I am an academic, policy adviser, community activist and writer with an interdisciplinary background spanning international/community development, education and science and technology studies. Prior to joining the OU I worked at the UCL Institute of Education and the Institute of Development Studies (Sussex) and as a policy analyst for UNESCO and the OECD in Paris, France. My research focuses on inclusive knowledge production. I am particularly interested in understanding how community participation is mediated by funding systems, institutional agendas, social practices, material artefacts and identities. My research is framed by a commitment to social and environmental justice, with implications for recognising/strengthening research capacity in different contexts. I work simultaneously at the local, national and global level: with a network of community-based researchers and embedded organisations (including schools, sheltered/supported living accommodation, migrant centres, park trust, mutual aid network, food bank and local government) in a council estate in North London (https://campsbournecommunitycollective.wordpress.com); advising national research funders and policy makers on their community engagement strategy (in the UK and Canada); and I co-convene the Rethinking Research Collaborative (RRC); an award winning international network of academics, civil society organisations, international NGOs and research support providers committed to working together to encourage more inclusive, responsive collaborations to produce useful international development research: https://rethinkingresearchcollaborative.com
Please note, as part of my commitment to decolonising international development, I will be referring all invitations to speak or undertake advisory/consultancy work to expert colleagues based in organisations in the global South.
Current research and appointments:
2023-2024: Associate Advisor on 'Inclusive Funding' for The Wellcome Trust's Center for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
2023: Commissioned by the British Academy to develop a discussion paper on community engagement in the planning, implementation and assessment of social and cultural infrastructures
2023: Senior Consultant supporting the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) to design a programme exploring what works in research engagement for inclusive knowledge mobilisation
2023: Senior Consultant supporting the Young Foundation to identify social action from their Peer Action Collective programme on youth violence in the UK
2022-2026: Portfolio Award Panel and Advisory Group Member (UKRI’s Community Research Networks Funding Call):https://www.ukri.org/news/networks-to-strengthen-publics-role-in-research-and-innovation/
2021-2022: Senior Consultant supporting the Institute of Community Studies with a scoping study for UKRI's Public Engagement Unit on mechanisms for engaging communities in Research and Innovation
2021-: Committee member for The Hidden REF (https://hidden-ref.org) responsible for the 'Contexts' Panel (Community Building and Citizen Science)
2021- : Civic Fellowship from the Young Foundation (Institute of Community Studies) to pilot a novel training programme for community-based researchers in a social housing estate in London working with local partners including Hornsey Food Bank, the Kurdish Advice Centre, local schools, sheltered accommodation and Alexandra Palace Trust. Since the end of the grant the network has generated additional funding from local partners in Hornsey and Haringey to develop research and social action around food security, housing, income and benefits, migration, youth services and sustainability and the environment.
Previous research (past decade only)
2020-2022: Expert advisor on Research Fairness for the evaluation of the Global Challenges Research Fund conducted by Itad/RAND: https://www.itad.com/project/evaluation-of-the-global-challenges-research-fund/
2020-2022: Member of the Canadian Natural Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC) Public Impact Value Proposition (PIVP) Selection Committee (advising on societal impact of funding applications)
2020-2022: Member of the Advisory Committee for the SSHRC-funded project: Bridging Knowledge Cultures: The Knowledge for Change Global Consortium on Training Community-Based Participatory Research
2020-2021: Chair of the Academic Board for the FCDO-funded 'Learning from Consortia' programme, leading the learning review:https://www.bond.org.uk/groups/cross-consortia-for-aid-connect-program
2020: Consultant supporting the Institute of Community Studies at the Young Foundation with their evidence synthesis on the impacts of Covid-19 on UK communities (funded by the British Academy)
2018-2020:Head of Research and Learning for the DFID-funded UK Aid Connect programme: ‘Evidence and Collaboration for Inclusive Development programme’ (coordinated by Christian Aid)
2018: Principle Investigator, coordinating strategic research on ‘fair and equitable research partnerships’ (funded by EPSRC/the GCRF)
2015-2017: Principle Investigator, leading an ESRC-funded seminar series: Evidence and the Politics of Participation in Academic-INGO Research Partnerships for International Development.
2014-2018: I won an Early Career Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust to fund the study: Engaging Research for Practice: Research engagement practices of international NGOs.
2013-2014: I won a Newer Researcher Award from the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) to support research into digital representations of academic identity of Early Career Researchers