Dr Paul Vallance

Dr Paul Vallance

Business School
Research Fellow

Contact details

Birmingham Business School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Paul Vallance is a Research Fellow on the EUniWell (European University for Well-being) project. He is based in the City Region Economic and Development Institute (City-REDI) in Birmingham Business School.

Paul is an experienced researcher with a track record of interdisciplinary academic and policy-focused work. His core area of expertise is urban and regional development.

Prior to joining the University of Birmingham in September 2021, Paul held positions in Newcastle University and the University of Sheffield. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and the Regional Studies Association (FeRSA).


  • PhD in Economic Geography, Newcastle University, 2009
  • MA in Human Geography Research, Newcastle University, 2004
  • BA (Hons) in Geography, Newcastle University, 2002


Paul’s background is as an economic geographer. His PhD studied organisational learning in UK videogame development studios. Following this he worked as a Research Associate in the Centre of Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS) in Newcastle University. Here he especially focused on research projects related to universities and civic or regional engagement, regional innovation systems and policy in Europe (smart specialisation), and the creative and digital sector in the North East of England. From 2016 to 2018 he was seconded as researcher on the Urban Living Partnership pilot project for Newcastle and Gateshead (Newcastle City Futures). 

In 2018 Paul moved to the Sheffield University Management School where he was a member of the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED). In this role he worked on applied research projects with organisations including Innovate UK and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC). During this period, he was also part of the international team for the Regional Studies Association Policy Expo on Higher Education Institutions in Regional Development.


Paul’s current role is as a Research Fellow on the EUniWell (European University for Well-being) project working with Professor Robin Miller and Professor Raquel Ortega-Argilés. His role here is focused on developing a study to evaluate the impact of the EUniWell project on well-being in the seven European regions covered by the network and on supporting a pair of policy commissions that will that explore how universities and civil society can work together to address inequalities following the COVID-19 pandemic.   

Paul also has longstanding research interests in the fields of economic geography and regional studies. His recent work in these areas has particularly explored the contribution of different types of firm and non-firm actors (e.g. universities, public research organisations, national and sub-national governments) to the emergence and evolution of new regional economic paths.   


Gherhes, C., Vorley, T., Vallance, P. and Brooks, C. (2021), The role of system building agency in regional path creation: insights from the emergence of Artificial Intelligence in Montreal, Regional Studies [Advance Access]. 

Kempton, L., Conceição Rego, M., Alves, L., Vallance, P., Serra, M. and Tewdwr-Jones, M. (2021), Putting Universities in their Place: An Evidence Based Approach to Understanding the Contribution of Higher Education to Local and Regional Development, London, Regional Studies Association (Routledge). 

Vallance, P., Tewdwr-Jones, M. and Kempton. L. (2020), Building collaborative platforms for urban innovation: Newcastle City Futures as a quadruple helix intermediary, European Urban and Regional Studies 27, 325-341. 

Marques, P., Morgan, K., Healey, A. and Vallance, P. (2019), Spaces of novelty: can universities play a catalytic role in less developed regions?, Science & Public Policy 46, 763-771. 

Vallance, P., Tewdwr-Jones, M. and Kempton, L. (2019), Facilitating spaces for place-based leadership in centralized governance systems: the case of Newcastle City Futures, Regional Studies 53, 1723-1733. 

Vallance, P., Blažek, J., Edwards, J. and Kvĕtoň, V. (2018), Smart specialisation in regions with less-developed research and innovation systems: a changing role for universities?, Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space 36, 219-238. 

Vallance, P. (2016) “The historical roots and development of the civic university”., In Goddard, J., Hazelkorn, E., Kempton, L. and Vallance, P. (eds.) The Civic University: The Policy and Leadership Challenges. Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, pp.16-33.  

Vallance, P. (2016), Universities, public research, and evolutionary economic geography, Economic Geography 92, 355-377.

View all publications in research portal