Public Policy Engagement Training – Autumn 2015

(1/2 day workshops at 6 locations)

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The AHRC has awarded funding to WRoCAH and the Midlands3CitiesDoctoral Training Partnership to run public policy skills-based activities.

The aim of the training is to ensure that researchers are linked to stakeholders (policy-makers, practitioners, academics and alumni who engage with policy etc.) and to work with postgraduate and early career researchers onthe development of your ideas.

We are rolling out this training by running Think Tanks in each city (Nottingham, Leicester, Birmingham, York, Leeds and Sheffield) duringNovember and December which are open to all interested research students and postdoctoral early career researchers.

The Think-tank sessions are free to attend, places are available on a first come first served basis by registration using this link: http://bit.ly/think-tank-signup

Click on each session below to find out more.

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Gender and Racial Inequalities in Academia (History and Policy)

Location

Leicester

Date

11 November 2015

Time

12:30 – 16:00


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This workshop will encourage students to formulate university policies and plan initiatives to encourage action and awareness around issues of gender and racial inequality in academia, particularly in the humanities and social sciences.  For example, only 20.8% of History Professors are women and in 2012/13 only 1.8% of undergraduates and just 0.5% of postgraduate students in history identified as Black British.  This think tank should be of interest to those interested in policymaking for institutions and workplace that foster inequalities.

  • Henrietta O’Connor (Professor of Sociology University of Leicester), the co-chair of the Equality and Diversity Committee, will talk about how the University of Leicester is tackling gender inequality as part of its United Nations HeForShe pledge. Her research includes issues relating to equality, diversity and social mobility. She recently co-authored a paper published in ‘Nature’ which examined gender bias in research grant funding (see: Women are funded more fairly in social science, Nature, 10 September 2015 DOI: 10.1038/525181a).
  • The former Vice-President of Royal Historical Society, Nicola Miller (University College London) will lead a workshop on how university departments could tackle gender inequality and remove barriers to progression in response to the Royal Historical Society’s 2015 report on Gender Inequality in Higher Education.
  • Cecile Wright formerly Professor of Sociology at Nottingham Trent University for 13 years is currently at the University of Nottingham as an honorary academic and independent researcher. She was the first black female professor in the East Midlands and specialises in the areas of education, youth, social mobility and social exclusion. She is also a member of the Centre for Research in Race and Rights at Nottingham. She will lead a workshop on black women’s experiences of British academia, and ask students to consider methods of intervention and transformation.

 


History, Politics and Inequalities

Location

Sheffield

Date

18 November 2015

Time

12:30 – 16:00

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This session draws upon research on spatial inequalities, and will be of particular interest to students in geography, philosophy, politics and law, in understanding how they can shape national and global agendas.

The session will:

(a) allow students to hear from and engage with those whose research has policy application

(b) give students the opportunity to discuss options for the application of their own research to policy in this area

(c) offer students the opportunity to develop a more focused aspect to their policy engagement Action Plan

