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University Research Fellows 2020/21 appointed


The University Committee for Research & Innovation is supporting six University Research Fellowships providing £10,000 to cover teaching replacement costs and research expenses. The University Research Fellowships are intended to support researchers in the arts, humanities, and social sciences across the four University research themes.

The Fellowships will support the development of research leaders at any stage of their career and fellows will be supported to develop research leadership through mentoring and training, where appropriate.

Here are this year’s fellows:

Dr Naomi Flynn

English as an additional language and professional development

Prosperity & Resilience

In keeping with her researcher-practitioner identity, Naomi’s fellowship involves working directly with staff in a group of schools where many pupils are learning English as an additional language (EAL). Through training, observations, coaching and interviews, this project will investigate the extent to which a US-designed, programme of professional development can enhance the practice of teachers of pupils with EAL who make up around 20% of the school population in the UK. It tackles the twin challenges of under-attainment for some groups of EAL learners and teachers’ under-preparedness to teach them.

Conor Carville

Beckett, Death and Care

Heritage & Creativity

Shortly before he passed away himself, Samuel Beckett told the poet John Montague that he’d cared for both his parents on their death beds. Conor's research reads his fiction and drama in the light of this statement, examining Beckett’s monologues to assess the light they shed on questions of care, responsibility and the changing place of death within the social world. As part of the project Conor is helping contemporary carers to craft personal narratives in response to the COVID crisis.

Alex Arnall

Everyday Security and Global Environmental Change

Prosperity and Resilience

This Fellowship builds on Alex’s research into floods, coastlines and global environment change in the Maldives and Mozambique. He is interested in moving away from climate change discourses that emphasise national and international migration towards exploring how people manage their own safety and securities on an everyday basis. This includes a planned study of settlements that are threatened by sea level rise and erosion on England’s east coast, which will help Alex understand these important day-to-day dimensions.

Ciara McCabe

Reward Response and adolescent mental health

Agriculture, Food &Health

Ciara’s fellowship builds on her work in the University of Oxford Experimental Psychology Department, using in fMRI to understand the human brain's response to reward. It combines her preclinical knowledge of reward, psychopharmacology and neuroimaging expertise to examine reward processing in depressed patients and the effects of psychotropic drugs on the human brain's reward response and will allow her to expand into the area of adolescent mental health using fMRI and computational modelling.

Fraibet Aveledo

The effects of bilingualism on cognition and language impairment in neurodegenerative disease: the case of Multiple Sclerosis

Heritage & Creativity

Fraibert’s fellowship aims to study in depth the language characteristics in patients with multiple sclerosis and whether being bilingual can delay the onset of symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases. An interdisciplinary team of experts formed by international and multidisciplinary collaboration (University of Reading and MS Unit, Hospital Gregorio Marañón, Madrid) will look at better understand the role of language faculty in this neurodegenerative disease and develop strategies and protocols to better diagnose the cognitive status of MS, and support communication skills in this population.

Natalie Thomlinson

Women in the miners’ strike, 1984-5: Charting changing gender roles in working-class communities in post-war Britain

Heritage & Creativity

Natalie has always been fascinated by gender; what it is, how people understand it, and why those understandings change. In her fellowship, she and her research partner (Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite at UCL) will take 100 oral histories that we have conducted with women from coalfield communities - where they asked them all about their lives, from their childhood to the present - and analyse them alongside other archived interviews with women from working-class communities undertaken in the last 70 years. By doing this, they hope to gain a greater understanding of how such women experienced and conceptualised the huge changes in gender roles that postwar Britain - alongside much of the world - saw.


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