School Professors’ diaries project proposal wins ESRC award

Issued: Wed, 03 Oct 2018 16:40:00 BST

Professor Neil Rowlings, Professor of Economic and Business History, and Professor Mark Tranmer, Professor of Quantitative Social Sciences have secured a share of £2.6 million of funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Their project, “Quantitative network analysis of appointment diaries”, will be funded under the Transformative Research Call, and hopes to use historical diaries - a source of information presently largely ignored - as a key research tool for understanding individuals' career development, and the networks within organisations.

Professor Rollings said: “Mark Tranmer and I are delighted to have been successful in such a competitive call for proposals from the ESRC. We are delighted to have the opportunity to undertake this transformative and novel research project, which applies quantitative social science methods to historical sources which, to date, have been little used, namely appointment diaries. The appointment diaries to be analysed are those of Margaret Thatcher, Harold Wilson and ministers and senior civil servants at the Department of Trade and Industry 1986-93 but it is hoped that it can be applied successfully to other forms of appointment diaries.”

In addition to creating a novel form of biography, the research will inform a range of debates about the Thatcher governments, the role of Prime Minister, the everyday life of ministers and the networks in which they operate from a unique perspective.

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