Research carried out by the Department of Sociology at the University of
Aberdeen into the
nature and extent of communal division in societies emerging from conflict
— particularly in
Northern Ireland — has directly benefitted policy makers and community
personal briefings and exposure on influential electronic media. The
research findings have
also benefitted action groups, peace practitioners, churches and other
civil society groups in
Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka and elsewhere through workshops and training
they have raised awareness and understanding and stimulated debate through
purposeful use of online media outlets.
Research on the historian Herodotus, the history of the Achaemenid
Persian empire, and the complex relationship between Greek and Persian
worlds in the Classical period has had an impact in two main ways:
Professor David Feldman's research has influenced thinking about
antisemitism, racism and multiculturalism among a range of organisations
and policy makers. Since becoming first director of the Pears Institute
for the Study of Antisemitism in 2010, he has shaped its development by
pursuing a distinctive course of public engagement, with partners such as
the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, underpinned by the
insights of his research over two decades. As a result, he and the Pears
Institute are recognised as significant forces shaping public discourse
and policy thinking on issues related to antisemitism.
This case study assesses the impact of a series of knowledge exchange and
public engagement projects undertaken in London and Northern Ireland
between 2009 and 2013. These projects have made innovative applied use of
a substantial body of research into modern British and Irish religious
history conducted in the Unit.
This activity has:
The impact within this case study is two-fold. Firstly through the
dissemination of her research, which focuses on the political, cultural
and economic interactions, co-operation and conflict between Muslim and
Christian communities in the early modern Mediterranean world, Dr Claire
Norton seeks to create impact by challenging current negative media
stereotypes of Muslims and Islamic cultures. This has been achieved
through a variety of public lectures, academic and more popular
publications, media appearances and pedagogical workshops with teachers.
Beneficiaries of the impact include interested members of the public,
teachers, schools, and -academic community stakeholders - both religious
and non-religious. Secondly Norton is currently working with teachers with
the aim of converting academic research into subject knowledge and usable
classroom resources, thus enabling teachers to integrate knowledge of
Islamic cultures into mainstream educational contexts with the aim of
challenging negative misconceptions.
Dr Robert Beckford's research triangulates black liberation theology,
documentary film and racial justice practice. It has constructively
influenced the racial justice strategies in different settings and
contributed to civil society by challenging social assumptions and
cultural values. The case study demonstrates how Dr Beckford's research on
Biblical exorcism as a socio-political trope is translated into a
political resource by highlighting the empowerment and motivation for a
working group, working for equalities in the local community (Birmingham
Race Action Partnership, Bringing Hope), a black Pentecostal
church ministry and the empowerment of black workers at the Brighton and
Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.
Research carried out at the University of Exeter into the ancient
religious traditions reflected in
biblical texts has been at the centre of two major TV documentary series.
Advised and, for one
series, written and presented by the main researcher, Francesca
documentaries contributed to the content and delivery of public
broadcasting and greatly extended
public understanding of the evidence concerning foundational aspects of
the Jewish and Christian
faiths. These documentaries, each episode of which was seen by over 1.5
million viewers, became
the subject of intense public debate, generating much discussion and
response in both national
and international media. Stavrakopoulou, dubbed "the BBC's new face of
religion" by the
Telegraph, also communicated the research in numerous other
broadcasts and public events.
The Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre has, since its inception, been a focus
for original research, community engagement and external collaborations.
This relationship between research and outreach activities has resulted in
significant cultural, educational and economic benefits. Work with
refugees has empowered the individuals involved and contributed to social
inclusion debates, tackling social and economic issues in creative forms.
Children from underprivileged educational and economic backgrounds have
had poetry made accessible to them through the establishment of the Oxford
City Poet, encouraging their own creative writing and re-inspiring
teachers. These projects have directly improved the cultural and creative
life of Oxford and given a voice to those who would have been otherwise
Research at the University of Glasgow (UoG) has helped faith-based
organisations and their non-religious
counterparts to develop a better understanding of the effects of Christian
practices on public health and international development goals. Our
research and engagement
strategies have benefitted the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development
and its partners by
educating staff and influencing, in particular, HIV policy. It has also
led to greater understanding of
religious resistance to the language of development as used in the Joint
Programme on HIV/AIDS and the United Nations Population Fund, encouraging
UN staff and historically disengaged conservative religious groups.
Before 2008-9 the worldwide Anglican Communion had no global legal
framework for its 44 autonomous churches with their 80 million members.
Historically, the Communion has been maintained by mutual "bonds of
affection" held by members one for another on the basis of shared beliefs.
This is changing. The Principles of Canon Law Common to the Churches of
the Anglican Communion were launched at the Lambeth Conference in 2008,
while the Anglican Communion Covenant (2009) is currently before each
church for ratification. Research by Professor Norman Doe at Cardiff Law
School first identified the need for these initiatives and informed his
drafting and advocacy of both documents, each providing a framework of
`house rules' for the Communion.