The Sheffield Institute for Policy Studies (SIPS) was pleased to host its 6th annual postgraduate research poster showcase, a competition open to postgraduate research students across all disciplines within Sheffield Hallam University. This fantastic annual event provides a collegial environment for presenters to discuss their ongoing research projects, network with peers and receive constructive and meaningful academic feedback. This event provides a space, in particular, for first-year PhD researchers to disseminate early findings of the research they are conducting, and showcases the broad range of research undertaken by postgraduate researchers across Sheffield Hallam University. Following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the importance of events such as this for postgraduate researchers has been noted, particularly as a way for PhD students to combat prominent feelings of isolation that notably arose as a result of pandemic-related lockdowns.
THE BROWN COMMISSION REPORT – An assessment of its proposals for local and regional economic development
On 4 December the Labour Party published A New Britain: renewing our democracy and rebuilding our economy, the report of a commission chaired by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The report had been requested by Labour Leader Kier Starmer, who welcomed the recommendations and called for their implementation by a future Labour government.
Studying foundation professionals highlights the internal dynamics of philanthropic foundations
Philanthropic foundations, as institutions, are attractive options for donors seeking to perform their philanthropy while living and to extend their individual or family legacy posthumously. Policymakers also see the attractiveness of these institutions by creating policies to shift private resources to public purposes. These policies have spurred the development of foundations in several parts of the world (Toepler, 2018). As a result, foundations have become the “fastest-growing nonprofit form” in the past decade (Jung and Harrow, 2016:162). However, despite the attractiveness and growth of these institutions, what is known about them remains incomplete, inconsistent, and often anecdotal.
Tenancy sustainment in social housing: a perfect storm?
A number of recent publications, including the Food Foundation (2022) and a report published last month by the House of Commons Library, have highlighted that the cost-of-living crisis is disproportionately affecting low income households. Research by Fitzpatrick et. al. (2020) suggests that tenants in the Social Rented Sector are particularly exposed to the impact of the crisis, as it has the highest proportion (60%) of households of three principal housing sectors who may be described as being ‘destitute’ (i.e., unable to afford two or more of a basket of essential items). It, therefore, does not come as a surprise that social housing tenants are finding it increasingly difficult to pay their rent and sustain their tenancies. It is vital, then, to highlight through research their experiences, which is the focus of the 'Holding on to home: tenancy sustainment in social housing' study.
INVESTMENT ZONES – What are they, and will they work?
In its Growth Plan, published on 23 September, the Westminster government announced its intention to create Investment Zones across the whole of the UK. The label may be new, but the concept is not. At the core, the new Investment Zones are a new generation of Enterprise Zones – something that has been a feature of the UK’s economic development landscape since the 1980s.
The role of higher education in Levelling Up: reforming or subverting the market?
Why isn’t higher education seen as playing a role in levelling up? On first reading the Levelling Up the United Kingdom White Paper, there appears to be a 'higher education' sized gap in the middle of its argument, between where it talks about the need for more 'skills' (without specifying the levels of study required) and where it identifies the need to grow 'research and development clusters' in left behind areas. It manages to do this without reference to where highly qualified researchers are educated and choose to live, or the relationship between where those researchers live and where hi-tech companies choose to locate.
Access to green space is a question of justice, not just distance
How long does it take you to walk to your nearest park or green space? If it takes more than ten minutes, according to the charity Fields in Trust, you’re missing out: 2.8 million people in Great Britain don’t have a green space within a ten-minute walk of their home.
Lessons from the pandemic: autistic young people can thrive with a more flexible and autonomous education system
Our recent research project about autistic young people’s and families’ educational experiences during the pandemic has made two things evident: 1. Better educational experiences for autistic young people are possible 2. They are made possible through increasing flexibility in the system.
What does the rainbow mean to you?
This is the question being asked in new research by Jen Slater, Eleanor Formby and Drew Simms in a project funded by BA/Leverhulme. The rainbow flag is often synonymous with LGBT+ people and/or Pride, and we’re interested in exploring how LGBTQIA+ people relate to the rainbow personally, and their views on the ways that rainbows are used within institutional settings – both as symbols of LGBTQIA+ inclusion and, since COVID-19, as a symbol of the NHS. Currently, we’re focussing on the use of rainbows in higher education, but in future we hope to broaden this out to also look at other intuitional settings.
UK Shared Prosperity Fund: Where do we stand following the White Paper?
Alongside the White Paper on Levelling Up published on 2 February, the government issued ‘pre-launch guidance’ on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, intended to replace EU funding to the regions. Details of the UK SPF have been long-awaited, and the fund is intended to be up-and-running this spring. So where do we now stand?