© Copyright Leeds 2018
Principal applicant: Dr Liz Oliver
Project awarded: June 2017
Dr Liz Oliver (LUBS) will lead a pilot project that takes an existing idea, a ‘peer support worker’ (PSW) model of employment, and translates it to a new context.
Over 250 PSWs are employed in mental health services where their value is widely recognised. Evaluation of these initiatives found PSW posts benefitted service users, PSWs and the team in which they work.
The next context is services for people with learning disabilities (services offering supported accommodation). The importance of peer support for people with learning disabilities is gaining recognition and policy initiatives highlight the public sector’s role in promoting the employment of people with learning disabilities.
Employing people with learning disabilities as PSWs in learning disability services has transformative potential for the person gaining a job; the service user gaining a role model; and the organisation getting a better balance of power. Taken together the effect could be profound.
The project is an action research study with three partner organisations and a commitment to co-production of research with people with learning disabilities. It is designed to co-produce new knowledge that can be used by others.
Principal applicant: Professor Alice Owen
School: School of Earth and Environment
There is a need for the large scale retrofit of existing buildings so that we have homes that are comfortable to live in, affordable to run, flexible for the future and with minimum use of energy. Repair and maintenance of existing buildings is already a large part of the construction industry in the UK, employing thousands of people and worth around £30bn per year.
There are nonetheless challenges in updating the skills and knowledge of construction industry workers to be able to take advantage of the retrofit opportunity.
This project builds on research projects on cities and construction at the University of Leeds to find ways in which the city can tackle two key challenges: delivering skills training in a way that meets the construction industry’s needs, and ensuring a local market that makes it worth investing in developing those skills.
Associate Professor Alice Owen (SEE) will lead a team of University researchers, Leeds City College, construction firms delivering projects in the city, and some of the major construction clients who specify what projects will be done.
The team will develop a roadmap for upgrading the skills of the city’s construction industry and develop procurement standards that require those skills. The overall aim is to use research findings to create a virtuous circle of sustainable construction in the city.
Principal applicant: Professor Paul Chatterton
Professor Paul Chatterton will build on the Leeds City Lab (LCL) project to develop an ‘urban commons map’, an online open data tool designed to promote neighbourhood social action and improved community solutions to local concerns and problems.
The project is timely because thirty-five neighbourhoods in Leeds are currently engaged in planning exercises. This follows the Localism Act, 2011, whereby “statutory Neighbourhood Planning enables communities to draw up Neighbourhood Plans for their area and is intended to give communities more of a say in the development of their local area.”
Working with specific neighbourhoods, the work aims to (i) provide communities with information on assets available in their neighbourhoods; (ii) use local knowledge to collaboratively refine and add further useable information to the maps; (iii) further develop the online map tool based on this feedback; (iv) develop a process whereby communities can use the mapping process in their own neighbourhood’s to promote social action around identified assets that can yield tangible neighbourhood solutions; and (v) provide an impactful tool and social process to enable specific neighbourhoods draw up and increase the impact of their Neighbourhood Plans.
Principal applicant: Chau Minh Chu
Innovation has been considered to be a main driver of increased productivity for firms and greatly contribute to regional and national economic growth. Identifying innovation active firms and most productive firms is, therefore, of great importance to explore the business environments within which these firms are operating.
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) / Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which is a collaboration between West Yorkshire authorities, businesses and partners, has targeted innovation as one of key priorities in stimulating regional potential productivity and competitive advantages. The organisation plans to deliver a strategic innovation plan.
In collaboration with the WYCA, Chau Minh Chu will provide a critical review on identifying the innovation active and most productive firms from both regional and national views, followed by a quantitative analysis of outcomes and key determinants of these firms. The project will provide challenging aspects of the region as well as some considerations and information for the future strategic innovation plan to be built on.
Principal applicant: Tabish Zaman
Project awarded: April 2017
Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides specialist mental health and learning disability services to the people of Leeds and across the Yorkshire and Humber region.
Observation and engagement is a key clinical activity that provides an opportunity for health care workers to interact in a therapeutic way with the service or an individual basis. The Trust is undertaking a review of the current procedure to explore the potential for improvements in service provision.
A new way of working that encourages better handovers between clinical staff, service user / family involvement and robust documentation that provides a clear understanding of what has been happening with the patient and how time with the patient has been planned / agreed will be piloted during a six-month project.
The pilot will be implemented across five clinical teams and will focus on within eyesight observations. A team has been established to take forward the implementation of the pilot procedure and, as part of this, Tabish Zaman will support the development of the research design and evaluation methodology for the three focus groups with staff in October 2016, January 2017 and March 2017 that are intended to support staff pre, mid and post implementation.
Principal applicants: Professor Adrian Favell and Dr Roxana Barbulescu
School: Sociology and Social Policy
Professor Adrian Favell and Dr Roxana Barbulescu will establish a Commission on Diversity in Northern Towns that will facilitate dialogue and knowledge transfers between key stakeholders in the region in academia, local government and civil society. The project will also strengthen civil society by building links between local and national charities.
The Commission will examine the challenges that the Brexit vote and the upcoming negotiations on leaving the European Union bring to diverse communities in the North of England.
