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|.

In recent news, Professor Julia Black has been announced as the new Pro-Director for Research, taking over from Professor Stuart Corbridge. A message from Professor Black can be found below.

Plus research from LSE and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development has found that conflicting interests within a group can lead to better collective decisions, if you’re a social animal such as a meerkat.

If you have colleagues who would like to receive this bulletin and may not at present, email|. If you would like to feature a research story, award, or opportunity in this newsletter, email David Coombe, Research Division, at|.


November 2013



Julia BlackMessage from Professor Julia Black, new Pro-Director for Research

"I am delighted to be taking over from Professor Stuart Corbridge as Pro-Director for Research (PDR) in January 2014, and even more delighted that Stuart valiantly agreed to continue as PDR to steer us through the last stages of the REF. I know all of us involved in the REF process will be mightily relieved when the return finally goes to HEFCE.

"The role of PDR has also changed - it no longer includes external relations, which means that there will be more time to focus on developing research capacity within LSE, including increasing the amount of external funding for research, and on focusing on a new area, knowledge exchange and impact, or KEI (once something has an acronym you know it has arrived!).

"LSE needs to be at the forefront of defining the KEI agenda for the social sciences, and we need to develop and enhance our own strategies for exchanging knowledge with non-academics and enhancing the impact of our own research. There are therefore three main aims going forward: developing research capacity, in particular by facilitating an increase in the amount of external funding LSE academics receive for their research, creating an infrastructure that makes external funding easier to administer and ensuring a fair distribution of investment in research; engaging with policy makers to shape the KEI agenda for social sciences; and enhancing and developing strategies for knowledge exchange and impact of all research by LSE academics, externally funded or not.

"I know that I have a wonderful team in the Research Division to support me in achieving those aims, and I look forward to working with everyone across LSE to cement our role as a world leader in social science research."

LSENew Field Research Method Lab blog launched

On Wednesday 20 November, a new blog was launched to act as an online platform to share field research experiences.

The Field Research Method Lab blog aims to bring together both established and early career researchers to appraise various constraints that they have encountered in the field, and reflect upon how they have successfully, or unsuccessfully, addressed those constraints.

The blog requests that each contributor draw some lessons, both practical and academic, which can be shared with others. Wherever possible each post accompanies a research outline as well as details of research outcomes, so that readers can better understand how the researcher’s experiences in the field have fed into the final research outputs.

The first series of posts will be focused on addressing field research constraints in China, but the aim is to expand the blog’s coverage to other regions.

For more information, see|. If you’d like to know more, or are interested in contributing, contact the editor, Dr Hyun Bang Shin, at|.

LSESupport for KE activities from the HEIF5 fund and the new ESRC Impact Accelerator Account

The School has recently learned of a new block grant of around £1 million over four years from the ESRC to replace its open-call Knowledge Exchange Opportunity Schemes, one of 26 universities to do so. Details of the initiative are available here|.

Details of the use to which the School will put the funds and the opportunities it will make possible will be disseminated in the Lent term. A new call from the HEIF 5 bid fund will also be announced shortly.

For more information, contact Tina Basi on ext 1172 or email|.

Patrick O'BrienLSE Professor wins the American Historical Association’s 2013 Honorary Foreign Member Award

Patrick O’Brien, Professor in the Department of Economic History, has been named the winner of the 2013 Honorary Foreign Member Award by the American Historical Association| (AHA).

The Award, which was established in 1885, is presented annually by the AHA in recognition of a foreign scholar who is distinguished in his or her field and who has markedly assisted the work of American historians in the scholar’s country.

Kenneth Pomeranz, a member of the prize review committee, remarked: "Patrick O’Brien has written ground-breaking works on the history of state-formation, empire, industrialisation, and economic development. His four books, 17 edited or co-edited books, and well over 100 journal articles have influenced research on almost every world region. He has also been a visionary and indefatigable organiser of scholarly networks, creating productive dialogues that have brought US-based scholars together with others from around the world, and spanned seemingly unbridgeable ideological and methodological gaps."

Professor O’Brien said: "I am very proud and honoured to receive this Award on behalf of my team (pictured with me above) who have been researching here at LSE into ‘The Discovery, Development and Diffusion of Useful and Reliable Knowledge in the East and the West from the Accession of the Ming to the First Industrial Revolution’."

The prize will be awarded during a ceremony at the Association’s 128th Annual Meeting in Washington DC in January 2014.

Juanita Gonzalez-UribeLSE academic awarded 2013 Coller PhD Prize

Dr Juanita Gonzalez-Uribe (pictured), Assistant Professor in the Department of Finance, has won the 2013 Coller PhD Prize for her paper Venture Capital and the Diffusion of Knowledge.

