Before coming to work for BMG directly, I collaborated with the company extensively in my previous job (at Durham University) as an academic researcher. This often meant providing the contextual information underlying survey work and applying that to the reporting and policy recommendations – most of the work being contracts for BIS/BEIS – alongside contributing to the drafting of the survey. In particular, this covered things like outlining recent academic and policy thinking on a particular subject, often entailing detailed literature reviews , or qualitative interviews to complement or inform more quantitative large scale surveys.
As well as the business support projects that I’ve been involved in with BMG in the past, the other string to my bow has been research on a more regional or small-scale basis. This has mostly, but not exclusively, been in my native North East; it’s great to be able to bolster BMG’s presence in the region, and I’m looking out for potential projects which could bring my regional experience and contacts to bear. This regional research has encompassed a much wider range of topics: evaluating County Durham’s festival programme; investigating local supply chain links or the likely impact and possible ameliorating responses following a major factory closure; assessing economic and social regeneration schemes; researching how the financial crash impacted North East local authorities or how access-to-finance providers could respond; an evaluation of a local innovative healthcare centre scheme in a deprived part of the region; compiling a list of the fastest growing local companies – and so on.
I’m excited about and looking forward to bringing my skills and experience to BMG, and especially getting more involved in ‘both sides’ of a project – adding the surveying side of projects to the academic/research side that I’ve been previously involved with.