It is thought that migration and race issues in the Brexit vote have increased tensions between White British, British BAME groups and Central and Eastern European migrants, Roma people or other foreign EU nationals, and the project team hypothesises this may signal the end of the long established post-war settlement based on a vision of Britain as an open, diverse, multi-racial society, built on manageable immigration.
Working closely with key civil society organisations, including town council representatives and JUST Yorkshire, the project will focus on the complex community relations in West Yorkshire and will inform the stakeholders during the first months of negotiations following the triggering of Article 50 when impact is greater.
Principal applicant: Associate Professor Helen Graham
School: Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies
Every local authority has a duty to engage the public in decision making about planning yet devising methods for taking public engagement beyond a ‘consultation approach’ has proved more challenging. My Castle Gateway, a new partnership between the My Future York project and City of York Council, will implement and test new approaches to public engagement based on sustained community-led open conversations.
The project, led by Associate Professor Helen Graham, will include using creative community-led events to explore and establish ‘what is important’ about the area (which will underpin the heritage ‘statement of significance’); using possibility-thinking to feed into master-planning processes (not starting with series of options); identifying lines for community-led action inquiries (where there is uncertainty or disagreement); sustaining action throughout the planning, development and hand over (so that community use and custodianship of the area is fostered and grown throughout the processes).
By the end of the project the team will have developed a set of approaches and methods that can be shared with other local authorities and public organisations approaching large-scale and long-term public engagement.
Awarded April 2017
Principal applicant: Laura Connelly
Project awarded: November 2015
The first national study of the nature and extent of violence against sex workers in the UK
Laura Connelly will examine the nature and extent of violence against sex workers in the UK, a group who experience extremely high rates of crime but from which there is a lack of research data.
Her placement will be hosted by National Ugly Mugs (NUM), which is an innovative organisation offering a third party reporting system, which shares information both with the police and with sex workers across the UK, in order to improve their safety.
This research project will be based upon a detailed secondary quantitative analyses of all crime reports submitted by sex workers to NUM between July 2012 and December 2016. It will update and extend a previous LSSI placement in 2013/14. In addition, data will be generated from five practitioner interviews with NUM employees and partner organisations, to examine the work the voluntary sector is engaged in to prevent violence against sex worker and support sex worker.
The aim of this research is to provide the largest, most up-to-date, and the only national picture available in the UK of violence against sex workers. This is intended to be used by NUM, its partner stakeholders, and the police to inform and shape their practices.
Principal applicant: Katucha Bento
Katucha Bento will undertake a placement with Cordão de Ouro Birmingham (Belt of Gold Birmingham).
The project is a way to promote and value Brazilian Female Blackness in the UK through activities where they will show their local knowledge. It is an interaction between academia and social / cultural practices in which workshops, lectures and roundtables will invite the local community (Brazilians and non-Brazilians) to think, practice and debate about the contributions of black Brazilian women in the African Sacred Circle of singing, drumming and dancing.
The African Sacred Circle is represented in Brazil by Candomblé (Afro-Brazilian religion); Capoeira (game that combines acrobatic and dance-fight); and Samba (musical style and dance), respectively. They are musical narratives of African ancestral origins in the Brazilian construction of Blackness. The elements of the circle give value to the freedom of movement, a new understanding of how the enslaved body would not be prisoner of the soul.
The presence of the African women in these narratives is represented by powerful women who founded kingdoms and reoriented the destiny of humanity. In this parallel, the project points black Brazilian women present in the UK in their migratory condition to replace in time and space the representation of their power and agency to establish their own destinies.
Principal applicant: Mary Robson
Project awarded: February 2016
Mary Robson will be based at the Leeds third sector organisation Basis Sex Work Project, where she will work specifically with the adult sex workers service.
Basis is the lead service in Yorkshire for sex workers, yet receives limited funding from statutory organisations. The numbers of sex workers accessing the service are in excess of 300 per annum with limited resources.
Mary’s project will respond to the significant move to sex workers operating through the internet. It has been established that nationally sex work projects have been slow to develop their service interventions to match this technological change.
Basis are one of the few projects that have begun to develop this netreach service and is now in a position to give more priority to it. Therefore this project will work along existing outreach staff to scope the development of the service for the future; provide direct support to staff providing netreach; and write an evidence based briefing on ways to develop the service for the future, including capacity building and funding sources.
Principal applicant: Agnieszka Labonarska
Agnieszka Labonarska will undertake a placement at Leeds-based community group Back to Front (BtoF).
Since 2010 the group has been successfully working to transform front of houses’ garden spaces, often paved and underutilised, into productive and edible spaces; where access to land for food-growing is limited. BtoF works in deprived but ethnically and culturally diverse neighbourhoods to reduce the health inequality gap using a community development approach that recognizes the local assets.
While the project has already delivered a variety of social and health benefits and could be adapted for neighbourhoods in many parts of the UK, one of the biggest barriers to its long-term viability and expansion is the residents’ reluctance to compost appropriate kitchen and garden waste and the lack of facilities for composting. The reasons include perceptions that composting will inevitably lead to smell or rats, while other methods of waste conversion will be either too complex or expensive, as well as lack of comprehensive urban food policies.