The prize, which highlights excellence in private equity research, was introduced by the Coller Institute of Private Equity in 2010. The competition is open to PhD students from around the world, and the overall quality and variety of submissions means that winning it is an outstanding achievement.

Dr Gonzalez-Uribe accepted her trophy during the Coller Prize award evening on Tuesday 29 October. She will present her paper at the next Private Equity Findings Symposium in June 2014 to an audience of academics and senior practitioners from around the world.

LSESkills Development Programme

Our Skills Development Programme|, delivered in partnership with the Teaching and Learning Centre, consists of a series of workshops, panel and information sessions to help our research staff develop the skills needed to achieve their research funding goals.

A number of events will be delivered; a few of them are given below. For a full list of events, click here|.

Why to Apply for Research Funding, 22 January 2014, 4-6pm
This roundtable discussion aims to discuss the pros and cons of engaging in externally-funded research. Chaired by Julia Black, Professor of Law and Pro-Director Research, a panel of academics will be sharing their experiences on the perils and rewards of leading research projects. The event will be followed by a reception. Confirmed panellists include Martin Knapp, Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Personal Social Services Research Unit, and Dr Mara Malagodi, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Law. The programme is part of the Research Division’s Development Initiative aimed at improving and increasing our externally-funded research activity. To book your place, click here|.

Understanding the Research Councils UK, 29 January 2014, 4-6pm
Moderated by the Research Division, this panel session will discuss what the Research Councils support and how funding decisions are made. It will focus on the AHRC, ESRC and EPSRC. Academic colleagues who have been members of the Councils’ peer review colleges will share their insights on how the peer review panels work and how to maximise your chances of success. Confirmed speakers are Henry Wynn, Emeritus Professor of Statistics and EPSRC Review College Member; Mike Savage, Professor of Sociology and ESRC Review College Member; and Richard Bradley, Professor in Philosophy and AHRC Review College member. To book your place, click here|.

LSEROTop downloads on LSE Research Online for October

The most downloaded Monographs, e.g. reports, working papers and discussion papers, in LSE Research Online| in October are:

1. 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 (1,262 downloads)

2. Marsden, David and Richardson, Ray (1992) Motivation and performance related pay in the public sector: a case study of the Inland Revenue|. CEP discussion paper, 75. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. (572 downloads)

3. Hills, John (1998) Thatcherism, new Labour and the welfare state|. 13. Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. (560 downloads)

4. Holloway, Donell, Green, Lelia and Livingstone, Sonia (2013) Zero to eight: young children and their internet use|. EU Kids Online, EU Kids Online Network, London, UK. (482 downloads)

5. Lewis, Paul, Newburn, Tim, Taylor, Matthew, Mcgillivray, Catriona, Greenhill, Aster, Frayman, Harold and Proctor, Rob (2011) Reading the riots: investigating England's summer of disorder|. Reading the riots, The London School of Economics and Political Science and The Guardian, London, UK. (408 downloads)

Total downloads for October: 100,207.

LSEGerda Henkel Prize 2014

The School has been invited to nominate candidates for the Gerda Henkel Prize 2014, to be awarded to ‘excellent and internationally acclaimed researchers who have made outstanding scholarly achievement in the disciplines and funding areas supported by the Foundation and can be expected to continue to do so.’

Relevant areas include history, history of law and history of science, and in the fields of ‘Islam, the Modern Nation State and Transnational Movements’ and ‘Security, Society and the State’.

The prize is worth €100,000 and may be used at the discretion of the prize holder. Professor Richard Sennett is a former recipient. For more information, click here. If you wish to be considered, email David Coombe at| by 10 January 2014.

ESRCESRC Future Leaders Successful Applicants 2012-13

The ESRC has recently published the list of successful applicants of their Future Leaders Scheme from the 2012-13 round.

Dr Pascal Michaillat of LSE's Centre For Macroeconomics has been successful with his project on Macroeconomic Fluctuations and Economy in this round. The list can be found here|.

Horizon 2020 Draft Work Programmes

The European Commission has released draft versions of some of the work programmes for Horizon 2020, in advance of their official publication date which is expected to be Wednesday 11 December. The current draft programmes can be seen here|.

ESRC Research Seminar Series

The ESRC is expected to announce the 2013-14 Research Seminars Competition round in early December, with an estimated deadline in January 2014. The competition will run using the same criteria as the 2012-13 competition.

