In 2022, UEA secured an Art and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) totalling £450,000.

In REF2021, UEA’s impact was judged as 100% World-leading and Internationally Excellent in 10 out of 13 Panel C (Social Sciences) and D (Arts and Humanities) units of assessment, with 3 Units, ranked first in the UK for world-leading impact.

This IAA award will allow us to further nurture and develop our Arts & Humanities research, strengthening our impact culture, enhancing opportunities for partnership working, and developing and accelerating translational opportunities in impact and innovation.

Through this we will demonstrate the benefits of our research to society, culture, health, and the economy.

UEA AHRC IAA aims and objectives 

  1. To strengthen engagement with users to accelerate the translation of research outputs into impacts.
  2. To support and develop strategic relationships for knowledge exchange and impact across disciplines and sectors. 
  3. To build effective and ambitious knowledge exchange and impact, through the development of our skills, capacity, and capability. 
  4. To provide early-stage support, streaming research along our innovation pipeline, including proof of concept.  
  5. To ensure continuous improvement in impact by supporting innovation, enabling ‘fast failure’, and capturing learning. 

At UEA, our AHRC IAA addresses contemporary challenges through cross- or multi-disciplinary research in three themes:

  1. Communicating across Cultures and Communities
  2. Developing Creative Industries and Digital Cultures
  3. Strengthening Heritage Cultures and Museum and Gallery Futures.

Our partners

The AHRC IAA delivery board is made up 50/50 of UEA academic staff and partners from the local creative, cultural and digital sector.

Its establishment has been a real success of the grant from the outset.

The AHRC IAA Internal Board comprises:

Our external board members are: 

Helen Wilson (Chair)

Helen has a background in broadcasting, having been a producer and editor on the Today programme, the World at One and PM.

After a stint in New York and Washington for the BBC she became Managing Editor Radio 4 and then Controller Radio 4. After leaving the BBC she ran an independent production company and then became Chair of Southern Norfolk Primary Care Trust for the NHS.

Helen is a member of the Norfolk Museums Development Foundation and a trustee of the National Centre for Writing. She was a member of the Bishop's Commission which has reported on the Future of Church Buildings in Norfolk. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.

Genevieve Christie, festival director and independent publisher 

Genevieve Christie was a founder director of First Light Festival CIC before becoming CEO in 2022, leading on strategy, programming, place-making impact and overseeing the development and operation of East Point Pavilion.

Previously Genevieve was a founder director of Full Circle Editions,  an award-winning publisher for the East of England and is Director of literary arts charity FlipSide.

Previously she worked in television production for more than 20 years, training at the BBC, then working at London Weekend Television as an associate producer on a raft of factual programmes before becoming a freelance producer/writer and co-forming independent production company Carey St Productions.In collaboration with John Christie she has commissioned many co-productions between UK and international broadcasters.

Genevieve has a keen interest in education and served for 13 years as a trustee and chair of trustees of a single academy trust and actively works with the Lowestoft Cultural Education Partnership. Genevieve started working in Lowestoft in 2015 and currently sits on its Cultural Leadership Group and Place Board. 

Julia Devonshire, Co-Director originalprojects;

Julia has a Master's in Cultural Politics (UEA) and a BA in Fine Art Sculpture (Norwich School of Art & Design). They have navigated various cultural settings, from the public and academic spheres to artist-led initiatives.

Currently, Julia works as a freelance arts professional and co-director of originalprojects; in Great Yarmouth, focussing on visual contemporary art.

Their work encompasses a diverse range of subjects and cultural forms and centres on collaborating with artists and communities across the entire lifecycle of curated projects. These projects span material and immersive processes, including making/craft, design communication, dance/performance, film, sound, new music, fashion, food and more.

The primary goal is to draw inspiration from the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of specific places, as perceived by the communities residing there, while simultaneously addressing contemporary societal and environmental challenges.

At the core of Julia's philosophy is a commitment to grassroots creative initiatives and engagement with various social, cultural, and economic practices. They aspire to empower communities and professionals alike to challenge norms, explore ideas, and create impactful projects that drive meaningful change.

Wendy Ellis, Creative Programmes and Audiences Director - Norwich Theatre

Theatre maker, Believing in the Art of Social Change.

Peggy Hughes, Chief Executive - National Centre for Writing

Peggy Hughes is the Chief Executive of the National Centre for Writing (NCW), a contemporary literature house based in a medieval trading hall, which celebrates and explores the artistic and social power of creative writing and literary translation. Peggy was Executive Director of NCW from January 2022 until September 2023, and Head of Programmes from 2017-2022.

She is on the boards of Age UK Norwich and Open Book Reading, Scotland, and is former Chair of Literature Alliance Scotland, Scotland's largest network for organisations dedicated to literature and language.

Peggy is from Northern Ireland, studied English Literature at the University of St Andrews, and before moving to Norwich worked in literature in Scotland, at the University of Dundee, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, Scottish Poetry Library and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. 

Hayley Johnson, Head of Customer Success - Artlist    

Artlist helps to bring together the two most important parts of content creation: the best software and the best music and footage library.

Hayley champions driving excellent performance through building successful teams who really understand what matters to the customer and relentlessly focus on delivering customer value.

Steve Miller CBE, Director of Culture & Heritage at Norfolk County Council and Head of Norfolk Museums Service 

Steve Miller is Director of Culture & Heritage, Norfolk County Council, Head of Arts, Head of Norfolk Museums Service (NMS), one of the leading county museum services in Britain and an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation (NPO).

Steve has been a member of the European Cultural Parliament (ECP) since 2008 and is a member of the National Museum Directors’ Council. He is also a Cultural Leadership Fellow of NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts), and is a Chartered Manager of the Chartered Management Institute (CMgr FCMI).