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UnBox Fellowships

Date: 07/01/2013

Five UK researchers have been awarded the opportunity to work with a team made up of creative entrepreneurs and India host organisations. This unique opportunity is a partnership between the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the British Council, UnBox festival and the UK’s Science and Innovation Network. The five successful researchers will work on research relevant challenges with their teams for up to four weeks leading up to a presentation of their work at the UNBOX festival.

Naomi Beaumont, Head of International at the AHRC. These fellowships present an exciting opportunity for open-minded creative-thinking researchers. The opportunity will give the fellows the experience of working within a non-academic environment and within a cross-cultural setting. The fellows will apply their research skills to new types of non-academic challenges.. The host organisations will hopefully gain new perspectives on the current challenges facing their organisations as well as providing a unique and enriching research experience.

Fellowships will take place at one of five different hosts. Each team has a different focus and suggested research themes, the successful AHRC Unbox Fellows are:

Dr Misha Myers, Senior Lecturer in Theatre, Falmouth University, Fellow for unTILL: Augmenting Agriculture with New Technologies

Dr Myers will be joined by the British Council Fellow, Joshua Oliver a Film Producer and Director and the UnBox Fellow, Saswat Mahapatra an illustrator and graphic designer, to work with Digital Green (DG). DG combines technology and community engagement to improve the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of small farmer livelihoods. Digital Green uses technology to reach out to its target audience: not only does it promote the use of technology to increase the efficiency of agricultural produce; it also uses film as a medium to spread expertise. Along with this work on the field, DG actively tries to engage an urban audience with the work it does, in order to connect the two. DG has also developed social networking games that are based on real life information of farmers: they have a database (farmerbook) that tracks each of the farmers it works with – on the technology adapted by them, their engagement with Digital Green, and real time updates on their current farming activities. Dr Myers will be working to develop ways to take information back to the community via the farmerbook database.

Dr Padmini Ray Murray, Lecturer in Publishing Studies, University of Stirling, Fellow for unPLAY: Gaming for Social Innovation

Dr Padmini Ray Murray will be joined by the British Council Fellow Andrew Clarke, a Technical Advisor and the UnBox Fellow, Anupam Mediratta, a computer programmer, to collaborate with Quicksand a multi-disciplinary consultancy that brings user-centered design principles to the core of innovation. A key strand of their work includes developing educational games using Kinect technologies to break age, class, language, and literacy barriers. Dr Ray Murray will help to develop new games that will be featured at a mini-arcade at UnBox.

Dr Churnjeet Mahn, Lecturer in English Literature, University of Surrey, Fellow for unMAP: Culture and Heritage Preservation

Dr Churnjeet Mahn will be hosted by the Cultural Resource Conservation Initiative (CRCI) which promotes India's cultural heritage through community participation. CRCI consistently tries to harmonize the imperatives of heritage conservation with the historic and current realities of the site. Towards this end, it works in active partnership with communities to develop appropriate strategies for conservation in both rural and urban areas. Dr Mahn will be joined by British Council Fellow Ioanna Manoussaki-Adamopoulou a Filmmaker and Researcher and UnBox fellow, Simran Chopra, a New Media Designer from India.

Professor Andrew Burton, Professor of Fine Art, Newcastle University, Fellow for unBUILD: Sustainable Lifestyles

Professor Andrew Burton will assist People Tree an independent arts and crafts business that combines a sense of social and ecological responsibility with the spirit of collective creativity. People Tree is currently engaged in collaborating with chef Satish Warier, in setting up an arts, crafts and food space in Goa. Professor Burton will work with the British Council Fellow Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad a Creative Director and Product Designer alongside the UnBox Fellow Stanzin Losal Shamshu, a Product Designer who spent the last two years working with Hendzel & Hunt in London, to support the development of this new venture into a demonstration space for a more ecologically active approach to art, food, crafts and heritage.

Dr Emile Devereaux, Lecturer in Digital Art and Culture, Lancaster University, Fellow for unVEIL: Film and Digital Media for Open-governance

Dr Devereaux will work with PRS Legislative Research. PRS provides a comprehensive and credible resource base to access Parliament-specific data, background information and analysis of key issues. PRS also engages with citizens, through various forums and both traditional and digital media. The target audience is young, active Internet users who may already be interested in governance and law.

The general idea of PRS's work is to use creative ways to present governance and law based information in a simplified, easy to understand form. This digital output (in the form of videos, or mobile phone apps or other technological avenues that can be explored) would seek to inform the audience on the nuances of law making and good governance. Dr Devereaux will work with the British Council Fellow Alexander Jolliffe, Animator and the UnBox Fellow, Radhamohini Prasad, Film maker.

All of the researchers will attend the festival itself, where they will have the chance to bid for further AHRC small scale funding to continue collaborations formed.

Notes to Editors

For further information, please contact: Danielle Moore-Chick, AHRC: 01793 416021 d.moore-chick@ahrc.ac.uk

  • For full details of the Fellow, the host institutions, please got to: http://fellowships.unboxfestival.com/
  • The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.
  • For further details on the British Council Fellows: http://creativeconomy.britishcouncil.org/creative-entrepreneurship/news/unbox-fellowship-winners-announced/
  • The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK's international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. Our 7000 staff in over 100 countries work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes. We earn over 75% of our annual turnover of £739 million from services which customers pay for, education and development contracts we bid for and from partnerships. A UK Government grant provides the remaining 25%. We match every £1 of core public funding with over £3 earned in pursuit of our charitable purpose. For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through http://twitter.com/britishcouncil and http://blog.britishcouncil.org/.
  • The UnBox Festival takes place from 6-10 February 2013 - celebrates interdisciplinary processes and experiences that shape contemporary thought and action across a range of domains, through keynotes, discussions and workshops anchored by leading and emerging practitioners. http://unboxfestival.com/
  • The UK Science and Innovation Network has bases in 25 countries with around 100 staff in total. The Network's purpose is wide-ranging, and involves science diplomacy and fostering collaboration in science and innovation. We work with academia, research establishments and businesses in the UK and its international partners. Our work includes gathering information, providing analysis, producing reports and running briefing sessions. We use interactive platforms such as seminars, workshops, conferences, sponsored visits and researcher exchanges to engage the UK and its international partners directly. Further information is available on our website http://www.bis.gov.uk/go-science/about/how-we-work/science-and-innovation-network
  • The University of Surrey is one of the UK's leading professional, scientific and technological universities with a world class research profile and a reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Ground-breaking research at the University is bringing direct benefit to all spheres of life – helping industry to maintain its competitive edge and creating improvements in the areas of health, medicine, space science, the environment, communications, defence and social policy. Programmes in science and technology have gained widespread recognition and it also boasts flourishing programmes in dance and music, social sciences, management and languages and law. In addition to the campus on 150 hectares just outside Guildford, Surrey, the University also owns and runs the Surrey Research Park, which provides facilities for 110 companies employing 2,750 staff. The Sunday Times names Surrey as ‘The University for Jobs’ which underlines the university's growing reputation for providing high quality, relevant degrees.
  • Newcastle University is a Russell Group University. Newcastle ranks in the top 20 of UK universities in The Sunday Times 2013 University Guide.

    Amongst our peers Newcastle is:

    In the UK's top 12 for research power in Science and Engineering.
    10th in the UK for student satisfaction, 93% of Newcastle's students are in a job or further training within six months of graduating (HEFCE 2012).

    Newcastle has a world-class reputation for research excellence and is spearheading three major societal challenges that have a significant impact on global society. These themes are: Ageing and Health, Sustainability, and Social Renewal.

    Newcastle University is the first UK university to establish a fully owned international branch campus for medicine at its NUMed Campus in Malaysia which opened in 2011.

    International students put Newcastle University in world's top 12 (ISB 2011)

  • Founded in 1967, the University of Stirling was the first new university in Scotland for nearly 400 years. Since its foundation, Stirling has embraced its role as an innovative, intellectual and cultural institution with an established reputation for blending arts and science. It is home to leading researchers and scholars, attracted by its unique learning environment, exceptional facilities and student-centred approach. Stirling has a world-class reputation for its interdisciplinary research, relevant to the social, economic and cultural needs of society, with research strengths in Health and Wellbeing, Culture and Society, Environment, Enterprise and the Economy, and Sport. Stirling's graduates, staff and students are helping to shape the world by making a direct and positive contribution to the development of prosperous, healthy and sustainable communities across the globe.


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