University of Manchester academics named UKRI Policy Fellowships

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

Four University of Manchester academics have received funding to work across several government departments as part of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Policy Fellowships programme.

Representing the Faculty of Humanities, the four academics have the aim of helping to fulfil the potential of research and expertise to inform and share effective public policy and its implementation. The four academics are:

From School of Arts, Languages and Cultures:

From School of Environment, Education and Development:

From School of Social Sciences:

  • Dr Eon Kim - Home Office, National Crime and Justice Lab

Collectively, they will be key in providing policymakers with access to evidence and expertise from a range of research and scientific disciplines. This will enable those policymakers to address major challenges facing the UK and to capitalise on future opportunities.

Professor Dave O’Brien said: 

"I'm delighted to be starting this fellowship at DCMS. Research on the creative workforce, particularly on the question of how to support a more diverse creative economy, is currently central to a range of academic work. I'm excited by the opportunity to share this work with policymakers. At the same time, it is a huge opportunity to learn more about the policy process and to better understand how research and policy can work together."

Dr Abi Gilmore said: 

“The policy fellowship with DCMS on cultural placemaking and levelling up is a fantastic opportunity to consolidate research on place-based policy and cultural infrastructure, whilst learning about how national policy is made and what evidence is required for decision-making. Academic research on creative places comes from a wide range of disciplines, from economics, geography and planning to social sciences; this fellowship is an excellent way to advance arts and humanities research approaches to policy questions which can have real impact, not just on policy but also on what works when putting arts and cultural at the foundation of placemaking strategies”.

The 2023 scheme is funded by:

  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

This investment is part of a wider UKRI commitment to facilitate deeper and more enduring connections between researchers and policymakers.

Caglar Koksal, Research Associate and Lecturer in Planning said: 

“I am pleased to be joining the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on a fellowship focused on the relationship between urban development and health and wellbeing. Urban planning’s role in promoting health and addressing disparities is of paramount importance. With a rising emphasis on prevention, health creation, and the wider determinants of health in our national discourse, this fellowship offers a unique platform to delve deeper into these areas in collaboration with policy teams. I look forward to the opportunity to bridge academic insights with the nuances of policy-making and contribute to the evolving dialogue on how our built environment impacts our health.”

Dr Eon Kim, Lecturer in Criminology, said:

“I am excited to be selected for the Home Office, National Crime and Justice Lab. The fellowship offers me a valuable opportunity to collaborate with the Home Office’s Crime Strategy and Performance Unit on crime prevention initiatives. Working at the intersection of policy and data analytics, I look forward to contributing to evidence-based policy, and the future of crime reduction.”

The 2023 and 2021 cohorts will also connect, providing a network of active and alumni policy fellows which will grow further over the coming years, providing an ever-stronger connection between academia and policy.

Aligning in this way will enable the fellowships to contribute to achieving these shared goals, which all tackle large-scale, complex challenges, while giving the fellows access to a broad range of new UKRI research investments.