sandhu


Tapping transnational diaspora finance for the Indian Punjab farmers

Birmingham City University

Value Awarded: £9,973.17

Abstract: India has been the largest recipient of remittances since 2008, it received $83 billion in 2021 (World Bank, 2021), a significant contribution towards GDP despite the Covid-19 turbulence. The diaspora population has acquired financial deepening as well as gained a stake within trade, industry and farming. There is a desire for diaspora population to invest within farming in Punjab and transfer technology and knowledge to enhance employment and earning potentials of Punjab as well as make financial gains on their investments. The limiting factor is the information gap that hinders connectivity with the Punjabi farmers to enable diaspora to invest. The focus of this project is to investigate attitudes, barriers for diaspora to invest in Indian Punjab to overcome information gap to motivate and enable diaspora to support. This exploratory study will employ mixed methodological approach, drawing the sample of Punjabi diaspora from the UK population (30) and 30 farmers.

Dr Marcelo Santos

Co-applicant: Dr Bernadus Ferdinandus Nazar Van Doornik


Enforcement of Labor Regulations, Financial Frictions and Firm Dynamics

University of Glasgow

Value Awarded: £9,872.96

Abstract: This research proposal examines the interaction between informality and financial frictions in developing economies, focusing on firm dynamics and labor market outcomes in Brazil. Using unique firm-level data on labor inspections and credit information from the Brazilian Central Bank, the study investigates how enforcement affects firm performance, credit access, default probability, and aggregate productivity. It also explores the financing patterns and spreads across formal and informal firms and their implications for firm dynamics and aggregate productivity. The methodology includes an event study design and a dynamic stochastic model that incorporates default risk, debt financing, and informality. The findings provide insights into the effects of financial frictions and informality on economic outcomes, offering valuable information for policymakers seeking to address these challenges and promote sustainable growth in developing economies.

Dr Lutz Sauerteig


Friendship, Desire, Love? A Search for Sexual Identity in the Early 20th Century

Newcastle University

Value Awarded: £9,237.00

Abstract: This research project locates the search of a teenager for a sexual identity within the wider context of the German youth movement and early-twentieth-century debates about homosexuality, gender, love, friendship, and sexual abuse. It is based on rich archival material (including diaries, autobiographical texts, private correspondence, photographs, drawings, and song books) that has never been used before. This material allows for a unique insight into the emotional world of a teenager and the youth group he was part of in a small town close to Magdeburg in Germany during World War I and the early 1920s. This investigation will make a major contribution to the understanding of how non-binary sexual differences were established at the beginning of the 20th century and provide novel emotion-historical perspective to the history of the German youth movement by focussing on the interactions of a group of teenage boys and their expressions of feelings.

Dr Lee Savage


Will developments in Artificial Intelligence increase demands on the welfare state?

King's College London

Value Awarded: £8,496.00

Abstract: How will developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) affect demands on welfare states? The rapid development of AI tools over the last 18 months has led many to consider how it will impact the labour market, with predictions that AI will replace many existing jobs. However, scant attention has been paid to how this could increase pressure on welfare states with demands for social protection and re-training. Research shows that occupations most at risk of replacement by AI are higher-skilled, professional jobs. This contrasts with previous waves of technological change which tended to replace more routine occupations that required lower-level skills. AI could therefore result in a significantly different profile of users of the welfare state. This research will test this proposition using survey experiments to assess whether people working in occupations that are more exposed to the risk of replacement by AI are more likely to demand increased social protection.

Dr Hannah Scott Deuchar

Co-applicant: Professor Fiona Ross


The Arabic Typewriter: Towards a Global History

Queen Mary University of London

Value Awarded: £9,583.50

Abstract: Little is known about the Arabic typewriter. While Latin-alphabet typewriters transformed clerical labour in Europe and America, the Arabic typewriter never made the mainstream and has gone almost unstudied. But as our present moment surely reminds us, the significance of a technology is not limited to its intended uses. Banned across the Ottoman Empire after its invention in the 1890s, the Arabic typewriter soon became associated with clandestine intellectual and political activity, finding unexpected users and alternative affordances. Through archival research in Lebanon, the US, and the UK, this project tracks for the first time the typewriter’s global history, starting in New York. It offers new perspectives on twentieth-century Arabic cultural and political movements and the role of technologies within them. In so doing, it addresses wider questions about the ways objects travel and transform across borders, and how human communities shape and are shaped by the technologies they encounter.

Dr Adam Searle


Contesting Genomic Histories and Museum Futures in an Age of Extinction

University of Nottingham

Value Awarded: £9,148.27

Abstract: The contemporary age of extinction raises a plethora of scientific, cultural, and political questions. These have been invigorated by recent advances in historical DNA sampling techniques, which grant scientists an unprecedented view on evolutionary histories through the analysis of materials stored in the biological collections of natural history museums. Informed by cultural geography and science and technology studies, this project combines ethnographic research, qualitative interviews, and interdisciplinary workshops with natural scientists, social scientists, artistic practitioners, and cultural institutions to explore the social implications of ‘museomics’. It examines how the salvaged genomes of extinct species are speculatively being used to ‘resurrect’ long-gone animals in the controversial practice of de-extinction. This project asks what is at stake in this changing landscape, and creates space for dialogue, debate, and politics between scientists, artists, and publics. In doing so, it aims to broaden the scope of how futures of natural history museums are imagined.

Dr Manu Sehgal


Droughts and Flooding in Modern South Asia: Cultural Memory, Resilience and Histories of Hydroclimatic Disasters

University of Birmingham

Value Awarded: £7,508.00

Abstract: A third of modern South Asia is chronically drought prone, with global warming rendering half a billion people vulnerable to extremes in climate variability. Historical research into human impacts of hydroclimatic disasters in north India is vitally important to provide missing climate historical data to inform policy-based mitigations. Using a multi-disciplinary approach that draws on climate science and the environmental humanities, this project explores how vulnerable communities have historically developed resilience while experiencing the extremes of flooding and droughts in north India. This project will demonstrate that while flooding provoked an urgent and public response involving the state, that made it more visible in the archival record, droughts were slow processes that were ignored unless they became famines, escaping into cultural memory that needs to be recovered from the archives of the Indo-Gangetic basin. It will break new ground by establishing drought as a missing historical category.