  • Dr Adrian Bingham joined the History Department at Sheffield in 2006. His main research interests are in the political, social and cultural history of twentieth-century Britain. He has worked extensively on the national popular press in the decades after 1918, examining the ways in which newspapers both reflected and shaped attitudes to gender, sexuality and class. His first monograph explored press debates about femininity and masculinity in the inter-war period. His second book, Family Newspapers? Sex, Private Life and the British Popular Press 1918-1978, explored the role of the press as a source of information and imagery about sex, morality and personal relationships. He is also interested in the history of press regulation, and conducted a project examining the Calcutt Report of 1990 and the establishment of the Press Complaints Commission. He is involved in the Stories of Activism project, which explore Sheffield’s rich history of activism and collects campaign stories, memories and objects from 1960 to the present. Adrian is a Senior Editor, and member of the Management Committee, of History & Policy, which works for better public policy through an understanding of history by connecting historians, policy makers and the media. Adrian’s work on press regulation was cited in Lord Justice Leveson’s report, An Inquiry into the Culture, Practices and Ethics of the Press (November 2012). His historical evidence to the NHS/ Department of Health enquiries into the activities of Jimmy Savile (delivered in 2013) was cited in four public reports on the Savile scandal in 2014-15. He has recently worked as a Co-I on the ESRC Urgency Grant funded project, ‘Historicizing “historical child sexual abuse” cases: social, political and criminal justice contexts’ which seeks to inform public policy-making about recent scandals.
  •  Prof. William Gould is Professor of Indian History at the University of Leeds. He has published recent monographs entitled Bureaucracy, Community and Influence: Society and the State in India, 1930-1960s and Religion and Conflict in South Asia. His work on corruption and anti-corruption has resulted in an impact project involving collaboration with a Right to Information (RTI) NGO in Lucknow, India. His research has also helped to develop an electronic Public Information Centre which allows communities in Uttar Pradesh to access information on government projects. He was the PI for a major collaborative AHRC-funded project which explored the shift from colonial rule to independence in three sites on the Indian subcontinent with the aim of unravelling the explicit meanings and relevance of ‘independence’ for the new citizens of India and Pakistan in the two decades immediately following 1947. The project researched, specifically, the forms of cultural capital used by ordinary Indians and Pakistanis in their attempts to make sense of the state, and how that in turn has shaped the new states’ operation.
  • Alice Sachrajda is a graduate of the Universities of Sheffield and LSE and an experienced researcher specialising in qualitative and participatory research methods. For the past 10 years she has worked in the social sector where she has developed expertise in carrying out creative research and producing innovative and imaginative outputs. Prior to becoming a consultant she worked as a Senior Research Fellow for the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) where she specialised in immigration policy, migrant integration and community cohesion. From 2014-15 she was seconded to The Young Foundation, which is one of WRoCAH’s core external partners. The Young Foundation is named after its founder, Michael Young, author of the Labour Party manifesto which brought Clement Attlee’s government to power in 1945, and key figure in shaping the post-war welfare state. Whilst working for the Young Foundation Alice designed a creative programme of ethnographic and participatory research for Amplify – a movement of regional transformation based in Northern Ireland. As a member of our expert panel she will draw upon her experience to talk about how research can have a public policy impact.
  • The Think Tank will also be facilitated by Jennifer Chubb, Research Innovation Officer in Researcher Development in the University of York, where she is responsible for development opportunities in the areas of research impact, knowledge transfer, public engagement and enterprise. Jenn is currently undertaking a part-time PhD in the Department of Education on ‘The research impact agenda and academics’ perceptions on public duty: perspectives from the UK and Australia’, which explores the moral relationship between research and public duty. Her research interests arise from her academic background in philosophy and ethics and her professional practice within Higher Education. She has a particular interest in research policy, specifically research ethics and impact, and has delivered training and development activities in a variety of institutions, nationally and internationally. She has recently been trained by the Parliamentary Outreach Service to deliver training on how to engage with parliament. Jenn’s professional practice is enhanced by her research interests.

Art and Activism

Location

Nottingham

Date

25 November 2015

Time

10:00 – 17:00

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This workshop forms part of a series of discussions taking place under the aegis of ‘Cultural Policy from Below’. It asks what current practices in community-led, grassroots and activist cultural production might lend themselves to propositions for cultural policy. Facilitators Boseda Olawoye, Robert Howie Smith and Janna Graham specifically address urban arts practices that skirt around, slow down, intervene in, or are entirely forgotten in contemporary processes of urban gentrification. Working against the, by now well-known, narratives about the complicity of  artists and cultural workers (the so-called creative class) in exploitative urban development processes, what do these practices tell us about an emergent set of policies articulated from below? Do they or should they interface with existing policy frameworks? What would and should this interface look like?

  • Robert Howie Smithwill describe a twenty-year project of turning empty spaces into the homes for self-generated arts and culture in the cities of London, Liverpool, Nottingham and Leicester.
  • Boseda Olawoye, an Independent Learning Curator, will describe how grassroots community-led cultural work suggests the issues that people care about beyond stated policy agendas by drawing on her work as an educator and curator in Nottingham communities.
  • Janna GrahamHead of Public Programmes and Research at Nottingham Contemporary will describe the instrumentalisation of artistic work in the ‘consultation’ exercises of urban planners and responses by artist-activists working to fight against the displacement of working class communities, drawing from examples and experiences in London’s Edgware Road and Elephant and Castle neighbourhoods.


Culture and Society

Location

Leeds

Date

2 December 2015

Time

12:30 – 16:00

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The session will explore how work in the creative and performing arts can have a public impact and will consider how cultural statistics can be captured so as to influence policy frameworks.