Up to £30,000 is available to create networks and bring people together from a range of disciplines, countries and career stages to try to find some common ground theoretically and methodologically. More|

LSEEuropean Research Council (ERC) Investigator Grants

The next round of deadlines in the European Union’s Horizon 2020 is announced. The planned call publication and deadline dates for the ERC 2014 calls are:

  • Starting Grants: call published on 11 December 2013, deadline on 25 March 2014
  • Consolidator Grants: call published on 11 December 2013, deadline on 20 May 2014
  • Advanced Grants: call published on 17 June 2014, deadline on 21 October 2014
  • Proof of Concept: call published 11 December 2013, deadlines on 1 April 2014 and 1 October 2014.

More information can be found in the draft ERC Work Programme on Horizon 2020 website|.


Funding opportunities

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

LSEDurham University 2014-15 International Fellowships for Research and Enterprise

The Durham International Fellowship Scheme is designed to attract the most talented researchers in Europe and beyond and across the full spectrum of science, social science, arts and humanities, to build international networks of scholars with a common passion for today’s most important research challenges.

Up to 11 postdoctoral Junior Research Fellowships are available commencing between 1 July and 1 October 2014. The normal period of the Fellowship will be 12-15 months. The deadline for Junior Fellowships is 6 December 2013.

In addition, up to ten Senior Research Fellowships and seven Policy and Enterprise Fellowships are available. The closing date for applications for Senior Fellowships is 10 January 2014. Fellowships are available for periods of six weeks to six months between October 2014 and September 2015 (with a typical stay of three months). More|

British Academy-ASEASUK/BASAS ECAF Visiting Fellowships

Deadline: 20 December 2013
Short fellowship opportunities are available to enable scholars to make research visits to field-centres operated by the European Consortium for Asian Field Study (ECAF).

The purpose of the fellowships will be to advance the scholar’s personal research in Asia, build his/her wider networks and enable scholars to contribute to the academic life of the centres. More|

LSEESRC Transformative Research Call

Deadline: 15 January 2014
The aim is to provide stimulus for transformative research ideas at the frontiers of the social sciences, enabling support and development of research that challenges current thinking. Proposals will be funded up to £250,000 at 100 per cent full economic cost, of which the ESRC will pay 80 per cent.

Please note LSE’s internal deadline for selecting the two applications for submission is Monday 2 December. Contact the Research Division for assistance and information. More|

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Funding (IIASA) Young Scientists Summer Programme

Deadline: 13 January 2014
This funding enables young researchers to conduct research on global environmental, economic and social change at IIASA (near Vienna, Austria), broadening their interests and building contacts with collaborators. Awardees will reside at IIASA, and may request living costs and travel expenses from their national member organisation. Duration is for three months with a payment of €1,310 a month. More|

LSEAHRC/ESRC International Placement Scheme

Deadline: 15 January 2014
This annual scheme provides funded research fellowships for doctoral students, doctoral-level research assistants and early career researchers at world-leading international research institutions. Duration is between two-six months, funding for travel and stipend are available. More|

LSEESRC-DFID Joint Fund For Poverty Alleviation Research Grants Outline Call 2013

Deadline: 16 January 2014
Applications to this call must address one or more of three overarching questions:

1. What factors shape pathways into and out of poverty and people’s experience of these, and how can policy create sustained routes out of extreme poverty in ways that can be replicated and scaled up?

2. What political and institutional conditions are associated with effective poverty reduction and development, and what can domestic and external actors do to promote these conditions?

3. What measures can be taken to reduce the risks and impact of violence and instability on the poorest and increase the effectiveness of peace-building, state-building and wider development interventions in fragile and conflict-affected situations? More|

Higher Education Academy Collaborative Scheme

Deadline: 24 January 2014
Funding up to £60,000 is available to support collaborations that enhance learning and teaching. More|

British AcademyBritish Academy International Partnership and Mobility Scheme

Deadline: 5 February 2014
Awards are available to support the development of research partnerships between UK scholars and scholars in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, South Asia, East and South-East Asia.

Awards cover any branch of the humanities and social sciences, and are intended to focus on collaborative research on a specific theme of mutual interest, rather than purely on establishing networks. More|

AHRC Science in Culture Innovation Awards

Deadline: 27 February 2014
These support innovative projects that address the interconnections and complementarity between the sciences and the arts and humanities, the potential for creativity and innovation that these connections can generate and the limits of using scientific approaches in isolation to tackle societal challenges. Funding of up to £80,000 over 12 months is available at 80 per cent of full economic costs. More|

LSEDFID-ESRC China and Africa Research Programme

Deadline: 13 March 2014
A research collaboration of £200,000 to £2 million is available, to investigate in comparative perspective, the economic development impact of China's engagement in sub-Saharan Africa.

