2020 Beacon Bursaries awarded

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

The aim of this scheme is to advance the practice and culture of public and community engagement within UCL by enabling UCL staff and postgraduate students to:

  • Explore mutually beneficial engagement between communities and UCL research and teaching.
  • Be innovative in their engagement.
  • Evaluate, learn from and share their engagement activities.

The Beacon Bursary funding scheme supports UCL’s Public Engagement Strategy which aims to embed public engagement as a normal, valued activity for UCL staff and students.

We have funded eleven projects in this round, three of which involve communities and local organisations in east London. 

The projects are:

Jacki Stansfeld, Maria Long, Joanna Moncrieff  - Division of Psychiatry 

Perspectives and priorities for research into relapse outcomes – a service user-led engagement project 
Relapse prevention is a core focus of the treatment and care of people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and related conditions in mental health services in the UK. Jacki, Maria and Joanna work on a trial evaluating a structured reduction of antipsychotic medication, in which relapse is a key outcome. With this bursary, members of the RADAR Lived Experience Advisory Panel will be given a leadership role in using their own perspective to redefine “relapse” as it relates to people living with schizophrenia and similar disorders. They will use 4 online sessions to plan the project, decide how to code existing relapse data used by the trial and then consider how this compares to their own lived experience. The findings will be written up and used to inform an academic article and blog.   

Programme manager/research fellow Dr. Jacki Stansfeld, deputy trial manager and postgraduate research student Maria Long, and Professor Joanna Moncrieff all work at the Division of Psychiatry.  

Nikolett Puskas - Institute for Global Prosperity

Nikolett seeks to address public wellbeing in Beirut. Young people and adults will have the chance to take part in twice-weekly sessions over a period of two months, utilising public spaces to explore movement and activity. The aim is to engage the local community in group activities around physical and mental wellbeing and raise awareness of how public spaces can be used for community wellbeing - feeding back their research findings into the real world and making meaningful impact on members of the public.

Nikolett Puskas is a postgraduate research student at the Institute for Global Prosperity

Marie Williams -  Institute for Global Prosperity

Democratising outdoor play amongst urban refugee communities.
Marie studies outdoor play solutions that adopt the local heritage and environment for both Kenyan and refugee children within Kitengela, Kenya. The bursary will support an outdoor exhibition of some of the outputs of her work, collaborating with a local artist to make interactive outdoor play spaces from local materials and hold a two-week consultation on them and their use, as well as encouraging social interaction.

 Marie Williams is a postgraduate research student at the Institute for Global Prosperity.

Thomas Morgan Evans - Slade School of Fine Art

Concrete Canvas
Through this bursary Thomas will fund 10 weekly four-hour sessions for children and young people  from and around the D’Eynsford Estate in south east London. They will work with a community artist and UCL MA and PhD students to assist in creating a public art work on the basketball court, taking part in learning exercises inspired by the mural painting that is currently taking place and discussing its design. The project aims to support and encourage community home learning and physical activity for local young people, in response to the changes to day-to-day living caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Thomas Morgan Evans is a teaching fellow at the Slade School of Fine Art.

Maryam  Bandukda – UCL Interaction Centre

Co-creating artful representations of Blind people’s experience at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. 
Maryam will develop her approach to co-creation and relationships with a literature review before recruiting Blind and partially sighted members of the community to share their experiences.  The team will host a workshop to co-design a piece of art representing the participants' experience that will be further developed by an artist from the community and exhibited at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. 

Maryam Bandukda is a postgraduate research student in the UCL Interaction Centre.   

Jagjeet Lally - UCL Department of History

A community-produced digital gallery of British Punjabi-Sikh history.

Jagjeet will co-create an online exhibition with members of the British-Punjabi-Sikh community, building and developing previous engagement with community participants and museum curators.

Dr Jagjeet Lally is a Lecturer in the UCL Department of History.

Thomas Keeley - Bartlett School of Architecture

Hedge School
Tom will host a series of conversations and events (both online and/or face to face depending on COVID) to explore what it means to live together across borders. This architecture and landscape event will be in the tradition of Hedge Schools -  illicit forms of education in Ireland in the 17th and 18th centuries when the penal laws banned Catholics from accessing formal education.  ‘Hedge School' aims to draw out and chronicle the contested history of the Irish border at a critical juncture in its own timeline, and will work collaboratively, involving local people across communities and invited experts to co-write an experimental bilingual text. This approach aims to share historical and architectural findings gathered as part of Tom’s doctoral research in relation to lived experience, personal testimony and site-specific knowledges, and in doing so break down the barriers between historians, experts and publics. The text will be shared on a website alongside his PhD research outputs and at a Royal Geographical Society event in Sept ‘21. 

Thomas Keeley is a Teaching Fellow in the Bartlett School of Architecture.

Jessica  Rees - Division of Psychiatry  

Dementia rarely travels alone - managing your body and brain. 
This project will co-develop and facilitate dementia education workshops in physical health support groups in East London. The aim of this project is knowledge exchange- the UCL team will provide information on which strategies can be used to manage physical health and memory problems; participants will then share their experiences of managing their health, including less know or new strategies, with the research community. Jessica will produce a short film with workshop attendees about the link between physical health and memory, to be used in the UCL MRes in Brain Science teaching. The bursary will also support wifi and Zoom access for three third-sector organisations that support physical health conditions associated with memory.

Jessica Rees is a post-graduate research student in the Division of Psychiatry. 

Claire McAndrew and Mollie Claypool - The Bartlett School of Architecture 

Public Participation at AUAR Labs: A Pilot Programme.
Breaking gender stereotypes in the construction sector, this pilot programme will support three Knowle West residents to explore what impact expanded ideas of participation in construction and home-building could offer micro-sites or larger housing developments.
Dr Claire McAndrew is a Senior Research Fellow in Public Engagement at The Bartlett School of Architecture, Mollie Claypool is a Lecturer in Architecture at The Bartlett School of Architecture. 

Emily Patterson and Jo Guile - Institute of Ophthalmology and the Slade School of Fine Art 

Red, Green, Blue, East. 
Emily and Jo have co-designed a series of workshops with Into Focus, an East London charity-funded organisation specialising in photography. They will be running these workshops, which explore the science, art, and experience of colour within Tower Hamlets. The project has developed through a collaboration that was formed during UCL Culture’s Trellis programme and will culminate with a public art exhibition.  
Dr Emily Patterson is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Ophthalmology and Jo Guile is an Artist and Technician at the Slade School of Fine Art.

Alexandra Albert – Department of Geography

Bringing Tower Hamlets Asset Mapping to Life. 
Alexandra will support the development of an interactive, online community map resource for parents of children under 5 years old in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. She will collaborate in running a series of workshops with the target public group to bring the map to life and ensure the map can be maintained and updated, and that it is a useful resource for families in the borough.  
Dr Alexandra Albert is a Research Fellow on ActEarly UK Preventative Research Partnership, in the Extreme Citizen Science Research Group (ExCiteS) in the Department of Geography.

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