Eastern Arc hosts a range of online debates, discussions and information events to help colleagues across the consortium to understand and engage with the issues that will affect them, their research and their innovation. We also support events held at our member institutions that fit with our ethos and our thematic priorities, and enable a wider group of colleagues to attend them.
These complement our position papers, which set out where we stand in relation to current issues in the wider research and innovation environment.
Where possible, we make the recordings and slides from these events available afterwards. Click on the links below to catch up with our past events, as well as finding out about those on the horizon.
This year our conference will focus on our ‘Collaborative Coast’. It takes place on 22 September 2022 at Wivenhoe House at the University of Essex.
It will be a chance for academics and regional stakeholders to come together to discuss key questions facing the coast, from addressing health inequalities to preparing for climate change, from harnessing renewable energy to supporting our creative community.
We are now inviting applications (using this form) from both stakeholders and academics to lead one of the conference’s eight parallel workshops.
You can suggest questions that need to be answered or problems that need to be solved. You can offer case studies of projects that have worked – or, indeed, projects that haven’t worked – and what we can learn from them. They can be talks, panel sessions, interactive workshops or discussion groups: the choice is yours.
The deadline for submissions is 30 June 2022. We’ll let you know whether your idea has been chosen shortly after. We’ll then open up the conference for registration in August with details of the full programme.
For more information, or if you have any questions, contact us via this email.
In 2021 the Chief Medical Officer looked at health in coastal communities, and suggested that the available data on health and wellbeing were poor. He recommended that this should be addressed.
Eastern Arc is taking the first steps towards doing this.
On 19 July and 21 July it will host two workshops at which stakeholders in NHS trusts, local authorities, charities and third sector organisations will be invited to discuss and identify the common and specific issues they face around data.
The workshops will take the format of ‘open space’ sandpits, as have been used recently by UEA (in consulting on its civic mission) and Essex (in identifying interdisciplinary projects).
The events will be followed up by a survey over the summer. Evidence from these three initiatives will be collated and used as a basis for designing interventions in the autumn and winter.
The workshops are free and open to anyone with an interest in or responsibility for collecting, collating and using health data. Both events are the same; you can choose which of the two you want to attend.
If you would like to take part, click on the links below. Spaces are strictly limited, and will be available on a first come, first served basis. The events are being held at the University of Essex, as the geographically central university of the Eastern Arc region.
UKRI published its five year strategy in March, and each of the research councils are currently working on their delivery plans to support this strategy. Their budget allocation has just been announced, and now is a good time to take stock and look forward to what is in store for the councils.
The largest of the councils is the Engineering and Physical Sciences Council (EPSRC). The University of Kent has invited EPSRC’s Head of International Development, Ellie Gilvin, to talk about its plans and what is on the horizon for the council. Her role will enable her to talk about EPSRC’s plans for international collaboration, but she will also be able to discuss the council’s intentions more broadly.
Kent has kindly opened up the event to members of the Eastern Arc: UEA, Essex and Kent. It is free and open to all, but you must register to take part. To do so, click on the link here.
Eastern Arc will be hosting a research funding webinar with the Wellcome Trust on 27 June at 12noon. It will look at the opportunities for those working in the humanities and social sciences.
It is online, free and open to all. To register click here.
Wellcome is a charitable foundation focused on funding and supporting health-related research. This includes research in the humanities and social sciences, and this event is a chance to hear about the opportunities in this area following Wellcome’s announcement of its new strategy.
The session will be led by Dr Thomas Bray. Dr Bray is a Senior Research Manager in the Discovery Research team at Wellcome, with a focus on supporting research on health and wellbeing in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Wellcome’s Discovery Research strategy seeks to support bold, creative, and high-quality research from a broad range of disciplines; you can find more details here. This will be through both directed activities and open-mode funding; you can read more about the three Discovery Research schemes here.
This workshop will focus on the Discovery Research strategy and its role within Wellcome’s wider mission to support research which can solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone.
To register click here.
