Skip to main content

Pioneer Awards

Humanities Pioneers produce a bumper crop of research projects

The Pioneer Award scheme is one of the main ways we support the research community at Newcastle University and is open to applications from both staff and PGRS. The scheme offers grants of up to £1,000 to run innovative, interdisciplinary, and experimental research projects.

Our first round of applications yielded a very diverse range of interesting and exciting projects. Some of these projects will work locally with partners in Newcastle and Gateshead, whilst others involve collaborations with global communities.

We were very pleased to see several community-based applications that blend research with activities that will directly benefit local people living on Tyneside. These projects either pivot on the involvement of local artists or community groups, Gillian Jein’s Co-Creative Workshop with The Comfrey Project or will directly involve local residents like Rebecca Woods’ Community Storytime project.

While the institute is very keen to support local initiatives, we are also committed to thinking globally. Several projects had a distinctly international angle. Jade Biyu Du’s project, Interprofessional collaboration to enhance interaction in interpreter-mediated psychological therapy project, looks at the barriers faced by people who require a translator in order undertake psychological therapy, a global challenge for the mental health profession. 

All the projects we are supporting demonstrate the value and relevance of Arts and Humanities disciplines in tackling modern day challenges. Improving literacy and driving up educational attainment particularly among disadvantaged or vulnerable people featured strongly in this round, as demonstrated in Preti Tanaja’s project Visual Verse which marries developments in digital humanities with teaching and creative writing. The project aims to build a virtual exhibition.

The Institute supports researchers at all stages of their career. We actively encourage applications from PGRs. We are thus delighted to be supporting Julie Monroe’s innovative first postdoctoral research project Regendering Care: Organizational Technologies, Gender and Working Life. This research project pilot is looking at how modern digital technologies impact on traditional gender roles. It involves a comparison between the UK and Indonesia and will develop an international collaboration.

The institute is dedicated to supporting our research community and helping us all to demonstrate the relevance and importance of humanities-based research and the role it can play in tackling society’s most pressing challenges. All this year’s applications do that in wonderful and imaginative ways. We wish all our researchers the best of luck with their endeavours and look forward to catching up with them as they progress along their individual journeys.

Don’t worry if you missed the January deadline for submissions to the Pioneer Awards scheme. We are still accepting applications; the next deadline is March 25th. Find out more about applying here.

Full list of projects:

Jade Biyu Du (SML) - Interprofessional collaboration to enhance interaction in interpreter-mediated psychological therapy project

Gillian Jein (SML) - Co-creative Workshop with The Comfrey Project

Julie Monroe (NUBS) - Regendering care: Organizational technologies, Gender and Working Life.

Preti Tanaja (SELLL) - Visual Verse

Rebecca Woods (SELLL) - Community Storytime project.

If you would like to know more about any of these projects, please contact us.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences