LIAS news

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Past news

July 2019

International collaborators lead week-long researchathon on resilience and empowering change

LIAS were delighted to welcome international collaborators Professor Linda Theron (University of Pretoria) and Dr Christine Wekerle (McMaster University) for a week-long programme of seminars, workshops and research salons surrounding issues of resilience and change in challenging circumstances. LIAS Fellow Dr Fiona Mulira (Makerere University Business School) and Fellow Alumni Professor Grace Wamue-Ngare (Director, Centre for Gender Equity & Empowerment, Kenyatta University, Kenya) led workshops on the empowerment of women by looking at agents of change, both organisationally and individually, across cultures in Africa. The programme brought together academics from the three colleges, members of the Social Impact and Sustainability teams, and medics from the paediatric ward.

Virtual Vauxhall launches multi-sensory Virtual Reality model

Go back in time with the future of virtual reality!

To mark the culmination of Virtual Vauxhall’s Tiger Team research project, the team launched their multi-sensory user-controlled, VR reconstruction of the experience of Vauxhall pleasure Gardens, 1752, with an interactive exhibition. Directed by Professor Andrew Hugill, the project has involved a vast team of expertise from the departments of Business, Engineering, English, History, Informatics, Museum Studies, and Psychology, as well as external enterprise partners MBD ltd, and consultants David Coke and Lars Tharp. The VR models have been designed to encapsulate the lived experience of the Vauxhall pleasure gardens by engaging with the widest range of senses, recreating the audio, visual and smells of the time. The project provided a platform to invite questions surrounding the economic, historical and cultural spheres past and present, by utilising the effects of multi-sensory experiences on user behaviour, and the Virtual Reality environment.

June 2019

The World of Business on an Anthropocene Earth

A diverse group of academics, international partners and activists came together from across the globe for a series of events surrounding the profoundly international issue of our current climate, with special guest speaker Professor Bruno Latour.

Humanity’s impact on the Earth has led to the declaration of the current geological epoch, ‘The Anthropocene’, by scientists and geologists. Academics Prof. Jan Zalasiewicz, Prof. Mark Williams and Dr Marta Gasparin at the University of Leicester have come together to research the Anthropocene in a truly interdisciplinary collaboration. Individually renowned in their respective fields, together they offer invaluable insight to what it means to be living in our current age; how we got here, and where we might be going. The event The World of Business on an Anthropocene Earth brought together specialist seminars from a wider group of academics, including Claire Driscoll, Prof. Chris Schinckus, Prof. Steve Brown, John Palmesino (Territorial Agency), Prof. Daniel Neyland,  and artists Anne-Sophie Milon and Clémence Hallé. Attended by an audience of over 400, including special guest His Excellency, Tran Ngoc An, ambassador for Vietnam, who expressed a supportive response in a speech surrounding the necessity of international collaborations in this current climate.

Watch the video

March 2019

Dr Amollo Ambole: An interdisciplinary, transnational journey

Dr. Amollo Ambole undertook her Fellowship at the Institute after being awarded the prestigious strategic Rutherford visiting Fellowship scheme. From the School of arts and design, University of Nairobi, Kenya, Dr Ambole was granted her fellowship to engage and collaborate with academics at the University of Leicester on the topic of Resilient, Inclusive and Sustainable Cities. Her research has enriched the landscape of interdisciplinary research, furthered her academic career and strengthened global networks at the University of Leicester. During her time at LIAS, hosted by Dr Christian Morgner, Dr Ambole was able to explore a truly interdisciplinary Fellowship which paved the way for longstanding partnerships between academics, stakeholders and institutions. Such partnerships situate the University of Leicester as a reputable campus to conduct research, which attracts high-calibre academics.

Her research surrounded the theme of sustainable systematic urban development in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa. Using socio-technological innovations, Dr Ambole utilised interdisciplinary research areas across design, anthropology, technology and sociology, to determine methodologies that have the ability to relieve pervasive circumstances prominent in both cities and informal settlements.

Dr Ambole’s project brings together local communities, academics and stakeholders to co-design sustainable household energy in informal urban settlements. By utilising transdisciplinary perspectives to better understand tangible methods to relieve communities experiencing the pressures of an increasing population, poor planning and external factors such as climate change, the project is supported by a diverse team with a broad outreach.

