Tagged / AHRC

BU project explores potential power of constructive journalism in Covid-19 aftermath

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the news media have played an instrumental role in providing the latest updates and information. An increasing number of people, however, have sometimes avoided the news, finding negative coverage has a detrimental effect on their mood and wellbeing.

A new collaborative project will explore how constructive journalism – also known as solutions journalism – can increase audience engagement and empower communities to tackle the problems they face in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Constructive journalism breaks from traditional journalism’s focus on reporting social problems to also feature how people respond to problems, in order to help audiences to feel more motivated, inspired and empowered to deal with challenges.

Early evidence shows that this style of journalism also leads to greater engagement, with articles read more deeply and shared more widely.

The project is being undertaken by Bournemouth University (BU) in conjunction with Newsquest, one of the UK’s largest publishers of local and regional newspapers, with training and consultancy provided by the US-based Solutions Journalism Network, and the Association of British Science Writers.

Dr An Nguyen, Associate Professor of Journalism at BU, is leading the project, which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the UK Research and Innovation’s Covid-19 rapid-response research scheme.

He said: “Traditionally, due to their professional dedication to the watchdog role in monitoring and holding powers to account, journalists focus disproportionately on social problems and pay inadequate attention to the ways to solve problems.

“Over time, it has become a bit too much of ‘doom and gloom’ news, which can lead to many people becoming mentally fatigued, desensitised or feeling helpless or powerless, because they can’t see a way out or don’t know how they could take action.

“Constructive journalism does not shy away from the crucial watchdog function but aims to offer a balance, moving away from focusing on problems to also exploring how problems are tackled and solved.”

Dr Nguyen added that the pandemic offered an opportunity to deploy constructive journalism in a large scale to help the UK’s local and regional communities and investigate the potential of constructive journalism in helping the public to deal with the social issues of our time.

“People will face a lot of problems during the transition out of lockdown and will try to find ways to limit the damages and adapt to the ‘new normal’,” he said.

“There is an increasing recognition among news industry that constructive journalism can be valuable. This project is an opportunity to test this concept in the context of one of the biggest issues the world is facing and see whether journalism can help people.”

Journalists across the UK, including journalism students, will receive training to produce constructive journalism through series of online training webinars. About 50 of them will then be mentored on a one-to-one basis by journalists with experience in constructive journalism to produce solutions-focused news for Newsquest’s local and regional titles.

It is hoped that at least 1,000 pieces of constructive journalism will be produced in relation to Covid-19 recovery during this campaign. A new professional network of UK constructive journalists will also be established and launched at the end of the project.

A research team in BU’s Department of Communication and Journalism will conduct in-depth interviews, surveys and experiments with local news audiences, including community leaders, to investigate how solutions-focused news can affect the mental health and wellbeing of the public, as well as civic engagement.

“We are trying to explore what type of constructive journalism would work, what sort of effects it has on audiences and how it might or might not help them to be more optimistic, motivated, inspired or empowered to take actions,” said Dr Nguyen.

The team will also conduct a detailed analysis of the solutions-focused news output from the campaign as well as interview the mentored journalists and their editors about their experience.

Dr Nguyen said: “We’ll look at the content output and see what sort of reporting techniques are used, what are effective and how they engage people throughout the post-lockdown stage of the pandemic.

“We will feed our research findings back to the participating news outlets so that they are informed of the effect of their campaign and, where necessary, what might be done to improve things.”

BU research explores the use of comic artistry and storytelling in public health information

Research at Bournemouth University is looking at the effectiveness of comic artistry and storytelling in the sharing of public health messaging.

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) the project will catalogue and analyse comic-style public health graphics, specifically those created during the Covid-19 pandemic, and seek to make recommendations on how the comic medium can be effective at delivering public health messaging to help drive behaviour change.

The idea for the research began as Dr Anna Feigenbaum, the lead researcher, and her colleagues Alexandra Alberda and William Proctor shared clever comic-style graphics with one another that had been created and shared on social media about Covid-19. These single, sharable, comic-style graphics blend the artistry and storytelling of comics with the Covid-19 messaging we have seen throughout the pandemic.

