Dr Amalia Sabiescu wins prestigious AHRC Leadership Fellowship

Dr Amalia Sabiescu, Lecturer in Media and Creative Industries at Loughborough University London, has won a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Fellowship, offered through the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Leadership Fellows ECR Scheme.

The fellowship awards £184,963 to study new structures for skills development and lifelong learning across community, cultural and scholarly institutions in the UK. The highly competitive AHRC Leadership Fellows scheme provides an opportunity for research leaders and potential future research leaders (through the ECR – Early Career Researchers route) to undertake focused individual research alongside collaborative activities which have the potential to generate a transformative impact in their subject area and beyond. In particular, UKRI Innovation Fellows will support the delivery of the UK Industrial Strategy, for the benefit of the UK society and economy.

Amalia’s fellowship will tackle a key issue emphasised by the UK Government's Industrial Strategy. The prospect of wide spread automation in the near future means low skilled jobs are likely to be replaced and jobs at any level will require constant training to keep up with a changing work environment. This will affect the UK's younger generations and requires new approaches to training and skills development. Amalia’s fellowship explores new ways to mobilise community, cultural and creative resources to provide skills development and career orientation opportunities for a generation that is increasingly connected, digital and mobile. The study will be carried out in collaboration with cultural, non-profit and academic partners, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, two Coventry-based charities, and the multidisciplinary team from the Centre of Excellence in Media Practice at Bournemouth University.

Amalia joined Loughborough University London as a Research Associate in 2016 to work with Professor Jo Tacchi on a Horizon 2020 project (EduMAP), focused on adult education among young people at risk of social exclusion. Prior to joining Loughborough University, Amalia held post-doctoral positions at universities in Lugano (Switzerland), Barcelona (Spain) and Coventry (UK), where she conducted research on culture, communications and communities, focusing on the situations of low-income and marginalised groups.

Her UKRI Innovation fellowship, “Cultural engagements and young people’s professional aspirations”, places aspirations in the centre of a new model for skills development outside formal education. The research investigates how young people develop interests and aspirations and how these interweave with information and communication practices carried out online and offline, in youth clubs, sports, community and cultural spaces. These understandings will be further used to generate insights on entry points and intervention areas that can be taken up by community, non-profit and cultural sector organisations to better target and improve the relevance of their programmes for young people. On this basis, the study will formulate recommendations on cooperation structures between cultural, community and educational entities, to respond to young people's training needs and aspirations aligned to their information and communication practices.

Professor David Deacon, Dean of Loughborough University London, says:

This AHRC Fellowship is a tremendous achievement. In a highly competitive research environment it recognises Amalia’s strength as a researcher and a future research leader. The topic is timely and important, contributing to advancing thinking about the role of cultural institutions in the skills development and career pathways of young people in the UK.

More information about Dr Amalia Sabiescu and her research can be found by visiting her staff profile.

 

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2019 QS World University Rankings, University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019 and top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2020, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and 8th in The UK Complete University Guide 2020.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Specialising exclusively in postgraduate-level study, Loughborough University London is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers cutting-edge master’s and PhD degrees, as well as business collaboration, research and enterprise opportunities.

The seven specialist institutes at Loughborough University London include: Design Innovation, Digital Technologies, Diplomacy and International Governance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, International Management, Media and Creative Industries, and Sport Business. Close industry partnerships with a wealth of leading businesses and creative organisations means teaching and learning is informed by real-life challenges and driven by true industry pressures.