Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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Legacies of War project wins Vice-Chancellor’s Impact Award

September 22nd, 2015

Claudia Sternberg, University of Leeds

Legacies of War, a research and public engagement project made up of a team of researchers at the University of Leeds (including Dr Claudia Sternberg of the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies), is one of four winners of the inaugural Vice-Chancellor’s Impact Awards.

These awards celebrate the tremendous contribution that the University makes to life outside the academic world and winning projects each will receive £2,500, to be used to help increase the impact of their research even further.

Legacies of War has worked with over 40 community groups and cultural organisations. Through public events, exhibitions, educational work and support with funding applications, the project team has shaped the way the city of Leeds and the region is marking the centenary of the First World War and has encouraged greater public use of archives, libraries and heritage sites.

The project team has also collaborated with cities in France and Germany, and online education materials produced as a result of this collaboration will be used by teachers in all three countries.

Project members have had a wider influence on public understanding of the First World War by advising government and other bodies, including the BBC. A MOOC (massive open online course) developed together with the BBC has now signed up over 12,000 learners.

Dr Claudia Sternberg, who leads the Culture and the Arts strand of the Legacies of War project, said:

‘I think the award also acknowledges that the Legacies of War experience has been impactful in both directions. Personally, I continue to see war memory as a charged and difficult terrain that requires critical distance. But through working with communities, Leeds City Council and MOOC learners worldwide, I have developed a better understanding of World War One’s cultural productivity and greater appreciation of the knowledge produced by non-academic researchers.’

Dr Philip Waywell of Research and Innovation Services at the University of Leeds said:

‘The inaugural Vice-Chancellor’s Impact Awards were a great success, with submissions received from all nine faculties. Entrants were able to demonstrate a broad range of cultural, economic and societal impacts that had arisen from research undertaken here at the University of Leeds.  Beneficiaries of that research included members of the public, industrialists, cultural institutions and policy makers from across the world. The winning applicants were all commended for their sustained efforts in delivering high impact research over a number of years, often with multiple beneficiaries.’

The Impact Award prize money will be used by Legacies of War to improve access to the project’s online resources and its external communication materials and will also enable the team to measure and evaluate the impact of its work more effectively.

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