Dr Aysu Senyuz


Navigating Digital Consumer Worlds: Intrinsic Qualities as Value Drivers of Cultural Goods in the Digital Environment

University of Sussex

Value Awarded: £9,216.00

Abstract: The discoverability of cultural content in the digital environment is a key strategic objective of policy makers (see, UK Culture is Digital Report or EC Tender EAC/2023/OP/0004). While a strong focus of existent research is on the role of algorithm recommendations and curation strategies for cultural diversity, only little is known about the underlying process of value construal in the digital cultural environment. In this research, we identify dimensions that shape consumer value construal and preferences for cultural content in the digital environment. We focus on intrinsic qualities of cultural goods and investigate how different perspectives of such qualities such as object-related emotions and user experience elements constitute value drivers that might differ from those in traditional offline environment. Contributing to the growing research in digital environment (e.g., metaverses), this research provides practical implications to marketers and cultural actors seeking to meaningfully interact with consumers “beyond the immediate physical reality”.

Dr Sasikumar Shanmuga Sundaram


Decolonizing Artificial Intelligence: Subversive State Building in the Global South

City, University of London

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: Decolonizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) examines the problem of prediction algorithms in augmenting racial bias and injustices, deepening social inequalities, and accelerating environmentally exploitative practices. The puzzle is why Global South states appropriate and subvert this progressive decolonial narrative in AI to pursue national interests. Against the standard view of such behaviour as a bargain for seeking global responsibilities and justice, I recast it as an exercise of techno-nationalist power. Thus, I ask if state-building is the core of AI debates in the Global South and if weaponizing the decolonial narrative allows for a subversive state-building project for disciplining minorities within the state. Through an empirical investigation of technological autonomy debates in India and Brazil between 1990-2020, I examine this link between AI, state surveillance, and power in the digital age. The results will contribute to a better way to decolonize AI that is not ammunition for subversive state-building projects.

Dr Runyu Shi


AI-Driven Intimacy in Healthcare: Assessing Current Trends and Informing Future Design Principles

University of Sussex

Value Awarded: £9,820.00

Abstract: The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into various domains has intensified the curiosity surrounding the dynamics of human-AI relationship. As AI increasingly permeates healthcare services, including online mental counseling, support for vulnerable populations, and consultations, a pressing question emerges: "To what extent can humans perceive and embrace AI as a digital counterpart designed to offer emotionally attuned services?" By employing the systematic literature review and the experiment methodologies, this study seeks to shed light on human perceptions and the potential trajectory of intimacy forged with AI technologies. The outcomes of this research promise valuable insights for AI innovators, healthcare organizations and professionals, policymakers, and the broader intersection of societal and technological co-evolution.

Dr Orla Shortall


Cowexistence: The secret life of milk

Independent Scholar

Value Awarded: £9,160.00

Abstract: The public have concerns about the environmental and animal welfare impacts of milk production. Consumers often feel confused and lacking in knowledge about how modern milk gets made. "Cowexistence: The secret life of milk" is a narrative non-fiction book for a popular audience, drawing on social sciences research which aims to open up the world of dairy farming to the interested reader, in all its complexity and contradictions. The book explores problems with existing dairy farming; details the history, philosophical roots and modern incarnations of veganism; and explores alternative visions of dairy farming including cow-with-calf and no-kill systems, environmentally friendly farming and communal land management. The book translates social sciences research and theories into an accessible format and draws on fieldwork with farmers and stakeholders to help readers understand their own relation with and attitudes towards milk.

Dr Serhii Shumylo


The Synodicon from the Zograf Monastery as a source for the genealogy of the Ukrainian Cossack elite and the history of Ukrainian-Athonite relations in the 17th-18th centuries.

University of Exeter

Value Awarded: £9,950.00

Abstract: The project involves copying an original manuscript from the archives of the Zohraf Monastery on Mount Athos in Greece: the Zograf Synodicon [Book of Commemoration] of the 17th-18th centuries. We shall also research, comment and prepare the manuscript for publication. It is a valuable source on the genealogy of the Ukrainian Cossack elite and the history of Ukrainian-Athonite relations. The project also involves searching the archive for other documents related to this topic. The manuscript is a unique textual monument and can serve as a valuable source for research on the history of the Church, Eastern Europe, and Ukraine of the 17th-18th centuries. The manuscript contains evidence not only of prominent Ukrainian Cossack patrons and other figures, but also complete information about their families. Since no such data has been preserved about many members of the Ukrainian Cossack elite, the manuscript now makes it possible to restore information about them.

Dr Lena Simic


Imagining Climate Futures Narratives through Speculative Fiction: An Experiment in Collective Immersive Listening

Edge Hill University

Value Awarded: £9,957.00

Abstract: This research project explores speculative fiction's potential to initiate climate action. The project aims to engage diverse audiences in immersive listening sessions, followed by discussions, in local arts and community settings across the UK, with a focus on Scotland. The project centres on the audio play "Three Sisters: A Story from the Climate Future" (2023), set in a climate-altered Britain. It seeks to understand whether collective immersive listening to climate future narratives can influence social and political action. By analysing emotional and intellectual responses of the audiences, the study will foster new listener communities, spark discussions, and inspire innovative thinking on the climate crisis and coexistence in future worlds. Audio plays, an under-explored medium in climate storytelling, offer a new direction for this work. The project will contribute to the understanding of the potential impact of audio plays and facilitate the development of new artistic strategies for climate advocacy.

Dr Sarah Skyrme


In and On Their Own Terms

Independent Researcher

Value Awarded: £8,658.00

Abstract: A short animated film will be created, depicting aspects of the lives of boys and young men with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is a life-limiting condition that mostly affects boys. Disabled children are a marginalised group, who are poorly represented across many social settings, the film aims to highlight their own experiences, including their thoughts on disablist attitudes, the challenges they face as they lose mobility, and how they exercise agency and independence. The film will be used as a stand alone piece of work that can be viewed on its own, or as part of larger presentations on disability and/or children and young people, with the aim of representing a specific group who are, in some cases, considered to be living 'tragic' or inherently vulnerable lives. The film acts as a counter to such opinions, which may be formed in the absence of more positive, alternative narratives.

Dr James W.E Smith


A Maritime Philosophy for the Space Race: Past, Present and Future

Independent Scholar

Value Awarded: £6,962.83

Abstract: A second space age has begun as space has become more accessible to science, private citizens, and commercial actors. However, space remains first a frontier of interaction between nations with its roots in military activity. Subsequently, governments have been hastily developing an updated military response while attempting to understand the role of space when addressing future national strategy and foreign relations. This research contributes to this emerging debate by exploring how might a maritime strategic model and experience––where exploration, science, military and commercial interests intersect––develop a better understanding of spaces role in national strategy. It will analyse why after the 1960s, maritime perspectives, navies and similarities between the oceans and space disappeared from strategic thought and a maritime 'philosophy' cast aside without serious consideration to inform debate, policy, doctrine and more on the evolving final frontier of human interaction that is space.

