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Leverhulme Trust Awards Two Research Fellowships to St Andrews Academics

Dr Karen Brown of the School of Art History and Professor Aileen Fyfe of the School of History have been awarded Major Research Fellowships by the Leverhulme Trust for their work, with Dr Brown researching the importance of community museums, and Professor Fyfe researching the Victorian information revolution. For her project called “Community museums and wellbeing in times of climate change and decolonisation”, Dr Brown will receive a £191,125 grant over three years. Her research centres on the foundation that museums, situated at the forefront of global issues including wellbeing, climate change, and decolonisation, are advanta- geously positioned to address these issues from a grass roots level. This project develops further Dr Brown’s research and fieldwork over the past seven years which had previously focused on community museums in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, examining the ways in which these museums present opportunities in the modern day through the framework of transnational ecological museology.

Dr Brown said, “I am delighted and honoured to receive this wonderful news. I very much look forward to engaging in the joys and challenges of imaginative thinking that has been enabled by Leverhulme awards for almost a century.” Professor Aileen Fyffe, whose research centres on the Victorian information revolution, will receive a grant of £123,337 over 24 months to codify her findings into a book.

Professor Fyfe examines the Victorians as information pioneers, despite the seemingly modern connotations of “data” and “information revolutions”. Professor Fyfe said of her research area, “The Victorians also thought that they were living through a time of change: statistics were being gathered, information assembled, and new techniques and technologies were being developed to process and publish it all.

“But it was a paper-based revolution. That’s what I will be exploring: how information was gathered, processed and made public in the days of paper technologies.”

She added, “I’m looking forward to returning to my roots as a historian of nineteenth-century Britain. I’m extremely grateful to the Leverhulme Trust for providing me with the time and peace to write considered prose at length.”

The funding will enable Pro- fessor Fyfe to return to this area of study after the completion of a significant project on the history of scientific journal publishing at the Royal Society, 1665 to 2015.

The grants awarded as part of the fellowships are part of a larger funding announcement from the Leverhulme Trust of £4.5 million available for research projects in the social science and humanities sector.

Further information about the Leverhulme Trust: Since its foundation in 1925, the Leverhulme Trust has provided grants and scholarships for research and education, funding research projects, fellowships, studentships, bursaries and prizes; it operates across all the academic disciplines, the intention being to support talented individuals as they realise their personal vision in research and professional training. Today, it is one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, distributing approximately £100m a year. For more information about the Trust, please visit and follow the Trust on Twitter @LeverhulmeTrust.

Image: Leverhulme Trust

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