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Northumbria University, Newcastle, among recipients of £2.25m Universities UK International (UUKi) funding

9th February 2018

Northumbria’s Centre for International Development has been awarded prestigious Government funding to give three Palestinian academics the opportunity to work in the UK. 

The project, which will take place in partnership withAn-Najah National University in Nablus in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, will see three early career researchers with expertise in civil society and citizenship join Northumbria’s expert research team for a year. The initiative is being led by Professor Matt Baillie Smith, Director of Northumbria’s Centre for International Development, and draws on the research of Dr Mark Griffiths, a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow at the University.

Dr Griffiths’s research in the Occupied Palestinian Territories focuses on the embodied aspects of the occupation in the West Bank. His collaboration with Dr Sana Al-Sarghali was a key factor in making this exciting project possible.

He said: “We're particularly pleased to be awarded this grant because it gives research mobility and capacities to Palestinian academics.

“I'm excited at the prospect of bringing three capable scholars to come to work alongside us at the Centre for International Development at Northumbria."

Northumbria is one of 17 universities to receive a share of £2.25m from the new UUKi Rutherford Fund Strategic Partner Grant Scheme, funded by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The new funding has been created to enable UK universities to bring early career researchers from international partner institutions to the UK; helping to build partnerships, attract global talent and strengthen the UK’s research base.

Professor Matt Baillie Smith, Director of Northumbria’s Centre for International Development, said the award was a reflection of the University’s world-leading expertise in volunteering and development.

He added: “We are delighted to have been awarded funding from the Rutherford fund to support our highly valued collaboration with An-Najah University.

“By enabling Northumbria’s Centre for International Development to host three post-doctoral fellows from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the funding will provide a unique and timely opportunity to co-develop research on volunteering ’.

“Despite the critical role volunteering can play in shaping citizenship, there has been limited research that addresses how this works outside Europe and North America, nor work done in partnership between scholars in global South and North.

“The Rutherford fund’s award of this grant will support the development of a hub of expertise on volunteering and citizenship in the Occupied Palestinian Territories which brings together academics, practitioners and policy makers, and which will help shape new global agendas on volunteering and citizenship.”

Professor David Gleeson, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) in Arts, Design and Social Sciences, explained how the funding aligned to the Faculty’s research strategy: “This success reflects the University’s strong track record in International Development research and our commitment to helping deliver the UK Aid Strategy and address the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

Northumbria’s Centre for International Development is a dynamic group, bringing together academics, practitioners and students on issues of global poverty and inequality. The Centre’s specialist areas of focus include governance, environmental resources and sustainability, volunteering, and civil society, as well as participatory design and digital civics. For more information about the Centre click here.


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