Eastern Arc will be hosting a workshop on 13-14 June at the University of Essex to explore issues around cognitive and bodily aspects of the self, and to develop new directions in research.
This builds on a successful event held before the pandemic, which showcased multi-disciplinary research undertaken at UEA, Essex and Kent. It was an opportunity for researchers from these departments to interact, share ideas, and link previously dissociated research areas into new models and theories.
We welcome postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and academics working in this area to join us and share their own work.There is some funding available to help postgraduate student attendees with the costs of travel/accommodation for this workshop. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further information about how to apply.
To take part, go to the dedicated Eventbrite page. Registration will close on Tuesday 7 June.
As part of its programme of funder webinars, Eastern Arc will be hosting the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) at 2pm on 15 June. It’s free and open to all. To register, click here.
Established in 2016, DASA works across government to find and fund exploitable innovation to support the UK’s defence and security. This has been given additional priority and focus following the Integrated Review, published in March last year.
DASA’s aims are:
- To develop an innovation network across academia, government and the private sector
- To understand the requirements of defence and security stakeholders
- To provide funding to develop ideas, products and services
- To inform decision-making
Current calls include funding for the following:
The Eastern Arc universities have a strong research interest in migration and broader areas of race, ethnicity and decolonisation. UEA has a strong Migration Research Network; Essex a thriving Centre for Migration Studies; and Kent has just established a signature research theme in Movement and Migration.
We are working to build on these strengths and develop further links between these centres. Some collaborations already exist, such as the annual PhD Colloquium on Ethnicity and Migration. This was disrupted during the pandemic, but we are delighted to announce the fourth annual event.
The colloquium will take place in June, and the organisers (The ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change (MiSoC), Essex Centre for Migration Studies, UEA Migration Network and Sussex Centre for Migration Research) are now inviting PhD research students to submit their abstracts for presentation.
Further details are available in this flier (pdf). To be considered, please submit a 500-word abstractthat states your research question, methods and results to Joonghyun Kwak at email@example.com by Monday 4 April 2022.
The UEA Faculty of Arts and Humanities is running a new research series, Back to the Future: Arts in a Digital Age between 10 May – 7 June 2022. All events are free, open to all, and will take place at Norwich Castle. More information on the series and registration page is available here.The events seek to examine the impact of the digital age on key aspects of the arts in the past, present, and future. Through four fascinating events, the effects on museum and gallery curatorial practice, archives, the wider heritage industry, and the study of history, will be explored.Contributors include the Digital Director of The National Archives at Kew; the Head of Library Collections at the Society of Antiquaries of London; the Professor of Palaeography at Cambridge; the Head of Collections Care at the Tate; a museums specialist from Glasgow University; the Director of the Sainsbury Centre, and specialists from the Castle Museum and UEA.
Given the focus of this series and the fit with the Eastern Arc thematic priority of Culture, Connection and Creativity, we are supporting it by making a small number of travel bursaries available for colleagues from Essex and Kent wishing to attend the event.
If you would like to apply for one of these, contact us with your details.
Registration for our fifth seminar on mental health and the life course is now open. It is free and open to all, and will take place at 12noon on 8 March 2022. Click here to sign up.
It is well known that the population, both nationally and globally, is ageing. The WHO has stated that, between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years will nearly double, from 12% to 22%. It goes on to suggest that 20% of over 60s have a mental disorder, predominantly dementia and depression. In addition, older people are at risk of elder abuse, which can exacerbate mental health issues.
These issues aren’t separate from the lifecourse, but a result of it. This seminar will look at the risk factors in earlier life that lead to physical and mental health issues, and will consider how these problems are currently being addressed and mitigated. To do so, we have invited a range of colleagues across the three Eastern Arc universities (UEA, Essex and Kent) to discuss the issues further, based on the findings of their research.
- Prof Emily Grundy (Institute for Social and Economic Research, Essex): Emily is Professor of Population Science and was the Director of ISER until 2020. Her main research interests are families, households and kin and social networks in later life, especially in relationship to health, associations between family life courses and health and well-being at older ages, and trends and differentials in later life health, disability and mortality.
