Interdisciplinary Research Officer, University of Manchester
A new post in which I promoted cross-subject research and provide support for bids and grants within the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures.
- I continually worked with senior staff, including the Director of CIDRA (Professor Frank Mort), Director of Research (Professor Alison Sharrock), and Postgraduate Director (Professor Bertrand Taithe) and Head of School (Professor Penny Summerfield), along with the Research Development Manager on the development of CIDRA and interdisciplinary research activities, fitting with the School, Faculty and University aims.
- I looked to provide space for, and promote conversations amongst, staff and the postgraduate community, especially highlighting the interdisciplinary agenda, and providing the social spaces in which new ideas can flourish.
- In collaboration with Professor Frank Mort, for 2005/6, I have organised a successful lecture series, with accompanying graduate masterclasses, entitled “Doing Cultural History Now”, with a number of prestigious speakers, including: Professor Peter Burke (Cambridge); Professor Lynn Nead (Birkbeck), Professor Miri Rubin (Queen Mary), Professor Roy Foster (Oxford), Professor David Konstan ( Brown), Professor Gyan Prakash (Princeton). Within this theme, we have hosted Professor Alessandro Portelli (La Sapienza, Rome), Simon Visiting Professor 2005/6 for three visits. The above have all included a number of social duties alongside logistics arrangements.
- In 2006/7, CIDRA’s research theme was Visual Cultures, with an accompanying lecture series entitled “Visual Knowledges”, which I co-organised with Professor Janet Wolff, completing the logistic arrangements before leaving the post. Within this theme, we have successfully bid for University funding for a Visiting Professor, Professor Douglas Crimp (Rochester), for whom I made logistic arrangements, and helped to host for his first visit.
- I project managed a large international conference for July 2007, entitled “War and our World”, ensuring that this is explicitly interdisciplinary, to fit with CIDRA’s aims.
- In collaboration with the Director of CIDRA, I explored internal and external funding (and fundraising) opportunities for CIDRA’s work. I worked with other members of the Research Office team to populate a funding opportunities database, particularly with regard to European and interdisciplinary funding, and I provided support for a large AHRC grant.
- I liaised with colleagues in the School’s Postgraduate Office, External Relations team and relevant Faculty and Central Offices regarding interdisciplinary research activities in the School.
- I co-ordinated all aspects of the day-to-day running of CIDRA, managing four separate budgets. I acted as Secretary (where appropriate) to a number of related meetings, especially those with affiliated Research Centres (for which I have created a concise audit document to allow senior staff to reassess the policy towards such centres). I looked to create policy and ‘best practice’ documents where appropriate to ensure smooth running of CIDRA in the long-term.
- I created and maintained CIDRA’s website content (www.manchester.ac.uk/cidra), contributed to the Research Office newsletter and developed a mailing list for CIDRA’s activities, and ensured appropriate marketing and PR activities were carried out.
- I attended appropriate training opportunities, both for personal development, and for appropriate knowledge, including courses on project management, and developing expertise in funding applications and fEC.
- I provided sessions on ‘using visual materials in an interdisciplinary way’, and on ‘time management’ in association with the SAGE Graduate programme.
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.