Agnieszka aims to research and document low cost and practical ways to compost kitchen waste in less green urban environments in order to alter negative perceptions; explore successful city-wide schemes in the UK; and exchange knowledge and influence policy development on urban waste conversion and food growing in Leeds and other UK cities.
Principal applicant: Emma Bimpson
Project awarded: April 2016
The importance of identity and culture within third sector organisations cannot be overstated, for many accounting for the success of their services. Within the context of increasing financial pressures and commissioning based on partnership or consortia models of services, the ability to consolidate and align services with local strategic aims is of increasing importance to third sector social care services.
Emma Bimpson will explore these issues through the evaluation of a merged housing-related support service for young people, Gipsil and Renew. Research with staff in each service will explore the process of merging services and the management of change for staff and for service users. The value of the new service will also be evaluated through measures identified by staff and service users, and contribution to local strategic objectives.
Empirical data from this study, consisting of surveys and interviews with staff, will contribute to knowledge about the process of merging services within the third sector and potential for aligning cultures and service outcomes. An evaluation report will provide information for future service development, as well as providing evidence and learning points for other third sector care services who face similar pressures and considerations within the current economic and commissioning environment.
Principal applicant: Ruth Armstrong
School: Earth and Environment / Politics and International Development
Project awarded: June 2016
Ruth Armstrong will undertake a placement at Coaching for Conservation (C4C), which is the primary social development program of the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust (BPCT).
Its unique teaching curriculum uses sport to engage local primary school children, providing environmental educators with a captive audience and providing a sense of purpose, team work and a fun environment so that they are receptive to learning important core values.
Effective monitoring and evaluation of environmental education (EE) programmes is critically important in understanding what outcomes are being achieved and what factors are contributing to the success of the programme. This includes the development of appropriate evaluating techniques and rigorous analysis of the results.
The BPCT’s Monitoring & Evaluation processes and protocols, including survey and data collection techniques, for the C4C programme have not yet been critically evaluated.
For her placement Ruth will provide a critical review and evaluation of current practices enabling recommendations for improved future C4C programme design and ultimately developing the next generation of sustainably minded individuals equipped with the tools they will need to become responsible citizens in a rapidly changing global environment.
Project awarded: December 2016
Housing First is a housing model that aims to house people with complex needs and histories of entrenched homelessness.
Rather than waiting for people to meeting particular criteria and progress through existing models of housing and support pathway models, it prioritises secure and supported housing at the first instance. The ethos of this model is non-judgemental and based on principles of harm-reduction, which makes this model a radical alternative to current housing and support systems in the UK. It has been successfully adopted in other European countries and in the US and has gained significant attention in the UK, with homelessness and housing sector advocates calling for organisations to pilot the project.
Basis Yorkshire – a Leeds-based charity that focuses on sex work and child exploitation – has successfully secured funding for a year-long Housing First project for sex workers, which will be the first of its kind in the country. Other housing services available do not meet the needs and lifestyles of many of the women working with Basis, resulting in cycles of homelessness and crisis, which require costly interventions from emergency services in the city. By offering stable and supported housing with no strings attached, Housing First projects across the world have significantly reduced the cost of local adult social care, health services, policing and others.
A research team, headed by Emma Bimpson, will evaluate the implementation and outcomes of the project, contributing to a national evidence based and policy development activity around local housing and support provision.
Principal applicant: Jihane Ghorayeb
Project awarded: February 2017
The societal problem of avoidable inequalities in women’s informed reproductive choice will be addressed by Jihane Ghorayeb.
During a placement with Crohn’s & Colitis UK’s Leeds and District Network, she will focus on women with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). These women are more likely than healthy controls to remain voluntarily childless and often do so merely due to lack of information.
The work will facilitate the organisation’s aim to “work with all those affected by these conditions [IBD] to achieve a better quality of life.”
She will co-produce a resource to inform women, their partners, and healthcare providers about the experience of planning and starting a family, and coping with young children in the context of maternal IBD. This resource will support informed reproductive choice for women with IBD through providing appropriate, user-friendly access to the lived experience of women with the condition who have already made the transition to motherhood.
Principal applicant: Annie Connolly
Annie Connolly will examine the accumulative impact of changes to the benefits system since 2010 via five in-depth case studies of real families’ and individuals’ experiences.
Working with GIPSIL, a third-sector organisation that provides housing-related support and welfare advice throughout Leeds, she will conduct one-to-one interviews with case study participants in order to gather their personal narratives and lived experiences.
Each case study will map how the changes made to the benefits system have impacted on the household income over the period of 2010-17, and will describe how the resulting changes in income have impacted on the families’ daily lives.
Her findings will be presented in a report that will be disseminated as widely as possible, both locally and nationally, in order to both raise awareness of the hardship suffered by families and individuals as a result of welfare reform and lobby for change.
Principal applicant: Professor Cristina Leston-Bandeira
Public engagement is a recent activity for parliaments and while it has expanded rapidly within the last decade there is still very little understanding of whether it is effective.
The newly created Petitions Committee in the House of Commons provides an excellent opportunity to explore this issue. Professor Cristina Leston-Bandeira aims to support the new Committee in developing an understanding of what constitutes an effective petitions system and establishing criteria to evaluate its public engagement potential.
