Winners of the Real Impact Interdisciplinary Research Fund Award

17th April 2020

Emerald Publishing has announced that it will offer a grant of £10,000 to the University of Lincoln to conduct an interdisciplinary research project and help with the dissemination of the research. Launched in October 2019, the grant exists to find an innovative project that promotes action towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, through collaboration of disciplines, methodology and research in order to deliver real world impact.

Tony Roche, Publishing and Strategic Relations Director at Emerald Publishing, said “The new Interdisciplinary Research Award (IDR) is a natural extension to Emerald’s Real Impact Awards that were launched in 2018.  Our programme of Awards recognise and celebrate the changemakers that are driving the impact debate and doing things differently to challenge traditional approaches to impact. Recognising that society’s problems cannot be tackled in silos or through single disciplines, the introduction of the IDR Award supports Emerald’s wider work, leading the charge to publishing impactful content that contributes to societal change”.

The winning team were chosen from nearly 100 submissions from around the globe, to further their work on ‘Seeing Change: Gender, Ethnicity and Democracy in Morocco’. The collaboration unifies social sciences scholars, arts researchers and practitioners, and a local Moroccan NGO partner, with the mission to progress a project that promotes action on gender equality in-line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The team seeks to develop concrete and sustainable methods for addressing gender inequality, enhancing education, and combatting discriminatory norms.

The project’s ambition is to work with young Berber women in Morocco, with the aim of empowering them to be able to articulate their understanding of their political agency and to determine how they might take part in democratic processes that they could otherwise be excluded from.

The winning team is made up of Tom Martin, a Humanitarian photographer and lecturer at the University of Lincoln; Dr Kaya Davies Hayon, a postdoctoral research fellow in Francophone Maghrebi Culture at the University of Lincoln; Dr Fadma Aït-Mous, an assistant professor of sociology at the University Hassan II, Morocco and UK mentor, Professor Stephanie Hemelryk Donald, a distinguished professor at University of Lincoln.

Tom Martin spoke of what the award meant to the team and their research saying “We are very grateful to receive this award, it will allow us to develop an interdisciplinary creative project that engages with Berber women in Morocco and forges partnerships with local organisations that will enable real change. Without this award we would simply not be able to conduct this project. We are excited to see how the project will evolve, and its future impact".

The judges said of the winning submission “We were able to see clearly how the project addresses key challenges in gender equality and political participation, and how collaboration between different disciplines shaped its methods and outputs. We were impressed that the project sets out to work with a hard-to-reach group, using creative participatory visual methods to make their voices heard. The team’s partnership with local NGO ECEP suggested the potential for real change resulting from this project. Importantly, we felt the award could make a significant difference to this project and the dissemination of its findings, helping it to achieve real impact”.

The judges were also incredibly impressed with two other projects submitted from the NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition and Health, UK and from Swinburne University of Technology, Australia. Both projects received highly commended status.  

Commenting of the NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition and Health project with their proposal on ‘The Mobile Teaching Kitchen Project (Bhavishya Shakti Initiative)’ the judges said “This is a small project but with clear scalability and potential for impact”. Speaking of the other highly commended submission from Swinburne University of Technology, Australia on their project of ‘Enterprising Women in Rural Regions’ the judges said “This project is well conceived and designed and we could see how interdisciplinary has enabled a creative approach that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible”.

The expert judging panel comprised of:

  • Tony Roche, Publishing and Strategic Relations Director at Emerald Publishing.
  • Professor Alison Anderson, Associate Head of School (Research), Professor School of Law, Criminology and Government at the University of Plymouth.
  • Professor Susan Halford, Professor of Sociology, University of Bristol, President of the British Sociological Association and Co-Director of Bristol Digital Futures Institute.
  • Professor Tim Jay, Professor of Education, Institute of Education at Sheffield Hallam University.
  • Professor Stuart Taberner, Dean of Interdisciplinary Research at the University of Leeds.

About Emerald

Emerald Publishing provides a range of publishing services to help authors tell their story in a meaningful and timely way, providing innovative tools and services to build confidence and capability in impactful research. As a proud signatory of DORA, Emerald is committed to establishing new pathways to impact, making research more accessible, and helping communities make decisions that change their world for the better. For over 50 years Emerald’s core purpose has been to champion fresh thinkers and help them make a difference so that little by little those in academia or in practice can unite to bring positive change in the real world.

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Tamsyn Johnston-Hughes
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