Dr Feigenbaum, an Associate Professor within the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University, said, “What we saw from these comic graphics was the way that the artistry and storytelling combined to share messages in a more emotive and interesting way. This built on work we were already doing on how public health messaging could utilise this medium to make their own messaging more engaging and even lead to better behavioural outcomes.”

José Blàzquez, the project’s postdoctoral researcher, has started work in collating over 1200 examples of comic-style Covid-19 messaging with the aim of understanding what makes them so compelling, and how this genre of communication could be further used to create what the project’s research illustrator, Alexandra Alberda, calls an “accessible, approachable and relatable” style of messaging when communicating important public health messages. The team aims to build a database that archives these comics, including information about their artistic and storytelling techniques, audience engagement, circulation, and what implications they may have for the sharing of health messaging in the future.

The final outcomes will be shared as a report and an illustrated set of good practice guidelines. Results will also be shared in the team’s edited collection Comics in the Time of COVID-19 and a special journal issue for Comics Grid. It is hoped these guidelines will inform public health communicators, as well as graphic designers and educators.

The team has even created their own Covid-19 web-comics, published by Nightingale on Medium. https://medium.com/nightingale/covid-19-data-literacy-is-for-everyone-46120b58cec9

Dr Feigenbaum continued, “Data comics are on a real upsurge as people look to make sense of the world through data visualisation, and there are some wonderful examples from amateur artists who have been incredibly clever and creative in taking what are, essentially, public health messages, and turning them into emotive comic-style stories.

“These sharable comic graphics are engaging and informed – there is a lot to learn here about the way we make sense of the world and how this genre could help us to see the communication of important messages in a whole new light. What we’re researching now could be seen as best practice in years to come.”

In addition to the main team of Dr. Feigenbaum, Dr. Blàzquez and Alexandra Alberda, this research will be conducted with Co-investigators Dr. Billy Proctor, Dr. Sam Goodman and Professor Julian McDougall, along with advisory partners Public Health Dorset, the Graphic Medicine Collective, Information Literacy Group and Comics Grid.

More information about the project will soon be available at www.covidcomics.org.

AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinkers 2021 scheme

The New Generation Thinkers 2021 scheme has been launched with a call for entries. This prestigious scheme from the Arts & Humanities Research Council and BBC Radio 3 offers early career researchers the opportunity to develop programmes for the BBC. The ten academics selected will workshop ideas with BBC producers, get media and public engagement training, and a platform for informing and influencing public opinion, policy and practice.

The scheme is looking for up-and-coming early career researchers who want to share their ideas with the largest possible audience, so they can cultivate talented, articulate academics into exceptional all-round communicators. It provides a variety of training opportunities and the chance to work with world-class broadcasters from across the BBC.

This year applications will be a little different, as UKRI has chosen this call to pilot the first phase of their new funding application system. So that RDS can best support you on your application through this new system, if you are interested in the scheme please get in touch with Eva Papadopoulou or Beth Steiner before the call opens on Thursday 20 August. Webinars by the AHRC on the scheme and how to apply start as soon as Thursday 16 July and so do register for these here.

For more information on the call – which is open until 4pm on, Thursday 1 October 2020 – and details of eligibility and how to apply please visit the New Generation Thinkers 2021 call page here. You can also read more about the scheme on the AHRC page and listen to the broadcasts made by previous years’ Thinkers on the BBC site here.

   

Culture in Quarantine – BBC and AHRC

In late March, the BBC launched Culture In Quarantine across television, radio and online, to give the nation access to the arts at a time when it needs it the most. Providing extraordinary access to shuttered exhibitions, performances and museums, a virtual book festival and much more.

This week, Culture In Quarantine turns its attention to our museums and art galleries and the arts and humanities research community are asked to get involved!

MuseumFromHome is a whole day of broadcast and social media activity on Thursday 30 April. This includes an exhibition on the Clash (marking the 40th anniversary of London Calling) at the Museum of London.  The BBC is welcoming people to get involved on social media platforms using the hashtag #MuseumFromHome. They intend to post as much as they can and want people to get involved sharing material using the #MuseumFromHome hashtag.

