View all news

University of Bristol academics earn coveted British Academy Fellowship grants to further their research

Dr Sebastiaan Verweij, Dr Mark Hailwood, and Dr Gemma Derrick

Press release issued: 3 May 2023

Three University of Bristol academics have been selected to receive prestigious Mid-Career Fellowships from the British Academy to fund research relating to social sciences, humanities and the arts.

The Mid-Career Fellowships will free the researchers from normal teaching and administrative commitments, enabling them to pursue a major piece of research that advances understanding in their respective subject areas.

The three successful UoB academics are Dr Mark Hailwood, Dr Sebastiaan Vermeij, and Dr Gemma Derrick.

Dr Hailwood, Senior Lecturer in the Department of History, will be studying everyday village life before industrialisation. Dr Hailwood has studied witness statements from 17th century court cases which provide detailed accounts of the everyday lives of relatively humble women and men.

 “I want to use this material to write a new history of everyday village life before industrialisation, one that will challenge many of our assumptions about this supposedly 'backward' peasant society, highlighting its dynamism and modern features,” Dr Hailwood said.

“The book I will write will use as a case study the Somerset town of Portishead, which also happens to be my hometown, which should add an interesting angle.

“I feel very fortunate to receive this fellowship, as I know many equally good proposals will have missed out on funding. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to concentrate my attention fully on the project, and to writing a book that will, I hope, be of interest not just to scholars but to a wider public too.”

Dr Verweij, Senior Lecturer from the Department of English, will use his funding to carry out research into Place and Poetry in Premodern Scotland. The project will produce the first comprehensive study of the cultural representation of place in premodern Scottish poetry, c. 1400-1700. By examination of canonical, lesser known, and anonymous poets, alongside maps and other texts, it will foreground place as critical for understanding how premodern Scots experienced their lived and imagined environments.

Dr Verweij said: “I am thrilled to receive the British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship. Having a year to undertake the project and write my book is an enormous luxury, and I can’t wait to get started.”

And Dr Derrick, Associate Professor in the School of Education, will further her research into the concept of ‘grimpact’ – looking at how the nature and value of the benefits society receives from research are in flux and continually contested.

Dr Derrick said: “I am really happy that this project has been recognised by this award as it is poised to offer critical insights into how societal outcomes from research are defined and valued through assessment.

“Through either an impact or grimpact, it is important that assumptions of research value and influence are challenged and opened up for debate within the research community and this fellowship will assist in this goal.”

The British Academy has awarded over £6.5 million in new Mid-Career Fellowships to 43 outstanding mid-career academics.

The awards recognise researchers who have achieved distinction as excellent communicators and ‘champions’ in their fields. In previous years the work undertaken by British Academy Mid-Career Fellows has led to critically-acclaimed documentaries, collaborations with art galleries, and BBC radio shows.

For more information visit: The British Academy awards 43 new Mid-Career Fellowships to support outstanding SHAPE researchers | The British Academy.

Edit this page