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In conversation with Dr Eleonora Belfiore

Eleonora's background

Dr Eleonora Belfiore is an Associate Professor of Cultural Policy, and Director of Graduate Studies at the Centre for Cultural Policy Studies, at the University of Warwick. Elonora became a Member of the AHRC Peer Review College (PRC) in April 2012.

Becoming a Peer Review College Member

Eleonora’s journey through academia has been an unusual one. An opportunity arose to go on an Erasmus exchange from her Italian university to the University of Exeter providing the chance to complete studies in the UK. This led to a change of direction from her background in Classics and Italian literature to cultural policy and a move to the University of Warwick, where her PhD was AHRC funded.

Eleonora says the award that probably made the most impact on my career was an AHRC-Arts Council England (ACE) Research Fellowship in Arts Impact Assessment from 2004-2007.

I have also been involved in two AHRC awards: “Understanding Everyday Participation - Articulating Cultural Values”; and “Beyond utility and markets: Articulating the role of the humanities in the twenty-first century”.

At a PRC Induction day Eleonora met other College members and took part in a mock panel providing a sense of the challenging process that applications go through and made the impact of the Principal Investigator (PI) statement very apparent. If the PI doesn’t answer the critique effectively, it is very noticeable to panel members.

Since her training Eleonora has completed one review. Value for Money was my greatest concern, as an ambassador for funding I would have preferred evidence for the intellectual impact of the submitted costs. This will impact my own future submissions as I will explain and ‘sell my case’ better when submitting a proposal.

Explaining why she wanted to join the AHRC’s Peer Review College, Eleonora said: It was a concern for the protection of spaces for collegiality and the desire to promote the visibility of cultural policy research within the AHRC. She also hopes to pass on insights to her own institution and to make an impact in her Higher Education Institutions (HEI) research office.

Elenora’s Research

Eleanora’s research focuses on the development of a humanities-based approach to the study of cultural policies and cultural politics. She undertakes a highly interdisciplinary approach to her research field. Her focus explores the cultural politics of decision-making in the cultural sphere, with a particular concentration on public funding of the arts and the arguments used to justify it in a public policy context. It includes the way in which cultural policy overlaps with other areas of public policy-making, in particular social and economic policy. She is committed to public engagement and to the notion that research comes alive in conversations and interactions with people, both within and beyond academia.