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Posts by smather2012

UK-US Early Career Research Collaboration Workshop on the broad theme of violence. Saturday 10th–Sunday 11th February 2018 136 Irving Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

The British Academy, in collaboration with the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, is inviting applications for early career researchers in the humanities and social sciences to attend a research collaboration workshop on the broad theme of violence. The workshop format will enable the exchange of ideas across disciplinary as well as national boundaries with the aim to help create and build exchange, cooperation and partnership between the researchers attending in the short- and long-term.

Purpose and Focus
Violence is a near ever-present reality for much of humanity, but there are significant limits to how narratives and experiences of violence are understood in the public imagination and policy process. This workshop will investigate how violence is defined and conceptualised by fostering an interdisciplinary discussion of some key themes related to our understanding of violence, and considering the implications for research and policy engagement.

Some seed funding will be made available at the end of the workshop to support collaborations between UK and US scholars on a competitive basis for research proposals formulated by participants, which will be presented in a group session on the final afternoon of the workshop. This funding is only one of the ways in which the Academy will provide mechanisms for participants to continue the conversations and research ideas developed through the workshop and of course the participants will be welcome to discuss and collaborate outside any Academy support.

The Workshop

The workshop will take place in Boston from 10th–11th February 2018. The British Academy will meet the costs for travel, accommodation and subsistence for all participants over the course of the workshop.

Application Process

Applicants should provide a CV which should not exceed two sides of paper. Applicants are also asked to provide a justification (not exceeding two sides of paper) explaining:

  • Why they are interested in violence based on their research and/or teaching areas;
  • What disciplinary and interdisciplinary skills and/or experience they would contribute to the workshop; and,
  • How the workshop could help to develop their own research and career development.

Applications should be sent to no later than 5pm (GMT) on Wednesday 6 December.

Welcome to Steve Sharman – our new Society for the Studies of Addiction Fellow

I joined the School of Psychology at UEL on 1st November 2017, as part of the Drug and Addictive Behaviours Research Group, for an initial period of three years. This position is funded by the Society for the Study of Addiction (SSA), after I was awarded the 2017 SSA Griffith Edwards Academic Fellowship. My research will investigate gambling behaviour using immersive virtual reality, to develop our understanding of both regular and disordered gambling behaviour.

As a behaviour, gambling can be difficult to accurately recreate in experimental setting and can therefore prove challenging to study; my research aims to combine the experimental control provided by traditional laboratory based experiments, with the increased ecological validity afforded by naturalistic research. We will build a range of fully immersive, virtual reality gambling environments, such as a casino, and a bookmaker’s to allow us to better understand the influence of specific game features such as stake size and speed of play on the psychological underpinnings of gambling behaviour, and gambling addiction.

Gambling research can at times be a highly sensitive and politicised research field, as the implications and ramifications of disordered gambling cover a wide spectrum. Disordered gambling has only in the most recent edition of the DSM been classified as an addictive disorder, highlighting a gradual shift in perception towards behavioural addictions. The SSA has never before funded a fellow to investigate a behavioural addiction; to award the fellowship to a gambling researcher represent a significant step towards the legitimisation and acceptance of behavioural addictions in to mainstream addiction research.

Arriving at the gates of the Stratford Campus on my first day, I was struck by a sense of deja-vu; almost exactly ten years ago, I stood in the same spot, having left a job in the financial sector to become a full-time mature student, studying Psychology at UEL. I loved studying for a degree here, including a final year module where I first learned about gambling addiction. That lecture eventually led to a volunteer position at the National Problem Gambling Clinic, and my success in my degree here led to a master degree at UCL. I was then lucky enough to be awarded a scholarship to read for my PhD in Experimental Psychology at the University of Cambridge, where I truly began my career as a gambling researcher, investigating cognitive distortions and decision making within gambling populations. Most recently I have been working as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Lincoln on a range of gambling related projects, however when the opportunity arose to conduct my own series of gambling studies, back at the place where I started, there was only ever one way the decision was going to go.

Looking back, ten years ago I was naïve, nervous, even apprehensive, unsure if quitting work to become a full-time Psychology student was a good idea. Ten days ago, I stood at the gates as Dr Sharman, SSA Academic Research Fellow, still a bit naïve, still with a few butterflies, but feeling confident, and happy to be back where this incredible journey began, ready to take the next step forward.


Nesta: Invitation for Expressions of Interest, ShareLab Fund – deadline 5 Jan 2018

We’re pleased to announce the launch of this year’s ShareLab Fund, which aims to support early stage organisations to develop and apply collaborative digital platforms to tackle real world challenges. Grants of £15,000 – £30,000 are available.

