2022 Prize Winners


Exploring awarding gaps for British Black students at university through Participatory Visual Ethnography – Laura Barnett, University of Surrey.


Laura Barnett joined the Surrey Institute of Education at the University of Surrey in April 2018 as a Lecturer in Higher Education. Prior to this she has worked as a student learning developer at several UK universities, with specialist roles in supporting students from widening participation backgrounds. Laura completed her PhD in 2018 at Canterbury Christ Church University which was an ethnographic study of youth ‘binge’ drinking in the UK. She also holds a BA (Hons) Media and Cultural Studies and Business Studies. Laura’s research interests relate to inclusivity and inequalities in higher education where she is keen to further develop her educational research interests using participatory and visual ethnographic approaches to explore lived experiences in HE.


In this SRHE project, Laura will explore how Black British students experience their learning, teaching and curriculum (including content, design, delivery and assessment) at university from different disciplinary perspectives to explore how these experiences might explain awarding gaps. This will be achieved through a participatory visual ethnographic approach which entails students acting in a dual role as both researchers and participants with Laura, adopting ethnographic methods (e.g. participant observation, engaging in interviews etc.) to collect qualitative data exploring students’ social identities and experiences of diversity and inclusion in learning and teaching. It is hoped that this study will bring to the forefront the voices and experiences of Black students offering qualitative insights relating to inequalities around awarding gaps for black students that are enduring in HE.

Scientific collaborations between the United Kingdom and Middle Eastern and North African countries in the post-Brexit and post-pandemic world
Yusuf Ikbal Oldac, Hong Kong Research Grants Council & Lingnan University


Yusuf Ikbal Oldac is a Hong Kong Research Grants Council Post-Doc Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, Lingnan University. He recently graduated from his fully-funded PhD study at the University of Oxford. Yusuf received his undergraduate degree from Turkey’s Boğaziçi University, Faculty of Education and master’s degree from Turkey’s Middle East Technical University in Educational Leadership and Administration. He is the recipient of multiple academic and research awards from institutions such as the British Association for International and Comparative Education and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. His overall research focuses on global science and international higher education.

For his SRHE-funded project, Yusuf will investigate the scientific collaborations between the UK and Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries. Such scientific collaborations are significant for post-Brexit and post-pandemic Britain, as the scientific collaborations with European countries are stagnating, according to the latest Web of Science data. By contrast, the UK’s research collaborations with MENA countries are on an increasing trend. For the UK, MENA countries are the immediate neighbours beyond Europe. As part of the global trend of pluralisation of science systems, MENA countries have rapidly developed more productive science systems. Therefore, the increased collaborations between the UK and MENA science systems are mutually beneficial and could lead to a lasting positive impact on global science.

Narrative CVs – evaluative storytelling and the construction of academic value(s)
Justyna Bandola-Gill, University of Birmingham


Justyna Bandola-Gill holds a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Edinburgh. She is currently working as Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and soon will be joining the University of Birmingham as an Assistant Professor in Sociology and Social Policy. Justyna’s research focuses on the cultural, institutional and political effects of measurement and evaluation with a focus on higher education and sustainable development. She has a particular interest in the evolving evaluation principles (for example the research impact agenda) and their impact on the broader academic cultures.


In this SRHE project, Justyna will explore the emergent practices of evaluation involved in the assessment of narrative CVs. This CV format, recently introduced by UKRI, asks researchers for a descriptive story of their contributions to the field, leadership potential and wider societal impact, rather than just a list of publications and grants. The aim of this innovation is to reconfigure the reward and recognition system in order to capture a diversity of contributions, practices and career paths in academia. The goal of this SRHE project is to explore the narrative evaluative inquiry involved in the assessment of narrative CVs to investigate whether this format indeed lends itself to an appreciation of different values in academic life and whether (and how) it extends the idea of ‘excellence’ beyond metrics. It will do so by exploring both story-telling and story-listening involved in the assessment of academic CVs. The project will employ an innovative methodology, including vignette-based qualitative interviews to explore the assessors’ interpretative processes involved in the assessment of standard and narrative CVs.