The session will:

(a) allow students to hear from and engage with those whose research has policy application

(b) give students the opportunity to discuss options for the application of their own research to policy in this area

(c) offer students the opportunity to develop a more focused aspect to their policy engagement Action Plan

  • Dr Helen Graham is Research Fellow in Tangible and Intangible Heritage at the University of Leeds. Helen’s current research explores questions of democracy and publicness through the technical, practical and ethical sites of co-production of knowledge and exhibits, of intellectual access to museums for people with learning difficulties and of copyright and informed consent. Helen’s research and teaching interests directly flow from practical experience working in learning and access teams in museums and coordinating community heritage projects concerned with the co-production of knowledge, archives and exhibits. She was the PI for a recently completed major AHRC Connected Communities project entitled: ‘How should decisions about heritage be made?: Co-designing a research project’.
  • Dr Jasjit Singh is University Academic Fellow in Religious and Cultural Transmission in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Leeds; he was previously employed as a Postdoctoral Research and Impact Fellow in the Faculty of Arts. His impact work focuses on examining how academics can engage with community and voluntary organisations and on the civic role of the university. As part of Arts Engaged at Leeds, he was part of a team which was concerned with helping to ensure that research makes a difference. His own research focuses on the religious and cultural lives of South Asians in Britain, with a particular focus on methods of religious and cultural “transmission”. His presentation will draw upon an AHRC-funded critical review of the place and value of South Asian arts in Britain including research and reports published by academics, arts funding bodies and South Asian arts organisations and his doctoral research which examined religious transmission among 18-30 year old British Sikhs.

 


Religion, Education and Government

Location

Birmingham

Date

9 December 2015

Time

13:00 – 16:00

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In recent public debate it has been argued that the teaching of religion in state schools could aid social cohesion, particularly since we are living in such a pluralist society.  Schools and universities provide formal, safe spaces for students to encounter and explore differences of belief.  However, a good case can be made to suggest that during the last decade Religious Education has been neglected in favour of other subjects as conceded by the former Education Secretary Michael Gove This brought with it a side-lining of the value of religious education.

Looking at the world today, it is hard to overstate the importance of equipping young people with a challenging and rigorous education that includes religious literacy. Through presentations and table discussions this session will look at whether the proposed changes to RE will facilitate this (covering two religions at GCSE level), and look at Professor Woodhead and Charles Clarke’s recent report which argues that in a diverse and multi religious society religious education should support students in their understanding of individuals who hold different beliefs, whether these are explicitly religious or not.

This will be supplemented by a discussion of how academics can or should take part and shape this debate at a national policy level and looking ahead at directions of academic research that can play a constructive and pro-active role in shaping public policy on this increasingly pressing global and national issue.

  • Baroness Elizabeth Berridge is a working peer in the House of Lords and Principal Investigator for the Commonwealth Initiative for the Freedom of Religion or Belief project hosted in the Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion.
  • Andrew Copson, Chief Executive – The British Humanist Society – Chief Executive at the British Humanist Association, leading the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. Promoting humanism, a secular state, and supporting the non-religious with representation and services.
  • Professor Francis Davis – is an honorary professor in the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham, where he also serves on the leadership of the Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion. His expertise is in the intersection of business, social enterprise, higher education, and government. Professor Davis has served asspecial advisor to the United Kingdom Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government under both Labour and Conservative governments, becoming the first full time cabinet level advisor on faith, faith communities, and social action.
  • Dr Sarah Hall, University of Birmingham School of Education, Lecturer in Religious Education – School of Education – Sarah is passionate about the role that good Religious Education has in shaping young people lives and equipping them for the modern world as reflective and tolerant thinkers. She has an extensive vocabulary of teaching and learning strategies which inspire pupils to enquire and respond to religion in a creative and reflective way and has detailed knowledge of, and understanding of, the Religious Education/Religious Studies syllabuses within both faith and non-faith schools. Recently, she was the Secondary RE school-based adviser for the Manchester Diocesan and as such, has experience of working with colleagues across the Diocesan and beyond on current RE national developments. She has worked at local and national level writing, developing and trialling Religious Education syllabuses and resources, the most recent being a contributor to the new Oldham Religious Education Syllabus “Thinking, Enquiry, Creativity, Response” (2014-2019)
  • Alison Young, Head of RE King Edwards VII School – Alison Young is Head of Religious Studies at King Edward VI High School for Girls in Birmingham. Awarded the Greig prize for outstanding work in method she has contributed to PGCE and Postgraduate programmes at the University of Birmingham and is currently working with Drs Wollaston and Hempel on projects sponsored by the Rothschild Foundation and the Marie Curie fund. She is a Farmington Fellow of Harris Manchester college, Oxford. A committed classroom practitioner, Alison is passionate about the subject she has championed for over thirty years.
  • Reverend Jane Brooke– Canon Chancellor at Chester Cathedral – Jane taught RE for over 20 years with ages from ages 3 to 18 years. She worked for CEM (now REtoday services) for 5 years and in local authorities for over 10 years as RE Adviser, Senior Curriculum Adviser and Principal Secondary Improvement Adviser. She has trained as an Ofsted inspector (RE, Maths, PSHCE) and Church School Inspector (Section 48) and still carries out Church School Inspections. Jane was chair of NASACRE for two years and the English representative on EFTRE (European Forum for teachers of Religious Education) for 9 years. She was RE Project development Officer for 3 years for the National Society and was involved in the National Survey on RE. She has lead RE professional development for teachers nationally and internationally and is currently an independent consultant working for schools and LAs as a School Improvement Partner and RE Adviser. She is  Principal Consultant for Chester Diocese, sub-editor for REToday,  vice chair of AREIAC and one of the project managers for the RE Quality Mark. Jane has published teaching materials on teaching Christianity for teachers in Chester Diocese and is also author of ‘The RE Teacher’s Survival Guide’

