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Meet the team powering the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE).

Newcastle people

Frances Rowe – Research Associate

I’m a Research Associate in Rural Development at NICRE. My research interests focus on rural policy development and evaluation. I'm currently involved, as part of Newcastle team, with the Centre for Evaluation of Complexity across the NEXUS CECAN. It aims at transforming the practice of policy evaluation across the food, energy, water and environmental domains. I'm also interested in the rural creative economy and how creativity and culture contribute to rural place-making and innovation and the potential for natural capital and ecosystem services to create new opportunities for rural businesses. Before coming to academia, I was a rural development practitioner for many years. I'm also former chairman of Northumberland National Park and a board member of the former Countryside Agency.

Andreas Giazitzoglu – Co-investigator

I am Co-Investigator at NICRE and Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor at Newcastle University Business School, where I teach business growth and entrepreneurship. I am contributing to NICRE’s ‘resilient rural’ research through an ethnographic project investigating enterprise in market towns in the context of the impact of Covid-19. My research interests relate to entrepreneurship, work and organisations, with a particular focus on masculinities and social class.

Marian Raley – Research Associate

I’m a Research Associate at NICRE and at the Centre for Rural Economy at Newcastle University and focus on understanding firm-level behaviour. I have a longstanding interest in rural enterprise, dating from the 1998-2001 project exploring rural microbusinesses in North East England, followed by work on renewable energy, tourism, product development in the food industry, and projects related to agricultural businesses. For NICRE, I am investigating how rural firms can be consistent exporters. I am experienced in designing and conducting data collection for quantitative and qualitative analysis including analytical techniques.

Gloucester people

Bryonny Goodwin-Hawkins – Senior Research Fellow

I’m a Senior Research Fellow at NICRE and at the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI). I’m an interdisciplinary researcher specialised in rural and regional development, working towards inclusive futures for rural people and places. My work investigates how historic and contemporary policies and practices help, or hinder, thriving regions, and experiments with new models to re-enable those ‘left behind’. I collaborate with sustainable development practitioners and local government to broker knowledge and translate research into policy-ready language and practical tools. My work on creating rural-urban connections is featured in the European Commission’s Handbook of Sustainable Urban Development Strategies. I’m currently involved in two H2020 projects (ROBUST and IMAJINE). I’m an affiliate of the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data (WISERD), have been an invited speaker for the National Trust and the Assembly of European Regions and, in 2019, I was recognised as one of the Welsh Crucible’s thirty emerging research leaders.

Chris Short – Co-investigator

I am Co-investigator at NICRE and Associate Professor in Environmental Governance at the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI). I am contributing to NICRE research on natural capital and rural enterprise, and agriculture in transition. My teaching and research interests relate to the relationship between different land uses, communities and policies, as well as innovations that can result from local decision making. My research for the past 25 years has mainly focused on changes in agriculture, activities that enhance the environment, how people engage with nature and developing inclusive solutions to complex issues for UK government departments and the European Commission. I am recognised as an expert in integrated catchment management, landscape scale management and nature-based solutions.

Fahimeh Malekinezhad – Research Assistant

I am a research assistant at NICRE and at the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI). I am supporting work on finance and developing new research on understanding rural resilience. My research interests are around quantitative data analysis techniques, particularly developing advanced multivariate structural models, social network analysis and classification methods. At the CCR, I am working on the Going the Extra Mile project (GEM) - an on-going mixed methods evaluation of an employment inclusivity programme in Gloucestershire - evaluating mental health, wellbeing and social impacts of the project.

Warwick people

Steve Roper – Co-Director

I’m Co-Director of NICRE, Professor of Enterprise at Warwick Business School and Director of the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC). I am an economist with over 30 years’ experience of researching issues related to small and medium enterprises, innovation and innovation policy in the UK and internationally and have published widely in both areas. I have led over 70 externally funded projects, have been a member of a number of government advisory boards, and I regularly act as a consultant for OECD and the World Bank on issues related to small business development and innovation policy including projects in Austria, Abu Dhabi, Mexico, Israel, Columbia and Poland, Austria and Canada over the last four years. I am an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the RSA.