A University of Portsmouth academic is to share in over £7.5 million funding from the British Academy to help generate evidence on the challenges and opportunities faced in developing countries.

Professor Tamsin Bradley has been awarded almost £300,000 of funding to pursue her project ‘Art Heritage, Resilience and Humanitarianism in South Sudan’. The University of Portsmouth is the lead institution with co-Institutions, the University of Oxford, UCL and The University of Juba in South Sudan.

Professor Bradley is one of 27 UK-based academics, in collaboration with other UK and overseas researchers, who will undertake research projects of up to 27 months in duration that advance and deepen our understanding of the relevance and importance of the historical context of development, cultures and heritages in addressing sustainable development.

Awards are worth up to £300,000 and fund projects which demonstrate innovative and interdisciplinary approaches, build our understanding of human and cultural contexts, and expand the research base in countries and populations with high unmet need and low research capacity.

The awards are part of the Sustainable Development Programme, which has already funded 16 awards under its first phase which launched in 2016. It is supported by the UK Government’s £1.5bn Global Challenges Research Fund, which aims to respond to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Professor Bradley’s research will record how different forms of material, verbal and musical art forms are used in everyday life to build resilience in a conflict setting such as South Sudan. Her research is intended to offer innovative new ways of building reliance as part of the wider humanitarian programming.

Professor Bradley said: “I am delighted to have secured this award and to have the opportunity to push the boundaries of how the humanitarian sector think about and implement resilience.”

Professor Ash Amin, Foreign Secretary, British Academy said: “We are delighted to announce these new award-holders. Their cutting-edge research will demonstrate the crucial role played by the humanities and social sciences in enhancing our understanding of development.

“Moreover, their collaborations with partners in the Global South will ensure that findings with real-world impact evolve in a truly inclusive, collegiate way.”