Picture of Genevieve LeBaronGenevieve LeBaron, Vice-Chancellor's Fellow in the Department of Politics, has earned a British Academy Rising Star Award (BARSEA) for early career researchers

This prestigious award means she can work with the British Academy to run a programme for expert scholars to tackle the challenge of researching the shadow economy — this includes forced labour, human trafficking, and slavery.

The BARSEA awards are part of a new programme of funding for the development of early career researchers with exciting potential, who have already established their academic credentials in their fields.

Genevieve, who joined the Department of Politics in 2013 as Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow, impressed the British Academy with her engagement programme – Challenges in Researching the Shadow Economy.

The shadow economy is believed to be growing globally, and future research into forced labour will require reliable data on the speed of its development.

At the moment it’s challenging and risky to carry out research into forced labour, but Genevieve’s project will enable an interdisciplinary group of expert scholars to tackle the issue and make recommendations for future research methods.

Genevieve said: “It's a tremendous honour to receive this award and I'm excited to work with the British Academy to inspire public and policy engagement among early career researchers.”

Genevieve has already carried out some important work into forced labour.

Her research on forced labour in global supply chains has been published in Brown Journal of World Affairs, and her joint report for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Forced Labour’s Business Models & Supply Chains, has been cited in a number of UK Parliamentary documents related to the 2014 Modern Slavery Bill.

She is founder and co-editor of openDemocracy’s Beyond Slavery and Trafficking hub, and she’s been published in The Guardian, Salon, The Hindu and Brown Journal of World Affairs.

Genevieve’s research has attracted over £200,000 in research funding including grants from the UK Economic and Social Research Council, Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada, and Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Her current research investigates the governance of forced labour in global retail supply chains.

Before taking up her Vice-Chancellor’s Fellowship, she was a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia, where she was shortlisted for the SSHRC National Postdoctoral Prize.

Genevieve’s Doctorate is from the Department of Political Science at York University - Toronto where she held a Graduate Fellowship for Academic Distinction, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship, and earned a President’s Dissertation Award.

Genevieve is also a fellow of SPERI and our Crick Centre.