Dr David Smith


National legislation and local practices towards accommodating Gypsies/Travellers in England 1960-2010.

Anglia Ruskin University

Value Awarded: £9,915.00

Abstract: The proposed research will make an original and important contribution to academic understanding of relations between the state and one of its oldest minority-groups, through conducting the first comparative study of how central-government policy towards Gypsies/Travellers between 1960-2010 was implemented locally, and of the factors shaping these outcomes. Post-1945 the UK’s nomadic populations have been progressively 'settled' through a series of legislation. The academic consensus regards this approach as largely driven by ‘ethnic-cleansing’ through forced settlement onto sites or housing. However, there is no evidence concerning how national policies were interpreted and implemented (or not) locally; the factors influencing local responses to accommodating nomads, or their implications for understanding issues surrounding unauthorised-camps, site-development or residential patterns today. This will be explored through detailed comparative analysis of three localities and will have significant social impacts in informing public debates around the heated topic of accommodating Gypsies/Travellers.

Dr Sarah Smyth


Beyond the Romantic Comedy: Women’s Filmmaking, Genre, and the Early Screenwriting of Nora Ephron (1941-2012)

University of Essex

Value Awarded: £5,878.53

Abstract: This research will develop new understandings of women’s filmmaking by demonstrating how famed romantic comedy filmmaker, Nora Ephron, contributed significantly to traditionally male-centred Hollywood genres in the 1970s and 1980s. I will investigate Ephron’s lesser-known early screenplays in the war film and thriller genre. Through archival work, I will consult early drafts of paranoid thriller Silkwood (1983), uncredited contributions to political investigative thriller All the President’s Men (1976) and various versions of her unmade war film Higgins & Beech. This project demonstrates how histories of 1970s and 1980s Hollywood cinema culturally devalue work by women filmmakers, especially when this work is coded through women’s genres. By recovering Ephron’s early screenwriting, this research intervenes in the fields of histories of women’s filmmaking, feminist media studies and genre studies. Establishing the dynamic flow of women’s work across various modes, genres, and histories, this project proposes new methodologies for analysing women filmmakers.

Professor Rosi Song

Co-applicant: Ms Kathleen Tertell


Lost in Plain Sight: Gaspar Cassadó’s Iberian Musical Legacy

Durham University

Value Awarded: £9,979.00

Abstract: While most scholars will be familiar with Pablo Casals (1876-1973), few, even in Spain and Catalonia, will know the name of Gaspar Cassadó, his most beloved disciple. Both were world-renowned cellists with important careers. Cassadó (1897-1966) is also a respected composer of classical music whose pieces continue to be played by cellists around the globe. Still, while Casals continues to be an international symbol for Catalan culture, Cassadó’s reputation is limited to the music world, and his Catalan—or even Spanish—roots are often overlooked. This project examines this composer’s connection to the Iberian Peninsula and Spain’s complicated history, interrupted by the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the legacy of the Franco dictatorship (1939-1975). By overlooking Cassadó's musical legacy, we have an incomplete picture of twentieth-century Spanish modern classical music and fail to recognise how Spain's ongoing memory wars continue to shape the understanding of the country's classical music history and legacy.

Dr David Spalding

Co-applicants: Dr Frances Meeten and Dr Louise Amelia Brown Nicholls


Strength, vulnerability and neurovisceral integration: Effects of anxiety on older adults’ cognitive and physiological regulation

King's College London

Value Awarded: £9,989.11

Abstract: The global population is ageing rapidly: as life expectancy increases, more adults are experiencing psychological and physiological declines. However, ageing is also associated with strengths. Knowledge and life experience means that older adults can use strategies, like positive reinterpretations of distressing information, to maintain emotional wellbeing. When distress becomes overwhelming, though, the capacity to use these strategies becomes diminished. This experimental research will develop understanding of the psychological and physiological underpinnings of distress in older adults. Using reliable measures of mental (‘cognitive’) and physiological flexibility, we will determine whether regularly experiencing anxiety exerts a unique influence on adults aged 65+, and whether this affects older adults' ability to utilise age-related strengths to support wellbeing. Importantly, we will assess whether modifying physiological flexibility through efficient, readily practicable and non-invasive techniques improves cognitive and emotional processes. Results will inform the development of methods to reduce distress and enhance wellbeing in older adults.

Dr Panagiotis Stamolampros


Big Data Analytics and Firm Performance

University of Leeds

Value Awarded: £9,487.50

Abstract: In recent years, the volumes of data held by companies signify the increasing importance of data analytics. Many organizations have developed Analytics departments seeking to capitalize big data analytics on their financial value by transforming businesses and gaining information advantage. For example, IBM’s Business Analytics and Mathematical Sciences, Procter and Gamble’s Global Analytics, Unilever’s Information and Analytics are departments that specialize and invest on big data management and analytics. To the best of our knowledge, whether such initiatives impact shareholders’ wealth and how the allocation of resources to big data analytics may change market expectations on a firm’s equity value or risk have been scarcely investigated. In particular, using job ads from adzuna we will examine whether the adoption of big data analytics initiatives are key organizational assets which can contribute significantly to firm value creation (e.g., through innovation, corporate transformation and improvement of decision support systems).

Dr Charlotte Steenbrugge

Co-applicant: Professor Elisabeth Mary Dutton


Staging the Frame and Framing the Stage: Performing Man’s Desire and Fleeting Beauty

University of Sheffield

Value Awarded: £9,510.00

Abstract: This project aims to further our understanding of dramatic frames (prologues and epilogues) in early drama, particularly in relation to the materiality of performance and attitudes to actor-audience interactions. Employing traditional and practice-based research methodologies, including engaging with the audience and the actors, we will illuminate the understanding of early theatre craft at the most fundamental levels and address important questions about the role of theatre as a didactic tool in medieval and early modern society. Our international, comparative approach also seeks to reanimate the study of early English drama, particularly by paying attention to drama before and beyond the Playhouse.

Dr Chris Stiff


Testing the long-term effectiveness of an body-dissatisfaction intervention in men who use Instagram

Keele University

Value Awarded: £9,961.49

Abstract: This research project aims to understand and alleviate body dissatisfaction among men using Instagram. Instagram, with its billion users, often leads to negative body image due to idealized and edited photos. While previous studies focused on women, men also face pressures to be muscular and lean, impacting their mental health. This project proposes a novel intervention using a combination of media literacy and cognitive restructuring techniques. The study will recruit participants from a university and an online platform, assessing their body image perceptions over time. Participants will follow an Instagram account posting intervention materials, allowing researchers to measure changes in their body image perception. The project will employ diverse measures, including body dissatisfaction and influential personality traits that may exacerbate body image issues. This project will address a crucial gap in understanding men's body image issues in the digital age.