Building up on her extensive previous research in this area Cristina will shadow the work of the Committee for one day a week for a period of six months to observe proceedings and carry out interviews with staff, MPs and petitioners. The extended period of six months will enable her to observe the Commons in action in a variety of contexts over a parliamentary year.
Cristina has a track record of research on petitions and public engagement and her Fellowship will build on an ESRC funded project. In doing so her work will provide the Committee with valuable evidence based advice, which will help it to develop a more effective system and to set specific criteria to evaluate on-going public engagement activity. This will also be a benefit to other public engagement activities within Parliament.
Principal applicant: Professor Anthea Hucklesby
Electronic Monitoring (EM) in the criminal justice system has grown in significance since it was first used in the late 1980s. The government has signalled its intention to increase its use and diversify its application to different defendant/offender populations and technologies.
EM is wholly provided by the private sector and has been a source of scandal, complication and delayed policy implementation.
These twin drivers have led to a renewed focus on the Government’s EM strategy to ensure its most appropriate, effective and efficient use. The aim in five European jurisdictions (see the EMEU website) and previous research carried out over 15 years ago was to inform the government’s future EM strategy. A range of policy and practice recommendations were formulated as a result of EU research aimed at enhancing the creativity and effectiveness of EM and ensuring that it is used justly and humanely.
The primary focus of Professor Anthea Hucklesby’s project will be to translate the recommendations into operational reality and the secondary focus will be to assist with the development of the NOMS EM research strategy to ensure that it is able to build a valid and robust evidence base.
Principal applicant: Professor Nick Malleson
The impacts of the Deregulation Act (2015) on incidences of crime against passengers of Licensed Taxi and Private Hire vehicles will be explored in a project led by Professor Nick Malleson.
Licensed Taxi and Private Hire drivers were historically only allowed to undertake bookings in the area in which they were licensed. However, the Act enables them, using smart technology, to ply for hire in areas where they are not licensed.
Licensing Authorities feel there has been a misinterpretation of the Act, now exploited by some Private Hire Companies, which in practice operates akin to a national licensing system that enables drivers to work anywhere in England and Wales regardless of where they have been licensed.
The Act has several serious implications, namely there is no national register of Licensed Taxi and Private Hire drivers; licensing regulations vary across regions; and the process for reporting inappropriate, dangerous, and/or criminal behaviour becomes confused.
Principal applicant: Professor David Allen
Information and communication technologies are being used by the 43 police services in England and Wales, the Scottish and Northern Irish Police services in a variety of ways to improve the service that they provide and support citizens and colleagues with across the criminal justice service.
In this project Professor David Allen will provide a comprehensive and accurate view of the current use of ICT across police forces in the UK. He will also explore the influence of key ICT development areas, trends and challenges over the next decade.
His work will be underpinned by two national surveys for the National Police Improvement Agency on implementation of a mobile technology in policing that fed directly into policy. He will also draw upon findings from a 2013 national survey in which he was involved, and case studies of technology use.
The project is being jointly funded by the EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account.
Principal applicant: Dr Teela Sanders
Dr Teela Sanders will host a learning event that will discuss the revised national policing prostitution strategy in relation to providing services for sex workers across England and Wales.
The event will showcase the guidance from the most senior police lead on prostitution. It will invite approximately 60 delegates to hear about good practice from a Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire police partnership in the newly approved managed area for street sex work, as well as good practice in dealing with sexual assault from a senior Metropolitan police investigator.
In addition the event will highlight the internet and the sex industry. Good practice models will be showcased from Matrix (Norwich), and an update on a safety application from National Ugly Mugs and the team at Leeds working on the Beyond the Gaze project. This will provide an opportunity to invite new practitioners into the practitioner forums that have recently been initiated at Leeds by Teela and Rosie Campbell, and provide a platform for reaching out to isolated practitioners across the UK.
The event will be organised on the back of a learning event that was held in December 2014 that shared current good practice on sex work service delivery and research in Leeds.
Principal applicant: Dr Hayley Davies
Dr Hayley Davies will build on the Keeping Each Other Safe project to develop three 3-4 minute evidence-based animations that deliver fun but informative messages about staying safe to children aged 7-13.
Informed by children’s own accounts and responding to their concerns about disclosing household and family problems, the animations will prove a valuable resource for practitioners working with children in a safeguarding capacity, in early intervention or preventative work.
The animations will be based on the vignettes used in Hayley’s earlier research and will incorporate children’s existing strategies for assessing risk and for staying safe. They will also seek to strengthen children’s skills and introduce them to new approaches. The work will be informed by the approaches used in the Protective Behaviours Programme offered by Families Feeling Safe (FFS) in its work with practitioners, families and children.
Hayley will work in partnership with FFS, an animator, Leeds City Council’s Children’s Services and hopefully West Yorkshire Police, and will involve national and local children’s charities and services who will act in an advisory capacity as potential users of the completed animations.
The animations will be made widely available to child practitioners involved in the project and will be placed on the websites of partner organisations. The project will be piloted in Leeds and following evaluation and any necessary modification, the animations will be offered nationally.
