Connected Communities Leadership Fellow

I was appointed as an Arts & Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellow in September 2012, one of six new senior posts across the UK linked to the direction of AHRC priority themes and cross-disciplinary programmes. I had responsibility for the Connected Communities programme, along with the other Connected Communities Leadership Fellow, Professor Keri Facer, University of Bristol. It was an exciting, prestigious, and challenging responsibility, which was renewed in 2015 for a second three-year period. The post concluded in 2019. This short early video, filmed on a visit to the Creative Citizens project team in Birmingham in December 2012, tells a little of some of the aims of the programme:

And here is a podcast Keri and I made a couple of months into the programme, late 2012, talking about what we thought Connected Communities would, or ought to, involve.

AHRC funded me to work two days a week on Connected Communities, and two days on my personal research. The wonderful team I worked with at first Salford and then UEA consisted of postdoctoral research associates and project administrators.


  • Dr Emma Webster, The Impact and Value of Festivals project (UEA, 2015-16)
  • Dr Lucy Wright, DIY Culture and Participatory Arts project (2016-17)
  • Dr Lizzie Bennett, Creative Spaces and Public Cultures project (2018-19).


  • Dr Deborah Woodman (Salford, 2012-14)
  • Rachel Daniels (UEA, 2015-18)
  • Jess Knights (2016-18)
  • Michelle Bagnall (2018-19).

Keri and I had an active website dedicated to the programme and our Fellowship activities, and you could follow the programme on Twitter via @ahrcconnect.


Here are the main events I was involved in organising for and with the AHRC Connected Communities programme.

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