Centre for Rural Economy

Staff Profile

Dr Paul Cowie

Faculty Research Fellow


I am currently a Faculty Research Fellow working in the Center for Rural Economy. My research interests are into rural innovation and entrepreneurship particularly in the non-traditional economic sectors. 

I am also interested in the use of theater as research and engagement method. For the past 3 years I have been collaborating with a theater company to develop a play which engages communities in planning and development. 

External Roles

Member Department for Transport, Oversight Group for Research into Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

Research Fellow: Future Cities Catapult 2017 - 2018

External Reviewer: Scottish Government Strategic Research Program 2016 - 2021

Secretary of State Appointed Member of Northumberland National Park 2000 - 2017


Sir Peter Hall Award for Wider Engagement - RTPI Research Excellence Awards 2015 


Current research interests

The impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution in rural areas

Creative practice as a method to co-produce research

Innovation and rural development 

Recently Funded Projects

Brexit – the implications for Northumberland and the rural North of England

This is a joint project between Newcastle University, Northumbria University and Cumbria University working alongside Northumberland County Council to understand the long term future of the rural north of England. We are using a foresight methodology to envision what the rural north might be like in 2030 following Brexit.

The Town Meeting

This project explores how theater can be used as a research tool. The Town Meeting uses theater to explore how communities interact with the planning process. This contributes both to development of public understanding of the planning process and allows communities to co-produce research which informs future planning policy.  The Town Meeting was developed in collaboration with Cap-a-pie Theater Company.

Previous Projects

ESRC/Future Cities Catapult Mid-career Fellowship

ESPON LOCATE (Territories and low-carbon economy) 

ARCH (Architecture and roadmap to manage multiple pressures on lagoons)

ESPON TANGO (New approached to Territorial Governance)

Newcastle City Futures - http://www.newcastlecityfutures.org/ 

Postgraduate Research Supervision

I welcome applications from potential doctoral candidates who are interested in rural innovation,  rural entrepreneurship and creative research methods.

Current PhD Candidates

Ian Merell, Rural Enterprise Hubs, ESRC Studentship (current)