UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


Student Focus: Dr Eirini Gallou

25 November 2019

Congratulations to Eirini Gallou, PhD, for her recent academic and professional successes connecting research and policy

Photo by James Francis CUcuoL62Zpg on Unsplash.jpg

Eirini Gallou, PhD, has chosen to undertake a doctorate research at the Institute for Sustainable Heritage. In 2017, she was awarded a public engagement bursary, which already showed good prospects for the future of her research project. She recently passed her viva successfully for her thesis on "Exploring impacts of heritage participation: reciprocal links between local community well being and sustainable heritage management in rural island context'' (title not final). During her time at UCL, Eirini also worked Dr Katherine Curran as a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant for the Sustainable Heritage MSc. Here is a testimonial from her regarding her research project and how her time at UCL has been beneficial.

I would like to thank my supervisors in UCL and the teaching staff in ISH for their continuous support and guidance that allowed me to develop my teaching and research skills and locate great personal development opportunities while in UCL. An interdisciplinary research environment that can support students, allowing them to thrive and enabling connections with the greater academic community that UCL offers.

Eirini recently joined Historic England as Evidence and Evaluation Officer within the Policy and Evidence team, then on a secondment as Senior Social Analyst. The academic team would like to congratulate her once again for her recent accomplishments within the field of sustainable heritage!

Eirini's Thesis in her own words

My research focused on the challenges and possibilities lying in peripheral island heritage sites to achieve sustainable management and in parallel contribute to local community development by engaging communities more effectively in management processes.

In a world facing strong resource pressures (human, financial, material) peripheral heritage sites and isolated island communities are facing particular challenges to be sustainable. By considering heritage institutions, their communities of professionals and local community groups an interdependent actors of a social system, the the research developed and utilized a theoretical framework based on social capital-as key indicator of social wellbeing- to analyse outcomes and impacts of participation from both institutional and community perspectives. Following  an inductive approach, types of proceed social impacts were mapped and categorized under the conceptual framework developed. The research wider aim is to improve the evaluation process for participatory projects in heritage, specifically focusing on social impacts and their measurement.

The study followed a case study approach, looking at participatory projects realized in the remote and island context of Orkney, Scotland under a Landscape partnership scheme, that included projects form archaeological conservation to oral history archive creation. The multiplicity of modalities of participations studied allowed defining the effect of the management approaches adopted on achieved social outcomes. It also led to the development of recommendation for more sustainable, people-centered approaches to heritage management and planning at local level, indicating pathways to community empowerment through the process of engaging with heritage. 

Read more on Eirini's published work: Journal PublicationPublisher version and Research gate profile (including multiple conference papers).

Interested in hearing about 'Local communities and sustainable development of cultural and natural heritage' in the island of Samothrace, Greece? Eirini will be co-presenting a seminar organised by the UCL Centre for Critical Heritage Studies on 14th January 2020. Find out more about this free event and register here


Photo Credit: Arundel, england, by James Francis on Unsplash