- Prof Alisoun Milne (Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, Kent): Alisoun is Emeritus Professor in Social Gerontology and Social Work. Before becoming an academic, Alisoun worked as a social worker and team manager in two local authorities in London for seven years. Her research interests are in four intersecting areas: social work with older people and their families; mental health in later life; family caring; and long term care.
- Prof Michael Hornberger (Norwich Medical School, UEA). Michael is Professor of Applied Dementia Research. His research focuses on improving diagnosis, disease progression tracking and symptom management in dementia. His current research is particularly focused on spatial orientation and navigation deficits in dementia and how this has an impact on people’s outdoor activities such as driving and walking safely.
- Prof Kevin Daniels (UEA). Kevin is Professor of Organisational Behaviour and led the Work, Learning and Wellbeing evidence programme for the ESRC. He is currently leading another ESRC-funded project on workplace wellbeing practices and productivity, as part of a wider programme of projects concerned with management practices, employee engagement and productivity.
We are delighted to announce the first in a series of Eastern Arc funder webinars. To register to take part, click here.
The National Institute for Health Research was established in 2006 and has an annual budget of more than £1bn. It funds health and social care, and has been seen as the ‘research arm of the NHS’.
However, many who do research that is relevant to the funder are detered from applying because its structure can seem confusing, its priorities obscure, and its processes unclear.
This webinar is intended to help with this. It will be a clear, straightforward overview of how the funder is structured, its 10 basic schemes, and how applications are assessed, together with insights into how you can frame your application for the best chance of success, and where you can find out more. We will leave plenty of time for questions, clarifications and discussion following the presentations.
Leading the webinar will be colleagues from across Eastern Arc.
- Prof Andrew Bateman is based at Essex and is Director of the NIHR Research Design Service for the East of England as well as Head of Division of Interdisciplinary Research and Practice in the School of Health and Social Care.
- Prof Garry Barton is a Professor of Health Economics at UEA, as well as Deputy Director and site lead for the NIHR RDS EoE. He is a panel member for NIHR Advanced Fellowships (PDF) and Programme Grant for Applied Research (PGfAR) applications.
- Dr Ferhana Hashem is a Reader in Health Services Research in the Centre for Health Services Studies at the University of Kent. She is Kent site lead for the RDS South East of England. She has written for Research Professional explaining the focus and structure of NIHR for those unfamiliar with it.
- Prof Tracey Sach is also a Professor of Health Economics at UEA. She is currently Chair of the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit East of Engliand Research Advisory Committee.
The event is free and open to all. To take part register here.
Registration for our fourth seminar on mental health and the life course is now open. It is free and open to all, and will take place at 1pm on 2 February 2022. Click here to sign up.The idea of ‘safeguarding’ is a relatively new term, brought into law through the Care Act of 2014. However, the need for such protection is long-standing, and historic cases of abuse of children and vulnerable adults are continuing to come to light. In this, the third of our seminars on mental health and the life course, we will look at the issues facing vulnerable adults, particularly those with mental health issues, and what is being done to support and safeguard those who are affected.To discuss these issues we have brought together three colleagues from across Eastern Arc with a range of research and lived experience.
- Dr Joanne Hodgekins (Psychology, UEA) is a Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Senior Lecturer at Norwich Medical School. For the past 15 years, Jo has been involved in research with people with psychosis and young people who may be at risk of developing psychosis. Jo has a particular interest in using psychological interventions to improve social and functional outcomes for people with psychosis and those who may be at risk of long-term social disability following mental health difficulties. She is also interested in the way in which such outcomes may be measured and developed an adapted version of the UK Time Use Survey for this purpose.
- Leanne Taylor (Law, Kent) is a qualified social worker and worked for Kent County Council as a mental health social worker and an approved social worker until the late 2000s. She leads social work modules in areas relating to the law and child protection, mental capacity, mental health and adult social care. She also gives workshops on matters relating to social work practice in mental health services, and is a panel member on the First Tier Tribunal (Mental Health) for HM Courts and Tribunals Service. Leanne was part of the University of Kent’s Trans Awareness in Social Work project and provides workshops on social work with transgender and non binary people.
