2018 Beacon Bursaries round two awarded

UCL Culture is delighted to announce the awardees in the latest round of Beacon Bursary public engagement funding.

Beacon Bursaries support staff and postgraduate research students at UCL to embed public engagement with external communities as a core activity within their research and teaching. The scheme funds public engagement activities that enhance staff and postgraduate research students’ activity, skills and understanding of public engagement.

We have funded six projects in this round, four of which will see UCL researchers engage with communities and local organisations in east London.

The funded projects are:

Cini Bhanu – Primary Care and Population Health

The Story of my Pills: medication use in dementia in east London
This project will establish a dialogue between older people with dementia in east London and their carers, UCL researchers, artists and local support organisations. Over a number of sessions, researchers will use creative art approaches including art therapy and storytelling to engage an ethnically diverse community to share their views about medication use and find the best medium to express their voices.

Dr Cini Bhanu is a GP and Academic Clinical Fellow at the Department of Primary Care and Population Health.

Dieter Deswarte – Anthropology

Participatory documentary project to support and raise awareness of LGBTQ+ people facing hate crime in Brazil
In the context of a dramatic increase in hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people in Brazil, this project will use documentary storytelling as a tool for a group of LGBTQ+ people to share their story in a safe space. Working collaboratively with the researcher and local organisations, participants will reflect, document and communicate their experiences, and gain new skills and confidence. The creative outputs will be shared at an exhibition and through local networks to give voice to and raise awareness of the challenges faced by LBGTQ+ people in Brazil.

Dieter Deswarte is a lecturer on the MA in Ethnographic and Documentary Film at UCL Anthropology, where he runs a studio on Cinematic Documentary Storytelling.

Paulina Bondaronek –  eHealth Unit, Primary Care and Population Health

Too much noise, not enough space: noise pollution, tinnitus and isolation
This project will explore the issue of living with tinnitus, within the context of rising noise pollution in urban spaces. It will bring together people diagnosed with tinnitus, along with organisations and networks that support them, to exchange experiences and socialise in a safe space. Drawing on an interdisciplinary group of UCL researchers, participants will co-produce potential solutions to mitigate social avoidance of social spaces in London. In the long term, the project seeks to build a relationship and trust between a community of people living with tinnitus and researchers at UCL, and raise awareness of the lived experiences of those living with tinnitus.

Paulina Bondaronek is a PhD student in UCL’s eHealth Unit with a background in health psychology.

Chi Nguyen – Bartlett School of Architecture

Creative Participatory Publishing for Community Organising
This project will engage local residents and shopkeepers of Custom House, an ethnically diverse and economically challenged area of Newham in east London, who are facing significant urban change and displacement through the pressures of council-led regeneration and private development. Through two creative publication-making workshops, the project will facilitate knowledge exchange about community organising and support community members to self-produce a ‘community organising guide’, an educational and visual communication tool to engage others to be part of community-led change. It is a collaboration between PEACH (a community organisation of neighbourhood voices) and UCL PhD student Chi Nguyen.

Chi Nguyen is a communication designer and PhD student at the Bartlett, whose research looks into the civic role of publishing in public debates and community-led conversations about urban change.

Hannah Jennings – Institute for Global Health

Sharing knowledge about Diabetes
This project will work with BAME communities in east and west London who live with type 2 diabetes or are at high risk of diabetes. Through a series of interactive, participatory workshops, the project will explore the lived experience of diabetes in BAME communities and reflect on the relevance and applicability to the London context of research on community mobilisation in rural Bangladesh and its impact on diabetes prevention and control.

Dr Hannah Jennings is a Research Associate at the Institute for Global Health.

Saffron Woodcraft – Institute for Global Prosperity

'The Good Life Game': a participatory method to engage young people with research about prosperity in Hackney Wick, east London
This collaborative project with youth organisation Hackney Quest, will share the findings of community-based research asking adults what prosperity means to them  (carried out by the Institute for Global Prosperity in 2017) with a group of 16-18 year olds from Hackney Wick.  The project will invite young people to reflect on the findings and to co-design participatory research methods for a future project, which will examine young people’s perspectives on prosperity and their aspirations for the future to inform policymaking and social action projects in east London.

Saffron Woodcraft is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Global Prosperity.


