Research Division Briefing

Welcome to the Research Division e-Briefing

LSEThe Research Division e-Briefing is produced by the Research Division| and the Press and Information Office|.

New research out this week by an LSE family law expert has found that government advice to parents to 'be nice' to their children, by using positive reinforcement instead of punishment, is potentially damaging and parents should, instead, be left to trust their own instincts.

In other news, the School is starting to make its final preparations before submission to the REF, and an LSE academic has been awarded second place by the ESRC in its Celebrating Impact Prize Awards.


June 2013



LSEResearch Excellence Framework update

With just a few months left before submission to the REF the School is making final preparations. Over the next few weeks the impact case studies (ICSs), impact templates and statements on environment for each of our fourteen units will be completed. Hopefully we can get these finished by the end of July!

You may be contacted for hard copies of your research as the Library starts to scan outputs for the REF. We have also developed a new database that holds around one hundred ICSs at the moment. This is a unique resource for the REF and will expand over the coming years as the impact agenda comes to the fore.

LSELSE academic commended by ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize awards

LSE academic Richard Murphy (pictured), has been awarded second place by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in its Celebrating Impact Prize Awards.

Richard Murphy, a research economist in education and skills at the Centre for Economic Performance was awarded second place in the Oustanding Early Career Impact category.

The award is in recognition of his work, carried out in collaboration with the Sutton Trust, which summarised research on teacher quality and the effect on pupils, and methods of measuring teacher effectiveness. Richard Murphy’s recommendations were accepted by the government, influencing the decision of the Secretary of State for Education to give schools the freedom to set pay in line with performance and to heighten the selectivity of teacher training routes.

The ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize is a new, annual opportunity to recognise and reward the successes of ESRC-funded researchers who have achieved, or are currently achieving, outstanding economic and/or societal impacts. The prize celebrates outstanding ESRC research and success in collaborative working, partnerships, engagement and knowledge exchange activities that have led to significant impact. More|

LSEA multidisciplinary approach to European citizenship

LSE has recently been named as a partner institution for a large-scale research project into European citizenship.

All Rights Reserved? Barriers Towards EUropean CITIZENship is the title of the European research endeavour by a group of 26 universities coordinated by Utrecht University.

Several LSE academics are involved in different aspects of the project, including Professor Hartley Dean and Dr Isabel Shutes of the Department of Social Policy, Dr Jan Komárek, Department of Law and European Institute, and Dr Chris Minns and Dr Patrick Wallis of the Department of Economic History. LSE’s Department of Economic History is leading the historical work package.

The four year project, which started in May 2013, aims to gain an insight into the obstacles faced by European citizens when they exercise their rights and obligations, into the possible contradictions between economic, social, political and civil citizenship rights and into the conceptualisation thereof at the European and national level. According to the research programme this challenge requires a multidisciplinary approach and international comparative research.

LSERCUK funded Big Data Workshop held at LSE

The LSE Tech| team, led by Dr Jonathan Liebenau, Department of Management, recently held a research workshop on big data and new business models. The event brought together experts to discuss the opportunities and challenges of data-driven business models in the digital economy.

Participants included delegates from IBM, Microsoft Research, Morgan Stanley, the Greater London Authority, and academics from a wide range of national and international universities. The workshop discussed critical societal and industrial issues related to the role big data has on business model innovation as well as appropriate methodologies to study value creation in the big data landscape.

You can find more information in the LSE Network Economy Blog|.

LSEResearch Development in a Challenging Environment

Supporting the research development process at institutional level entails significant challenges. Dr Aygen Kurt Dickson, Research Development Manager in the Research Division, gave an account of her experience in initiating research development activities within a social science-led institution at the recent ARMA conference.

The talk addressed how to define the notion of research development in relation to social science; how to ensure innovative thinking, increasing intra and beyond institutional collaboration; and how to facilitate networking between academics. Aygen said this was the first step to understanding a cross-sectoral approach to research development in higher education, which she is planning to follow with a nationwide survey and qualitative comparison.

For more information contact the Research Division at|.