- Dr Danny Taggart (Health and Social Care, Essex) has a longstanding experience in the area of public participation in health and social care services and is Lead for Service User and Carer Engagement at the University. This work has become focused on the ways that trauma survivors can engage safely with public bodies and he is currently working with a number of survivor groups around trauma informed models of engagement. He has just returned from two years working at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse where he was the Clinical Lead and Principal Psychologist for the Truth Project, which heard from over 5,000 survivors of child sexual abuse.
Our third seminar in the ‘Mental Health and the Life Course’ took place on 25 Jan 2022.Pearson et al (2018) made clear that, although parenthood represents a major biological, social and environmental life change, the relationship between parenthood and common mental health issues is poorly understood. In this, the third in our short series of seminars exploring mental health and the life course, we will examine the relationship between mental health and parenting, the causes and the impact on both children and others around the parents.To discuss the issues we have invited three colleagues from across the EARC universities of UEA, Essex and Kent with a very wide – and very different – disciplinary perspectives.
- Dr Sarah Johns is a Reader in Evolutionary Anthropology at Kent. She is a broadly trained anthropologist with research experience in palaeoarchaeology, human reproductive behaviour and the evolutionary anthropology of human reproductive decision-making. Her primary research interest is in the variation of the age at first birth in humans, specifically focusing on teenage mothers, and how public health policy and evolutionary theory can be integrated.
- Dr Katie Daughters is a Lecturer in Psychology at Essex. Her research seeks to answer questions about the biological underpinnings of social behaviour. She takes an interdisciplinary approach and uses a range of methodologies to address related research questions. Her research incorporates topics such as emotion, social cognition, neuroscience and well-being.
The seminar will be chaired by Dr David Watson, Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour, Norwich Business School. David is an Eastern Arc Champion for Health, Social Care and Wellbeing at UEA. He has a particular interest in issues of wellbeing, particularly in relation to the development of organisational policy.
This was the fourth and final transdisciplinary workshop hosted by Kent and was open to members of Eastern Arc.
Recently, funding bodies have published reports and outlined policies on diversity and inclusion for research grants, such as UKRI and Wellcome. This workshop explores diversity and inclusion in transdisciplinary research. Raising awareness of issues is important as a first step, but how can good intentions be translated into good practice and effective outcomes? How do we structure and address diversity and inclusion in our research? What techniques can be developed? What are the barriers and how can we address and overcome them? Do we need to challenge broad categorisations (gender, race, disability) and include social phenomena and social relations, thereby shifting the discourse to focus on intersectionality?Workshop 4: Wed, 8th Dec 2021, 1-2pm GMT
This was the third of four transdisciplinary workshops hosted by Kent and was open to members of Eastern Arc.
One of the key questions in interdisciplinary funding interviews is ‘what happens if an element of research goes wrong?’ This is rarely foremost in the minds of researchers intent on pursuing innovative collaborative research. This workshop will explore managing expectations in a broad collaborative research group, rates of progress and accepting asymmetry. For instance, in a broad collaborative research group, is it expected that each unit/discipline will ‘progress’ at the same rate, mapping out both joint and individual (disciplinary) achievements? How do you manage the expectations of stakeholders? How does a risk management strategy support research collaboration in order to manage expectations?Workshop 3: Wed, 24th Nov 2021, 1-2pm GMT
This was the second in our six part seminar series.Mental health in children and young people often goes unrecognised and untreated. According to the Mental Health Foundation, mental health issues affect 1 in 6 children, and yet 75% of those aren’t getting the support they need. However, children’s emotional wellbeing is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health helps them develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.In this, the second of our seminars on mental health and the life course, we look at issues affecting young people. To help us explore these, we have brought together three experts from across the Eastern Arc who will provide insights from a range of perspectives.