7 project were funded in Beacon Bursary round one:

Victoria Dawson – History, Social and Historical Sciences

Women in the Miners’ Strike, 1984-5 – Reminiscence Day
The bursary will be used to record a reminiscence day at the National Coal Mining Museum for England (NCMME) bringing together 30 women from across Britain to discuss their experiences during the strike; it will allow us to record the event using videography and photography creating useful, high-quality outputs for the NCMME archive, for future researchers to engage with, and the creation of a short video and professional photos for use in the public dissemination of the project’s findings – both on our project website and the physical exhibition planned at the NCMME. A specialist videographer will record and edit the discussions to facilitate this. Photography will capture images to be used in an online exhibition, especially images of women’s strike ephemera. Photographing memorabilia, alone and with its owner, allows for a greater documenting of the context in which a document or object exists, creating a more tangible link between the ephemera and the human activity that produced it, allowing for retention of the human connection to the historic event. It will add visual material to the NCMME archive for the historians of the future. Having an image or video of a person giving an oral history testimony provides an immediate connection that a sound recording alone cannot.

Hannah Ishmael – Information studies

Creating and Finding Voices: the role of oral histories and community-led archives in the African diaspora
Through working with London-based Sierra Leonean communities, this project explores the ways oral history (the recording of personal stories and histories) and community-led heritage (archives) initiatives, can be used to stimulate an inclusive and broader approach to the study and research in citizenship, global history, migration and diaspora.

Paula Gomes Alves – Primary Care and Population Health

Disseminating the findings of a project about substance use treatment experience (iCARE): a researcher-service user collaboration
This project seeks to promote an active collaboration between UCL researchers and a group of 8-10 service users in substance use treatment (SUT) towards the development of digital resources (e.g. videos, podcasts, multimedia presentations) to disseminate the findings of the iCARE project. We have chosen digital resources as they are likely to have the greatest reach and impact among our target group of users of SUT.

Anne Laybourne –Division of Psychiatry

What should we do and how should we do it? A networking and consensus event to set an agenda for older people’s care research in Newham
The form taken by this event will be co-designed with the communities of interest. However, it is anticipated that an event based in the Newham community will take place in October 2018 which will stimulate dialogue between ageing- and care-interested UCL researchers and create space for networking, priority setting through consensus work, and an collaborative assessment of the extent to which research can offer solutions to the needs prioritised by Newham’s care sector.

Joanna Morrison – Institute for Global Health

Visual techniques for ethical engagement
Dr Morrison will work with 10 artists from the Janakpur Women’s Development Centre (JWDC) in rural plains Nepal and researchers from HERD International Nepal, who are conducting research about diabetes and healthy lifestyles. Artists and HERD researchers will discuss each aspect of the consent form which they will use in the diabetes research, and sketch pictorial images which represent each aspect. The sketches will be visual prompts for the lay researchers and will also help respondents with low literacy. Artists will then pre-pilot the consent form with other artists, refine and paint the pictures, and then pilot the form with community members and health workers. These interviews will be observed by HERD researchers, who will collect feedback from respondents about how they felt with the researcher using a pictorial consent form, and collect feedback from researchers using the pictorial consent form. HERD researchers will show the final pictorial consent form to the chair of the Nepal Health Ethics Committee and discuss the feasibility and acceptability of using it in Nepal.

Rachel Rosen – Department of Social Science, Institute of Education

Bridging Migration Research and Experience: co-constructing knowledge about gender, migration and settlement  
Women’s experiences of migration are often shaped by gender-based discrimination and violence, familial responsibilities, and limited access to social benefits based on shifting ideas about the ‘deservingness’ of migrants. As a result, displaced women often face increasing hardship over time. At the same time, research suggests that social networks and involvement in community-based projects can mediate or challenge the precarity caused by migration and settlement experiences. However, research about migration is often financially and linguistically inaccessible to migrants, or may miss key issues and understandings that emerge from lived experience. This project will address these barriers and absences by bringing migrant women’s perspectives and experiences to the core of research on migration, supporting their capacities for engagement, and ameliorating their geographical and social isolation. A team of staff and students will run 3 face-to-face sessions at UCL that will bring our research on migration and gender into dialogue with women’s lived experiences of forced migration and settlement. Participatory, arts-based methods will be used to facilitate these encounters, with the focus for each session determined collaboratively to actively involve participants.

Emilia Smeds, Jenny McArthur, Enora Robin - Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy

Take back the night: a night in the life of London’s care workers
Take back the night: a night in the life of care workers” is a 15 minute film exploring what it means to be working at night in three of London’s hospitals. Through interviews with care workers and observation of their journey to and from work, as well as of their activities at work, the film aims to give voice to night time care workers, and show the contribution that they make to London’s Night Time Economy. Film is a powerful medium to communicate this, and is supported by empirical evidence developed in our research to date. By exploring the constraints faced by night time workers when moving around the city, the documentary also seeks to shed light on night time workers’ transport needs and spark policy discussions on how transport provision at night can cater for those needs.  


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