Feedback from previous Futures’ beneficiaries

We scoped the Futures scheme through a survey of academic teaching staff in 2016, and this led to six pilot studies in Spring 2017. Here is some of the feedback we received on those stays.

West Blockhouse, Pembrokeshire - statistical analysis of long term data on the Lundy house sparrow population

‘A very warm and enthusiastic “THANK YOU SO MUCH” for the wonderful stay at West Blockhouse that you enabled us to have! We had a brilliant, extremely productive time, it was probably even more productive than I envisaged ahead of time.’ Output: two articles on the mating choices and social networks of Lundy sparrows.

– Dr Julia Schroeder, Lecturer in Ecology & Evolution, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Imperial College, London.


Egyptian House, Penzance – MSc group researching Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) in the South West (a relatively under-studied set of colonies in steep decline)

‘This visit enabled us to look at colony repopulation at the beginning of the standard breeding season. The season appears delayed as no birds had arrived….All told I would estimate the breeding season is about one month delayed in that part of Cornwall. This is useful data and something we need to track over the long term… So, the principal product from this research trip, that you have supported, will be to adjust our expectations and now begin to put together a more formal proposal to capture funding. So, the trip was invaluable. Thank you!’ 

– Tom Dickens, Professor of Behavioural Science, Middlesex University.


Gurney Manor, Somerset – Romanticism & Reading: BA English Literature group considered the influence of a building on their reading

‘It thoroughly re-invigorated my reading of Coleridge …. By giving short fireside and lunchtime seminars on Woolf’s reading I came to understand more clearly how she heard the voice of ballad poems in [Coleridge’s} table talk and prose. Paul, Katy and James led short but intense and atmospheric seminars likewise, and I found it exciting to be part of a seminar rather than leading it (too rare!): it was thrilling to do concentrated close readings with these colleagues and with the students… It worked! We had a wonderful time. Truly inspiring.’

- Alexandra Harris, Professor of English, University of Liverpool.


Belmont, Lyme Regis – editorial team for the first scholarly editions of early twentieth-century novelist Dorothy Richardson’s complete letters and works

‘We are enormously grateful for the opportunity we were afforded at Belmont to work collaboratively on our project , which gave us time and the most beautiful of spaces to think and write separately as well as together. Central to Pilgrimage are the rooms and spaces in and through which Miriam moves…. Appearances, including and especially the ‘mood’ of a room, can alter radically from moment to moment. I thought about this a great deal at Belmont, with its different lights and shadows, its views across the gardens to the sea, and its careful placing of a desk and a chair in the high-ceilinged rooms. An inspiration, indeed.’

- Laura Marcus, Goldsmith’s Professor of English, New College, University of Oxford.


The Grange, Ramsgate – a weekend of led intensive writing for early career researchers 

‘I wanted to write straightaway to let you know that the weekend at Ramsgate made possible by the enormous generosity of the Landmark Trust was a spectacular success! It is always difficult for non-campus universities to support PhDs and they can come to feel isolated both socially and intellectually. The Grange provided our students with a really invaluable opportunity to form close personal, scholarly and professional relationships. It has initiated research and writing practices that will, hopefully, continue for this group: on the last day the students were trying to think of ways to maintain the working relationships they had formed. The eating together, working together, discussion, exploring Ramsgate and enjoying the house was all really good and fun.’

- Katie Scott, Professor in History of Art, Courtauld Institute, London


Belmont, Lyme Regis - writing retreat, University of East Anglia, MA Creative Writing group

'I thought you might like to know that the novel I finished writing while staying at Belmont, The Binding Frame,  has just won the First Novel Prize!'

- Annetta Berry