Alongside her leadership training course with coach Sean Callaghan, Dr Ambole wrote and submitted two journal articles (Amollo Ambole, Josephine Musango, Kareem Buyana et al: 'Mediating Household Energy Transitions through Co-Design in Urban Africa' (Under review In Energy Research and Social Science, Elsevier), and Ambole: 'Rethinking Design Thinking in Africa. Under review In Design and Culture' (Taylor & Francis), conducted seminars at LIAS, Brunel University (Department of Design); University of Nairobi (Institute of Climate Change and Adaption). The Fellowship was instrumental in facilitating networking opportunities with researchers at University College London (Institute of Global Prosperity) and University of Edinburgh (School of Design), as well as making long standing collaborations with both academics and stakeholders within and beyond the University of Leicester.

Through discussions had at the University of Leicester, Dr Ambole plans to apply for GCRF funding to further collaborations between Kenya, Mongolia and Colombia, continuing the theme of sustainable cities. This particular collaboration widens the global network between the University of Leicester and the global south, and demonstrates the Fellowship schemes as poignant contributors to that relationship, and to the landscape of impactful research.

Dr Ambole has also made connections with local business enterprises to exchange knowledge between local communities within the UK and Kenya. Plans to collaborate demonstrate the widespread networking and breadth of projects which Dr Ambole is both committed to as an academic, and has been able to explore and enrich during her Fellowship with the institute at Leicester University.

Find out more about Dr Ambole’s research journey here.

February 2019

Leicester welcomes 50 global Rutherford Fellows to UK event

The Institute hosted 50 Rutherford Fellows representing 15 countries from various host Universities across the UK. The event, ‘Interdisciplinary Futures: Enhancing research and impact through collaboration’, welcomed representatives from UUKi and the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.

Tom Child, Deputy Director of Global Science and Innovation in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: “The UK’s research community is highly international and has a truly global outlook…I was impressed by the researchers’ enthusiasm to network, learn and share experiences, and delighted that I was able to hear first-hand how £13 million of Rutherford funding from BEIS had enabled almost 300 individuals to progress their ambitions here in the UK.”

The event offered a unique opportunity to bring together Rutherford Fellows undertaking their Fellowship in UK host Universities, and share their experiences. It also offered space to discuss their academic futures, and to explore how Interdisciplinarity could meaningfully contribute towards tackling complex global challenges.

More information >


Dr Andrew Futter presents the second event in the series, The Talkies.

WarGames, a 1983 American Cold War science fiction film written by Lawrence Lasker and Walter F.Parkes and directed by John Badham, follows the story of a college student who unwittingly hacks into a military supercomputer and enters into a state of nuclear war while searching for new video games. As a member of the cyber-nuclear security threats task force run by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, an Honorary Research Fellow in Nuclear Strategy at the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security at the University of Birmingham, and a member of the Euro-Atlantic Security next generation working group, Dr Futter's research critically engages with the development of nuclear weaponry, strategy and calculation, and, in turn, how this impacts on response within societies. He led an insightful and  engaging discussion on the nuclear warfare and surrounding concerns in the globalised landscape we live in.

January 2019

LIAS welcomes new Fellows to Leicester from Mongolia, India and South Africa. As high-calibre academics, their expertise shall contribute to the interdisciplinary research landscape at the University of Leicester, expand global partnerships and create longstanding collaborations focussing on complex issues. Follow the links below for more information about each Fellow, their research and their hosts.

Dr Batbuyan Batjav, Centre for Nomadic Pastoralism Studies, Mongolia, hosted by Dr Caroline Upton
Dr Dhiren Borisa, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India, hosted by Professor Gavin Brown
Dr Christopher Munyati, North-West University, South Africa, hosted by Professor Heiko Balzter

December 2018

LIAS welcome new cohorts and celebrate the first year.

After the first year, the Leicester Institute looked back on some of the highlights and successes in grant applications, newly collaborated research tiger teams and networks, and the growing landscape of global partnerships. Professor Joyce Tait, founding Director of the Innogen Centre, delivered a masterclass to newly assembled cohorts on the meaning of interdisciplinary research in modern context.

November 2018

The University of Leicester welcomes playwright / screenwriter Laura Wade and Leverhulme Fellow Dr Sarah Goldsmith to the first event of The Talkies series.

The Talkies is a film and discussion series which brings together academics and special guests to discuss some of the most thought-provoking issues in society. The first event in the series was hosted by the University of Leicester’s Dr Goldsmith, a Historian of the long eighteenth century, with an interest in the histories of masculinity, gender, travel, the body, emotion, and elite culture and formation. Her current research focusses on themes surrounding the Grand Tour: ‘Embodying the Aristocrat: A History of the Eighteenth-Century Elite Male Body’. LIAS were delighted to welcome special guest Laura Wade, who has notably written plays such as ‘Colder than Here’, ‘Tipping the Velvet’, and a modern take on Alice in wonderland, ‘Alice’. Her play ‘Posh’ became a major film, directed by Lone Scherfig, addressing issues of class, gender and political privilege. Together, Wade and Goldsmith led conversations surrounding such topics. In a time when movements such as #HeForShe are amongst ever growing activity for economic and gender equality, an audience of 70 was engaged in critical and lively discussion.

