Collaboration Labs Project Excellence Award

Wed, 02 Dec 2020 09:40:00 GMT

Humanities & Social Sciences researchers have been making a difference in our business & civic communities

Interdisciplinary teams of postgraduate and early career researchers have been collaborating with businesses and third sector organisations as part of the Collaboration Labs programme, in areas ranging from the arts and cultural sector to sexual health services, water management during lockdown to citizen-led environmental education.

The Project Excellence Award recognises the innovative approaches to academic research and outstanding impact achievements of two research projects in particular.

Better health: The future of LGBT+ sexual health service delivery

Despite early reporting of the pandemic as a ‘great equalizer’, research has shown that its detrimental effects have been unevenly distributed among populations. In particular, both the virus and social distancing have had a disproportionate impact on LGBT people, who already suffer from higher rates of poor mental health, are more likely to live alone, and require more formal support services. Their continuous access to sexual and reproductive health has been deemed by the WHO as essential during the pandemic (World Health Organisation 2020).

During the COVID-19 lockdown, sexual and reproductive health and genitourinary medicine services saw a drastic reduction in capacity and a changed mode of operation. In light of this, LGBT Foundation transferred its services and activities online, and evidence suggests that there was an increase in the number of people who used its services.

This project has collected people’s experiences of these services, their views of digital healthcare and desires for the future. It will now contribute to a national discussion on the possible routes towards a better and more inclusive ‘new normal’ for LGBT+ healthcare services.

This is one of the first—if not the first—report of its kind in the UK. This means that the insight it provides will surely have a significant impact on the remote health promotion strategies of organisations and their communication with the communities they serve.” said Lauren Duffy, Sexual Health Lead, LGBT Foundation.

“This Researcher-Led consultancy project demonstrates the excellent synergies that can be created between post-graduate research and the business community to add value to the wider community when at play are strong personal initiative, meaningful stakeholder engagement and punctual project management." said Dr. Rosalinda Quintieri, Collaboration Labs Director.

Find out more about this research project.

Environmental sustainability through social inclusion and cultural engagement: The Envirolution Revolution

In collaboration with Envirolution, a Manchester-based cooperative that promotes citizen-led environmental and social change through community engagement, a team of researchers with expertise in Architecture and Urban Studies, Business and Management, Human Geography, Arts Management and Social Anthropology have been supporting citizen-led environmental activism.

The research team provided Envirolution, for the first time ever, with rich data on the impact of its community work; offering insight into how perceptions of climate change have been addressed and how they were reflected, transferred and assimilated into everyday lives as a result. Researchers also produced a toolkit for the continued evaluation of Envirolution’s activities, which will help to evidence and further impact in the future.

The research team presented their research on Envirolution’s approach to community engagement at the Place-Based Climate Action Network Conference. Their findings were accepted for a publication on theory and practice on local climate action by Climate Praxis.

“The project delivers a clear case for the role of place-based action and empowered community work in the fight against climate change and will support Envirolution’s future activities.” said Professor Gabe Mythen, Director, ESRC North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership.

Find out more research project and team.

Get involved

Collaboration Labs facilitates fully-funded research consultancy, professional training and coaching opportunities.

Applications for postgraduate and early career researchers interested in working with non-University partners are now open. Find out more and apply now.