 


Archaeology and History: Food and Wellbeing

Location

York

Date

14 December 2015
(PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE)

Time

12:30 – 16:00

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The session will show how research into the past, and methodologies drawn from archaeological science, can influence current policy on food safety and diet. We also hope to show how historical research and influence global health policy.

The session will:

(a) allow students to hear from and engage with those whose research has policy application

(b) give students the opportunity to discuss options for the application of their own research to policy in this area

(c) offer students the opportunity to develop a more focused aspect to their policy engagement Action Plan

  • Dr Alexander Medcalf is a researcher within the Centre for Global Health Histories at the University of York, working on the Global Health Histories seminar series, run by the World Health Organization and the University York, which is based on the principle that understanding the history of health, especially during the last 60 years, helps the global public health community to respond to the challenges of today and help shape a healthier future. The events bring historians and social scientists from around the world to discuss and debate topical issues in global health with WHO policymakers. In his presentation Alex will introduce the series and the variety of opportunities for engagement that it has generated, including live webcasts, international exhibitions and outreach publications. Alex will also reflect on his role as an Outreach Historian based at the University of York, the opportunities, challenges and experiences that this has provided, and how his individual research interests have been shaped by the role.
  • Dr Iona McCleery is Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Leeds. She has recently completed a project funded by the Wellcome Trust entitled: “You are what you Ate: Food Lessons from the Past“, which was the basis of a REF Impact Case study. This examined questions such as: “How did food affect our ancestors? How can we learn from the past to improve our health?” The project encouraged discussion of modern nutrition in the Yorkshire region by presenting archaeological, visual and textual evidence from the medieval and early-modern periods (12th-17th centuries) to initiate public debate and reflection on eating behaviours. Her work with Wakefield Council has been quoted by the BBC as using archaeological and historical research to help “experts tackle the growing childhood obesity problem.” She is also coordinator of the WRoCAH studentship network ‘Faith in Food, Food in Faith’. The network brings together three students and six research supervisors in the fields of molecular archaeology, nutritional epidemiology, zooarchaeology, history of food and medicine and artefactual archaeology. Each researcher investigates the relationships between food, health, religion, social status, migration and identity from different disciplinary and chronological perspectives.
  • Matthew Collins is Professor of Archaeology at the University of York and founder of BioArCh, a joint initiative between the Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Archaeology to further the use of biomolecular methods to tackle archaeological problems. His presentation will demonstrate how archaeological science can contribute to the public policy debate about healthy eating, and he will draw upon an impact case study from REF2014. Demand for cheap meat has increased the potential for fraudulent food labeling, which exploded in public debate in 2009 and 2013. Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry (ZooMS) is a technology originally developed to identify bone fragments from archaeological sites by determining the sequence of the bone protein, collagen. By applying this research to the food industry we have provided evidence of fraud. In 2009 ZooMS identified pig and cow gelatin being pumped into chicken meat to increase weight. Action taken by the food producers when confronted with our research respected the beliefs of up to 3.8million people in the UK who choose to avoid pig and cow products.