Please get involved by sharing public-friendly outputs from your research projects that have a connection to museums and galleries. Think about including visual assets, such as imagery and video, or linking to public-friendly resources.

Please include the following hashtags and handles, so that you have the best chance of your content being shared or reposted by the BBC and the AHRC:

#MuseumFromHome
@bbcarts
@ahrcpress
#cultureinquarantine

AHRC want to hear from you!

Do you have a great digital asset which could be published on BBC Culture in Quarantine? If so, please contact the engagement team at the AHRC via engage@ahrc.ukri.org who are working to supply AHRC-funded research content to the BBC.

Dr Mark Readman at the Creative Industries Workshop in Istanbul

Earlier this month I took part in a ‘Creative Industries Workshop’ in Istanbul. This was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Istanbul Development Agency. About 40 of us had won funding to attend – a mixture of UK and Turkish ‘experts’ (academics and industry representatives) – and we were tasked with addressing the challenges faced by Turkey’s creative industries.

The key issue presented to us was how to maximise the potential for growth, diversification and resilience in Turkey by identifying the specific affordances of the creative industries. There is clear ambition in Turkey to “increase the value added of goods and services produced in the country” and the UK is seen as a model for such growth.

The thematic areas which we addressed were: Ecosystem – the structures of finance, networking, collaboration, services, and actors which facilitate growth; Demand – the sensitivity to awareness, ‘customer needs’, and particularly the ways in which other sectors (such as tourism) might complement and stimulate this; Design and value added – the emphasis on digital transformation trends which might ‘intensify user experience’ through improving the quality of life; Data and knowledge – how the creative industries are defined, the relationship between data and policy, and possible research which might produce new models.

The workshop was a very stimulating fusion of different perspectives, and each group presented ‘solutions’ to the funding bodies which drew on our experience and understandings of successful policies and practices. Some of us, however, of a more critical mind set (and I won my funding on the basis of promising to provide this) had further questions that we wanted to pursue, for example: the need to avoid a kind of ‘colonial approach’, dispensing ‘wisdom’ from the UK; the problematic relationship between the creative industries and the craft industries – ways of achieving complementarity without collapsing key differences; the notional affordances of ‘ecosystems’ – some of us suggested that ‘true creativity’ prospered despite, rather than because of ‘ecosystems’; and, ultimately, the nature of this thing called the ‘creative industries’, which is often presented as an ‘ontological category’, but which tends to be a strategic category – some transparency about this seems to be required.

There will be a further call from the AHRC intended to nurture some of the collaborations that were made possible in the workshop, and the challenge will be to maintain this critical stance whilst working together to stimulate worthwhile projects (and we saw some excellent examples of existing initiatives). As we face life post-Brexit, Turkey is likely to be a significant partner, given its position, between Europe and Asia.

Mark Readman, FMC

The importance of preservation and sustainability of digital data in the arts

The AHRC research project, ArtoP: The Visual Articulations of Politics in Nigeria sets out to collect and archive visual material that is produced by artists, animators, filmmakers, photographers in Nigeria around and following the elections in February 2019. As part of the project outputs, the research will culminate in a digital archive that will serve two purposes i) to preserve this collection over a period of 10 years and ii) to disseminate parts of the collection with a wider public through a web-based platform. These outputs present a number of challenges that highlight the importance of planning for digital archiving and ensuring its sustainability given the rapidity with which digital traces are created, disseminated and in turn disappear (Ernst, 2013). This post forms part of a longer paper in development that seeks to focus upon changes in archival practice in the arts, especially where contexts of contemporary image making practices tend to be based in the digital and circulate in virtual spaces. Additionally, the variances in technological landscapes across different geographies also present separate sets of challenges that a researcher may face – who has access to this data; which voices are included and excluded; how does one curate for fair access?  