Dr Anette Stimmer

Co-applicant: Professor Nicole De Silva


Why not hold the pen? Exploring implications of drafting privileges in International Organisations

University of St Andrews

Value Awarded: £9,986.00

Abstract: Those who draft resolutions and treaties in International Organisations (IOs) can significantly influence their content and acceptance. It is therefore puzzling that not all states are interested in drafting, so-called “pen-holding”. Veto powers Russia and China barely draft any UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and in the African Union (AU), international bureaucrats or independent experts hold the pen. Why (not) hold the pen? Conceptualizing IO decisions as political tools, we suggest that states draft IO decisions to control their content or to make a statement. States may avoid drafting roles because they prefer sovereignty over IO decisions. However, non- penholders face a dilemma: they can more easily veto or avoid implementing decisions they did not draft but this diminishes the IO’s reputation, which might not be in their interest. We hypothesize that states’ choices regarding pen-holding are guided by what their in-group members and domestic audiences expect of them.

Ms Fiona Stirling


Mental health practitioners with lived experience of self-injury: Demographics and disclosure practices

University of Abertay Dundee

Value Awarded: £9,899.57

Abstract: Mental health practitioners with experiences of self-injury face stigma in both professional and personal contexts. Yet, research to establish understanding around this population and how they manage disclosure/non-disclosure within their professions has been neglected thus far. This limited insight impacts acceptance, awareness, and inclusion for practitioners with such lived experience; ultimately limiting valuable diversities of knowledge and approaches to caring within mental health services which could reduce stigma for professionals and service users alike. I propose addressing this knowledge gap with an online survey, anonymised to encourage participant engagement. The survey will be designed with input from practitioners with lived experience to generate insights into demographics and disclosure practices. Data collected will provide the first insights around self-injury experiences in professions such as clinical psychology, counselling, and mental health nursing. Published outputs will inform the development of policy guidance for professional bodies/educators and inspire future research in this area.

Professor Pavithra Suryanarayan

Co-applicant: Professor Mukulika Banerjee


Taxation, Social Identity and Vote Choice in the Indian States

London School of Economics and Political Science

Value Awarded: £9,500.00

Abstract: In 2024, the world’s most populous democracy---India--- goes to the polls. The right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party's nearly 10-years in power, have coincided with significant tax reforms and the introduction of a comprehensive Goods and Services Tax (GST). This project seeks to use mixed methods - from anthropology and political science - to study the effects of this new tax instrument on turnout, vote choice and social identification with a party. Using field interviews we first seek to build a vocabulary of taxation that Indian citizens use in their daily life to describe their relationship with the fiscal state. We then propose to develop a pilot survey to test whether higher tax burdens lead to higher turnout and greater class and ethnic polarization as the GST tax created class and caste competition. We will use the small grant to gather tax data, conduct interviews and field the pilot survey.

Dr Farhat Syyeda


Bridging the Gap: Facilitating female adult learners in Leicester to re-engage with Mathematics

University of Leicester

Value Awarded: £9,898.42

Abstract: The purpose of this research is to explore the factors which impact female non-participation in Mathematics learning, especially among BAME and disadvantaged communities in some parts of Leicester, and facilitate them to re-engage. This project will be run in collaboration with Leicester Adult Education College, which is the main provider of Mathematics courses for adults in Leicester. Learning Mathematics has multiple benefits, however, returning to formal education is a formidable task. Many potential learners are apprehensive to re-engage with Mathematics due to negative prior learning experiences, low self-perception about their ability to learn, and other factors related to age, race and social class. Following a participatory action research design, this project aims to engage with mothers of primary school children (ages 7 – 10) in a bid to address their concerns and facilitate them to enrol on Mathematics courses, which are provided free of cost by the government.

Professor David Tal


The Spectre of Dual Loyalty: George H. W. Bush, and the Israel/Jewish Lobby

University of Sussex

Value Awarded: £8,850.00

Abstract: This study aims to explore the spectre of Dual Loyalty by examining the relationship between President George H.W. Bush and the American Jewish community as a case study. In 1991, President Bush made a comment about facing "a thousand lobbyists" which underscored a profound tension between the U.S. administration and the Jewish community. This tension revolved around the contentious issue of 'dual loyalty' among American Jews. The 'dual loyalty' debate has historical roots, but during the Bush administration, it became especially pronounced. This study delves into the intricacies of this debate, examining how the Bush administration navigated the challenges posed by questions of loyalty, identity, and foreign policy. It provides a nuanced understanding of the relationship between American Jews, the U.S. government, and the broader societal implications of dual loyalty.

Dr Huda Tayob


Watery Architectures: East African coastal futures

Royal College of Art

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: 'Watery Architectures' focuses on East African coastal cities (South Africa to Egypt, including Indian Ocean islands), to argue for urgent attention to coastal architectural and urban futures in light of increasing climate change catastrophes. Drawing from 'oceanic humanities' (Menon 2022), this project centres local, indigenous knowledge systems and histories of coastal settlement, in both material and spatial terms, to develop frameworks and approaches (theoretical, methodological and sited) to respond to unprecedented contemporary challenges. The intended initial aim is an edited book, that builds a framework for a larger grant. Contributors include architectural and urban researchers, alongside environmental climate scientists, working across national and temporal borders, to engage with the east African coast as an expanded region, pointing to the importance of multi-sited and collaborative initiatives. The resulting edited collection will draw on postcolonial theory and ecological histories, foregrounding questions of migrant-labour sites, material technologies, trans-national construction economies and more-than-human ecologies.

Dr Eirini Thomaidou


Matching Trademarks and Voluntary Sustainability Standards

University of Sussex

Value Awarded: £9,202.50

Abstract: In today's global market, firms engaged in international trade face increasing competition and interconnectedness, necessitating the quest for ways to boost their competitive advantage and sustainability. This research proposal aims to construct a novel dataset encompassing firms' trademark activity and Voluntary Sustainability Standard certifications in order to facilitate research on the relationship between trademarks and Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) and their impact on the performance of exporting firms. I seek to uncover this intricate relationship by collecting and consolidating scattered data on firms' trademarks, and VSS certifications and combining them on my next research endeavour with trade margins, and characteristics of exporting firms.