The research will also critically evaluate what lessons China's own economic development transformation can offer other developing countries - in particular in low-income Africa. More|


Recent awards

LSEDr Panos Kanavos, LSE Health and Social Care, has been awarded £1,536,315 over 24 months to coordinate a European Commission funded FP7 project which looks at mapping chronic non-communicable diseases (NCD). MAPPING_NCD moves beyond the state of the art in the research area via three distinct means: by providing accurate mapping of research funding activities at Member State (MS) and European Union (EU) level; by providing bibliometric mapping and analysis of the volume of research outputs in the EU and MSs relevant to NCDs, and, by using input from both the above to provide an analysis of potential overlaps, synergies, gaps, opportunities and overall impact of NCD research funding to help identify a research agenda for the future.

Dr Alpa Shah, Department of Anthropology, has been awarded £1,011,394 from the ESRC over a 40 month period to undertake a collaborative, cross-regional ethnographic study investigating the persistence of poverty amongst some of the most marginalised populations in the world; adivasis and dalits, who make up almost a quarter of the Indian population.

Edward Wheatcroft and Dr E Thompson, Centre for Analysis of Time Series, have both been awarded a NERC PURE Associates Project under the academic supervision of Professor Leonard Smith. Mr Wheatcroft’s project aims to improve the safety of Royal National Lifeboat Institution operations through better use of probabilistic weather information. Dr Thompson’s project will look at visualisation of climate model output and uncertainties for the Department of Energy and Climate Change 2050 global calculator.



LSE Research Online| is a service provided by LSE Library to increase the visibility of research produced by LSE staff. It contains citations and full text, Open Access versions of research outputs, including journal articles, books chapters, working papers, theses, conference papers and more.

To find out more about Open Access, and how LSE Research Online can help enhance research impact, email|.

LSE£150 billion in five years - league table throws new light on cost of banking misconduct

Ten of the world’s leading banks have racked up fines and similar "conduct costs" of nearly £150 billion over a period of just five years.

This is one of the findings revealed in a new analysis published by LSE.

The researchers, led by LSE Professor Roger McCormick, assessed the costs accrued by ten of the world’s leading banks across the UK, Europe and America as a result of misconduct. When put together, and reviewed over the period 2008-12, these ten banks alone incurred nearly £150 billion for misconduct of various kinds, including mis-selling PPI and other products, manipulating LIBOR, and failing to observe anti-money laundering rules.

The project's findings give, for the first time, a picture of how the banks compare with each other. More|

LSEEU enlargement isn't working - new report from LSE IDEAS

The Eurozone crisis, enlargement fatigue within EU states and a loss of confidence in the European project have made the prospect of EU membership much less attractive for neighbouring countries.

Forty years after the accession of the UK, enlargement, once seen as the EU’s most effective foreign policy tool, is in peril. This is the argument made in a new special report launched by LSE IDEAS.

The report, The Crisis of EU Enlargement, features contributions by leading academics and practitioners including former EU Commissioner for Enlargement, Günter Verheugen, and former LSE Philippe Roman Chair and Pulitzer Prize winner, Anne Applebaum. The report examines the historical development of the EU’s enlargement strategy and the internal and external challenges facing the policy today. More|

LSESquabbling meerkats make better decisions

Conflicting interests within a group can lead to better collective decisions - if you’re a social animal such as a meerkat - according to new research by a team of political scientists and biologists from LSE and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin.

The research, published in the November issue of the journal The American Naturalist, shows that far from hampering decision-making, conflict can lead to better results. However, this depends on individual animals sharing the group’s overall goal to, for example, search for food, avoid becoming prey, shelter or rest.

The researchers developed a decision-making model which demonstrates that if individuals in a group have slightly different small-scale goals they are less likely to make the same mistake as another individual in the group, than would be predicted by ‘chance’. The differing goals within a group are a result of animals trying to optimise their own personal gains from a decision. More|

LSEMany Brazilian children are going online without adult guidance

More than two-thirds of Brazilian children (68-78 per cent depending on socio-economic status) surveyed for the first comprehensive study into Brazilian children's online experiences believe they know more about the internet than their parents or guardians, with over half (53 per cent) living in families where the adults responsible for them are not internet users.

This is a stark comparison with children across Europe, where only 28-46% report that they know more than their parents about the internet. These are some of the findings published by EU Kids Online, a research project based at LSE.