Collecting Digital Images

In 2018, the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston) ran an exhibition on ‘Art in the Age of the Internet’, that examined how ‘the internet has radically changed the field of art, especially in its production, distribution, and reception’ (Respini, 2018). This exhibition is connected to a wider ongoing discourse within the arts on digital media (Gere, 2004, 2006) and the impact this is having upon museums and galleries. Therefore it is not surprising to see that in recent years there has been a growing recognition of the urgent need to actively collect and preserve digital art and digital graphics – material which is inherently ephemeral.  Archives have been tempted to wait until a top down collections management system is developed. This has resulted in gaps in collections.There is a consensus emerging that researchers and archivists urgently need to take a DIY, active approach to collecting digital content as near to the time of its publication as possible. Unlike physical collections, there is less chance of acquiring large collections of digital content at a later date, long after the material was created. This is because material on digital platforms are fleeting, with people entrusting storage of their digital creations to third-party proprietorial platforms whose commitment to the long term preservation of material is uncertain:     

“Digital works increasingly operate within a culture that replaces ownership with access. The idea that anything is accessible anytime online changes the motivation to collect and archive within the personal sphere. Personal cultural material is now embedded in proprietary software and third party platforms where responsibility for its longevity in a fast changing technological environment is ambiguous. Certainly, the ability to capture the online object within the context which makes it meaningful recedes as time passes […] digital collecting is best approached as a process of rapid response.” (CCDP 2018) 

One only needs to think of the demise of Myspace, a once-popular social media platform and a medium for sharing artwork and music, which recently lost all content uploaded by users before 2016, to recognise how transient and vulnerable our individual and collective digital heritage is. (Hern  2019)

Capturing Context and Circulation

Another challenge in collecting and archiving digital images and artworks is capturing the contexts and the patterns of circulation which make the images meaningful. Simply saving a digital graphic as an individual image file severs the image from its context. One challenge has been in capturing the interactive web environments in which digital graphics are published, republished and commented upon by users of Web 2.0. The sharing and modification of images online by a variety of actors is increasingly rapid and dynamic. For example, people can change the meaning of an image by reposting it on social media with a different caption, presenting new opportunities for engaged political citizenship and satire (Agbo 2018). This, along with the growing availability of digital editing tools, which are often embedded within the interface of social media platforms themselves, also allow users to easily edit the visual content of images, leaving them ripe for subversion and parody. Social media users quickly respond to each other in a humorous, conversational form, in ways which reframe images, reference earlier posts and trade ‘in-jokes’. In such exchanges users demonstrate their visual literacy and quick textual wit (Dike 2018). As both the content and context of digital images is endlessly mutating, it doesn’t make sense to archive once instance of an image, or even to think in terms of individual images. A recent report by the Collecting and Curating Digital Posters (CCDP) project recommends thinking in terms of “graphic events” rather than discrete images in order to reflect the ongoing social practices in which images are referenced, negotiated and transformed.  We should capture many iterations of the same image, the way in which they have migrated, the online environments in which they are encountered, and the ways audiences have interacted and commented on the images. The CCDP project recommends using the open-source tool Web-Recorder, in which collectors ‘record’ a web session, allowing them to capture their experience of browsing a website, trace the circulation of images online and record the ways in which it was possible to interact with digital graphics within native software and social media environments. These ‘sessions’ can be saved and played back by future users of the archive using the open source Web Recorder Player.  

There are problems in capturing such phenomenon in retrospect.  The rapidly changing appearance and technological environment of social media platforms introduces temporal distortion when searching social media platforms for, say, memes produced in response to a particular political controversy in 2014. We need to capture such phenomena as soon as possible. This requires us to be active and embedded users of the web in order to spot emerging visual trends as they occur.      

‘The archival infrastructure in the case of the Internet is only ever temporary, in response to its permanent dynamic rewriting. Ultimate knowledge (the old encyclopedia model) gives way to the principle of permanent rewriting or addition. ‘ (Ernst, 2013:85)

Storage and Access: Open Source Solutions.