Dr Mattie Toma

Co-applicant: Dr Michael Thaler


Language and Likelihoods

University of Warwick

Value Awarded: £9,995.00

Abstract: Experts must often choose whether to send numerical information using numbers or natural language when communicating with policymakers and the general public. While there are many reasons why experts would send messages using language or numbers, our study emphasises the role of message precision: numbers like ‘65%’ convey precise probabilistic estimates, whereas language like ‘probably’ is imprecise because it can be interpreted as a range of values. Here, we experimentally manipulate the incentives of information senders: either they face incentives to be informative, incentives to directionally persuade receivers, or reputational incentives to be selected to share future information. We hypothesise that senders more often use language over numbers when their incentives induce them to communicate imprecisely, as is the case for directional and reputational incentives. To better understand the underlying mechanisms, we explore when senders use imprecise probability ranges, and study whether their choices within each category are less precise.

Dr Matteo Toscani

Co-applicant: Professor Matteo Valsecchi


Modelling peripheral vision in natural scenes.

Bournemouth University

Value Awarded: £9,817.60

Abstract: When we view the world around us, we have the impression of a sharp, detailed image across the whole visual field, although high acuity is restricted to a tiny region at fixation. Peripheral vision is usually investigated in laboratory conditions with simple stimuli. We have recently shown that in naturalistic scenes, missing details in peripheral vision are filled out with information at fixation and based on previous knowledge. No current model of peripheral vision accounts for such processes. We will train a Deep Neural Network to reconstruct high resolution images based on foveated input. The model will be validated with behavioural data and tuned to predict human performance and errors. We will not only model the perceptual mechanisms we recently discovered, but also explain classic laboratory findings and test whether they generalise to natural scenes. Such network has multiple applications, from image compression to foveated rendering in VR.

Dr Dwight Tse

Co-applicant: Dr Ting Tat Ng


Examining the validity of social desirability measures through cross-cultural and experimental studies

University of Strathclyde

Value Awarded: £9,937.00

Abstract: Social desirability bias refers to the tendency for individuals to respond in a manner that will be viewed favourably by others, such as over-claiming the positive aspects and under-claiming the negative aspects of oneself. This bias can pose a threat to the validity of research findings that rely on self-report measures. Several social desirability measures have been developed to identify socially desirable biases. However, the validity of those measures has been under heated debate, and the existing evidence is inconclusive due to various limitations. We propose a cross-cultural study conducted in the UK (an individualistic culture) and Taiwan (a collectivistic culture) (Study 1) and an experiment (Study 2) to re-examine the validity of those measures and address the limitations of past studies. Findings from this project will inform researchers of whether social desirability scales should be used in academic research and provide insights into personnel selection in organisational contexts.

Dr Samson Maekele Tsegay


Human Capital and the UK Graduate Route: Understanding the Career Expectations and Experiences of International Graduates in the UK

Anglia Ruskin University

Value Awarded: £9,306.75

Abstract: The Graduate route is a post-study work visa. It is part of the UK skill-based immigration system and allows international students who completed their studies in the country to stay for at least two years. However, evidence suggests that many international migrants, particularly those from the Global South, face socio-economic and cultural challenges in the UK. Although the beneficiaries of the Graduate route are expected to hold UK-specific human capital, particularly academic qualification and linguistic capabilities, there is a dearth of research regarding the international graduates’ career prospects. Therefore, the proposed study explores the career expectations and experiences of international graduates in the UK, with a specific reference to the effects of their human capital on their career opportunities. Informed by human capital theory, the study will use a mixed approach based on questionnaires and semi-structured interviews with international graduates experiencing the Graduate route.

Dr Boyd van Dijk


The Breaking and Making of the Geneva Conventions in a Global World

University of Oxford

Value Awarded: £6,310.00

Abstract: In recent public and academic debates, the question of why state or non-state actors engage with international law in wartime has emerged as a key concern. However, existing studies on the 1949 Geneva Conventions have often overlooked important historical insights and connections that complicate their singular narratives. This book project aims to resolve this issue by employing several different archival and historical approaches to unveil the factors influencing legal practices on the battlefield, particularly in the Global South. By historicising the Conventions in innovative ways, this book project explores the origins and evolution of international law in armed conflict. To achieve its objectives, the study requires funding to complete archival research in especially Latin America and prepare the findings for publication. This funding will enable the project to shed new light on the practice of the Conventions, contributing to the broader fields of international law, international relations, and global history.

Dr Zana Vathi

Co-applicant: Dr Daniel Sage


Hidden intersections? Nationality as a category of difference among academics in the UK HE

Edge Hill University

Value Awarded: £10,000.00

Abstract: This project takes an intersectional approach to provide a sector-wide analysis on the extent to which and ways how nationality consists of a category of difference in the UK HE. Based on a mixed-method research, it will investigate the impact of nationality at birth on career outcomes, as well as the perceptions and structural approaches of key HE stakeholders towards nationality at birth for the purpose of EDI. A key focus will be the intersection of nationality and race/ethnicity, in order to provide a more continuous analysis of diversity and its pertinence to the UK HE. Drawing on HESA data and key stakeholder interviews, the project aims to contribute to theoretical developments on diversity and inclusion, as well as inform policy making, at a time that the HE sector and the UK immigration system are undergoing profound changes.

Dr Lars Vinx

Co-applicant: Dr Jörg Kammerhofer


Practical Reason against Legal Structuralism? The Hidden Rift in Modern Legal Positivism

University of Cambridge

Value Awarded: £9,900.00

Abstract: Legal theorists in the Anglo-American tradition which derives from Hart are interested in the question of how law is related to morality and to practical reason more generally. Scholars in the continental jurisprudential tradition which derives from Kelsen, by contrast, tend to ignore the perspective of practical reason in favour of a nomo-mechanical view that aims to develop a theory of the structural characteristics of legal systems as normative orders. The positivist tradition is driven apart by this dichotomy, silently and almost unnoticed – because few identify the rift between the two approaches as a problem. But the widening divide has made it increasingly difficult for proponents or the two approaches to communicate fruitfully. This project aims to explore the causes and consequences of the rift in modern legal positivism and to search for ways in which the insights provided by Hartian and Kelsenian theory can be reconnected.