- Dr Steve Taylor: Steve is a historian of medicine, disability and childhood. He is interested in ideas and constructions of mental difference; the historical process of diagnosis; ability and disability considered through a lens of perfection/imperfection; institutional care across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; and the psychological impact of forced migration on children. Steve has published widely in these areas, including Child Insanity in England, 1845-1907 (2017). He is currently writing his second book that examines experiences of mental deficiency, childhood, and education in a special school at the beginning of the twentieth century.
- Dr Kate Mahoney: Kate is a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant in the Department of History at the University of Essex. Her research focuses on the intersection of radical politics, community-based organisations, women’s health and mental health provision, and psychological and psychotherapeutic discourses in England from the late 1960s onwards. She is currently working on the Wellcome Trust-funded project Body, Self and Family: Womens Psychological, Emotional and Bodily Health in Britain, c.1960-1990, which explores how social changes in postwar Britain influenced women’s understandings of their bodily and emotional wellbeing.
Dr Nick Walsh: Nick is Lecturer in Developmental Psychology at UEA. His research interests are in the developmental aetiology, maintenance, and consequences of stress-related states and traits. His current interests examine how engineering and systems approaches can be used to conceptualise mental health and wellbeing phenomena.
The Eastern Arc Health Systems, Social Care and Wellbeing theme hosted a monthly seminar series throughout the autumn and spring terms 2021/22.
The series focused on ‘Mental Health and the Life Course,’ exploring this wide-ranging topics from different disciplinary perspectives. Each event consisted of two brief papers, followed by comments from a designated respondent, and by audience discussion.
The series aimed for a conversational feel, focused on exploring the distinctive contributions of different disciplines to specific issues, and on searching for points of convergence and divergence between these perspectives.
Each session featured contributions from each EARC institution, and the overall aim of the series was to build a community of like-minded scholars who may wish to collaborate on research, teaching, or public engagement projects – or just to learn from each other.
- 26 October, 12noon: Mental Health and the Life Course
- 19 November, 2pm: Young People
- 25 January, 12noon: Parenthood
- 2 February, 1pm: Vulnerable Adults
- 14 February, 12noon: Midlife
- 8 March, 12noon: Ageing
This was the second of four transdisciplinary workshops hosted by Kent and open to members of Eastern Arc.
We all exist in individual and collective cultural and embodied research environments. What techniques can we develop to share our epistemological spaces to facilitate stronger collaboration? The session will explore some themes: how do individuals navigate unfamiliar spaces? What are the emotional dynamics of collaboration within different spaces? Can collaborative spaces enable disciplinary boundaries to blur? How can we demystify academic working spaces and intellectual frameworks to include those unfamiliar with to fully engage with the research agenda? In this session we hope to explore how spaces of collaboration shape the identity of researchers; how different venues enrich and enhance transdisciplinary work, and how research practices and intellectual and disciplinary spaces might be transformed through collaboration.Workshop 2: Wed, 20th Oct 2021, 1-2pm GMT+1
This was the first of four transdisciplinary workshops hosted by Kent and open to members of Eastern Arc.
By its very nature, transdisciplinary research brings structures of power into sharp focus. This workshop explores power dynamics in knowledge production. Collaborative research can expose the tensions inherent in systemic institutional inequality. Furthermore, it can be dominated by a disciplinary research agenda, where one discipline feels side-lined. This differentiation can be stark for collaborations with stakeholders. How can we create awareness around unequal power relationships? What are the specific issues? What steps can be taken to address these issues? What is the value of equality in knowledge production? Are there structural changes that can be made to facilitate equality? How do we address structural issues, and at what level do they need to be tackled?Workshop 1: Wed, 6th Oct 2021, 1-2pm GMT+1
The University of Kent hosted a lecture series exploring transdisciplinary research. The series was sponsored by the Wellcome Trust and was open to colleagues across Eastern Arc and beyond.
Transdisciplinarity ‘involves intense interaction between academics and practitioners in order to promote a mutual learning process between them.’ (Steiner and Posch, 2006, 4). This lecture series will promote discussion in transdisciplinary collaboration in the Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. Experts in collaborative research will explore the creation of networks and relationships, modes of analysis and investigation, knowledge production, and offer their own insight into transdisciplinary research.
