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Development Projects

2024/25 Projects

Image for IAS RDP Pasts in the Present 350x240Pasts in the Present

Drawing on disciplinary bases in the arts and humanities (English, MLaC) and social sciences (Archaeology), the project will bring together other fields, such as economics and business studies, to consider how they too may be shaped by ideas of the past, and how this affects the present moment in both academic and public discourses.

Image for IAS RDP Space Industry Disputes 350x240Resolving Disputes in the Space Industry

With the increasing number of space investments and space activities, there is highly likely to be an increasing number of space disputes soon. This project plans to establish a dispute resolution centre specialising in resolving space disputes. 


Image for IAS RDP Fossil Fuel Phaseout 350x240Legal Criteria for an Equitable Fossil Fuel Phaseout

This interdisciplinary project, which engages with climate science, law and legal theory aims to identify the role of law and legal principles to be applied when developing an equitable global fossil fuel phaseout.


IAS IRDP Matrescence image of pregnant womanMater-morphosis: Transformations of motherhood through matrescence

Funded with support from Flourish@Durham, this project mobilises matrescence to explore motherhood, pregnancy, and childbirth as transformative life events with radical and long-lasting changes to the body and brain.


IAS RDP Leadership identity processingUncovering Leaders’ Identity Processes Through the Use of Natural Language Processing

This interdisciplinary project addresses this question from the perspective of leader identity and how leader identities are constructed during critical transitions in people’s working lives. 

Funded with support from Flourish@Durham.

IAS RDP - Biofilms, image of bacteriaMolecular Windscreen Wipers to Mechanically Disrupt Bacterial Biofilms 

This project aims to develop and test a novel design of compound which seeks to destroy biofilms by mechanical disruption, rather than chemical inhibition or degradation.





2023/24 Projects

AI Law ResizedALTS: AI-enabled Legal Technologies and their Consequences on Society

This interdisciplinary project brings together experts in Law, AI enabled legal technologies, and Computer Sciences, among others to foster collaboration to provide a platform for exploring and testing a range of approaches for assessing the impact of AI in the law. 


Archive Resized Archives and Decolonial Pedagogy: Unearthing narratives, transforming education  

This project brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to explore the role of archives in decolonising teaching and learning. 



Displaced ResizedArchaeology of the Dispossessed 

Can displaced communities, who are physically unable to access their ancestral lands, renew a sense of ownership over their tangible cultural heritage and assert their agency over its use? Archaeology of the Dispossessed directly grapples with this challenge and devises new ways to address it. 



Neurodivergent Youth Resized

Examining the interconnections between physical health, mental health and physical activity with neurodivergent youth

One in ten youth in the United Kingdom are neurodivergent with a diagnosis of autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and other neurocognitive conditions. Neurodivergent youth are more likely to experience physical and mental health challenges compared to their peers. These health challenges are exacerbated by a limited understanding of how neurodivergence is connected with physical and mental health challenges as they are often conceptualized independently, without considering their interconnections.

Secrets ResizedStealing Secrets? Intelligence theory and the open society.

Stealing secrets is routinely seen as the world’s second oldest profession. However, despite rich literature on the history of intelligence agencies and operations, and the prominence of intelligence in contemporary politics, intelligence is a Cinderella in international relations theory and efforts to create a distinct theory of intelligence are also limited. 

People walking in a fieldWalking as Research: Exploring Landscapes and Interdisciplinary Dialogue in Northumberland National Park

Walking is a basic and universal form of travel. In the English language, there are multiple words for different types of walks. When we walk to work, we call it a commute. When we walk in large numbers, we call it a march, a parade, a protest, or a mob. Long walks imbued with spiritual purpose are pilgrimages.    Walking as research can allow us to interrogate the past, critique the present, and imagine the future. The body as a tool – the act of walking as a creative methodology – is a vital link between theory and practice particularly when studying landscapes, both historic and contemporary. 

Indian ChurchPedagogies of Dispossession - South Asia Research Group at Durham

A cross-faculty interdisciplinary forum to develop a research network under the broad theme ‘Pedagogies of Dispossession’, which approaches ‘South Asia’ from a new frame beyond the usual ethno-nationalist understandings.


2022/23 Projects

child playing
Interdisciplinary priorities for an inclusive neurodiverse society

This project is led by the Centre for Neurodiversity & Development with the aim of increasing interdisciplinary capacity and shaping future funding priorities in the area of neurodiversity and autism research at Durham University.

Computer screen with textScience and the Media

This project comprises a series of workshop to explore and build ideas at the intersections of scientific evidence, media reporting, and their influence on public policies and behaviour.


image of a brainSyntax, Evolution, Mind and Culture

Through a series of four half day workshops, this project will exploit the critical mass developed at Durham around the interplay of cognitive and cultural evolution.



Computer screen with text

Conversations on Machine Learning and Conceptual Change

Through a series of five conversations, this project seeks to identify basic transformative concepts in ML and AI concepts that resonate across the sciences and humanity to serve as the foundation of a multiyear research project


Boat and Durham Cathedral

Absence/presence of Durham’s Black History: exploration of institutions, archives, students and pedagogies




This Development Project through a series of workshops,  seeks to build on existing synergies emerging from discussion within the BAME network on the absence/presence of Durham’s ‘black’ (refers to those who see themselves as being politically black) history. It seeks to contribute to the debates on decolonising by exploring institutions, archives, black students in Durham’s history and explore the impact of these findings on pedagogies and curriculums within the University.

BookFeeling Political: how intimacy and everyday life make political identities

This project aims to create dialogue between scholars working in discrete fields of politics and everyday emotions, and to consolidate a critical mass at DU working in the field of ‘feeling political’ (intimacies, politics  and everyday life) and build research capacity.