LSEAssociation of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA) Annual Conference

The ARMA annual conference convened this month. The conference’s theme was 'strategies for success' with forty-two workshops, professional and business exhibitors, poster competition and networking meetings run by special interest groups.

The two keynote speakers Professor Rick Rylance, Chief Executive of the AHRC and Chairman of the RCUK Executive Board, and Dr Steven Hill, Head of Research Policy at HEFCE brought their unique perspectives for a lively debate.

David Coombe, Director of LSE Research Division, was re-elected as the Director of Conference Planning. David concluded: 'The conference laid bare the challenges created by the current (and future) funding situation and wider policy environment and offered support and professional expertise in helping us meet those challenges'. More information about ARMA and the conference can be found at|.

LSETop downloads on LSE Research Online for May

The most downloaded items in LSE Research Online| in May 2013 were as follows:

1. Livingstone, Sonia (2008) Taking risky opportunities in youthful content creation: teenagers' use of social networking sites for intimacy, privacy and self-expression|. New media & society, 10 (3). pp. 393-411. ISSN 1461-4448 (1154 downloads).

2. Anheier, Helmut K. (2000) Managing non-profit organisations: towards a new approach|. Civil Society Working Paper series, 1. Centre for Civil Society, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. ISBN 0753013436 (1026 downloads).

3. Sefton, Tom (2002) Recent changes in the distribution of the social wage|. CASE paper, 62. Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. (847 downloads).

4. Bowling, Ben and Phillips, Coretta (2003) Policing ethnic minority communities|. In: Newburn, Tim, (ed.) Handbook of policing. Willan Publishing, Devon, UK, pp. 528-555. ISBN 9781843920199 (766 downloads).

5. Capie, Forrest, Fischer, Stanley, Goodhart, Charles and Schnadt, Norbert (1994) The future of central banking: the tercentenary symposium of the Bank of England|. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. ISBN 9780521496346 (745 downloads).

Total downloads for May 2013: 83,118.


Funding opportunities

Candidates interested in applying for any of the opportunities below should email|  (unless otherwise stated).

LSEBritish Institute in Eastern Africa Small Research Grants

Deadline: 30 July 2013
Grants available to support original humanities and social sciences research across eastern Africa. Research should focus on the following thematic areas: contemporary lives; governance and the rule of law; heritage research; the history and practice of elections; landscape archaeology; and memory and belonging. Priority is given to researchers based in the UK or eastern Africa. Grants are normally between £500 and £1,000. More|

Centre for Economic Policy Research and other funders, Exploratory Research Grants

Deadline: 31 July 2013
The awards enable researchers to explore new approaches to the study of firms in low-income countries and develop new or existing sources of data on these firms. Research may relate to private enterprises of all sizes and should produce results that will be useful for policy-making. Grants are worth between £10,000 and £35,000 over 12 months. More|

LSEAHRC Videogames Research Networking Call

Deadline: 1 August 2013
A call for collaborative research projects with a particular focus on videogames, under a programme of Research Networking. The opportunity is intended to bring together arts and humanities researchers, researchers from other disciplines, videogames developers and other parties whose interests complement the call to explore ideas and maximise opportunities for bringing new insights, creativity and knowledge to the video games industry to deliver mutual benefits. More|

Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Small Grants

Deadline: 31 August 2013
The grants support projects in arts and culture; science, technology and environment; humanities and social issues; Japanese language; medicine and health; youth and education; and sport. Financial support is available for visits between the UK and Japan; and research and collaborative studies, seminars, workshops, lectures and publications in academic and specialist fields. Grants up to £6,000 available. More|

LSEDepartment of Health including NIHR, Health Technology Assessment Clinical Trials and Evaluation Programme

Deadline: 2 September 2013
The programme funds grants for evaluation studies and clinical trials supporting research that is immediately useful to clinical practice and decision-makers in the NHS. Proposals should evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a health technology. Applications that are multidisciplinary in nature are encouraged. More|

ESRC National Centre for Research Methods Next Phase (2014-2019)

Deadline: 5 September 2013
ESRC has announced a call for the next phase of the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM). The Centre is expected to build upon and add further strategic direction to the ESRC's current methodological initiatives, and advance the quality and range of UK economic and social research techniques and skills.

