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Scottish Government funds GCU economic equalities and social justice research

01 December 2015

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) researchers have been awarded over £70,000 by the Scottish Government to further develop the University’s research programme on the interaction between gender and the economy, and to evaluate participatory budgeting activity in local authorities.

The work is being funded by two separate research grants from the Scottish Government. The first, with funding of £30,000, is to develop the WiSE Research Centre which emphasises the importance of a feminist economics approach in mainstream economics, within academia, policy making and everyday life.

Overseen by the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser, GCU’s Professor Sara Cantillon will lead this research programme spanning issues including the political and social economy of care, labour market participation, and public procurement and gender equality.

The second grant of £42,000 has been awarded to researchers led by Dr Angela O’Hagan to work with 20 local authorities over two years to develop an evaluation framework, assess outcomes, and build capacity in developing participatory budgeting by working with local community researchers.

With a team of researchers from Glasgow School for Business and Society, the project reflects WiSE’s research strengths in equalities and social justice and the participation of communities in decision-making on resource allocation.

The Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy, launched in March 2015, placed an emphasis on ensuring all of Scotland’s people view enterprising activity as a valid and viable option. This work has included the development of the Women in Enterprise Framework (the only of its kind in the EU) to tackle the gender-gap through mentoring and networking; ambassadors and role models; markets and finance; and gender specific support. The Scottish Government also invested £20m from the Equality Budget in projects to address inequality, tackle discrimination and progress equality.

In developing the research programme for 2016, WiSE has appointed Dr Katarina Sarter from the Université catholique de Louvain to the post of Ailsa McKay Postdoctoral Research Fellow. The commemorative role was created following the passing of renowned Professor of Economics, Ailsa McKay.  

WiSE is also appointing a postdoctoral researcher, Dr Zofia Lapniewska, to further her work on care commons institutional economics and co-operatives. Dr Lapniewska has just completed a Visiting Fellowship at the Gender Institute of the LSE. 

Professor Cantillon said: “I am absolutely delighted to have such accomplished young scholars joining WiSE and I think with them on board WiSE will have an exciting year of intellectual development.”