September 2018

'WT-ISSF symposium 2018: Interdisciplinary Health Research in the Midlands'

A successful symposium held by The Wellcome Trust hosted special guest speaker Professor Jacalyn Duffin (Queen’s University, Kingston) on Stanley’s Dream: The Medical Expedition to Easter Island (METEI). Bringing together experts from leading Universities across the Midlands to facilitate engaging lectures, ranging from Social media and mental health to Preventing drug resistant bacterial infections, to facilitate interactive panel discussion on both the history and future of health research with the core perspective on interdisciplinary collaborations. Dynamic speakers include the Unversisty of Leicester's Elizabeth Jones, tiger team leader Michelle O'Reily and Joshua Vande Hey.

Congratulations to Dr. Nicola J. Mackintosh and Dr. Oliver S. Williams for respectively being awarded the 'WT ISSF Best Interdisciplinary Poster 2018' prize.

August 2018

'With Tommy Hilfiger’s ‘smart’ clothing range, data collection has reached dystopian levels'

In The Independent, Dr. Phoebe Moore explains the developments of technology with AI, and the effect it is having on our perception of branding, consumer habits, and how it feeds into society's culture of fear regarding control and privacy.

Live LIAS funding opportunities

Our LIAS Fellowship scheme is currently open for application. We also have a pre-call notice out for tiger teams, with the call due to launch in September.

July, 2018

Pump Priming grants awarded: LeMID network

Putting money where the research is: Six of the Le-MID team are awarded pump priming grants to further their research in understanding more about disease and its prevention

The Microbial Sciences and Infectious Diseases Network at the University of Leicester is comprised of interdisciplinary experts from within the university and the UHL NHS Trust, who research areas of microbiology, genetics, structural and chemical biology, mathematical and computational biology, physics, health and social sciences, respiratory medicine, clinical microbiology and infectious diseases. The collective research that the network produces encompasses a cohesive study covering every process concerned with infectious disease, including the environmental determiners, human interaction and transmission, and alternative treatments and diagnostic strategies.

Six post doctorates (Luke Green, Caroline Cayrou, Roxana Zamudio Zea, Jo Purves, Janet Nale, Megan De Ste Croix) from the network have been awarded pump priming grants to help further both field and laboratorial research. With the overriding theme of infectious diseases and prevention, the post doctorates offer expertise in areas of genetics, infection, immunity and inflammation, air pollution and genomic populations. The funding will contribute to the conduction of pilot data, field research, the investigation and use of new and alternative technologies, and the pursuit of substitutes for conventional medical treatments to the awardees’ respective areas of study. The funding will contribute to the network’s underlying understanding that advanced research in the role that different variables have on the contraction and prevention of diseases is vital to the future conceptualisation of disease as a preventable phenomenon. Le-MID has an active events programme running throughout the year, follow the events page for more information.

Click here for a more in-depth account of how the funding intends to be used for the six individual research projects.

April 2018

College of Social Science, Arts and Humanities College Forum (1 May, CWB Sports Hall)

LIAS will be hosting a stand at the upcoming CSSAH College Forum on 1 May. Drop by and visit us to hear more about our programme of events and activities, and discuss how we can help you develop your interdisciplinary research ambitions.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowships Writeshop

The Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies, together with the Research and Enterprise Division, are inviting applications for a three day Writeshop for prospective MSCA Individual Fellows. The Writeshop is intended to provide opportunities for prospective Fellows and supervisors to work together, with expert input guidance and insight. Click here for the relevant guidance and application form.

March 2018

LIAS funding opportunities - calls now open!

The Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS) is delighted to announce that the next call for Research Network and Tiger Team applications, and our first call for Fellowships, is now live - click here for call descriptions, guidance, and application forms.

Press release: ARP workshop

The potential of a method of replacing female genital mutilation as an initiation into womanhood with culturally sensitive alternatives is to be explored.

The University of Leicester is hosting a workshop on ‘Alternative Rites of Passage: Their role in anti-FGM work in Africa’ on 9 March. Organised by the Institute for Advanced Studies, the workshop coincides with the University’s week-long celebration of International Women’s Day.

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