Dr Ioannis Votsis

Co-applicants: Dr Brian Ball and Dr David Peter Wallis Freeborn


Reverse Engineering Prompts

Northeastern University – London

Value Awarded: £9,650.00

Abstract: Education is increasingly being disrupted by AI-powered chatbots like ChatGPT. Though limited in various ways, such chatbots are formidable tools to use alongside traditional pedagogical methods. To derive maximum benefit from them, we must overcome the prompt engineering problem: how to formulate human user input (i.e. prompts) to maximise the chances of getting meaningful output from chatbots. Our project aims to lessen the severity of this problem by conducting case-based research on prompt engineering, focusing on the subject of basic coding skills. The research consists of two parts. First, we seek to determine effective and efficient ways we humans phrase queries to other humans. Second, we test the efficacy of those ways in the context of human-chatbot interactions. The findings of this project will throw light on how to fruitfully exploit chatbot technologies in pedagogical settings and are aimed at educators, researchers, developers, policymakers, and the general public.

Dr Chaowei Wang

Co-applicants: Dr Qian Song and Dr Xinyu Yu


The Impact of Carbon Tax on Firms’ Strategic Management and Performance

Loughborough University

Value Awarded: £9,952.00

Abstract: Amid mounting environmental concerns, numerous nations have implemented measures to curb carbon emissions, with carbon taxes emerging as a crucial instrument. However, the adoption of carbon taxes has raised concerns regarding potential global environmental and economic impacts. Using staggered adoption of carbon taxes in Europe as a quasi-natural experiment and a difference-in-differences approach, our research aims at unravelling the effects of carbon taxes on businesses' environmental performance and strategic decisions. We aim to uncover how carbon taxation might influence innovative green initiatives, efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and strategies related to cross-border mergers and acquisitions. In addition, our study also focuses on the intricate concept of 'carbon leakage', exploring whether firms in countries with higher carbon tax rates expand into regions with lower carbon taxation, potentially undermining the effectiveness of carbon tax policies. Our research offers insights into how businesses adapt in a sustainability-centred world.

Dr Aiqing Wang

Co-applicants: Dr Vittorio Tantucci and Professor Carol Holland


Linguistic Creativity and Empathy Decline in Dementia: Early Detection and Intervention

University of Liverpool

Value Awarded: £9,923.00

Abstract: In this cross-institutional, inter-disciplinary research, we investigate linguistic features of Mandarin- and English-speaking healthy participants (age=65+) and those who experience mild cognitive impairment (MRI), so as to timely identify early signs of dementia and inform stakeholders’ practices in daily communication with individuals with dementia.

The project has potential to revolutionise early diagnosis and intervention of dementia, ultimately resulting in improved patient outcomes and better healthcare services. We will propose an accurate, scalable and cost-effective model to assess, predict and intervene decrease of linguistic creativity cross-culturally, by drawing on our recent corpus-based applications of the notion of resonance that involves speakers' ability to creatively re-use and re-combine their interlocutors’ utterances. Apart from filling in a research gap, we will also generate a set of guidelines for health professionals, a mobile application for users, as well as open-access corpora for all researchers of related fields.

Dr Hanlin Wang

Co-applicant: Dr Yan Sun


To be personalised or not, that is the question: explaining personalisation-privacy paradox in attention economy

Oxford Brookes University

Value Awarded: £5,934.00

Abstract: Consumers’ concerns regarding the loss of autonomy and control, data breaches, and security vulnerabilities have become significant barriers to the advancement of personalised advertising, particularly on social media platforms, where it is perceived as a private domain. Balancing privacy concerns with personalisation necessitates understanding the cognitive process regarding how consumers react to personalised social media advertisements. However, limited consideration has been given to the role played by the visual attention paid to the content, despite it being a key objective of adopting personalisation in social media advertising. By investigating the role of attention paid to personalised content in advertisement personalisation and potential advertisement avoidance via an eye-tracking laboratory experiment, this knowledge gap will be partially filled. Thus, this study will extend the current understanding of consumers’ privacy behaviours and provide guidance to marketers for effective content design that engages consumers without compromising their autonomy.

Dr Luke Ward

Co-applicant: Dr Alastair Pipkin


Co-producing an unguided self-help intervention for navigating sexuality with transgender communities.

University of Northampton

Value Awarded: £9,979.73

Abstract: Transgender people experience higher rates of mental health difficulties compared to the general population. Gender transition helps alleviate distress and discrimination, but raises new experiences to navigate, such as shifts in sexuality. Despite these experiences, there has been limited research focusing on psychological support for this area. The research project aims to identify and address transgender people’s psychological self-help needs in relation to their sexualities. The project team will collaborate with transgender communities to co-produce an intervention to support these needs. Using a mixed methods approach, the team will evaluate the acceptability, feasibility, and preliminary outcomes of the intervention. The intervention will be publicised online to benefit the transgender communities and the wider public by increasing accessible psychological resources. It is intended that the outcomes will lead to acceptability of the intervention and findings will be shared through a webinar event with community members, clinicians, and service providers.

Dr Paul Watts

Co-applicant: Dr Catherine Darnell


Enhancing Young Children’s Learning from Stories: The Influence of Anthropomorphism and Teacher Intervention on Children’s Moral Understanding and Behaviour

University of Birmingham

Value Awarded: £9,975.00

Abstract: Stories are widely used when teaching young children. Picture books, especially, are used to convey morals and guide behaviour. However, some research studies indicate that the presence of anthropomorphism (e.g. animal characters) can inhibit young children’s transfer of learning to real-life contexts. Anthropomorphism is common in stories aimed at young children and many teachers do not appear to be aware of its potential influence. Furthermore, the extent to which teacher pedagogy might mediate this influence is unknown. This study aims to advance understanding and enhance practice through investigating the potential of teacher pedagogy in mediating the influence of anthropomorphism in picture books. Given the prominence of, and emphasis placed on, picture books in early years foundation stage settings and primary schools, the findings will be of significant interest to education practitioners and academics aiming to enhance children's learning. Findings will be disseminated through two journal articles and workshops for practitioners.

Dr Peter West


Women at the Dawn of Analytic Philosophy

Northeastern University – London

Value Awarded: £8,960.80

Abstract: ‘Analytic’ philosophy is the dominant approach to philosophy in the English-speaking world. It is possible to trace the history of analytic philosophy to a group of philosophers in Britain in the early twentieth century, some of whom, like Bertrand Russell, became household names. Women in early analytic philosophy are typically much less recognised. Nonetheless, women were present at the dawn of analytic philosophy and contributed to its formation and development. Recent historical scholarship has sought to uncover the ideas of a ‘second generation’ of women in analytic philosophy (from the Second World War onwards). However, this project will examine a forgotten pre-war ‘first generation’, focusing on three British philosophers: Susan Stebbing, Dorothy Emmet, and Margaret MacDonald. Through an examination of their lives and work– and a major conference– this project will change preconceptions about the history of philosophy and the role of women at a crucial juncture in philosophy's history.

