In conversation with Professor Kay Richardson

Kay's Background

Kay is a Professor in the Department of Communication and Media at the University of Liverpool. Her research interests are sociolinguistics and media discourse with her current research concentrating on political culture and mass media.

Kay is an experienced researcher who has a long history of working with the Research Councils. She has been involved with several research grants over a 25 year period, predominantly with the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC). The first of these grants entitled ‘Television and the nuclear power debate: audience understanding and public issue television’ (1989-90).

More recently, she was the Principal Investigator on ‘Newsgroups as a forum for discussion of health risks’ (2003-4) and is currently finishing work on outputs deriving from her most recent research grant ‘Media Genre and Political Culture: Beyond the News.’ Speaking as the Principal Investigator on this AHRC grant Kay says: Its objective was to develop a better understanding of the ways in which contemporary British political culture is mediated through a variety of media genres, including the dramatic and the comic.

Being a peer reviewer

Having completed her first Research Council grant more than 20 years ago, Kay feels she is in a good position to provide a historical perspective on the research process. Kay observed: I think that since the application forms for research grants have become more user-friendly, and have been teamed with greater institutional support, the process of applications has improved.

With her AHRC grant completed, Kay is spending more of her energies this year on improvements to her teaching, as well as taking up the opportunity to become a member of the AHRC’s Peer Review College (PRC). Professor Richardson is lucky to work in a department with two other PRC members, and so she will be the third out of just six colleagues in her department to join the PRC.

As for her PRC membership Kay hopes that it will put her in a good position to provide input into strategic decisions at her institution; and anticipates too that she will be invited to mentor prospective grant applicants at her institution.

Speaking about other opportunities, Kay says: I’m also very keen to take advantage of the networking opportunities of the College. The PRC events and training that I have taken part in so far have been great and really useful for meeting academics and researchers from many different research areas.

Finally, Kay believes that membership of the PRC will afford her a valuable chance to gain knowledge of research opportunities and developments within the arts and humanities.