The report uses data from the first wave of the ICT Kids Online Brazil Survey on children's online use by the Centre for Studies on Information and Communication Technologies in Brazil alongside previous EU Kids Online research to compare European and Brazilian children's online experiences. The researchers find that children across Brazil and Europe reveal many similar patterns of use and activities. More|

LSEFuture Living: bin-less homes, nanoscopic robots and ultrasonic baths

A new report from LSE and Veolia Environment, the environmental services company, envisages the home of the future with nanoscopic robots sorting materials, self-cleaning bathrooms and ultrasonic baths. But it also contains stark warnings with two contrasting visions of urban living in 2050.

The report, Imagine 2050, outlines two scenarios where environmental technology will transform the home of the future - one in the context of a circular economy, the other in the context of a linear economy.

The report describes one future city in which system-level planning has created a dense, resource-efficient society characterised by collaborative consumption, shared ownership and local self-reliance. It also models an alternative scenario in which disparate and unregulated development has led to a resource-hungry urban sprawl where private consumption and ownership is prioritised over long-term communal thinking. More|

LSEFewer English MPs able to play the 'born and bred' card

English MPs able to play the "born and bred" card to woo potential voters are a relatively rare breed, with new statistics revealing that fewer than half of them are born in the regions they represent.

Data released by Democratic Audit at LSE shows that only 43 per cent of English MPs can legitimately claim local roots, although Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland fare much better, with a 76 per cent average.

The finding is not a worrying sign for democracy, says LSE policy analyst Richard Berry, because it shows a variety of past experience.

"However, the fact that significant numbers of MPs have spent their careers in London and the South East should be cause for some concern," he says.

LSE data reveals that despite London having just 63 of 577 parliamentary seats in the country, the capital has dominated the work histories of a vast number of UK politicians prior to election.

"Across the UK as a whole, just 16 per cent of jobs are based in London. What this data shows, however, is that large numbers of MPs have worked in professions centred in London, including finance, law, publishing and journalism prior to entering politics," Mr Berry says. More|

LSEMobile phones the new 'social robots' for five billion users

Who do we turn to first in moments of joy, sorrow, loneliness, crisis, boredom and daily life? It used to be our spouse, partner, family or best friend. Now, according to LSE's Dr Jane Vincent, it is our mobile phone.

In the space of 14 years, since the internet was first enabled on mobile phones, these machines, originally designed for voice communication, have become "personalised social robots" for many of their five billion users, according to Dr Vincent.

Dr Vincent explores, in two papers, the emotional bond that people around the world have with their mobiles.

"The mobile phone has become a remote control for one’s life, providing a bridge from the virtual to the real world and from private moments to shared experiences," Dr Vincent says.

"What other communications device contains data which is an extension of the user’s personality? Photographs, emails, texts, tweets, Facebook posts, favourite websites, applications and games all reflect a person’s makeup," she adds.

She argues that mobiles have slowly eroded private behaviour, with people more willing to share everything in their lives - information as well as photographs. The downside is that mobiles can be a "digital leash", giving people freedom on the one hand but also creating a strong symbiotic relationship where people can’t function without it. More|

LSEIs diversity good or bad for community cohesion?

The effect of ethnic diversity on communities has become a hot topic. Many academics and policy makers believe that ethnically diverse communities are characterised by distrust and low levels of social cohesion, while numerous studies show an apparent negative link between the ethnic diversity of local communities and the extent to which residents express trust in, and a sense of cohesion with, one another.

A new article, Ethnic Diversity, Segregation and the Social Cohesion of Neighbourhoods in London, co-authored by LSE's Dr Jonathan Jackson and Dr Jouni Kuha together with Patrick Sturgis, University of Southampton, and Ian Brunton-Smith, University of Surrey, shows a different and more complex picture.

To read the full article, click here|.

LSEGentrification plays central role in conservation decisions

There is a strong link between increasing gentrification and the designation of conservation areas, according to research from LSE.

The study, Game of Zones: the economics of conservation areas, by Dr Gabriel Ahlfeldt (LSE), Kristoffer Moeller (TU-Darmstadt, CMS Berlin), Sevrin Waights (LSE, CMS Berlin), and Nicolai Wendland (TU-Damstadt), provides a detailed analysis of restrictive conservation policies within the UK and the associated economic and social costs, and benefits, to local homeowners.

It found that the presence of affluent residents and residents who hold a degree significantly increases the chances of an area being given conservation status. This type of resident is more likely to express a particular appreciation for heritage, and lobby for preservation. More|



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

If you would like to feature a research story, award, or opportunity in this newsletter, email David Coombe, Research Division, at|

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