Department of History

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Biography

A postgraduate historian with extensive experience of successful public engagement and knowledge exchange. My primary research interest is in the development of intellectual, cultural and scientific organisations in the 19th and 20th centuries; how they reflect their social, cultural, political and economic environment and adapt to external and internal pressures and respond to the demands of the state. I aspire to pursue post-doctoral research on how the demands of wartime economies drove the expansion of publicly funded academic research and the implications of the university sector as a strategic national asset. I specialise in delivering university outreach and knowledge exchange projects by engaging diverse third-party enterprises as well as academic researchers from a wide range of UK HEIs. My work has improved the capacity of the university to deliver research projects that increase institutional income. My public engagement projects have achieved demonstrable impact in keeping with the requirements of the Research Excellence Framework and the Knowledge Exchange Framework.

Expertise Summary

Public engagement and project management

I have expertise in university-public engagement, including the brokering and management of productive working relationships between researchers and non-university partners; the planning and delivery of outreach and engagement events, both on and off campus; development and administration of co-production research projects and research project management.

I am responsible for project management and community liaison for the Centre for Hidden Histories, an AHRC-funded First World War Engagement Centre. In this role I have administered over 25 co-production research projects, organised and delivered public outreach events across the UK and established a nationwide network of academic researchers and community leaders. I regularly run history education sessions for primary and secondary school pupils. In 2016 I organised Beyond the Western Front: The Global First World War, a two-day conference that blended academic papers with a showcase of community group projects. I provide advice and consultation for academics and non-university partners interesting in collaboration and co-production.

I acted as academic adviser to two co-produced heritage projects with connections to my research interests. The projects were both funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to a total of almost £20k. My role was to provide advice, prepare funding bids, support community researchers and research and write text for project publications. I also organised day seminars at the University and represented the projects in print and broadcast media.

  • Nottingham Officer Training Corps in the First World War. Community partner: Life Lines Lakeside
  • Behind the Barbed Wire: The Kegworth Prisoner of War Camp 1915-1919. Community Partner: W.W. Winter Heritage Trust

Editorial Positions

Lead editor, Midlands Historical Review (2019-present)

Membership of academic and professional networks

Committee Member of the First World War Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher Network

Member of the University of Nottingham Public Engagement Network Executive

Member of the Imperial War Museum War and Conflict Subject Specialist Network

Member of the British Society for the History of Science

Member of the British Society for Literature and Science

Teaching Summary

Marking and feedback, first year History module 'The Contemporary World'

Six school placements for the Scholars Programme at the Brilliant Club. I adapted my doctoral research into a scheme of work for KS3 and KS4 pupils then delivered lessons to diverse groups of pupils, issued assessments and carried out marking and moderation tasks.

As a committee member of the AHRC-funded First World War Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher Network, I devised and ran a peer-to-peer mentoring scheme to support junior academics as they delivered conference papers. The scheme, which operated at two conferences, allowed participants to reflect on and improve key academic skills, including communicating research, handling questions, defending arguments and delivering face to face feedback.

Mentor on De Montfort University's Employability Mentoring programme, providing group and one-to-one mentoring to students and graduates at DMU. I have been involved since the programme started in 2014 and have supported several students into employment and further study. In 2019 I was recognised with an Outstanding Contribution award for my work on the scheme.

Worked as a private tutor to pupils and students for five years between 2009 and 2014, helping them to achieve their educational goals at GCSE and A Level. I covered the subjects of History, English Literature, English Language, Politics and Law.

Research Summary

My doctoral research explores how University College Nottingham responded to the crisis of the First World War. The project examines two major strands. Firstly, the effect of wartime conditions on… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

My doctoral research explores how University College Nottingham responded to the crisis of the First World War. The project examines two major strands. Firstly, the effect of wartime conditions on the College. This strand includes assessments of the absence of male students and staff of military age, the financial implications of these absences and the restructuring of the organisation in response. Secondly, I examine the contribution made by the College to the national war effort. This includes the provision of specialised training courses for military recruits and munitions workers, the use of College buildings and equipment for war work and the contribution of the College's specialist technical expertise to the war economy.

Using methodologies of network analysis and organisational history, I examine these effects and contributions in the context not only of the College's trajectory of development but also of the wider changes in higher education and research in early twentieth century Britain. The construction and augmentation of new academic identities is a central aspect.

Project themes include the history of science and technology, state-organised research, history of education and the First World War.

I am grateful to Manuscripts and Special Collections for funding this research.

Past Research

My MA dissertation was titled 'To Get a Place of Our Own: Civic Growth and the Leicester Secular Society 1840-1881' I applied techniques of organisational analysis to explore links between the growth of the English town and the capacity of a private cultural institution to undergo a process of formalisation and establish a permanent presence in the urban cultural environment. I focused particularly on the role of private philanthropic capital and the lead role played by an oligarchic personal network of local elites.

Conference papers

'I was not staunchly anything: Here Lies Eric Ambler and the Autobiography as Historical Witness Statement', Biography and Public History: Constructing Historical Narratives through Life Writing, University of Nottingham, June 2018

'The Mobilisation of Expertise: The First World War and the Formalisation of State-Funded University Research', The First World War: Past, Present, Future, Edinburgh Napier University, June 2019

'"This part of the park is usually not accessible to us": Contesting the Image of the Prison Camp', Behind the Barbed Wire: The Kegworth Prisoner of War Camp 1915-1919, University of Nottingham, October 2019

Department of History

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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