Research Fellow - Faculty of Arts and Humanities

United Kingdom
Dec 17, 2020
Jan 16, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
The role of the Research Fellow is to develop and undertake research as part of the AHRC 'Where Next' scoping project 'Towns and the Cultural Economies of Recovery: A New Multidisciplinary Mapping.'

This multi-disciplinary, multi-partner project will identify the future research priorities which will enhance our understanding of the contributions that culture can make to the economic recovery, renewal and resilience of towns. The project builds on the government's 'Towns Fund' initiative (2019), which names 100 towns that, despite possessing a 'proud industrial and economic heritage', are targeted for additional support in four key areas, including skills and culture. The Covid-19 crisis has further transformed the need for civic and cultural regeneration, presenting urgent new social and economic challenges.

Working at the intersection of the Humanities and Social Sciences, the project will produce a scoping study and report proposing future research directions, opportunities and priorities which will underpin and drive culture's role in the economic recovery and renewal of towns across the UK. It will focus on four case-study towns, identified from the government's '100 Towns' list, and through the robust local community networks of the Victoria County History project, developing transferable, extensible insights, cross-disciplinary methodologies and approaches. The postdoc will be working within the new Southampton Institute for Arts and Humanities which is located within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

The Research Fellow's responsibilities in this 8 month full time post relate to two specific work strands:

Firstly, they will work with the project team, and colleagues from the Centre for Towns think tank, to examine how communities, including policy makers, businesses, cultural activists, artists and educators, understand the role of culture in their economic contexts, both as a resource (that can be further developed) and a deficit (that is insufficiently present). This research, a combination of desk-based analysis, surveys and interviews, will be attentive to the changes in the approaches to culture that the current crisis necessitated and will detail the issues that the rapid move to online cultural offerings, in particular, involve. This work package will provide a benchmark document for understanding the role that culture plays in current plans for economic regeneration. Its report, and data map, will be developed and promoted using the CfT's existing digital resources and webpage. Secondly, they will support the project team, and colleagues from Historic England and 'NESTA-led Creative Industries Policy Evidence Centre', to organise and co-ordinate a series of virtual 'town hall' meetings with representatives from our four case study towns.

Successful applicants will have a PhD* or equivalent professional qualifications and experience in economic, political or social sciences.

*Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

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