In 2015 I started my journey as an academic researcher at the University of Manchester, where I completed the Master’s of Enterprise. My current doctoral research project is specifically interested in social enterprises that have partly emerged through, or developed by, academic partnerships. I am really interested in social enterprises where academics have some decision-making power and leadership. These types of organisations usually have really interesting beginnings. The ones I have had the pleasure of being in contact with have been started by academics who believe research should have value that improves peoples lives; they work with partners external to the university to share their academic privilege. Obviously, it’s not that simple. Academics who are involved with social enterprises still have to carry on with their day to day academic roles, and considering the crisis universities are in at present – this is no easy feat! Current themes coming up in my research at the moment are related to: how knowledge is produced; what is constituted as ‘value’; value for who?; what even is value anyway?; what is the organisation’s the relationship with the university; how are these organisations remaining resilient given the current higher education, social and political context? All very exciting stuff!
I am still looking for people to take part in my research and would like to speak with academics, university staff, external university partners and beneficiaries who are involved in these types of organisations. Their views on the topic would be a key contribution to the research. More information can be found on my Research information website. It has all the information on there related to Ethics and the consent form for people that want to take part. Know anyone who fits the bill? Get in touch!