Dr Chalen Westaby

Co-applicant: Ms Sam Ainslie


An exploration of prison and probation staff working to deliver the Offender Management in Custody (OMiC) model. A case study of emotional labour and boundary spanning.

Sheffield Hallam University

Value Awarded: £7,610.00

Abstract: The Offender Management in Custody model requires criminal justice practitioners from distinct occupational backgrounds to collaborate in managing and supporting prisoners to engage ‘in their own rehabilitative journeys’ (MoJ, 2021: 63). Under this model probation officers and prison officers work together in prisons to support and prepare prisoners for release and successful reintegration into the community. Using the concepts of emotional labour (Hochschild, 1983), and boundary spanning work (Needham et al, 2017) this research explores how probation and prison staff work together in the delivery of the Offender Management in Custody model within prisons. The study, the first in which emotional labour in two distinct occupations in a shared work setting will be analysed, provides an in-depth analysis of the emotional labour and boundary spanning work undertaken by probation and prison staff as well as the potential impact on their occupational identities and wellbeing.

Professor Leroy White

Co-applicant: Dr Dimitrios Batolas


Supporting voluntary organisations to achieve a net-zero.

University of Exeter

Value Awarded: £2,549.60

Abstract: Research is needed to investigate how voluntary organisations (VPs) or charities organise themselves for decarbonisation action, shedding light on their activities and attitudes toward pro-environmental changes. VOs are encouraged to decarbonise and align their mission with environmental goals, even if these are not explicitly stated in their mission statements. However, meeting the same sustainability standards as corporate entities may divert financial resources from their primary goals, potentially leading to mission drift. The central question therefore is how can VOs adhere to the same sustainability standards they advocate for other sectors or organisations. The research will begin with a systematic literature review on carbon emissions reduction in the voluntary sector. This will be followed by semi- structured interviews with twenty VOs in the SW of England focusing on their decarbonisation actions. The study will also assess the strategies and impact of net-zero activities making recommendations for the sector and policy makers.

Dr Andrew Whitworth


Mapping the Information Landscapes of St Helena: The impact of broadband internet on a small and remote community

University of Manchester

Value Awarded: £7,500.00

Abstract: The project will assess the impact of high-speed, broadband internet access on the British Overseas Territory of St Helena. This island lies 1,200 miles off the West African coast, and is home to around 4,000 people. Through 2023-24, the activation of Google’s Equiano undersea cable will increase bandwidth on St Helena by orders of magnitude, compared to the present satellite uplink. This offers an opportunity to assess the impact of such a change in a relatively small and self-contained community, and based on this assessment, design and implement programmes of digital and information literacy education located in both the formal and informal educational sector. The methodology is based around mapping the 'information landscapes' of the island through group concept mapping sessions, interviews, self-reflective information logging and content analysis. The rich maps produced post-cable can be compared to those produced from a previous project, conducted pre-cable.

Dr Matt Wilde


"We just kept on walking": The politics of crisis, migration and transnationalism among Venezuelan asylum seekers in the United States

University of Leicester

Value Awarded: £9,896.99

Abstract: Since 2017, over seven million people have left Venezuela amid a deep multidimensional crisis. With severe pressures on receiving countries in Latin America, increasing numbers of the poorest Venezuelan migrants – some 40,000 in the last year alone – are claiming asylum in the United States. This project proposes a new ethnographic study of Venezuela’s growing population in the US, paying specific attention to asylum seekers who have been transferred to “sanctuary cities” as part of the Operation Lone Star border control programme. Focusing on community organisations led by Venezuelan migrants in Chicago, the project will use participant observation to trace the relationship between migrant-led advocacy for asylum seekers and the wider (geo)political context that shapes the terms in which they organise. In doing so, it will offer a novel perspective on contemporary debates about mass migration and the politics of sanctuary in an era of "polycrisis".

Professor Richard John Williams


Re-imagining Urban Expressways of the 1960s and 1970s

University of Edinburgh

Value Awarded: £9,950.00

Abstract: A global study of the re-imagination of modern urban expressways. It focuses on expressways built though inner cities c. 1960-1975 and which have since been redesigned or repurposed. Projects range from structural caps, to tunnels, to demolition and rewilding. The project explores sites in Glasgow, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, New York City, São Paulo, and Seoul, each representing a local approach to a global question. It draws on the applicant’s expertise in modernist urbanism, and it is interdisciplinary. The main output, a book, will be an historical survey and an intervention in the debate on the future of automobile-oriented urbanism. This application for a Small Research Grant provides support for essential fieldwork and archival research in the United States, to take place over 6 weeks, as described in Work Package 3 of the proposaI. The application describes the same project as the successful Senior Research Fellowship of the same title.

Dr Gareth Wiltshire

Co-applicants: Dr Haibin Cai and Dr Janine Coates


Developing an AI-assisted data analysis method for qualitative interview data

Loughborough University

Value Awarded: £8,876.80

Abstract: Despite the many strengths of qualitative research, a key practical challenge that remains is that it is labour intensive and time consuming. Practical constraints limit the sample sizes that researchers can use in their studies and can seriously restrict the qualitative work included in research grants. The most time-consuming stage of a qualitative research study is the data analysis stage. There is huge potential for AI to be used to revolutionise the qualitative data analysis process and very little research has been carried out given how new the technology is. As an area that is likely to rapidly expand in the coming years, research is needed to offer guidance and to develop standards of practice. This research project aims to develop a method for AI-assisted qualitative analysis. This will be achieved through collaborative design and effectiveness before being presented to qualitative researchers to gauge acceptability.

Dr Pipat Wongsa-art

Co-applicants: Dr Namhyun Kim and Professor Francesco Moscone


Variations in lockdown strategies versus country-specific effects in explaining spread of Covid19 pandemic: Spatial Functional Data Analysis approach for discrete longitudinal data

City, University of London

Value Awarded: £7,700.00

Abstract: Academic research and the media alike have reported significant variations in the way that governments around the world responded to the Covid19 pandemic. These variations have created a worldwide debate over different lockdown strategies and their effectiveness in slowing down the spread of the pandemic. In this project, we intend to shed further light on this debate. More specifically, we plan to establish a new cutting-edge analytical method that can help to data-scientifically investigate whether countries that follow similar lockdown strategies encounter the same patterns of spread of the Covid19 pandemic; or there are country-specific factors that play a more crucial role in explaining the data generating process of daily new Covid19 cases. Moreover, we are also interested in studying whether stringency of lockdown should always be associated with lowering number of Covid19 cases; or there are other country-specific factors that could work to invalidate such a hypothesis.