Principal applicant: Dr Anna Tarrant
Dr Anna Tarrant will build on findings emerging from the ESRC funded Following Young Fathers (FYF) study, and related findings and analysis of the FYF data from the affiliated Men, Poverty and Lifetimes of Care (MPLC) study, to develop a new impact initiative.
It will involve three different, but interlinked work packages, that each build upon findings from the research. In the first package, the work of the London based Young Dads Collective (YDC) will be rolled out to the north of England in collaboration with the Family and Child Care Trust and Leeds City Council.
The second package will improve continuity of support for vulnerable young offender fathers when they are released from Oakhill Secure Training Centre back into the community. Part of the focus will be to improve inter-agency collaboration between those working within and beyond the secure estate.
The final package will review existing training provision, initially in the North of England, to see where there may be gaps. It will also develop and pilot a one-day training module for practitioners working with young fathers. Once the training has been piloted there will be an opportunity to roll it out nationally via the existing FYF networks, with the support of key organisations such as Working With Men and the Teenage Pregnancy Knowledge Exchange.
Principal applicant: Dr James Simpson
Migration and settlement: Extending the welcome’ (M&S) builds on the AHRC-funded ‘Migration and home: Welcome in Utopia’ (M&H) project, developed for the Connected Communities Utopias Festival.
M&S is a co-produced multi-method research and practice initiative involving diverse communities of refugees and refugees seeking asylum, visual artists, performers, a composer, a film-maker and university researchers. It aims to develop language competence and deepen relationships with others in the vibrant multicultural and multilingual environments where the research will take place.
Through this project Dr James Simpson will lead a team that will develop the theme of ‘settlement’ through visual arts, performance and linguistic ethnography methods. The initiative will involve the same research team that worked on M&H and will thicken the networks with the external collaborators.
It will move beyond notions of initial welcome to the process of settlement and the remaking of home. The team will extend and develop key creative elements from M&H: foregrounding productions that are conceptualised, made, devised and performed by clients of Refugee Education Training Advice Service (and later St Vincent’s), in collaboration with the artists and researchers.
Principal applicant: Dr Robert Vanderbeck
A key UN Sustainable Development Goal is to ‘achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’. Further, the ESRC has committed to ‘deliver a significant contribution to international development goals through our support for international development research and related activities’ (ESRC Delivery Plan 2016-2020:4).
Dr. Robert Vanderbeck will lead a project team that aims to make a contribution to achieving these goals through partnership with Jinja Municipal Council (JMC) in Uganda to redress gender inequality by targeting girls’ education.
Discrimination against women is widespread and girls face multiple barriers to accessing – and remaining in – school, high levels of domestic and sexual exploitation, and poor economic opportunities.
This project will increase girls’ educational opportunities through challenging and raising understanding of gender inequality as a problem. It will develop a Social Platform to reduce girls’ vulnerability to exploitation; develop an evidence-base for use by policy-makers; and develop a framework for use by Ugandan and UK-based organisations and service-providers working in global development and/or with migrant and refugee communities.
The work will build upon an innovative approach pioneered by the Uganda strand of the INTERSECTION project.
Principal applicant: Dr Julia Martin-Ortega
School: Earth and Environment
Peatlands have formed over millennia, providing a range of ecosystem services that are key to human well-being, such as carbon storage, water quality, biodiversity and wildlife habitat, and cultural services.
Climate change and land-use are altering the structure and function of peatlands, which threatens the delivery of these ecosystem services. This has raised policy concern internationally and peatlands have been identified as a priority in international agreements such as the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.
Restoration programmes are consequently being deployed across the globe. Increasingly, these policies recognize the need for understanding and quantifying benefits provided by peatlands.
Dr. Julia Martin-Ortega will lead a project that will provide insight into public perceptions and values of the benefits that can be obtained from peatland restoration in Scotland, so that they are ready to use by policy-makers to inform public investments associated with implementing Scotland’s National Peatland Plan (e.g. through Cost-Benefit-Analysis). Also, this can help trigger further private investment related to carbon markets (e.g. UK’s Peatland Carbon Code).
The project will translate the results of a national level survey and focus groups carried out in Scotland in a way that is easy to understand by non-specialists and can be directly used by policy-makers and practitioners.
Principal applicant: Dr Andrea Hollomotz
Preliminary findings from a current ESRC project that evaluates adapted sex offender treatment programmes indicate that consistency in service provision outside the treatment room during and after treatment is a key factor that determines whether programmes result in lasting change.
This is best achieved through joined-up working between different agencies across the criminal justice, health and social care sectors, which was also a recommendation arising from the Bradley Report (2009). It is high on NHS England’s Transforming Care agenda and it is due to publish a new forensic strategy in spring 2017.
Dr Andrea Hollomotz will organise an event in spring 2017 that will bring together key decision makers and frontline practitioners from across these sectors to explore practical strategies for joined-up working through the lens of service provision for people with learning disabilities who have, or are alleged to have sexually offended.
The event will offer an opportunity to focus specifically on the issues that need to be considered when designing services for this group.
Principal applicants: Dr Stuart Hodkinson and Andy Turner
The roll-out of Universal Credit will make it increasingly hard for local authorities to plan services and support for their most vulnerable citizens.
