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Politics and International Relations (PIR): News


PIR Professor researching 'Physiology, Identity and Behaviour'

Laura Cram to lead on ESRC transformative research grant

ESRC transformative grant ‘Physiology, Identity and Behaviour: A Neuropolitical Perspective’ begins 1 September 2013.

outfile2957The ESRC’s transformative scheme aims to provide a stimulus for genuinely transformative and groundbreaking research ideas at the frontiers of social sciences. Transformative research can be seen as high risk but with the possibility of high reward or research that is carried out with the expectation that it will produce a broad base of knowledge and new insights. One of only 20 awards made under this scheme in the UK, this project develops a neuropolitical approach to the study of identity and its effects, triangulating physiological, attitudinal and neural vectors in a comparative study of 'belonging' in Spain and the UK. Longstanding theoretical puzzles for political scientists, concerning the nature and effects of collective identities, are tackled. New insights for policy-makers on the differential effects of national symbols on different groups of actors and in different contexts will be generated. At the same time these theoretical puzzles will provide new lines of inquiry at a neuroscientific level.

In Year 1, Laura Cram (PI, pictured above), will be joined by Victor Olivieri, named research fellow (Sep 2013-Aug 2014), who will be focusing specifically on developing a series of innovative hormone testing experiments in relation to sub-state and supra-state identities in the EU. A second post-doctoral position will be available in Years 1 and 2 for a researcher to work on the brain imaging (fMRI) strand of the project. Also collaborating on this interdisciplinary project are Dr Adam Moore, Psychology, and Professor Neil Roberts, Medical Physics and Imaging Science (Clinical Research and Imaging Centre). PhD candidates interested in pursuing research in this field are encouraged to contact