View 2019 Prize Winners

Nicole BrownBodies and buildings: How the chronically ill or disabled experience buildings in academia

Nicole Brown is a Lecturer in Education and Academic Head of Learning and Teaching at UCL Institute of Education, and a doctoral researcher at the University of Kent. She holds the Magistra Philosophiae, Master of Teaching, Diploma in Translation, Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Nicole is a qualified teacher in Austria and the UK and worked as a secondary teacher of modern foreign languages before moving into higher education.

Her research interests relate to identity and body work, physical and material representations and metaphors, the generation of knowledge, and advancing learning and teaching within higher education.

The SRHE funded project "Bodies and buildings: how the chronically ill or disabled experience buildings in academia" builds on findings from Nicole's PhD, which focusses on how individuals with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses manage their "deviant" bodies within the physical space of university buildings. The SRHE funding enables Nicole to explore how chronically ill and/or disabled staff in academia interact with the buildings they frequent and what impact the physical environment has on their everyday experience in a two-stage approach combining rhythmanalysis with walking interviews.

Grace Ese-osa IdahosaMid-level Managers Agency for Transformation in Post-Conflict Higher Education

Grace Ese-osa Idahosa is a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Social Change, University of Johannesburg. She holds a PhD and an MA in Political Studies from the Department of Political and International Studies, Rhodes University. Her doctoral research was a hermeneutic phenomenological study which dealt with the subject of agency in the context of South African higher education transformation.

Grace’s current research, draws on the premise that if universities are to contribute to societal development, they will first have to transform themselves. She employs a structure, agency and transformation framework to understand how and under what conditions, individuals have the agency to effect transformation within their institutions. Furthermore, her research interrogates how social factors like gender, race, class, sexuality and ethnicity, intersects to enable/limit agency within specific context and is explored in her new book titled ‘Agency and Transformation in South African Higher Education: Pushing the bounds of possibility’. Her research interests include, higher education, social/organisational change, institutional culture, and body politics.

The current project, funded by the SRHE, interrogates the ways in which university middle-management, who are in key positions to engender social change within the higher education sector in Northern Ireland and South Africa, can be better empowered to enact their agency; and in what ways this is impacted by their gender and social location. By considering the structural position and power of managers to enact their agency, the study will contribute to comparative transnational findings regarding the challenges and possibilities for change within two post-conflict contexts, where the social location of such individuals intersects with the reception of their gender and other structural/social positions.

Carli Rowell“No words, just two letters ‘Dr’”: Working-class early career researcher’s reflections on the transition to and through a social-sciences PhD and into academia.

Carli Rowell is a sociologist, feminist and ethnographer passionate about social justice and social inequalities on global, national and local level. Much of her work grapples with issues pertaining to contemporary social, spatial and geopolitical (im)mobilities particularly in relation to educational (in)equalities and their intersections with class/caste, gender and ethnicity. She is currently a GCRF ESRC Post-Doctoral Research Fellow working in the 7 million pound funded GCRF Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods. Carli has conducted research, taught and has been a visiting scholar in both the Southern (South Africa 2017; Tanzania 2016; India 2015; and Ghana 2013) and Northern (America 2017; Canada 2015; and China 2014) hemisphere. Prior to Glasgow Carli held positions at the University of Sussex and the University of Warwick.

Notwithstanding the expansion of doctoral study, it continues to operate as a classed pathway, a problem exacerbated by the surplus of doctoral graduates and an increasingly congested precarious global academic labour market. Although a prerequisite for academic careers, the doctorate no longer operates as a passport into the ivory tower. It is now accepted that the ‘leaky pipeline’ of academia, whereby ‘non-traditional’ bodies remain absent from professorial and higher managerial positions within UKHE threatens the diversity of scholarship and leadership. This SRHE funded study will explore working-class, ECRs lived experiences of moving through doctoral study into the academic workforce. It will make visible the successes, hurdles and ambivalences of this precarious and often invisible group of academics.

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