To help counteract this problem, Dr Stuart Hodkinson and Andy Turner will partner with Leeds City Council over 10 months to provide them with specialist computer software for linking and analysing different administrative datasets still at their disposal. The software – developed during a previous EPSRC-funded project – will then be used to specifically analyse data about local council tax payers in order to evaluate and enhance the effectiveness of the Council’s existing Council Tax Support policy.
The software will have a wider and lasting impact by improving the Council’s overall ability to identify and support households most likely to be negatively affected by different welfare reforms at they are introduced in the future. Data, maps and visualisation tools produced from the project will be made available online via the Leeds Observatory and Leeds Data Mill.
Other academics and councils from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority will join a ‘user advisory network’ to benefit from the project and a series of dissemination visits and events are planned with other UK city regional bodies to develop future data-sharing and research collaboration plans with the University.
Principal applicant: Professor Andy Gouldson
The University of Leeds, led by Professor Andy Gouldson, and Leeds City Council will establish an independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) for the city.
The CCC will provide an independent forum for actors across the public (e.g. city council, NHS), private (e.g. Yorkshire Water, Land Securities) and third sectors (e.g. Friends of the Earth, Zero Carbon Yorkshire) to share responsibilities and build capabilities for delivering a low carbon, climate resilient Leeds.
The CCC will conduct reviews and stakeholder engagement to guide and monitor progress. In particular, it will get different city actors and individuals to register pledges to reduce carbon emissions. These will be added up to determine their combined impact on Leeds carbon emissions, and ex-post evaluations will be conducted to see if they were fulfilled.
By encouraging and supporting such pledges, and sharing the responsibility for addressing climate change, the CCC will demonstrate how the changing roles of public, private and civic actors can be utilised to develop new forms of urban governance with the ability to enact meaningful change in the face of austerity.
The project will build on work conducted by the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and a mini-Stern review for the Leeds city region.
Principal applicant: Professor Andy Dougill
Professor Andy Dougill will evaluate a novel approach for advancing pro-poor climate policy through the integration of resilience programmes and social protection schemes.
Concern Universal (CU), a leading international NGO, has established and trained a network of local solar lamp sales agents throughout Malawi’s Balaka District. If successful the 12-month trial will be up-scaled to incorporate all social cash transfer payment recipients, which could help provide over 1.6 million people with better energy access nationally. This would create a nationwide sales and distribution network that could be harnessed to deliver additional interventions and technologies in the future.
Owing to the scarcity of social protection schemes that integrate climate adaptation and mitigation, attempts to evaluate where and how such efforts can help reduce the climate and development vulnerabilities of the ultra-poor are rare.
This represents a pressing gap within the pro-poor climate policy and adaptation planning literature that this project addresses directly through analysis in Malawi. The findings will feed directly into national planning of major donor investments and inform academic outputs assessing the feasibility of integrating climate resilience and social cash transfer programmes.
The project will extend collaborative working between the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics & Policy and CU.
Principal applicant: Dr Gabriella Alberti
Project awarded: October 2016
Dr Gabriella Alberti will explore the changing demography of Leeds whilst confronting ongoing challenges to reduce poverty and inequalities among its diverse communities.
According to Migration Yorkshire out of a local population of about 766,400 people in 2014, the number of new migrant workers in Leeds rose to 9,020 in 2015 (including new arrivals from EU, non-EU and Commonwealth countries). Alongside this, there are around 8,330 international students in the City.
Working with Leeds City Council, the project will promote a dialogue and inclusive approach with a focus on the voices of those directly affected.
Following the recent EU Referendum, there have been increasing racial tensions and political and economic uncertainty. This results in an even stronger need for increasing collaboration between institutions around migration, promoting transfers of knowledge and mapping the new needs of migrant and non-migrant groups.
From the research underpinning this project, it has been shown that community cohesion can be easier to achieve by improving social wellbeing, access to services and empowering the vulnerable while combating labour exploitation. Gabriella’s academic contribution will highlight the different dimensions of social vulnerability, including the labour market and welfare changes that create tensions in the community. It will also highlight pathways to develop the role of institutions and migrants’ organisations promoting the contribution of migration to local development. This collaboration will help to develop a two-way dialogue with key stakeholders in the City around these issues.
Principal applicant: Dr Kate Hardy
Project awarded: October 2016
Findings from an action research project with housing campaigners, Focus E15, funded by the Feminist Review Trust, have shown severe health impacts on those facing homelessness and displacement in London. At their most serious, this includes high rates of mental health distress and even suicidal feelings.
Using the participatory action method, Dr Kate Hardy will use these findings to capture those at the bottom of the housing crisis, who may not be captured in other datasets due to their continual mobility. The research is of unique importance in capturing the experiences of the most vulnerable and marginalised in society.
This project will enable wider dissemination of the findings amongst social movements and civil society actors working on the housing crisis in London. It will also facilitate the generation of new partnerships with homeless charities, mental health charity Mind, a network of community psychologists – Psychologists Against Austerity, several artists and a network of lawyers addressing issues of housing and homelessness. This fund will also enable these partnerships to be cemented through the establishment of the Housing, Austerity and Mental Health Network.
Principal applicant: Professor Graeme Davies
Project awarded: October 2016
Building on an ESRC-funded project that examined British public attitudes towards international relations, Professor Graeme Davies and Professor Robert John (Essex) will jointly lead a project that will strengthen links with the Department for International Development (DfID).
