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Politics and International Relations (PIR): News


Prestigious ESRC fellowship for PIR academic

Dr Nicola McEwen's award underlines our position at the forefront of cutting edge research and public engagement.

2014 will be a hugely significant year in UK and Scottish politics. It is the year that Scotland will hold a referendum on independence and, given that, the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) has appointed seven one year senior fellowships with overall funding of £1.3 million. We are delighted to announce that Dr. Nicola McEwen has been appointed as one of the fellows.

The ESRC Scotland Senior Fellowships have been awarded to leading academics working across the broad range of issues and policy areas affected by the independence debate and the longer-term future of the UK and Scotland. The programme aims to both inform public debate and to assist in planning across a range of policy areas that will be affected by the outcome of the vote, whether 'Yes' or 'No'. Among these issues are voting, culture and identity, business intelligence, fiscal and monetary policy, policy development, constitutional architecture, and defence policy.

Nicola's project will explore the 'British Dimension' of independence. It will involve researching the prospects for shared cross-border services and institutions in two policy fields, energy and social security, and the intergovernmental arrangements that might be needed to oversee them. The research will involve comparisons with Ireland and the Nordic countries and is heavily focused on informing debate in the run-up to the referendum.

NicolaIn addition to Nicola's award, the University of Edinburgh was also successful in securing fellowships for Professor Stephen Tierney (in the School of Law) and Professor Sheila Riddell (in the Moray House School of Education). That Edinburgh secured three of the seven fellowships is testament to its position at the forefront of both the independence debate and research with a public engagement aspect.

Nicola is a Senior Lecturer in Politics & International Relations and is also Director of Public Policy at the University's Academy of Government. Since joining Politics & International Relations in 2001, Nicola has published widely in the fields of devolution, nationalism and territorial politics, and is actively involved in informing debate within the wider policy and political community through media work consultancy and public engagement. For more information on Nicola's research click here.