The Centre will comprise two distinct but collaborative elements, one which focuses on research methods development and the other which focuses on research methods training and capacity building. Applicants can apply for up to £6.25 million.

Please contact the Research Division at| as early as possible if you would like to lead or participate in a proposal for this scheme. More|

LSEESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research

Deadline: 10 September 2013
Successful awards will drive forward innovations in theory, methods or application; form a hub of research excellence in the area of study; and make a significant contribution to scientific, economic and/or social impact. The aim is to provide funding for new research on critical but relatively under-researched themes. The Research Programmes will undertake work in three areas: Disability, Inequality and Poverty; Poverty in Urban Spaces; and Urbanisation and Risk in Africa. More|

ESRC-Urban Europe Second Pilot Joint Call

Deadline: 18 September 2013
Urban Europe is a new Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) with affiliated European countries. The Programme is dedicated to strengthening European research and innovation in the field of urban development. Proposals are invited to address at least one of two topics: governance of urban complexity; urban vulnerability, adaptability, and resilience. More|

LSEAHRC Collaborative Skills Development Call

Deadline: 19 September 2013
The AHRC’s Collaborative Skills Development call is aimed at supporting the development of innovative, collaborative training packages for PhD students and early career researchers in the arts and humanities. Specifically, applications should propose the development of skills within one of the following areas:

  • Partnership working including public engagement
  • Entrepreneurship and the Creative Economy
  • Research Skills Enrichment

Proposals will be eligible from any discipline within the AHRC’s subject remit and must be collaborative, involving at least one Research Organisation and another partner. The application form will be available via the Je-S system by the end of July. More|

AHRC Public Policy Highlight Notice: Research Networking

Deadline: 31 December 2013
The purpose of this highlight is to stimulate the development of innovative proposals under the Research Networking Scheme which explore issues of current public policy interest, bringing together arts or humanities researchers with policy makers and wider policy bodies. The intention is to facilitate interactions between researchers and stakeholders. Proposals for full economic costs up to £30,000 for a period of up to two years may be submitted. More|

LSEAdvance Notice: ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative Phase 2 (2013)

To deliver high quality and high impact research through the deeper exploitation of the major quantitative and qualitative data resources created by the ESRC and other agencies. The call is open to any projects within the ESRC’s remit that exploit any pre-existing data resource to deliver high quality research with high policy and practitioner impact.

The proposals need to include non-academic partners to ensure co-production of knowledge and to address the wider impacts aims of the initiative. Funding of up to £200,000 (fEC) is available for projects with a maximum duration of 18 months. The closing date for full proposals is expected to be late November 2013 and will be confirmed shortly. More|


LSERecent awards

Dr Michael Bruter, Government, has been awarded £82,076 under the Marie Curie Fellowship scheme. Dr Sophie Lecheler will study how emotions in the news media influence perceptions of European citizenship.

Professor Mary Kaldor, International Development, has been awarded £48,190 from the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, to support dialogue among Kenyan and Ugandan activists on civil society’s interaction with international and transitional justice institutions.



See LSE Research Online| for more LSE research outputs and deposit your work to|.

LSEGovernment promotion of positive parenting is potentially damaging, says new LSE research

Government advice to parents to 'be nice' to their children by using positive reinforcement instead of punishment is potentially damaging and parents should, instead, be left to trust their own instincts, according to new research from LSE.

In a paper published in the journal Ethics and Education, Helen Reece, an expert in family law, argues that ‘positive parenting’ is arduous, if not impossible, and therefore damaging because it sets parents up to fail and also destroys the spontaneity of the parent-child relationship.

Ms Reece analyses the ‘positive parenting’ methods promoted in the Department of Health guidebook, Birth to Five, which is issued free to all new parents, and in the government-funded website These instruct parents to ‘be nice’ by avoiding punishment, with an emphasis instead on positive reinforcement and leading by example. More|

LSEEmerging global powers present new challenges for Africa

Emerging global powers are turning their attention to Africa, forging new trade deals and investing heavily in the continent in the wake of a resources boom and a widening consumer class.

