Current Research Support Funding Projects
Our first round of research support funding closed in February 2018. The shortlisting panel were very impressed by the quality and diversity of applications, but the Centre was only able to fund 30% of the applications received.
We are delighted to announce that we are able to support the following projects.
BACKGROUND: Universities are increasingly engaging with their communities, to help enrich their research and help make their cities and regions healthier, culturally richer and more interesting places to live and work. However, measuring the effectiveness of community engagement is challenging, and it is difficult for researchers to determine for example, whether they are reaching the people they want to reach, or whether everyone is given equal opportunity to be heard.
AIMS: We would like to identify key markers of successful engagement, and consider how new measures could be designed to help researchers measure their community engagement activities and help them adapt their engagement approach for different contexts.
METHODS: We will review the literature describing how community engagement is currently being evaluated and determine if there are already methods available to measure the nuances of community engagement. We will then work with academics from within the Wellcome Centre and beyond, and their community partners, to discuss which elements of engagement are important to measure, and consider how we can design novel techniques that could capture and critically evaluate these elements of the community engagement processes and delivery. Finally, we will seek to work with existing community-based researchers to pilot potential evaluation techniques.
This award will allow the team to engage with users of Exeter’s West of England Gender Identity Clinic (the Laurels), their families, and clinicians, to improve understanding of desired outcomes of gender identity transition and co-develop a research agenda in this area. There is currently little understanding of what users of these services regard as desired outcomes and our primary aim is to give voice to their views and examine how these might change as they move through transition. Since gender identity transition does not happen in isolation of others, we also aim to incorporate the perspective of social networks and clinicians, and to facilitate a dialogue between these different perspectives. The primary outcome of the project is a co-developed research agenda that will guide our future work. We also aim to co-produce initial transformative insights into how to produce a more complete and realistic understanding of the outcomes of this type of service use.
This project will explore how the use of terms such as “truth” and “certainty” are associated with the task of diagnosis. It will look specifically at the representation of diagnosis by diagnosticians themselves, but also in popular culture. We will investigate how this representation uses these authoritative terms to reinforce the transformative power of diagnosis and to protect medicine’s social status and control. The funding will be used to hold a small, international, multi-disciplinary workshop to explore the concepts and scope a broader, multi-phase project, and develop a brief for a multi-media exhibit. We anticipate from this workshop and associated publication development of a follow-on application to the Wellcome Trust to empirically explore patient experiences and institutional settings of diagnosis and medical certainty and uncertainty. We will engage patient representatives in the workshop and at all stages of the research, through PenPIG with whom we have worked previously and through the Patients Association UK, via our connection with Rosalyn Jowett who participated in our ESRC funded Sociology of Diagnosis seminar series.
A young girl with disabilities recently narrated the story of some of her life experiences as a ‘living book’ at Exeter Central Library. Having left full-time education she (and her carers) are now entering a new landscape, where many of the opportunities found in specialist schools need to be “re-found” in the community. This young girl and her father had just discovered the library’s FabLab. It had been a revelation to both of them: offering them both social and creative opportunities they were keen to embrace.
Young people with disabilities can often face a ‘drop off’ in support (including health, social and educational) when they leave formal education. The impact of this can be far reaching, particularly in terms of a vulnerability to social isolation (as much for their families and carers as the individual themselves). This project is a collaboration between the library, the Pelican Project (a community organisation supporting such young people) and an engaged researcher, who will come together to facilitate ways for other young people and their carers to tell stories about their lives as they are and the ways they would like to use and shape spaces such as the FabLab to improve their wellbeing.
Protein Pressures and Carnivorous Crises: Human Health, Animal Welfare and the Global Growth of C19th and C21st Meat Markets
This project will explore how health, welfare and environmental issues concerning the phenomenal growth of the global meat complex in the twenty-first century can be better understood and addressed through an interdisciplinary engagement with the formative development of globalized meat markets in Britain between 1850-1920. It seeks funds for a two-day symposium that will:
- Use the Centre’s research themes to shape and develop how scholars with expertise in the relevant history, archival materials and literary and cultural forms can dialogue and forge links with scientists, social scientists, policy-makers, commercial organisations and advocacy groups involved and interested in the contemporary meat industry.
- Identify interdisciplinary research questions, archival resources and impact pathways that will develop in a transformative way Young’s monograph project - Carnivorous Empire: Adventure Fiction, British Culinary Culture and the Growth of Global Meat Markets, 1865-1914 – as an application to the AHRC’s Leadership Fellow scheme.
- Build a network of researchers from non-cognate disciplines alongside non-academic stakeholders and orient it towards ongoing collaborative work – within the academy and beyond – on the historical, cultural and environmental dimensions of meat markets as they pertain to issues of human and non-human health and wellbeing.