Leeds Social Sciences Institute

IAA funded Knowledge Exchange Fellowships

LSSI is happy to be supporting three knowledge exchange fellowships through the University-funded Impact Acceleration Account (IAA), which has been developed in association with the ESRC.

The Fellowships aims to facilitate interactions between external organisations and the University, which build and strengthen relationships and facilitate knowledge exchange. It will provide academics with an opportunity to work with a non-academic partner at their site, or for a non-academic partner to work on a project at the university for up to 12 months on either a full-time or part-time basis.

The activities to be undertaken in the Fellowship are outlined by School below.

Geography

Deregulation of taxi and private hire vehicles

Principal applicant: Professor Nick Malleson
School: Geography
Project awarded: February 2017

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.

Law

Food Waste: Legislative Proposals

Principal applicant: Dr Carrie Bradshaw
School: Law
Project awarded: March 2018

The project would identify and evaluate a broad and innovative range of legislative measures to tackle food waste.  It builds especially on the applicant’s most recent project (‘Waste Law and the Value of Food’), the UK’s only legal scholarship on food waste.  That research identified how EU waste law contributes to the causes of food waste, because it fails to accommodate and value the importance of food to humanity, and fails to recognise that food’s perishability makes it fundamentally different from many other resources.  This highly original research has clear implications for legislative interventions: what are the best legislative options for most effectively addressing food waste, and how can legislation best take account of the special status and characteristics of food.

Legislative options will depend on the outcome of Brexit negotiations, although the UK and devolved nations need to be prepared for different scenarios, especially in view of the urgency of addressing food waste, and the inevitable on-going need to do so.  In the event that EU waste law will no longer apply (‘hard’ Brexit), there would be opportunities to revisit (i) the key architecture of food waste law, which is problematic when applied to food, and (ii) how food waste as a problem is framed and legally housed, for example by moving from a waste management to a resource management framework.  In a ‘soft’ Brexit scenario, where EU waste law might still apply, Committee work that re-thinks the legal framework will still be highly influential in shaping law and policy.

Electronic monitoring in criminal justice: translating research into policy

Principal applicant: Professor Anthea Hucklesby
School: Law
Project awarded: December 2016

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.

POLIS

The Petitions Committee: Developing a new style of public engagement

Principal applicant: Professor Cristina Leston-Bandeira
School: POLIS
Project awarded: February 2016

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.

Sociology and Social Policy

Increasing the impacts of Mixed Ability Sport: redefinition, resources and impact planning

Principal applicant: Dr Jen Dyer
School: Sociology and Social Policy
Project awarded: November 2018

The Mixed Ability Model represents an innovative approach to promoting social inclusion through sport and education. The Model started with MA Rugby and was defined as ‘players with and without learning and/or physical disabilities competing together in a mainstream, non-adapted version of the game’. The Model has now expanded to other sports and attracted a huge range of participants who previously faced barriers to participation in sport regardless of (dis)ability. The original definition therefore no longer encompasses MA Sport. This has become one of the key challenges to promoting the Model. IMAS would like to develop evidence-based resources which concisely define the MA Model and its impacts to attract new participants, funding and sponsorship, and to approach new organisations such as sport National Governing Bodies, and policymakers, to increase their impact.

This project will use previous and current research to redefine MA and to co-develop resources and a Theory of Change focused on impact with IMAS and other stakeholders. This requires a knowledge exchange project where Jen uses her knowledge of research findings and experience with participatory research methods, Theory of Change and developing research outputs, alongside IMAS’ knowledge and experience of the MA Model and developing accessible resources, their future priorities and their networks.

About the IAA

The University-funded IAA was established to encourage and support research with impact across the social sciences.

It will run for three years (from 2015-2018) and will help to support social scientists to engage with external partners and maximise the impact and influence of their research on society and the economy.

The Fund supports three strands of activity:

The Account benefits from membership of the ESRC IAA network and oversight.

Read here for further information about the IAA, including the criteria for funding and timetable of application deadlines.

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