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SEED colleague honoured in tribute to campaigning MP

(8 December 2017)

Dr Sarah Marie Hall, School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED), has been awarded the inaugural Jo Cox Prize for Public Service and Active Citizenship to recognise the positive impacts of her research.

The Political Studies Association’s Jo Cox Prize recognises early career academics who work closely with policymakers and/or wider society for the ‘public good’. The judges at the awards ceremony commended Sarah for her “research into socio-economic issues, including the unique ‘Everyday Austerity’ project which moved beyond academia and the media to engage directly with the public and ultimately reflecting the values and ethos espoused by the late Jo Cox.”

Jo Cox was murdered in June 2016 in her constituency of Batley and Spen, doing the work she loved, as an MP committed to helping the public. A campaigner and an active member of her community, her maiden speech in the Houses of Parliament concluded: “We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.”

Sarah’s research seeks to understand how socio-economic processes are shaped by gender relations, lived experience and social differences. Her Everyday Austerity research project gathered first-hand, personal accounts of everyday life in austerity, which provided content for the Everyday Austerity Exhibition, visited by thousands of people across the region and beyond. Her findings were also turned into a zine distributed across the country. The key aim of both the exhibition and zine was to engage the public in the research in novel ways.

Sarah said: “I am absolutely over the moon to have been awarded the inaugural Jo Cox Prize, and I'm so grateful to those who nominated me.”

“Jo was well-known for her activities both in her community and Parliament for fostering solidarity and togetherness, and questioning prevailing injustices in society. To be given an award bearing her name for my research on the impacts of austerity in the UK gives me confidence in the value of this work, and the need to challenge such damaging and discriminatory ideology and policy from the ground up.”