In spring 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, research projects funded by the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) were subjected to budget cuts. The cuts were the result of UK government’s decision to reduce its Official Development Assistance (ODA), which had devastating effects for humanitarian, development and research work. This article draws on focus group discussions with project teams working on three large GCRF-funded projects to explore the effects of these cuts. The article documents how the cuts curtailed project aspirations and impact, had a negative toll on the mental health of researchers, and imperilled the trusting relationships upon which international research collaborations are built. The article argues that the cuts expose the shallow commitments to research ethics and equitable partnerships of powerful actors in the UK research ecosystem, including research councils and government. In ‘doing harm’ via these cuts, the article explores the failure of research governance structures and the continued coloniality underpinning the UK’s approach to researching ‘global challenges’.
This study examines how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be leveraged to facilitate strategic change towards sustainability involving multiple stakeholders in a pluralistic city environment. By drawing on an exemplary case study of the localisation of the SDGs in Bristol, a medium-sized UK city, we show how the goals can operate as a boundary object. In particular, we identify a pattern in which the discursive localisation of the SDGs moved from problematisation and visioning through strategising and structuring towards embedding and performing. In addition, we elaborate on the three tensions that the SDGs help participants to understand and use productively, that is, across scale, time and different ways of valuing. Our study contributes to research on strategic change in pluralistic settings, such as cities, by offering a nuanced account of the discursive use of the SDGs by organisations involved in a city’s sustainable development. Furthermore, by proposing a framework based on the specific tensions that play an important role in the discursive localisation, our study advances research on the role of city strategising and practice more generally.
This gives a flavour for the questions you might ask in collaborative interdisciplinary work with young people. It provides an account of a real-life experience of doing collaborative questioning in practice.
This book invites the reader to think about collaborative research differently. Using the concepts of ‘letting go’ (the recognition that research is always in a state of becoming) and ‘poetics’ (using an approach that might interrupt and remake the conventions of research), it envisions collaborative research as a space where relationships are forged with the use of arts-based and multimodal ways of seeing, inquiring, and representing ideas.
The book’s chapters are interwoven with ‘Interludes’ which provide alternative forms to think with and another vantage point from which to regard phenomena, pose a question, and seek insights or openings for further inquiry, rather than answers. Altogether, the book celebrates collaboration in complex, exploratory, literary and artistic ways within university and community research.
In our project, ethnographic methods of participant observation and interviews were infused with arts-based methods of creating artefacts – collaging, impromptu video making, shared text-making, photography; these practices, as they become normalized within our research ethos, served as ‘weirs’ and interrupted the flow of received meanings that are embedded often in the labels ascribed to young people by the systems of schooling and justice. Embodiment is a word that tries to capture what is left of a project. This chapter, even with the inclusion of words, images and a cacophony of form, still offers only a partial glimpse of the affective traces that took root in the circle within us and the one that we draw around us, together.
Enchantment is an important part of research in the everyday. The experience of locating magic and wonder in the everyday language use of participants constituted a kind of moral intervention – the production of an affective orientation that reinforced our commitment to the well-being and progress of the participants in the project.
This piece is an encounter with a school which went wrong, but something was retrieved. It shows how it is important to factor potential failure into collaborative research. It is also about what happens when a team of artists go into a school and work together.
This chapter explores the potential of the form, hypertext, to be applied to collaborative interdisciplinary projects. It explores the potential for that form to let in diverse voices and encourage co-writing and collaboration.
In this chapter, we introduce some of the reasons that drove us to compose this book in the first place. The book is written to challenge a singular view of the university and to move towards more collaborative modes of enquiry.