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Dr Jude Fransman

Dr Jude Fransman

Profile summary

  • Research Staff
  • Research Fellow
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies
  • LTIA
  • Institute of Educational Technology
  • jude.fransman

Professional biography

I have an interdisciplinary background spanning international development, education, semiotics/communication studies and science and technology studies. My research focuses on the processes of research/evidence production, communication, governance and use. I am interested in questions such as: how is knowledge production framed by research funders and policy makers? Who participates in knowledge processes and how? Whose expertise and experience counts? How do different research cultures/methods/texts/technologies influence research processes/systems and the accessibility/relevance of evidence? How are different kinds of evidence valued by different institutions? I am particularly interested in the political economy of knowledge for international development and around 'global challenges' and am co-convener of the Rethinking Research Collaborative (website under construction) - an informal international network of academics, civil society organisations, international nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and research support providers – who are committed to working together to encourage more inclusive, responsive collaborations to produce useful and accessible international development research. I am also interested in arts-based research methods (particularly poetry and science fiction) and am currently enrolled in a part-time MA in Creative Writing at the OU.

Current research:

I am currently concluding an Early Career Fellowship funded by the Leverhulme Trust, which supported the project: 'Engaging research for practice: A civil society perspective' (a three-year study funded by Leverhulme which explores NGO practitioner's engagement with research). I am also leading some strategic research for UKRI (funded through the GCRF) on 'understanding and improving fair and equitable research partnerships around global challenges'. This has involved working with Christian Aid, INTRAC, Praxis Institute of Participatory Practices and the UNESCO Chair programme in Community-Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education to eclicit a 'partners' perspective' on 'fair and equitable research partnerships' and develop capacity resources targetted to key stakeholder groups. I am also leading the research strand of a new DFID/ UK AID Connect-funded project on civil society effectiveness: 'Evidence and Collaboration for Inclusive Development in Myanmar, Nigeria and Zimbabwe'.

Previous research:

2015-2017: Evidence and the politics of participation in academic-INGO research partnerships for international development'
 (a two-year ESRC Seminar Series in partnership with Christian Aid, Action Aid, HIV/AIDS Alliance, OU, IOE, IDS and LSE) See project website: and the Discussion 
Guide and Toolkit:

2013-2014: I implemented a study on 'academic identity in the digital university' funded by an award from the Society of Research into Higher Education (SRHE):

2007-2011: My PhD explored the politics of representation in academic and community-based research in/on/with/by a migrant community in London.

Additional research experience includes studies on adult literacy in South Africa, Tanzania, Viet Nam, Thailand and Mexico (in collaboration with Kings College London, University of East Anglia, the Departamento de Investigaciones Educativas in Mexico City, BALID, Literacy Working Group, UNESCO and ActionAid International); participatory learning and teaching in higher education (Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex); and the use of video in social science research (Institute of Education, London Knowledge Lab). I have also worked for several years in a policy context as a research officer for UNESCO and the OECD in Paris. 


I am a special adviser in adult literacy for UNESCO and continue to conduct consultancies (on adult literacy, nonformal education and evaluation) for a variety of international organisations

Awards and research funding (as PI)

DFID UK Aid Connect, Civil Society Effectiveness call (2018-22)

UKRI/GCRF Strategic Research (2018)

ESRC Seminar Series (2015-17)

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (2014-17)

IOE-UCL Ideas Incubator Award (2014)

SRHE Newer Researchers Award (2013-14)

HEIF Innovation Grant (Next Generation Researcher’s Award) 2012-13

ESRC 1+3 Doctoral Studentship (2006-10)


ESRC- sponsored PhD in Education (2011) Institute of Education, University of London – passed with no corrections

ESRC-sponsored MRes in Social Research (2006) Institute of Education - awarded with distinction

MPhil in Development Studies (2003) Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex - awarded with distinction

BA (1st class hons.) in English and Related Literature (2001) University of York

Teaching interests

I am open to supervising doctoral students working in the following areas:

  • Knowledge for International Development
  • Education for International Development
  • Open/digital scholarship
  • Professiona/organisational Learning in NGOs
  • Research impact and public engagement

Research Activity

Externally funded projects

TRANSFER IN: Evidence and the Politics of Participation in Academic-INGO Research Partnerships for International Development