The revival of Africa’s fortunes is outlined in a new report issued by LSE, which is critical of the recent G8 Summit’s failure to acknowledge the shift in global power relations.

The LSE IDEAS report describes Africa’s growing importance in the global supply chain, with the continent now home to seven of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world.

The dramatic change in Africa’s fortunes is attracting the interest of China, India, Brazil and Korea, all emerging powers who are strengthening their trade ties, financial investment and diplomatic activity across the continent.

Dr Chris Alden, Head of the Africa Programme at LSE, says the BRICS countries alone (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) now account for US$340 billion of Africa’s total trade, while Europe’s pre-eminent position has been reduced to a 30 per cent share. More|

LSESea and sun equal happiness

Spending time by the sea is one of the keys to happiness, according to a ground-breaking study employing mobile technology to track people’s wellbeing in different environments.

The study was led by Dr George MacKerron, who is based at LSE and the University of Sussex, and Professor Susana Mourato from LSE’s Department of Geography and Environment.

Marine and coastal environments produced the most positive responses from more than 22,000 people who downloaded an app, Mappiness, which was developed specifically for the study on their mobile devices.

The app, which is the first of its kind, beeps users daily to record their levels of happiness, and uses satellite positioning (GPS) to discover their location while they answer. Response locations are linked to environmental data, which is then fed into statistical models of wellbeing. More than one million responses have been recorded in the study. More|

LSEWide discrepancies across Europe when it comes to trusting the law

Europeans differ widely when it comes to trusting their legal systems and believing that the police and criminal courts have a legitimate right to exercise authority, according to LSE criminologist Dr Jonathan Jackson.

Scandinavian law authorities enjoy the highest levels of respect and trust across 26 European countries, while a deep suspicion of police and courts remains entrenched in post-communist countries.

The findings are published in a paper, Trust & Legitimacy across Europe: A FIDUCIA report on comparative public attitudes towards legal authority, based on data from a European Social Survey involving 50,800 interviews.

Lead author Dr Jonathan Jackson from LSE’s Department of Methodology and Mannheim Centre for Criminology, says the report shows that public trust in legal authorities is low in the Ukraine, Russia and Israel and some southern European countries. More|

LSEHow to be happy with less money? Try thinking about your friends instead

Money makes you happier but only if you really think about it, according to research from LSE.

Until recently, most economists and policy-makers subscribed to the view that individual well-being increases as we earn more money. This new research, published in a recent volume of the British Journal of Social Psychology, strongly suggests that earnings only affect happiness when financial matters are on your mind.

The findings are based on two tests which measured how a person’s earnings and social ties influence their sense of well-being in different circumstances.

Dr Ilka Gleibs, lecturer at LSE and co-author of the research, commented: 'Earning more money can make people feel better but only under the right circumstances. Strong friendships and family are much more consistent in providing people with feelings of well-being than higher earnings.

'If the UK government genuinely wants to promote the well-being of the population, and move up the OECD’s happiness league table, it would do well to initiate policies which help foster community relations. Economic growth is clearly vital for the country overall… but it is not necessarily the key to individual happiness.' More|

LSECity residents willing to pay a higher price for a good lifestyle

Londoners are willing to pay around £1 billion a year to enjoy the benefits of city living, according to a new discussion paper released by LSE urban economist Dr Gabriel Ahlfeldt.

While higher wages and reduced commuting costs are major attractions luring workers to cities, a novel study by Dr Ahlfeldt shows that lifestyle is also a major factor.

The study used approximately two million photographs posted on the file sharing sites Flickr and Picasa to value the attractiveness of neighbourhoods in two European cities, London and Berlin.

A doubling in the number of photos posted in the inner city neighbourhoods is associated with an increase in property prices by about 1.5 per cent in both London and Berlin. More|



To find out more about research opportunities, contact the Research Development Team at|.

To give feedback on this newsletter contact Nicole Gallivan, LSE Press Office, at| or on ext 7582 or Michael Nelson, Research Division, at m.w.nelson@| or on ext 5221.

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