In last year’s fund, we worked in partnership with eight pilot projects, which focused on areas as broad as sharing community spaces to helping the homeless. We’re using what we’ve learnt to inform our thinking and help shape the debate around the collaborative economy, but there’s more to be done.

What is the ShareLab Fund?

The ShareLab Fund was established in 2016 to grow evidence and understanding of how collaborative digital platforms can deliver positive social impact. To date, most applications of collaborative digital platforms have been driven by the corporate world – and especially by Silicon Valley – in for-profit business models. We believe there is potential for some of the characteristics of those platforms, such as enabling new ways to find and mobilise assets, time, skills, money, resources and people, to be directed specifically towards addressing social needs.

The ShareLab Fund aims to test this hypothesis by supporting early stage organisations to develop and apply collaborative digital platforms to tackle real world challenges that deliver positive social impact.

By collaborative digital platform we mean: A web based digital tool, such as an app or a website, that helps find, connect or mobilise assets, time, skills, money, resources or people

This year’s fund theme: Prevention

The theme of this year’s fund is “Prevention”. Recognising the intense pressure on local authorities and other public sector organisations, we invite expressions of interest (EOIs) from people with ideas for how collaborative digital platforms can help relieve pressure on existing local public services. These ideas might be focused on preventing social problems from starting, from growing worse, or from creating follow-on needs.

Examples areas might include:

  • Connecting the elderly
  • Addressing transport poverty
  • Sharing community resources
  • Reducing waste and improving sustainability
  • Supporting communities to help themselves
  • Supporting people with low-level care needs
  • Encouraging children to learn and play
  • Addressing anxiety and mental health issues in young people
  • Tackling homelessness

We are offering grants of between £15,000 – £30,000 to organisations who best meet our criteria (see below), and who wish to test an innovative idea, or move from prototype to pilot.

Nesta’s grant funds can be used to cover:

  • Direct project costs
  • Related staff costs
  • Learning and development / user research


Trust for London Grants Programme Open to Application

The Trust for London is a charitable organisation that aims to reduce poverty and inequality in London by funding and supporting work that tackles poverty and its root causes.

The Trust’s grant programme supports projects which address poverty and inequality and help people improve their lives, and for work that empowers local people to influence and change policy, practice and public attitudes.

The Trust has identified the following seven priority funding areas for 2018-2022:

  1. Good Homes and Neighbourhoods
  2. Better Work
  3. Decent Living Standards
  4. Shared Wealth
  5. Pathways to Settlement
  6. Stronger Voices
  7. Connected Communities

Applications are invited from organisations in the voluntary and community sector and universities or other research organisations. The maximum value for each grant is £150,000 although generally the average grant value is £80,000, which can be paid over one to three years. Grants may be used for salaries, small capital items and project running costs.

There are three application deadlines per year and the next deadline is 6 February 2018 (1pm).

ESRC/AHRC Global Challenges Call for New Social and Cultural Insights into Mental, Neurological, and Substance Use Disorders in Developing Countries – deadline 11 January 2018

ESRC/AHRC Global Challenges Call for New Social and Cultural Insights into Mental, Neurological, and Substance Use Disorders in Developing Countries

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in collaboration with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is inviting proposals to fund innovative and interdisciplinary research that takes a social and cultural perspective on the challenge of mental health problems in developing countries. For this call, a wide definition of mental health is important; this will encompass mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders.

Proposals should address one of the following themes:

  • The socio-economic and cultural contexts of MNS disorders and people’s understanding of them
  • Living with MNS disorders in developing countries
  • Prevention, worsening of and resilience against MNS disorders.

Ambitious projects are sought that are capable of proposing new avenues for research, that directly engage with this agenda. This may include comparative, cross-regional and cross-sectoral research. Proposals may fall under the remit of ESRC, or as cross-disciplinary proposals across the remits of both participating research councils. Methods should be interdisciplinary both within and beyond the social sciences, with specific funds available for those which fall in significant part within AHRC remit.

Proposals are invited for durations up to 30 months and must be led by a researcher at an eligible UK research organisation. Co-investigators can be based anywhere in the world.

The ESRC has a total budget of £4 million allocated to this call. In addition, AHRC will make funds available for interdisciplinary projects which fall significantly within their remit. The councils expect to fund a balanced portfolio of proposals of varying sizes and ambitions, with a maximum grant value of £1.25 million at 100% full Economic Cost (fEC)