‘Our obsession with memory functions as a reaction formation against the accelerating technical processes that our transforming our Lebenswelt (lifeworld) in quite distinct ways. [Memory] represents the attempt to slow down information processing, to resist the dissolution of time in the synchronicity of the archive, to recover a mode of contemplation outside the universe of simulation, and fast-speed information and cable networks, to claim some anchoring space in a world of puzzling and often threatening heterogeneity, non-synchronicity, and information overload’. (Husseyn, 1994)

Any discussion of a digital archive necessitates an active engagement with technological apparatus in order to consider the relationship between a technological environment and the production of (and obsession with) memory (Husseyn 1994). Storage and preservation are key aspects to any discussion on digital archiving, and as digital technologies accelerate their pace of change, paradoxically, so must a digital archive respond to this by mitigating against it. 

Storage and preservation

A question we faced in designing the ArtoP project was which software we should use for digital preservation and storage. Digital preservation can be difficult as the file formats we may take for granted now can become obsolescent in future – the software which opens them can disappear, rendering the contents of a file irretrievable. We therefore wanted to ensure that material was packaged in stable file formats, adhered to widely agreed-upon archival standards, and was stored securely. We identified Archivematica as the ideal software for our purposes. 

Archivematica is an open source, web-based digital preservation system that is used by a variety of institutions. The fact that the software is open access and free to install and operate actually ensures greater longevity. Proprietary software, tied to the variable fortunes of individual companies, are more liable to disappear than open source projects, which enjoy the support of an active community of users and developers. 

Archivematica is not a single piece of software but rather an ecosystem containing a number of tools, components and specifications which run the ‘microservices’ necessary to preserve digital content. For example, one of the microservices performed by Archivematica is called ‘normalisation’. During normalisation the files you upload are converted into preservation-friendly formats, using an active list of stable and accessible file formats compiled and updated by the UK National Archives. This provides some insurance against the rapid cycles of change and obsolescence which characterise the life of file formats. 

Archivematica’s core functions are as follows: 

  • User submits data to Archivematica in the form of Submission Information Packages (SIPs)
  • From the SIPs, Archivematica creates Archival Information Packages (AIPs) for the long term preservation of data.
  • Archivematica stores (and backs up) AIPs
  • Archivematica creates Dissemination Information Packages (DIPs) to export content to populate an archival access system, such as Access to Memory (AtoM), Archive Space, Figleaf etc.

Ensuring Access

As mentioned earlier, another priority of the project was to make a selected range of images from the archive available for public consumption through a public archive hosted on a web-based platform. Increasingly users of archives wish to be able to actively interact with collections and desire wider access (Fossati 2009), challenges which digital access and display offers potential solutions to.  For this process we are opting for the web-based access platform Access to Memory (AtoM).  

Like Archivematica, AtoM is open source – it is free to use, free to share and free to develop. All documentation is freely available online. This is complemented by a supportive community of users, who communicate and solve problems using a google mailing list, as well as by congregating in person at the UK User Group’s meetings, which are attended by a number of archivists and librarians from prestigious UK universities.

AtoM supports the use of a choice of widely agreed-upon archival standards for describing archival objects. This enables digital images to be presented along with explanatory context, or metadata, crucial to its understanding. Using archival descriptive standards also means there is the potential for us to link the material to larger aggregators of archival holdings, and material on our access page could be discovered by people using archival search portals such as Archives Hub.

Crucially, AtoM is also integrated into Archivematica – the two systems were developed by the same company and are configured to ‘speak’ to one another.  Archivematica produces Dissemination Information Packages (DIPs) that can populate AtoM with images, video and metadata. 

We also liked how AtoM can be customised according to the diverse needs of different organisations and audiences. We aim to hold workshops in Lagos to ask for feedback from Nigerians as to how they think material should be described and presented to the public, and we will attempt to customise our AtoM page accordingly. Rather than projecting our own assumptions on the material by presenting it in certain ways, we are eager to have this determined by local knowledge and needs, as well as local technological landscapes (see below). Moreover, Atom features multi-lingual support, with the potential to add translations, making the material relevant to different audiences. Our aspiration is for the public side of the archive to be a resource for Nigerian citizens, artists and researchers. 