The series took place between 29 Sept to 1 Dec. Full details are available here (pdf).
The lecture series was followed by workshops to understand wider issues of inclusivity, environment, and expectations around transdisciplinarity. These were open to colleagues at the University of Kent, East Anglia and Essex. More details to follow shortly.
An EARC-funded hybrid workshop was held at the University of Kent on 9-10 September 2021.
The workshop aimed to showcase and discuss recent advances made by the three Eastern Arc universities (Kent, UEA and Essex) in the use of experimental and quasi-experimental methods. The workshop targetsed economists, psychologists, political scientists, anthropologists, and conservation scientists.
Prof Imran Rasul (UCL) was welcomed as the keynote speaker.
In June and July 2021 we jointly hosted six sessions on European funding delivered by both the UK Research Office (UKRO) in Brussels and the UK’s National Contact Points (NCPs) for the EU’s new R&I funding programme, Horizon Europe.
They were an invaluable opportunity to get an overview of the whole programme, as well as specific insights into different parts of it, such as the European Research Council, specific challenges or ‘clusters’, and the COST actions.
Slides and recordings from the events are available via our dedicated page.
We have also prepared a simple introduction to Horizon Europe, The guide is available here.
On 28 and 29 June we hosted two workshops with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as it developed its new Areas of Research Interest (ARIs). It was a great opportunity to hear from DWP and discuss their plans with them, but also to hear about the research going on in the area across Eastern Arc.
Recordings of the DWP-led sessions are available below:
- Overview from the DWP Central Analysis and Science Strategy Unit (Dr Tim Willis, Principal Research Officer, DWP Central Analysis and Science Directorate)
- The development of the DWP working-age modelling and forecasting approach through the Covid period (Dr Dave Pankhurst, Working Age Model Development Lead, DWP Working Age Modelling & Forecasting Division). Slides are available here (ppt)
Recordings of the Eastern Arc academics’ presentations are below:
- Developing a tool to guide cost-evaluation and implementation of workplace health and wellbeing practices
- Prof Kevin Daniels, UEA
- Slides are available here (ppt)
- Falling behind? Eligibility for parental leave in the UK and EU27
- Dr Matthew Aldrich, UEA
- Slides are available here (ppt)
- Hours and pay uncertainty in the UK
- Dr Silvia Avram, University of Essex
- Slides are available here (pdf)
- Intrahousehold inequality and gender impacts of taxes and benefits: UK vs other European countries
- Dr Daria Popova, University of Essex
- Slides are available here (pdf)
- Investigating the role of debt advice on borrowers’ wellbeing: an encouragement study on a new sample of over-indebted people in Britain
- Dr Laura Fumagalli, University of Essex
- Slides are available here (pdf)
- New maps of economic insecurity
- Prof Matteo Richiardi, University of Essex
- Slides are available here (pdf)
- The added worker effect as a coping strategy for everyone? Transitions to activity of inactive ethnic minority women in the UK
- Katrin Gasior, University of Essex
- Slides are available here (pdf)
The original programme is available here (pdf).
EIRA, the Research England-funded programme for supporting knowledge exchange across Eastern Arc and beyond, hosted a month-long series of virtual events and activities for ‘Innovation Month’ in June 2021. Spread across its three core themes, it hosted Digital Creative Week from the 7th – 11th June, Biotechnology Week from 14th – 18th June and a joint AI and student-focused week from 21st – 25th June.
Innovation Month culminated in the final EIRA Showcase on Thursday 24th June. This event was an opportunity for businesses, academics, student / graduate interns, knowledge exchange professionals and senior management to come together and find out more about the rich and diverse projects supported by EIRA, and what other support was available for business.
