Working under and alongside the Yunus Professor will be a number of Yunus Fellows at GCU. These Fellowships will be offered as one-year research opportunities for rising stars and thinkers working on aspects of social business and health. Advertised internationally and offered competitively, the ambition is to position the Yunus Fellowship as a highly prestigious opportunity for individuals to have the space and time to develop their thinking and actions.
Based within Professor Cam Donaldson’s research group, each Yunus Fellowship will fund an individual for a year to work in Glasgow on projects, to develop their own research and to contribute to the overall programme of research. Fellows will be expected to publish their work widely and to contribute to seminars, lectures and other programmes.
A distinctive focus of the work of Professor Donaldson will be the evaluation of the impact of social business on health and social inequalities. Employment is an important factor in health. Unemployment hits the most disadvantaged sections of society the hardest and is associated with premature death, more physical and mental illness and living in less healthy environments than the rest of the population. Further, these health impacts may fall disproportionately on some sections of society who may face high levels of exclusion from the labour market, such as people with disabilities or poor mental health, migrants, asylum seekers, and women. Focusing the work of the Yunus Chair and his research team on health and health inequalities is particularly salient given its geographical location. The gap in life expectancy of people living in the most deprived communities in Glasgow compared to those in the least deprived areas is currently increasing.
GCU has a long standing track record in genuine public engagement, working with some of the most disadvantaged communities locally. Capitalising on a strong platform of excellence in applied health research, the Lab will work closely with the newly established Institutes of Health and Social Justice, but will also draw on the extensive, complimentary research strengths, experience and subject expertise in the Scottish Poverty Information Unit, the Caledonian Business School and the School of Built and Natural Environment in the University.
The research programme will require interaction with interest groups and communities, building and sustaining strong partnerships and networks involving public, private and voluntary sectors locally, across Scotland and internationally.
It is vital that the university can properly resource the Yunus Chair in Social Business and Health, the Yunus Research Fellowship and build the research programme as well as the information and networking service of the Grameen Caledonian Creative Lab. In addition to its own substantial investment, the university is actively seeking the support that will help these projects reach their full potential. To find out more about how you can get involved by giving of your time, resources, a donation or long term interest free loan please contact Colin McCallum.