We are inspired by the wide range of institutions that have used and customised AtoM in creative and innovative ways to present visual context, ranging from the Glasgow School of Arts to The Chinese Canadian Artefacts Project. We are currently exploring and brainstorming ways of customising AtoM. 

Local technological landscapes 

One of the considerations we need to bear in mind when customising our web-based access system is the local technological landscapes used by our primary audience: Nigerians. Digital technology has been harnessed by Nigerian artists and citizens to make political critiques, and has afforded Nigerians with new strategic opportunities to produce and circulate indigenous knowledge within global flows of information. Many Nigerians primarily access the internet using smartphones. Thus we need to consider designing our web-based access system in ways which are suitable for mobile browsers.  Additionally, to align with the UN Sustainability Development Goals, we are keen to ensure that access to this archive for educational purposes is designed for Nigerian users and their specific technological landscape, in order for it to have the greatest impact in Nigeria (and other African countries). Therefore, we also need to ensure that our website is accessible to users whose bandwidth may be limited and for whom mobile data is a significant expense. This might involve customising file normalisation in Archivematica in order to produce lower resolution image and video files for access purposes, which will load much quicker for users with slower internet connections or limited data. 

We are still in a development phase and will be researching the local technological landscape in Nigeria further, as well as soliciting advice from Nigerians as to the form our access system should take. 

In the meantime we wanted to take this opportunity to share our experiences, and hope to forge new relations with academics that may also be considering approaches to digital archiving. We hope to see our research extending to considering a range of formats and elements that may contribute to the generation of digital still or moving images and that sit within a more complex pipelines such as those in CGI for example, and the implications of this to archival practices.

Therefore, any feedback from readers of this blogpost is of course welcome – please contact 

PI Dr. Paula Callus – pcallus@bournemouth.ac.uk

CoI Dr. Charles Gore – cg2@soas.ac.uk

RA Dr. Malcolm Corrigall – mcorrigall@bournemouth.ac.uk

Bibliography

Agbo, George Emeka, (2018).  “The Struggle Complex: Facebook, Visual Critique and the tussle for Political Power in Nigeria” Cariers D’étude Africaines 230, pp.469-89.

CCDP, (2018). Collecting and Curating Digital Posters Handbook, https://ccdgp.co.uk/index.html.  

Dike, Deborah N. (2018), “Countering Political Narratives through Nairaland Meme Pictures” Cahiers D’étude Africaines 230: pp.493–512

Ernst, W. (2013), Digital Memory and the Archive, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

Gere, C. (2006), Art, Time and Technology, Oxford: Berg Publishers.

Fossati, G. (2009), From Grain to Pixel, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Hern, A. (2019) “Myspace loses all content uploaded before 2016”, The Guardian, March 18.  https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/mar/18/myspace-loses-all-content-uploaded-before-2016 

Haskins, E. (2007), ‘Between Archive and Participation: Public Memory in a Digital Age’, in Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Vol.37, pp. 401-422.

Huyssen A. (1994), Twilight Memories: Marking Time in a Culture of Amnesia, London p.253.

 

AHRC Peer Review College call for nominations

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is seeking nominations for new members to be appointed to its Peer Review College (PRC).

Peer review lies at the heart of the AHRC’s operations, and they are fully committed to the principle of peer review for the assessment of applications to our schemes and programmes. PRC members provide expert quality reviews of applications within their areas of expertise, which inform the AHRC’s decision making processes. Members can also be called upon to sit on assessment or moderation panels. As well as making an important contribution to the AHRC’s peer review processes, the experience gained by membership of the College provides benefits to individuals, departments and higher education institutions.

This is an open call for membership to the AHRC Peer Review College; nominees can also apply for membership to any of our individual colleges in addition to the Academic College. The Call for Nominations is open to any organisation that has eligible staff (including organisations from the charitable, third and private sector) and who can supply eligible nominators.

The nomination process must be centrally managed and supported by the institution (not the nominee), with all nominations being submitted by institutions rather than individual nominees.