Date Event 8 June Digital Creative: Beyond Reality: Testing New Dimensions 9 June Digital Creative: Twitter Conversation – Lessons for the Libraries and Archives Sector 10 June Digital Creative: Twitter Conversation – Improving mental health and wellbeing through Digital Creative innovations 15 June Biotechnology: ‘Doing more with less’ webinar 16 June Biotechnology: ‘The role of the Knowledge Exchange Manager in successful Biotech collaborations’ with Praxis Auril 22 June AI & Student: Student Knowledge Exchange and Innovation 23 June AI & Student: Artificial Intelligence: First steps to productivity 24 June 24 – EIRA Showcase
As part of the EARC Culture, Connection and Creativity theme, the Kent Embodied Research Collective (KERC) hosted a virtual “speed dating” event between 16:00-18:00 on 27 May to bring colleagues together to explore the potential for embodied practices and research methods. Embodied research takes many forms across the disciplines, and cross-disciplinary dialogue can lead to exciting and valuable new collaborations, which KERC and the Eastern ARC aim to foster.At the event, participants had a chance to talk individually in breakout rooms. Each conversation, which lasted no more than five minutes, was an opportunity to exchange details of interests and project plans, and all participants were able to meet all others in the rotation. Following the event, mutual ‘likes’ were collated by the host and participants were contacted with their potential matches.For more information, contact Dr Freya Vass (University of Kent).
A week-long series of short online events exploring the post-Trump, post-Brexit, post-Covid world
Following the end of the Trump presidency, the UK’s departure from the European Union, and the year-long Covid pandemic, we are only starting to come to terms with a society, an economy and a global community that has changed forever.
This year’s EARC Conference looked at different facets of this. Taking the form of a week-long series of 2 hour on-line sessions, delegates will hear from a range of speakers and provocateurs, triggering discussion and debate.
The push to decolonise the curriculum has been gathering momentum for a decade, but has been given increased urgency in the last year with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and a wider awareness of ingrained and embedded inequalities, particularly within institutions.
But how does this work in practice? What can be done, and how difficult will it be to reset long-held Euro-centric assumptions?
This event was an opportunity to discuss these issues. To do so, our Director Phil Ward was joined by six colleagues from across the Eastern Arc universities: three members of staff and three students.
Together they have advocated for change within their institutions, and have worked to address entrenched notions of privilege and identity.
They discussed the barriers they have faced, the successes they have achieved, and the challenges (and opportunities) that lie ahead. A recording of the discussion is available here.
The speakers are:
- Barbara Adewumi (Kent): Barbara joined Kent in 2017 as a Sociology lecturer. She currently works as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Student Success to develop and conduct research on BME academic progression, engagement and belonging to help close the white-BME awarding gap. She leads the Diversity Mark Project at Kent. She is joined by the Diversity Mark intern for the project, Patrice Mighton.
- Hannah Gibson (Essex): Hannah is a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at Essex who works primarily on African languages. She has an interest in language and identity, as well as the relationship between linguistics and social justice. With her is Samira Diebire who worked with fellow students at Essex to organise a webinar series looking at specific issues of decolonising the curriculum, but also in how the university is governed.
- Claire Hynes (UEA): Claire is a Lecturer in Literature and Creative Writing at UEA. Her fiction and non-fiction writing explores black British identities, and she has previously worked as a news editor for The Voice newspaper, a writer for national newspapers and a BBC television producer. She is currently leading and implementing on decolonising the curriculum within her School, including the creation of a BIPOC student ambassador scheme. Aimee Ibarra Hempel is one of the ambassadors on the scheme.
Eastern Arc is committed to supporting businesses and the wider economy within our region, encouraging engagement with our universities, and facilitating the exchange of knowledge between our researchers and stakeholders in the region.
On 2 March Innovate UK East of England KTN hosted an event that enabled small innovative businesses – or those who have an ambition to start one – to find out how Innovate UK, the Eastern Arc universities and other partners can support them in developing their ground-breaking ideas and accelerating their journey to market. The day included a session from EIRA, our Research England-funded programme for developing links between our universities and regional businesses.
Recordings from the event are now available here.
On 23 February we hosted colleagues from the Ministry of Justice to talk about its areas of research interest (ARIs).
ARIs were developed in response to Professor Sir Paul Nurse’s review of research councils in 2014.
