Tuesday, 1 April 2014

“Creating Our Future Histories”

 “Creating Our Future Histories”
AHRC Collaborative Skills Training Programme
(Public Engagement and Partnership Building)
Institute of Humanities and Social Science Research (IHSSR)
Manchester Metropolitan University

Public engagement and external partnership building have become an important factor in the career progression of up-and-coming academics; it is now a standard requirement for all researchers to account for the relevance and impact of their research.
All of us are advised to incorporate public engagement and partnership building into the research process from the very conception of a new project; rather than simply integral to the research, public engagement must be constitutive of it, determining its genesis rather than merely accompanying its dissemination.
This new ‘ ideal’ research scenario not only raises questions regarding the appropriation of traditional research procedures, but also exposes a huge skills gap concerning effective methodological innovation. Our proposed training aims to fill this gap by equipping PGR/ECRs with ‘hands-on’ research partnership experience regarding the collaborative excavation, representation and recording of our community-based local histories.
In response to these demands, the Institute of Humanities and Social Science Research (IHSSR) are pleased to be hosting a new AHRC-funded collaborative skills training programme for 2014-15.
The programme consists of a series of practice-led workshops and multidisciplinary peer-group activities designed to equip PhD students and early-career researchers from a whole range of Arts and Humanities disciplines (including History, English & Creative Writing, Human Geography, Information & Communication Studies, Film Studies and Art) with public engagement and research partnership-building skills. The aim of the programme is to set up actual partnerships with local community groups and organisations interested in excavating and recording their histories. Our partners for this project will include:
GMVCO Ardwick Green Heritage Project
Moss Side Millennium Powerhouse
Dance Manchester
Ancoats Dispensary Trust
The Pankhurst Centre
The programme draws on the expertise of:
Manchester Centre for Regional History (MCRH)
University of Central Lancashire’s Institute for Local and Family History
People’s History Museum
Manchester Histories Festival
These groups will work in collaboration with additional experts in participative research, media representation and impact generation.
The individual workshops will focus on contact management, consultation and collaborative project design, media liaison, co-ownership of research results, as well as effective impact capture and evaluation.
The programme will be delivered as five workshops (including two two-day residential weekends) and a public exhibition event. The period between the workshops is dedicated to actual and virtual fieldwork, which will see the participants developing their partnerships with the community groups assigned to them. Participants will consolidate their understanding of public engagement by working through online materials made available by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement
Time schedule
Please note that to maximise access to the training, the workshops will run at weekends. The venue for the workshops will be the People’s History Museum
Orientation Day (6 September 2014)
Workshop 1 (two-day residential: 27-28 September 2014)
Workshop 2 (two-day residential: 22-23 November 2014)
Workshop 3 (7 February 2015)
Workshop 4 (a Saturday in late March 2015, exact date TBC)
Public exhibition event (May 2015, exact dates TBC)
Workshop 5 (20 June 2015)
  • The programme is open to all PhD students enrolled at a British HEI as well as early-career researchers who have completed their doctoral studies since 2010. Priority will be given to final-year PhD students, especially if they are AHRC-funded. Additional preference will be given to ECRs not currently in full-time employment.
  • Applicants are expected to sign up for the whole programme.
  • Applications are invited from PhD/ECRs with a background in any Arts and Humanities discipline within the AHRC’s funding remit, but it is anticipated that at least three fifths of the 20-25 participants will be from a History background.
  • Due to the programme’s focus on Manchester, many participants will be based in the region, but this is by no means a prerequisite. Participants will be able to claim back travel expenses, and overnight accommodation (for the two residentials) is provided.
How to apply:
Please submit one pdf file, including:
  • - your CV (two pages maximum), including contact details of two academic referees
  • - a synopsis of your current research (500 words maximum)
  • - information on any prior public engagement experience, if applicable (200 words maximum)
  • - a personal statement detailing your interest in the training, particularly important if your home discipline is not History (200 words maximum)
Please submit your application to Mrs Helen Malarky (IHSSR Project Manager) at h.malarky@mmu.ac.uk by 15 May 2014. Applicants will be  informed of the outcome of their application by no later than 20 June 2014.

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