Please refer to the PRC Recruitment 2019 Call Document (PDF, 282KB) and the FAQ Document (PDF, 182KB) for further information and application guidance. Whilst the deadline for nominations is 16:00 on 15 October 2019, the internal BU deadline is 8th October 2019. Nominees must create a Je-S account to complete the process and nominators must complete their case for support via the nominee. Once this is completed, Jo Garrad, RDS Funding Development Manager, will submit all nominations via the SmartSurvey, uploading one PDF document comprising of the CV, publication list (from the nominee), and Case for Support (from the nominator).

If you are considering applying to the AHRC peer review college than please make me (Jo Garrad) aware of your intentions by 25th September 2019. I will be happy to discuss this further with anyone who is interested in applying. Being an external peer reviewer comes with many benefits, such as networking with peers, direct contact with a funder, and visibility of world-leading research applications to name but a few.

If successful, College members will be appointed for one term (4 years) commencing 1 January 2020 and ending 31 December 2023.

New PRC members are required to attend an induction session. Induction training will run from January-March 2020 and invitations will be sent to successful nominees during December.

GCRF Collective Programme Pre- Call Announcements

WATCH THIS SPACE! The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Collective Programme calls will be announced shortly.  If you are interested or require support please contact Alexandra Pekalski or call on 01202 961204. You can also find deadlines, town meeting information and expected launch dates here

Applicants from all relevant disciplines are encouraged to apply for each call and proposals should be challenge-led and interdisciplinary in nature notwithstanding which council is leading. The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) GCRF Collective Programme is a series of calls designed to enhance the overall impact across the six strategic GCRF Challenge portfolios:

  • Cities and Sustainable Infrastructure
  • Education
  • Food Systems
  • Global Health
  • Resilience to Environmental Shocks and Change
  • Security Protracted Conflict, Refugee Crises and Forced Displacement

The programme is an interdisciplinary programme delivered by UK Research and Innovation and steered by the GCRF Challenge Leaders.

Please contact Alexandra Pekalski or call on 01202 961204 for further information and support.

Opportunity to Develop Bidding Skills

Mentoring relationships can take time to forge. We offer an opportunity to cultivate your expertise in developing research bids by joining a specific bidding team from the outset of its project.

Are you interested in learning more about how to go about applying for research funding, particularly larger Research Council bids? Would you like to gain experience by joining us in the process of developing, writing and submitting a large bid to the AHRC?

Are you intrigued by concepts such as student co-creation, generational issues and concerns, the use of media in learning and dissemination, social work, social psychology and narrative methods—all with teens?

We are looking for one or two academics with an interest in not only developing their expertise in grant writing, but also participating in a research and dissemination project involving Generation Z youth.  Working with experts with success in writing large grant proposals, you will engage in the process, from the very beginning through submission. You also will have the opportunity to develop a role that you might play in the project itself, when successful. Win-win, in other words.

Please see the outline article in the AHRC blog for more information on the proposed project. https://ahrc-blog.com/2018/04/09/how-ahrc-funded-film-rufus-stone-inspired-a-project-on-the-next-generation/

The team (so far) includes:

Kip Jones Qualitative Research and Performative Social Sci FHSS & FMC

Trevor Hearing Studio media production FMC

Lee-Ann Fenge Social Work and creative participation in research HSS

Michelle Cannon Senior Teaching Fellow in Media Arts Education UCL

Helen Walsh Dorset Space Youth Project CEO

Alexandra Pekalski and Eva Papadopoulou RKEO, BU

If this offer of mentorship in grant proposal writing seems interesting to you, please contact Kip Jones for an informal discussion. mailto:kipworld@gmail.com

Skam”, the Norwegian TV series about Oslo teenagers, has influenced our concept and will be used to engage local youth in telling their own stories.

AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinkers 2019 scheme launched

The Arts & Humanities Research Council and BBC Radio 3 are on the lookout for a new generation of arts and humanities broadcasters.

