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AHRC breeds a new generation of broadcasting intellectuals

The Arts and Humanities Research Council and BBC Radio 3 have selected 10 early-stage academics to become broadcasting stars in their jointly run New Generation Thinkers scheme.

The winners are now participating in the Radio 3 programme Night Waves, taking turns to discuss a topic related to their research. They will later develop and produce their own broadcast ideas—with the help of Radio 3 experts—as well as featuring on other Radio 3 programmes.

The search started with a list of 1,000 applicants with a specialist subject. This was whittled down to 57 candidates. Then a panel of Radio 3 producers and AHRC representatives assessed the candidates and their broadcast pitches during a series of workshops.

A spokesman for the AHRC, who was involved in the selection process, said the panel looked for a wide range of abilities in the candidates, including good communication skills, an enthusiasm for talking about their work, a strong authorial voice and an ability to think on their feet.

The winners of the competition include David Petts, director of research for archaeological services at Durham University, who is working on the commercialisation of British archaeology; and Corin Throsby, a supervisor in English at the University of Cambridge, looking at the history of fan mail.

Zoe Norridge, an English researcher at the University of York won for her pitch on cultural responses to the Rwandan genocide. Philip Roscoe, a lecturer in management at the University of St Andrews is looking at how economics shapes the moral landscape in everyday settings, such as internet dating. Shahidha Bari, a lecturer at Queen Mary, University of London, discusses her work on Arabian Nights in an interview with Research Fortnight.