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Enhancing Research Culture Projects 2023-24

After our second Enhancing Research Culture open call, which concluded in July 2023, twelve teams were selected for funding and will share £382,000 of our ERC fund during the 2023-24 academic year.

The projects each relate to one or more of our four Research Culture Strategic Objectives.

Below is a summary of the funded projects, listed by faculty of project lead:

Arts, Humanities and Cultures (AHC)

Decolonising Research Project Design: Co-production and the Next Steps for the AIAI (Artificial Intelligence, Art and Indigeneity) Project

  • Thea Pitman, Andreas Rauh, Sebastián Gerlic, Sandra de Berduccy, Loreto Millalén, Tadeu dos Santos, Lucián de Silenttio, Kuenan Tikuna, Mariela Tulián, Haylly Zamora. Leeds based artists: Immersive Networks.
  • Project summary: This project aims to build a new collaborative research agenda with Indigenous artists from across Abya Yala (Latin America) that will provide a model for inclusive coproduction practices for researchers at UoL and elsewhere. It will address barriers to co-production by taking the time necessary, particularly in a face-to-face setting, to define a research agenda to develop a small pilot project.

Ways of Knowing: Developing Research Cultures of Resistance

  • Corinne Painter, Wiebke Acton, Judit Acsády, Nicole Bögelein, Charlotte Bill, Louise Earnshaw, Mary McAuliffe, Maša Mrovlje, Ingrid Sharp.
  • Project summary: This project brings together academic researchers and creative practitioners to build a community of enquiry looking at gender, crime and protest in different national contexts and through different disciplinary lenses. The project brings academic expertise in protest and the interwar period into dialogue with modern criminological research and creative practice in two in-person workshops, which will allow for experimentation with transdisciplinary and multi-modal research methods.

Role Models on your doorstep - inspiring stories from a diverse, vibrant community

  • Jacki Wilson, Tao Jiang, Marjorie Boissinot, Karen Tsui, Melissa Green.
  • Project summary: This pilot aims to bring together an initial pool of stories and profiles from role models who are relatable to a diverse range of women from within our university, via the creation of a YouTube podcast series.

Piloting Research Culture Interventions in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures: Mentoring, Research Time, Research Leave and Professional Development

  • Claire Eldridge, Joanne Williams.
  • Project summary: This project aims to deliver significant change in the research culture of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures, building on the data gathered in the pilot phase of the project in four areas: (1) research mentoring; (2) research citizenship and the uses of research time; (3) support for researchers returning from long-term leave; (4) teamworking and career development for professional research support colleagues. The project will: code and interpret user experience (UX) data gathered during scoping exercises to the end of July 2023; and develop, pilot, and evaluate evidence-based interventions in the four key areas of research culture within the Faculty of AHC, based on the UX design process.

Environment (ENV)

PRIDE Guidelines - Pointers for Research that is Inclusive, Diverse & Equitable for LGBTQ+ fieldworkers

  • Martin Zebracki, Fiona Gill, Sam Wimpenny, C. Scott Watson, Helena Brown.
  • Project summary: The PRIDE project builds on the success of the previous ERC project ‘Guidelines for Safe, Inclusive & Equitable Research Fieldwork’, but now with emphasis on the experiences of LGBTQ+ fieldworkers. PRIDE will produce bespoke guidelines and thereby empower and educate LGBTQ+ researchers and allies to create safe research fieldwork spaces that are inclusive, diverse, and equitable. Importantly, this project also seeks to engage fieldworkers who may not personally identify as LGBTQ+ but engage with LGBTQ+ people or issues in their fieldwork, to ensure that the guidelines have wider application.

Building Communities for Belonging and thriving in data Science

  • Kylie Norman, Emily Ennis.
  • Project summary: This project focuses on two key elements of current challenges in the recruitment and retention of early-career research data scientists: 1) how to generate a sense of belonging through targeted and measurable positive action recruitment and, 2) how to grow and continue this sense of belonging as part of measurable interventions that encourage staff retention.

Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS)

Imagineering: Creative and Participatory Approaches to Enhancing Research Culture in Mechanical Engineering

  • Briony Thomas, Peter Culmer, Emily Dewhurst, Camille Hammersley, Francisca Mayambala, Marlène Mengoni, Charlotte Merrell, Joshua Montgomery, Roberta Morano, Jane Wilcox.
  • Project summary: The aim of this project is to initiate the School of Mechanical Engineering’s Research Culture Action Plan by developing and delivering a suite of activities that respond to the local challenges surfaced during a scoping project in 2022/23. Building on the learnings from pilot work with early career academics (ECAs), the project extends co-production activities to other priority groups within the School, with the aim of building a more supportive, inclusive, and collaborative research environment.

Leeds Maker Kit Community: the development of a community of Makers to support creativity and creative thinking in a research environment

  • Lorna Dougan, Erin McNeill, Andy Guy, Kevin Critchley, Stephen Muench.
  • Project summary: 'Maker Kits' are kits that provide a series of activities that encourage adults, young people and families to explore innovation in material design. With Phase 1 completed, this project is now in Phase 2 and aims to create a framework for the development of Maker Kits across the UoL, and to use them to support a positive research culture and a diverse community of Maker Kit creators.

Medicine and Health (FMH)

I’m Still Me: follow-on request to 2022/23 Rebuilding Faces~Rebuilding Lives: a collaborative public engagement project

  • Rachael Jablonski, Sue Pavitt and external collaborators.
  • Project summary: “I’m Still Me” aims to: 1) Raise awareness of the significant impact of head and neck cancer (HNC) surgery on people’s lives, tackle issues of facial inequality and portray patients’ lived experience in a positive way; 2) Improve PPI in research and co-produce public engagement projects with underrepresented groups (i.e. people with visible facial differences); 3) Make science more accessible and bring research out into the community; 4) Create new routes for collaboration between patients, clinicians, artists, writers, and researchers and deliver new approaches to public engagement; 5) Develop early career researchers’ leadership skills through mentorship, training and co development of a collaborative project; 6) Create an exemplar of engaged culture with the School of Dentistry, LTHT and our community.

Social Sciences (FSS)

Inclusive and Accessible Research: making research possible for disabled participants

  • Ieva Eskyte, Ana Manzano, Gordon Clubb, Claudia Coveney, Edmore Masendeke, Emily Goodall, Maria Orchard.
  • Project summary: This study will contribute to the promotion of inclusive research by developing recommendations for guidelines for conducting research that is accessible to disabled people. Specific objectives are: 1) to conduct a systematic review of resources and support available at the University of Leeds (UoL) and other Russell Group universities in the North of England; 2) to explore the perspectives of researchers not currently engaged in disability studies-related research and their experiences with accessible research; and 3) to co-produce recommendations for guidelines for making research that is accessible for people with impairments.

Leeds University Business School (LUBS)

Developing an Inclusive Research Culture Through Improving Research Support Practices

  • Charlotte Stephenson, Rachel Meadley, Jo Garrick, Sarah Shaw, Hannah Preston, Annie Wei.
  • Project summary: This project is in Phase 2, and is now implementing interventions to remove barriers (as identified in our phase one) and to improve inclusivity in grant development activities, as well as extending the focus beyond grant development support to look at the wider research system. Strategy objectives are to: 1) Increase the variety of staff roles named as PI, Co-I and Researcher Co-I on funding applications; 2) Increase the proportion of staff stating they have benefited from researcher development programmes, by career stage; 3) Increase the diversity of research activities that are communicated and celebrated.

Sport - The Edge

Menopause Toolkit

  • Michelle Smith, Sandra Staley, Emily Dingley, Gerry Turvey, Molly Hall, Lucy Ridler, Jemma Stern, Thomas Pickering.
  • Project summary: The project aim is to provide 8-week Menopause Toolkit Workshops to University of Leeds staff - free of charge. Each workshop is designed around helping with symptoms of the menopause and perimenopause. The workshops aim to give helpful ideas as to how certain forms of exercise can help people cope with symptoms. The focus of the 8-week course is to target some of the symptoms and give people a ‘toolkit’ of ideas based upon current research and delivered by experts in their field to help participants manage when symptoms are becoming untenable, especially at work.