Professor Andrew Wood


Letters of Blood and Fire: Authority, Resistance and Social Relations in England, 1500-1640

Durham University

Value Awarded: £7,998.00

Abstract: If successful, this application will allow me to complete a sustained programme of archival work, providing the final empirical foundations for my sixth book, Letters of Blood and Fire: Authority, Resistance and Social Relations in England, 1500-1640 (Cambridge University Press; submission: summer 2026). This monograph deals with everyday experiences of authority, elite perceptions of social order; subordinates’ engagement with authority: internalization, deference, acquiescence, manipulation, resistance, rebellion, contempt, anger and hatred. Critically, these experiences are seen as rooted in local patterns of everyday life. This is especially important given how much of the historical literature has considered large-scale, public protest. The objective of the project is to come to a closer sense of the nature of power relations (regarding gender, class and locality) in English society between the collapse of feudalism and the English Revolution.

Dr Yinrui Xie

Co-applicants: Dr Yashaen Luckan and Dr Belula Tecle Misghina


Implementing Religious Life for Britain’s Ethnic Chinese: Design and Place-making for the Chinese Temples in the UK

University of Lincoln

Value Awarded: £9,460.48

Abstract: Satisfactory religious facilities are directly linked to the mental health of ethnic minorities. In the UK, traditional religious facilities for the ethnic Chinese (Buddhist or Taoist temples) turned out to be small in scale, limited in number, and unsatisfactory in design and spatial arrangement to fulfil the growing spiritual needs of the evolving ethnic Chinese group. However, little research has been devoted to understanding the problems lying in their erection, design and place-making. This research aims to bridge this gap by conducting individual in-depth interviews with stakeholders of Chinese temples, group interviews with typical users of the temples to find out the main factors that shaped the formation and erection of them, while combining these with spatial analysis of representative temples to evaluate their spatial quality in terms of religious place-making. Guidelines will then be developed for optimisation of space, innovation of existing temples and planning of future temples.

Dr Xinjie Xing

Co-applicant: Professor Suresh Sethi


Strategic Blockchain Adoption for Anti-Greenwashing

University of Liverpool

Value Awarded: £9,705.16

Abstract: Greenwashing by environmentally harmful companies jeopardizes the integrity of genuinely sustainable enterprises. Many eco-friendly businesses are turning to blockchain to bolster sales, ensure supply chain transparency, and counteract deceptive practices from less sustainable competitors. However, the significant costs associated with implementing and maintaining blockchain technology, coupled with its potential energy consumption, can diminish a company's environmental footprint. Consequently, sustainable businesses must strategically deploy blockchain, calibrating both product pricing and their environmental claims. This research will delve into various solutions to counteract greenwashing, while also examining the influence of customer perceptions. Utilizing a multi-methodological approach (MMA) that encompasses both case studies and theoretical research, this study aims to enhance our understanding of environmental competition in the face of greenwashing threats. The findings will offer valuable insights for practitioners, guide future research, and assist policymakers in crafting effective strategies for green market regulation.

Peng Xu

Co-applicant: Professor Tri Mikael Tran


Resilient Healthcare Supply Chain Management through Risk-Seeking Decision-Making: A Multi-Method Research Project

University of Essex

Value Awarded: £9,802.40

Abstract: This research project is driven by the imperative need to address the vulnerability of the global supply chain, especially in the face of recent disruptions the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditional risk-averse decision-making in supply chain management may no longer suffice in such volatile environment. The healthcare sector, despite being a significant cost component, has often been overlooked in supply chain research. Therefore, this study focuses on resilient management of healthcare supply chain, aiming to draw attention to its critical role in decision-making problems. This research employs a multi-method approach that combines mathematical modelling with expert interviews to explore the advantages of risk-seeking behaviour in strategic decision-making, particularly in supplier selection problems during supply chain disruptions. The findings can be disseminated to academics and industry practitioners to better support healthcare decision-making problems that require resilient decision recommendations.

Dr David Zentler-Munro


Older Workers' Job Search and Health Shocks

University of Essex

Value Awarded: £9,986.66

Abstract: This research project examines the education and health drivers of older workers’ labour market participation and job search decisions. National and international policy organisations have long stated increased labour market attachment of older workers as a key objective (see OECD 2019). Yet there is a paucity of evidence on what motivates the participation and job search decisions of older workers. The core goal of this project is to address this evidence gap. In the spirt of “prevention is better than cure”, we will examine both what can delay older workers quitting economic activity as well as what can encourage those who have quit activity to restart. The project will produce one academic paper and create new survey questions that will form the basis of a larger piece of work to address these topics.

Dr Daoning Zhang

Co-applicant: Dr Min Yan


The role of derivative actions in enforcing directors’ climate obligations in ESG disclosure—what lessons can China learn from the English company law.

University of Roehampton

Value Awarded: £8,903.82

Abstract: This study aims to compare the role of 'shareholder derivative actions' as a means to enforce directors’ climate obligations in ESG disclosure in China and the UK using doctrinal and comparative legal methods. As China is a major greenhouse gas emissions country, companies in China have an important role to play in contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but enforcement can be challenging as corporate social responsibilities are largely voluntary in nature. Shareholder derivative actions is an enforceable legal tool which investors can use to challenge directors to fulfill their climate obligations and make appropriate changes for their companies. This study will examine the scope of directors' duties in preventing climate change, the hurdles to investors in commencing derivative claims, and evaluate the effectiveness of rules of derivative claims in both jurisdictions enabling recommendations for law reform.

Dr Mircea Zloteanu

Co-applicants: Dr Matti Vuorre and Professor Timothy Levine


Variability in Deception Detection Research: Establishing the amount of senders and judges needed to make causal inferences viable

Kingston University

Value Awarded: £9,872.96

Abstract: Deception detection is a field with important theoretical and practical relevance. However, our understanding of veracity judgements has not advanced despite decades of research. This, we argue, stems from insufficient information in research programmes to make valid causal inferences and predictions that allow theory-building. The methodologies employed in the field fail to account for important sources of variance that strongly impact deception studies, often unbeknownst to the researcher. These include differences in senders, judges, and the task itself. We propose two experiments designed to establish guidelines for conducting deception research and making reliable inferences. By varying the number of senders, judges, and data type, and utilising robust (Bayesian) analyses we will estimate the information needed for stable causal inferences and predictions. The results will hold practical significance in forensic and legal contexts, offering insights into the reliability and risks associated with deception detection findings.

The awards listed are those for the 2023-24 British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants. Previous award announcements can be found on the British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants past awards page.

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