The New Generation Thinkers 2019 scheme has been launched with a call for entries.  Once again, ten academics will be given the chance to front engaging and innovative programmes on BBC Radio 3 and beyond, as well as working with the AHRC on public engagement opportunities.

Now in its ninth year, the scheme aims to cultivate talented, articulate academics into exceptional all-round communicators. It provides a variety of training opportunities and the chance to work with world-class broadcasters from across the BBC.

The 2019 New Generation Thinkers scheme is open now to early career researchers from all research backgrounds, provided their research is linked to one or more arts and humanities disciplines.

The ten chosen academics will be picked from a shortlist of 60 applicants who will all be given the chance to attend one of three workshops to develop their media skills and receive guidance from experienced BBC producers.

The final ten – selected by a panel of BBC programme makers – will then be given media training by the AHRC and the unique opportunity to develop a 15-minute programme based on their research for BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking, as well many other opportunities to appear on air.

For more information on the call – which is open until 4pm on, Thursday 4 October 2018 – and details of eligibility and how to apply please visit the New Generation Thinkers 2019 call page here.

Prestigious Prize to be awarded to BU Paralympic Project

Bournemouth University Faculty of Management colleagues Dr Emma Pullen and Professor Michael Silk, and Faculty of Media and Communication colleagues, Dr Dan Jackson and Dr Richard Scullion will be making headlines at the International Communication Association (ICA) annual conference (Sports Communication Division) in May 2018. They are being awarded the prestigious ICA best paper prize.

The paper is based on early findings from the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project (grant ref: AH/P003842/1) on the cultural legacy of the 2016 Rio Paralympics. It is the first study of its kind to explore the mediation of para-sport broadcasting by highlighting the production decisions taken by the UK’s official Paralympic Broadcaster and the impact on audience perceptions and attitudes toward disability. Alongside academic outputs, the findings will be also translated into a number of creative artworks and a documentary film available to the public toward the end of the project.

Keep up to date with our progress via our project website www.pasccal.com, twitter:@pasccalproject, and the BU research blog.

ECR Highlight Notice in the AHRC Leadership Fellowships scheme

RCUK has received funding through the National Productivity Investment Fund to develop a fellowship programme targeted at early career researchers (ECRs). These fellowships will be a step change in the support provided by the Research Councils to the research leaders of the future, enabling some of the UK’s most talented researchers to undertake major new innovation orientated, intellectual endeavours.

Applications of up to £250k (fEC) are invited through a highlight notice in the Leadership Fellows Scheme. The RCUK/UKRI Innovation Fellowships will allow ECRs to explore interdisciplinary research challenges and partnerships to the economic benefit of the UK.

For this highlight notice some of the eligibility of the Leadership Fellows Scheme has been waived and so it is important to read the FAQ and call documents before applying.

There are three thematic strands under which applications can be made

  1. Creative and Digital Economy Innovation Leadership Fellows
  2. Inter-disciplinary Interface Innovation Leadership Fellows
  3. Rutherford Fund Fellows- specifically aimed at non UK applicants.

Applicants should apply under the strand which most strongly reflects their research focus and their own circumstances.

For the Rutherford Fellows the proposed research will need to fall within the scope of one of the other strands (a or b).

Closing Dates

Closing Date: 31/05/2018

Applications to the highlight notice can be submitted no later than 4pm on Thursday 31st May 2018.  Applications will need to go through the appropriate institution submission process. Applications should be submitted using the Research Councils’ Joint electronic Submission (Je-S) System (https://jes.rcuk.ac.uk/).  If you are interested in applying, please inform your RKEO Funding Development Officer in the first instance.

How to make an application

To meet the aims of the UKRI Innovation Fellowship Scheme, there are some modifications to the standard AHRC Leadership Fellows (ECR route) scheme which applicants need to consider and these are outlined in the call document. All other requirements are as normal for early career AHRC Leadership Fellows, as specified in the AHRC Research Funding Guide.

Further Information

Contacts

Gillian Gray Portfolio Manager g.gray@ahrc.ac.uk

James Dracott Strategy and Development Manger j.dracott@ahrc.ac.uk