Researcher awarded British Academy Innovation Fellowship to enhance local communities and shape policies through cultural and creative economies

Tuesday 25 June 2024

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Dr Victoria Barker, a researcher at Coventry University, has been awarded a British Academy Innovation Fellowship for her extensive contributions to cultural and creative economies and her drive to deliver impactful policy research in this field.

Funded by the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology, British Academy Innovation Fellowships empower researchers in the humanities and social sciences to work with various UK-based organisations and businesses across creative and cultural, public, private, commercial, or policy sectors to tackle challenges that demand innovative solutions.

Over the next 12 months, Dr Barker, who is a researcher within Coventry University’s Centre for Creative Economies, will collaborate closely with the Local Policy and Innovation Partnership (LPIP) Hub at the University of Birmingham. Her fellowship is specifically designed to support local and national policymakers in addressing key challenges, such as driving sustainable economic growth and reducing regional inequalities within the UK.

At the heart of the fellowship lies a fully funded research project, which will be led by Dr Barker, to explore the complex relationships between cultural and creative infrastructures and place-based policy. The project will focus on how communities engage with local creative and cultural infrastructure, and where these connections could strengthen local and national policy conversations to drive positive change within local communities.

Dr Barker's research interests align with the key focus areas and goals of the LPIP, such as community engagement, felt experiences, pride in place and cultural recovery, emphasising the profound significance of arts, humanities and social sciences in informing policymaking and boosting the wider economy.

Drawing from over a decade of arts and culture sector evaluation experience, Dr Barker has been deeply involved in place-based work across the sector, including research with creative freelancers and supporting Creative People and Places schemes.

Her expertise, coupled with her involvement in the Early Career Researcher Networks of the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy, positions her as an emerging expert in the intersection of arts, humanities, social sciences and policy relevance.

Being successful in this award is a huge accolade at this stage of my academic career. The support of the British Academy, along with the opportunity to work with the LPIP Hub, is incredibly valuable. I’m looking forward to becoming part of the network and contributing to place-based policy research.

Dr Victoria Barker, Centre for Creative Economies, Coventry University

This is wonderful and well-deserved news for Victoria and the Centre for Creative Economies at Coventry University. Her success reflects our commitment to fostering innovative research at the intersection of arts, humanities, social science and policy relevance.

Professor Nick Henry, Director of the Centre for Creative Economies, Coventry University

Visit Dr Victoria Barker’s profile.

Find out more about the Centre for Creative Economies.