DfID is interested in developing methodologies to help them understand British public attitudes towards international aid to shape and inform their communications strategy.
One of the key objectives of this knowledge exchange project is to increase DFID’s capacity to conduct research into public attitudes on aid by providing training for members of their communications team on experimental design, implementation and analysis.
By the end of the project – which is jointly funded by the Essex Impact Acceleration Account – they will have developed a close working relationship with DFID and impacted on their understandings of public attitudes towards aid.
Principal applicant: Dr Anna Barker
Project awarded: October 2016
Anna Barker will lead a team that will look into the precarious future of public parks given pressures on public sector funding and the lack of statutory duty to fund and maintain them.
The Heritage Lottery Fund State of UK Public Parks 2016 report recently highlighted the present juncture as a possible turning point in the fortunes and historic trajectories of urban parks.
The Communities and Local Government Select Committee Inquiry into the future of public parks, launched in July 2016 and due to report in early 2017, provides an opportunity to boost the national impact of existing interdisciplinary research exploring the past, present and future uses of urban public parks.
The project team will create a new network of researchers and relevant organisations to foster a research-informed debate about urban park futures. This network will come together to respond to the findings and conclusions of the Select Committee Inquiry through a national conference, to help shape the ensuing public debate, and to explore new lines of national and international research relating future regulation and management of urban parks.
Principal applicant: Dr Daniel O’Neill
School: Earth and Environment
Project awarded: October 2016
Humanity faces the challenge of how to achieve a high level of well-being for all people without exceeding critical planetary boundaries. This challenge has arisen from the unprecedented scale and speed of global environmental changes caused by human activities, seen by many as evidence that the planet has entered a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene. For nations to thrive in this new epoch, there is an urgent need to better understand the relationships between human well-being and natural resource use.
Dr Daniel ONeill has investigated the relationship between eleven social indicators (life satisfaction, healthy life expectancy, nutrition, sanitation, income, access to energy, education, social support, equality, democratic quality, and employment) and seven biophysical indicators (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, blue water, land use, materials, and ecological footprint). Their results reveal the performance of close to 200 nations relative to a “safe and just” development space.
This project will translate these results into an easily accessible and interactive online platform that can be directly used by policy-makers, practitioners, and the general public. The online platform will allow users to specify their own preferences for social thresholds associated with a “good life”, and see the effect that these choices have on environmental sustainability.
Principal applicant: Dr Andrew Brown
Project awarded: December 2016
A collaboration between iBuild and FESSUD, the CITIES theme, the PPRU, and Leeds City Council will generate a report on valuation followed by a development of structures and process to facilitate collaboration of University researchers, local and regional authorities and stakeholders.
Headed by Dr Andrew Brown, the report will place local authority valuation, financing and funding considerations within the context of ‘financialisation’. Financialisation refers to the increasing prominence and emerging new roles for finance at local, national and international scales of the past thirty years of so. It has been studied extensively by FESSUD and iBUILD, research from which the report will draw.
The report will also assess whether, when placed within the wider context of financialisation, it is possible to identify new insights on valuation, financing and funding of systems of provision that can aid the local authority in meeting its long-term economic, social and environmental objectives.
Aided by the generation of the report, the team will develop structures and processes to facilitate collaboration between University researchers on this topic and local and regional authorities and stakeholders. Its rationale is as follows: CITIES, iBUILD and FESSUD have extensive local, national and international stakeholder networks. These structures, processes and strategic principles are required to facilitate long-run collaborations with these stakeholders to yield ongoing policy impacts. Experience suggests that co-production of a policy report, linked to specific policy decisions and processes, can significantly aid such structured collaboration.
Principal applicant: Dr Carly Lightowlers
Project awarded: December 2016
Understanding hate crime is a priority for police forces across England and Wales. Since the recent EU referendum there has been renewed emphasis on the important of preventing hate crime and providing support for victims.
This project will develop new relationships between academics, Lancashire Constabulary and the Safer Lancashire Partnership with which to drive the improvements in policing and service provision for victims of religiously and racially motivated hate crime.
Led by Dr Carly Lightowlers, it will enhance learning between academic partners and policing colleagues in methods for overlaying demographic, voting and Twitter data with routinely captured police data in novel ways to develop a richer and more nuanced understanding of the dynamic and changing risks to communities.
The project has been designed with Lancashire Constabulary and Safer Lancashire to enable them to develop new methods for analysing data in relation to hate crime. The learning from this project will assess crime prevention and community safety partners to target finite resources more effectively to prevent hate crime and provide suitable services for victims by targeting communities of greatest risk. Moreover, it will develop their skills in using new data sets and methods which can be later applied to other crime ‘problems’.
Principal applicants: Professors Mark Priesley and Anna Lawson
School: Sociology and Social Policy / Law
Project awarded: February 2017
In December 2015 the European Commission made proposals for a ‘European Accessibility Act’, to set new standards of design for information and communication technologies (ICTs) across the single market and making them more accessible to disabled people.
EU-funded research led by Professors Mark Priestley and Anna Lawson contributed directly to these policy developments.
The accessibility of ICTs for disabled customers in the European single marked was addressed also by Dr Ieva Eskyte in a Marie Curie early stage researcher fellowship (supervised by Mark and Anna).
The combined research demonstrated how national policy variation and novelty of the accessibility concept leads to tensions between stakeholders and barriers to effective market solutions.
The project will seek to enhance the impact of change through constrictive dialogue between academics, business and civil society acting in common purpose. This will involve a key stakeholder discussion and an open seminar jointly hosted by the Centre for Disability Studies, the European Disability Forum, the Digital Technology & Innovation Policy Group of Digital Europe, and Microsoft.
Principal applicant: Dr Lata Narayanaswamy
Awarded: December 2016
Multi-stakeholder, academic-practitioner collaborations are crucial for international development. Experiences of them have been mixed, however, and have shown that they need support to make them work. This project advances ideas and methodologies for making such partnerships work more effectively for the SDGs.
Partnership challenges across research, donors, private sector, government and civil society were initially explored at the Civil Society, Democracy and Development Research Cluster launch at the University of Leeds (June 2016). They were again sharply in focus at the November 2016 LSSI/CGD Leeds International Development Conference ‘Vulnerability and Resilience’. At both events, stakeholders sought better understanding of disjunctures and potential synergies of differing agendas around ‘evidence’, ‘impact’ and ‘knowledge’.
Using an online seminar format, Dr Lata Narayanaswamy and the project team will deepen and extend the ongoing dialogue by bringing together actors from Leeds’ and INTRAC’s global networks who could not otherwise meet. The online format is a well-established and effective format for bringing together people with limited time and funding capacity to debate critical issues that impact on successful development initiatives. The seminar will facilitate dialogue and development of effective partnership working, new research agendas and provide new guidance to inform successful collaborate research to tackle global development challenges and achieve the SDGs.
Principal applicant: Dr Anne Tallontire
School: Earth and Environment
Project awarded: February 2017
Dr Anne Tallontire will help Fairtrade International to develop a framework for academic engagement as part of its aim of becoming a ‘learning organisation’.
The organisation wishes to promote a learning culture to foster its mission to ‘secure a better deal for farmers and workers’ so that research findings are better understood and applied by members of the FI network. Its current online learning platform of resources nonetheless need to be more accessible and practically applicable to members of the network with different skills, interests and resources, and also to foster a culture of learning that draws on evidence, as well as practice.
Drawing on research on processes and governance within the fair trade movement, the project will co-produce tools from academic research on processes of participatory, multi-stakeholder standard development and the theory of change to make them more accessible and practically applicable across the system.
It will then draw on this experience to help shape a framework for collaboration with academics to enhance the uptake and usefulness of research within the organisation and movement.
LSSI Director and Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice (ESSL)
LSSI Deputy Director and Professor of Transport and Social Analysis (ITS)
LSSI Deputy Director and Chair in Sociology and Social Theory
Pro-Dean for Research, Arts, Humanities and Cultures
Chair in Nursing Research (Medicine and Health)
Industrial Strategy Manager (RIS)
Head of Sustainable Development at Leeds City Council
Dean of the Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law
Pro-Dean for Research and Innovation (ESSL)
Faculty Pro-Dean for Research and Innovation and Chair in Cultural Economy
Pro-Dean for Research (Environment)
Professor of Biomedical Research, Faculty Pro-Dean for Research and Innovation
Professor of Religion and Social Theory (Arts)
Pro-Dean for Research and Innovation; Leadership Chair in International Business
LSSI Research and Innovation Development Manager
LSSI Deputy Director and Professor of Transport and Social Analysis (ITS)
LSSI Deputy Director and Professor of Sociology (SSP)
Divisional Director of Research (LUBS)
Senior Lecturer in Criminal Justice (Law)
University Academic Fellow (Environment)
Principal Research Fellow (LIHS)
Professor of East Asia’s International Political Economy (Arts)
Associate Professor, Environmental Policy (SRI)
Senior Lecturer in Economics (LUBS)
Professor of Sociology (SSP)
Chair in Nursing Research (Healthcare)
Professor of Criminology (ESSL)
Associate Professor in Work and Employment Relations (LUBS)
Lecturer in Architecture (Engineering)
Associate Professor, Ecological Economics
University Academic Fellow in New Migrations in UK and Europe
Research Development Manager, Environmental Sciences (RIS)
Researcher Skills Senior Training and Development Officer (ODPL)
LSSI Research and Innovation Development Manager
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Leeds Institute for Health Sciences
Institute for Psychological Sciences
Health, Medicine and Society
Identity, Power and Protest
Leeds Centre for Canadian Studies
Employment Relations, Innovation & Change
Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History
Centre for Global Development
Families, Life Course & Generations Research Centre
Centre for International Research on Care, Labour & Equalities
Centre for Ethnicity & Racism Studies
Centre for Disability Studies
Centre for Criminal Justice Studies
Centre for International Governance
Centre for European Law & Legal Studies
Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies
Citizenship & Belonging
Cities & Social Justice
Spatial Analysis & Policy
Social & Environmental Justice Network
Economics and Appraisal
Human Factors and Safety
Social and Political Sciences
Social & political dimensions of sustainability
Sustainable Cities Group