Four University of Birmingham academics elected Academy of Social Sciences Fellows

Four University of Birmingham social scientists become Academy of Social Sciences fellows, the most of any institution in this cohort.

The domes of the Aston Webb building in Chancellor's Court, University of Birmingham

Professors Stephanie Decker, Karen Guldberg, Dina Kiwan and Catherine Needham have been elected alongside 37 of their colleagues from institutions across the globe, as recognition for their substantial contributions to social science.

The Academy’s Fellowship comprises over 1,500 leading social scientists from academia, the public, private and third sectors. Fellows’ expertise covers the breadth of the social sciences, and their practice and research address some of the major challenges facing communities, society, places and economies.

Stephanie Decker, Professor of Strategy and Deputy Dean at Birmingham Business School, focuses on the development of historical approaches to researching strategy, international business, and organization studies. Her historical research examines the role of business in Africa.

Professor Decker commented: “I am delighted to be elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and hope to bring more historical awareness to social science and business research.”

Karen Guldberg is Professor of Autism Studies, former Director of the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER) and Head of the School of Education. Her research focuses on distinctive methodological approaches to the study and development of educational provision, pedagogy and inclusive practice for autistic pupils, working in partnership with practitioners, parents and schools.

Professor Guldberg said: “It is a great honour to be joining such a group of distinguished social scientists. At the University of Birmingham, I am part of a team who have been working hard to shape a better future for autistic children and young people across the world, and it is great to see this work recognised.”

Dina Kiwan is Professor of Comparative Education and the College of Social Sciences Deputy Director of Research. Her work broadly focuses on inclusion and citizenship, particularly in contexts of conflict, and the political sociology of global knowledge production.

Professor Kiwan commented: “Being elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences provides an important opportunity to engage with other Fellows, and to highlight more broadly my work on power inequities in the global production of knowledge and its relationship to academic freedom, as well as the specific work of our research programme on disability in conflict in the Middle East.”

Catherine Needham is Professor of Public Policy and Public Management at the Health Services Management Centre. As a public policy specialist, her research centres around social care and how care markets and systems can be adapted to better respond to crises. She also works on new approaches to public service leadership and workforce development.

Professor Needham said: “I am delighted to be joining the Academy, with its commitment to advancing social science. At a time when public services are under intense strain in the UK, it is vital that scholars come together to make the case for different futures.”

The new Fellows have been elected from 30 UK organisations, comprising 25 Higher Education Institutions, as well as think tanks, research institutes and nonprofits, and from countries beyond the UK including Australia and South Korea. 

All Academy Fellows are selected through an independent peer review which recognises their excellence and impact, including their wider contributions to social sciences for public benefit. 

Notes for editors

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