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01/Jan/201531/Aug/2017ESRC Economic and Social Research Council
This seminar series arises responsively from concern expressed by both practitioners and academics to improve research partnerships between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and international NGOs in the field of international development. While a recent drive towards research collaboration has fuelled many new initiatives to broker partnerships, a wave of studies have suggested that the effectiveness of partnerships is often limited by constraints to participation (e.g. Aniekwe et al 2012; ELRHA 2012; Hanley and Vogel 2012). These studies have been largely descriptive, focusing on the instrumental nature of partnerships but with little analytical attention to the mechanics of participation or to the implications for the kind of evidence that is valued in and produced through partnerships. In response, this series brings together interrelated strands of research on 'participation in knowledge production' and the 'politics of evidence'. The seminars will explore the intersection between these two strands by drawing together research from different disciplines and sectors on how participation and notions of evidence are negotiated in research partnerships. First, context-setting workshop will frame the core seminars by providing a series of analytical frameworks for understanding partnerships. Second, a core series of four seminars structured around case studies of research partnerships (each co-presented by an academic and practitioner) will be used to create a safe space to facilitate trust and enable critical reflection of experiences in partnerships. Third, the outcomes of the core seminars will be presented at a high-level conference which will also incorporate insights and perspectives from a range of UK-based and international contributors. By drawing together as co-researchers practitioners, academics and research students (who often occupy both roles simultaneously) the seminar series aims to democratise the status of both academics and practitioners as co-researchers. The series will result in the development of publications and resources to inform a new research agenda and improve practice in research partnerships.


(Re)assembling Community: The Ontological Politics of Academic and Community-based Research in/on/with/by a Migrant Community in London (2018-08-01)
Fransman, Jude
Sociological Methods and Research, 47(3) (pp. 549-573)
Charting a course to an emerging field of ‘research engagement studies’: A conceptual metasynthesis (2018-07)
Fransman, Jude
Research for All, 2(2) (pp. 185-229)
Rhetoric and the politics of representation and communication in the digital age (2012-05-30)
Fransman, Jude and Andrews, Richard
Learning, Media and Technology, 37(2) (pp. 125-130)
Assembling Texts in the Digital University (2012)
Fransman, Jude
International Journal of Learning and Media, 4(3-4) (pp. 53-58)
Researching academic literacy practices around Twitter: Performative methods and their onto-ethical implications (2013-07-26)
Fransman, Jude
In: Goodfellow, Robin and Lea, Mary R. eds. Literacy in the Digital University: Critical perspectives on learning, scholarship and technology. Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) series (pp. 27-41)
ISBN : 9780415537964 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon
Re-Imagining the Conditions of Possibility of a PhD Thesis (2012-06-22)
Fransman, Jude
In: Andrews, Richard; Borg, Erik; Boyd Davis, Stephen; Domingo, Myrrh and England, Jude eds. The SAGE Handbook of Digital Dissertations and Theses (pp. 138-156)
ISBN : 9780857027399 | Publisher : SAGE
The SAGE Handbook of E-learning Research (Second Edition) (2016-06-11)
Haythornthwaite, Caroline; Andrews, Richard; Fransman, Jude and Meyers, Eric M. eds.
ISBN : 9781473902329 | Publisher : Sage | Published : London
New global challenges, new knowledge actors, new forms of research: what higher education can learn from the research practices of NGOs (2017-12)
Fransman, Jude
In : Society of Research into Higher Education Annual Conference (6-8 Dec 2017, Newport, South Wales)
Promoting fair and equitable research partnerships to respond to global challenges (2018-10-08)
Fransman, Jude; Hall, Budd; Hayman, Rachel; Narayanan, Pradeep; Newman, Kate and Tandon, Rajesh
Rethinking Research Collaborative
Improving the Conversation around Knowledge for International Development (2017-11)
Fransman, Jude and Newman, Kate
Impact Science
Rethinking Research Partnerships: Discussion Guide and Toolkit (2017-10)
Fransman, Jude; Newman, Kate and Cornish, Hilary
Christian Aid
Producing Evidence for International Development in Brexit Britain: Conference Report (2017-05-30)
Fransman, Jude and Newman, Kate
Rethinking Research Partnerships


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