Civic Researcher Showcase highlights student impact on local community

Students enrolled on the “Engaging the Modern City – the Civic Researcher” module presented their research finding in a showcase to partner organisations, academics and peers.

Over the last few months students from different disciplines have worked together in teams to deliver a research-based project for local organisations. The teams delivered a presentation and Q&A session about their collaborations with Leeds Playhouse, The Works Skatepark, The Performance Ensemble, East Street Arts, and South Asian Arts-UK.

Engaging the Modern City – the Civic Researcher is a pioneering postgraduate module, realising the University of Leeds’ ambition for a civically engaged curriculum. By offering students an opportunity to work with a local organisation on a mutually-beneficial research-based project, the module develops and demonstrates employability skills while building a rich and life-long relationship with the region.

Postgraduate student Emma Briones shared her thoughts on the personal benefits of the project:

“For this module, I was paired with South Asian Arts-UK (SAA-UK) for the National Baithak Network. We were tasked with formulating a sustainable business model that allowed classical Indian artists to perform across the country in small intimate social gatherings, known as Baithaks, and receive payments without accruing debt from travel expenses. Our research findings would then be presented to the UK Arts Council for further development.

"Working with my partner organisation increased my cultural intelligence and cultural awareness. Being on a team strengthened my emotional intelligence and made me aware of others’ learning styles.

"As an international relations student, I forget how topics like immigration due to globalization affect individuals’ values upon assimilating to the dominant culture – which we explored on the project. This module has made me realise that I truly enjoy working and managing these types of projects where the outcome affects something bigger than yourself.”

Find out more about Emma's experience