The call for this fellowship 2017-18 is now closed. 

gillian-smallerProfessor Gillian Youngs has been awarded the first ever John Urry fellowship and we warmly welcome her and her research to Lancaster.

Gillian is currently Dean of Arts and Humanities at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. Her previous role was Professor of Creative and Digital Economy and Head of Innovation and Impact in the Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design, University of Westminster, UK. She works on innovation at the intersections of the start-up and research sectors and has a background in media, communications consultancy, and research and academic leadership. She has taught and undertaken research at universities in Europe, the USA and East Asia and is one of the longest standing researchers in the UK on the impact of internet developments on economy and society.

As an applied theorist, she is actively engaged in knowledge exchange and business and policy related processes, including through the Knowledge Transfer Network of the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. Projects Gillian has recently led include: an ESRC research seminar series on Digital Policy and edited collection from the series titled Digital World: Connectivity, Creativity and Rights published by Routledge in 2013; a role as co-chair of the AHRC-funded Design Commission inquiry ‘Designing the Digital Economy: Embedding Growth Through Design, Innovation and Technology’, which reported in May 2014:

Gillian has been engaged with Innovate UK’s Digital Catapult Centre since its launch and while Professor of Digital Economy at University of Brighton was academic lead for the ‘Internet of Place’ concept for the launch of the Digital Catapult Centre Brighton.

Gillian served on the HEFCE 2014 Research Excellence Framework Sub-Panel 36: Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management. She is currently serving (2016/17) as a high level expert on the Horizon 2020 Protection and Security Advisory Group and the Advisory Group for Gender at the European Commission.

Gillian has published her research in books, edited collections, academic articles, policy-related publications and briefing papers. She was a founding co-editor of International Feminist Journal of Politics in 1999 and her books include: Globalization: Theory and Practice. 3rd ed. Co-edited with E. Kofman. London: Continuum. 2008; Global Political Economy in the Information Age: Power and Inequality. London: Routledge, 2007; Political Economy, Power and the Body: Global Perspectives. Edited volume. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000; International Relations in a Global Age. A Conceptual Challenge. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1999. She is currently working on a volume on virtual globalization for Routledge.

This is a great professional and personal honour for me as John Urry’s work has influenced and inspired me from my early days as a globalization scholar through to my more recent work on digital economy.

Time as a missing element in social analysis: John Urry’s provocations and signposts

The fellowship aims to engage creatively with John Urry’s consistent recognition of the significance of time as integral to contemporary social analysis through from the early days of globalization studies to the more recent establishment of the new academic movement focused on mobilities.

The fellowship provides an opportunity to share how this work has impacted on my own scholarship on globalization and digital developments and to explore with other students and colleagues their own research engagements with this challenging and abstract dimension of social dynamics.

The form of the fellowship will be co-creative and involve a pop-up ‘time lab’ at Lancaster to explore time and its meanings in social science and wider disciplinary contexts. Creative methodologies (such as drawing, short film, making) will be used to facilitate shared understanding of the multidimensional nature of time in social analysis.

A follow-up open presentation with photos/film clips will present some of the results of the lab work and the ways in which it will be informing my own thinking and approaches to time in future research trajectories.

The experimental approach to the fellowship is informed by the AHRC-funded Brighton Fuse ‘Fusebox’ Knowledge Exchange project ( ) focused on the development of, and research on, a radical new start-up support programme for innovators, integrating creative arts and design approaches alongside lean business and digital techniques.


John Urry (1946-2016) embodied the tradition of world class Sociology that he was central to creating at Lancaster University. His purpose was the pursuit of truth in order to make the world a better place, to be achieved through the practice of collegiality, no deference, argument with respect, and collaboration around the world. This tradition lives on in the Department of Sociology and the Centre for Mobilities Research at Lancaster University, which he helped to establish.

The John Urry Fellowship has been established in 2017 to continue this tradition.  The Visiting Fellow will be ‘in dialogue’ with John Urry.

The Fellowship is being administered by Cemore, and located in the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University, where John was based for all his working life.

We invite applications from scholars whose research interests resonate with those of John Urry. The fellow will be an individual whose research is already in dialogue with John Urry’s work on sociology, mobilities, complexity, tourism, social futures or any other topic he covered over his long and fruitful career. Fellows may be from any academic discipline, and the fellowship is open to junior and senior scholars, as well as post-doctoral researchers.

The Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe), founded by John Urry, has a tradition of offering fellowships to scholars external to the university.

The John Urry Fellowship is to be taken-up between November and June.

The fellow will be awarded up to £2,000 for expenses such as travel, accommodation in Lancaster, the cost for an event at Lancaster University, bench fees to gain full access to the library and facilities, and expenses associated with research activity during the Fellowship.

Fellows will visit Lancaster University and are invited to spend a period of time in residence. You will be expected to organise and lead a lecture, seminar or workshop on the topic of your research.  If you like, you will be invited to write a blog about your time at Lancaster.

How to Apply

To apply for the fellowship, please submit a CV with a 1 page covering letter detailing:

(1) how your research connects to John Urry’s work

(2) what you plan to do during your time in Lancaster

(3) a budget for using the £2000.

All applications should be submitted to the Cemore administrator – Queries may be directed to Prof. Monika Büscher (CeMoRe Director) – email


Research Fellows’ Projects with CeMoRe:

UK Art & Mobilities Network Inaugural Symposium

  Over the past 10 years the study and practice of Art & Mobilities has been gaining momentum through networks, conferences, books, special issues, exhibitions and in the practices of artists, writers and curators. In recognition of this activity we...
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Time as a Missing Element in Social Analysis

As John Urry Fellow (2017 – 2018) I am focusing on the legacy of challenges left by his work on time and seeking a shared journey with others who are curious about them and their significance, or actively working on directly or tangentially related areas.

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Welcoming our 2017-2018 Visiting Fellows

We are delighted to be able to formally announce the arrival of our most recent Fellows for 2017-2018.

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Making science mobile

There is no better place for a research stay than Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe). That is why I came here… twice. CeMoRe is a hospitable, amazing, and lively place, full of delightful academic initiatives, but first and foremost amazing and...
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Automation, Labour and Future Mobilities

This reading group is an opportunity for us to explore how mobilities research is responding to pressing questions about robots, automation, and our technological futures. From the new kinds of micro-bodily movements that are created by these technologies, up to...
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