They are a way for government departments to set out the strategic research questions to which they need answers in the short to medium term.
In the past, departments either assumed that it was obvious what questions they were wrestling with or were worried that by setting out what they didn’t know then people would know they didn’t know it.
For the MOJ, the ARIs set out its evidence needs over the next 3 to 5 years, aligned with the department’s strategic objectives for the system. It will use these as a basis to engage with academics and research organisations from across the justice research landscape and the disciplinary spectrum.
Recording and slides
The recording and slides from the webinar are here:
The speakers were:
- Sarah Pike is a social researcher working in the Evidence and Partnerships Hub in MoJ. Her role is to help facilitate connections with the academic and external community through the ARI document. She has worked within a range of government social researcher roles, including at HMI Probation, HMPPS and the Home Office.
- Dr Ben Hepworth is a mathematician working in the same Hub. Ben leads on fostering collaborations with researchers to facilitate the exchange of evidence and expertise, previously working in a similar role in DWP. Prior to this he completed his PhD and taught at the University of Leeds.
- Professor Andromachi Tseloni is Professor of Quantitative Criminology at Nottingham Trent University. She is the Academic Lead for the Data First Programme within the Hub. She has expertise in victimisation theory, applied social statistics and econometrics. Her work revolves around five broad themes: criminal victimisation inequalities, the crime drop, crime perceptions’ social capital and cross-national comparisons.
It’s widely recognised that ‘mental health research is underfunded relative to the burden of disease’ (Woelbert, Kirtley, Balmer, Dix 2019). According to the MQ Funding Landscape Analysis 2014-17, around £125m of research funding is spent annually on mental health conditions.
On 16 February we hosted an online discussion around these issues with colleagues from MQ, MRC and NIHR. The recording for the event is available here (mp4), and slides for each of the talks are available below.
- Research Funding for Mental Health, and the Work of MQ (pdf)
- Lea Milligan, CEO of MQ
- MRC Mental Health Research (ppt)
- Karen Brakspear, Head of Programme – Mental Health
- NIHR Mental Health Research (ppt)
- Kathryn Abel, NIHR Clinical Research Network National Specialty Lead for Mental Health
- Research Funding for Mental Health, and the Work of MQ (pdf)
Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding has allowed our research to have an impact beyond academia, and beyond the UK.
It has enabled us to think globally, and to work for the benefit of the global community, particularly in overcoming deep-seated socio-economic problems and developmental challenges.
However, will a shift in government policy lead to these achievements being undermined or reversed?
On 3 December 2020 Eastern Arc hosted a webinar to explore the future of ODA funding following the government’s spending review and R&D Roadmap.
Slides from the event
Slides from the event are available below:
- Introduction (Google Slides)
- Phil Ward, Director, Eastern Arc
- UUKi’s report on the impact of ODA funding (ppt)
- Dajana Dzanovic, Head of Strategic Partnerships, UUKi
- ODA Funding in UKRI (ppt)
- Jacqui Williams,Head of Partnerships and Programmes, International, UKRI
- Wellcome’s report on the UK’s role in global research (ppt)
- Simon Hall, Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer, Wellcome Trust
- Introduction (Google Slides)
In June 2020 Public Health England finalised a list of identified research gaps and priorities around healthy ageing.
These were identified through stakeholder surveys and discussions earlier this year. The list will be used to inform the development of PHE’s healthy ageing programme, as well as prioritising the work of PHE’s Older Adults team in supporting researchers in preparing bids and disseminating findings.
This webinar was an opportunity to look in more detail at these priorities, the thinking behind them and how they will be used in the future.
Bernie Hannigan, PHE’s Director of Research Translation and Innovation, introduced the work of PHE, and was joined by Helen Brock, Programme Manager for Adults and Older Adults in PHE’s Life Course Team, who explained the gap analysis and the function of the research priorities.
- Phil Ward: Introduction and Links for Further Information (ppt)
- Bernie Hannigan: The Research Role of Public Health England (ppt)
- Helen Brock: PHE Healthy Ageing Research Gap Analysis (ppt)