HCRI academic receives funding for research into LGBTIQ+ experiences of COVID-19

Lecturer in International Disaster Management, Dr Billy Tusker Haworth, has secured funding of nearly £10,000 for research into LGBTIQ+ experiences of COVID-19 in the UK and Brazil.

Dr Billy Tusker Haworth received the funding from the University of Manchester’s Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) for his research into experiences of gender and sexual minorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IAA funding is awarded to help accelerate the impact of research, and, in doing so, will support Billy to analyse and yield outputs that will allow him to more effectively reach those who can use and benefit from the findings.

Billy said:

“The award is important for research that has any social responsibility element, particularly for something related to humanitarian work and especially so during COVID-19, which, as we know, is an ongoing crisis.”

The award will allow Billy to employ two research assistants. One research assistant will transcribe and translate interviews conducted in Portuguese, while the second will assist with adapting the findings for non-academic audiences.

The results of the project will be disseminated via a policy brief for the UK and a chapter for the HCRI COVID-19 book in English, and a journal article discussing the Brazilian results and a summary of the findings aimed at policymakers, NGOs, and support groups for LGBTQI+ people in Brazil in Portuguese. The funding will also contribute to an animated explainer video, which will help distil the research findings for an even broader audience.

When asked about the impact he hopes the research will have, Billy said:

“I hope the research will lead to broader awareness on every kind of level for a marginalised group facing particular challenges, and demonstrate strengths and resilience qualities that are often overlooked but can render better support and help through crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Awareness might lead to many things and fundamentally influence the public as well as policymakers and practitioners. If they aren't aware of the issues facing particular groups, then strategies in response to crises are not going to reflect the needs of LGBTQI+ people and other minority groups, which are less likely to be documented in a detailed way.

"[…] I think it is important to document the experiences of people at risk during any kind of crisis, and the goal is that we can do things a bit better in the future.”

The University of Manchester was awarded a total of £1 million in 2019 to continue the excellent work of IAA1 and will continue to deliver IAA2 until 2023. The ESRC IAA is used to fund Knowledge Exchange and Impact activities across the University.

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