Professor Gill Valentine elected to prestigious British Academy fellowship

Our Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Gill Valentine has been made a Fellow of the prestigious British Academy for the humanities and social sciences.

Gill ValentineProfessor Valentine is among 76 distinguished scholars to be elected to the fellowship in recognition of her work as one of the world’s leading social geographers and for championing the values of diversity and equality in UK higher education.

She joins the British Academy, a community of more than 1,400 of the leading minds that make up the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. Current Fellows include the classicist Dame Mary Beard, historian Sir Simon Schama and philosopher Baroness Onora O’Neill, while previous Fellows include Sir Winston Churchill, C.S Lewis, Seamus Heaney and Beatrice Webb.

On being elected to the fellowship, Professor Valentine said: “I am delighted to be made a Fellow of the British Academy. It is an honour to be recognised for my research in the field of geography, as well as my work to promote equality, diversity and inclusion – an area of personal importance to me.

“I look forward to joining a group of outstanding scholars who represent excellence in their fields and demonstrate the value of humanities and social science research in the UK and worldwide.”

In her career to date, Professor Valentine has won research grants with a value of over £5 million, including a prestigious European Research Council Advanced Investigator award, and has published 15 books and more than 150 articles. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and plays an active role in both her discipline of Geography and wider social science communities.

Professor Valentine is also highly-regarded as a leading ambassador for equality in academia and is the University’s senior LGBT champion. In recognition of her dedication to equality, diversity and inclusion she was recently acknowledged by three prestigious organisations: The Financial Times’ 2017 Outstanding Leading Public Sector LGBT+ Executives, Stonewall Starting Out Guide and the Excellence in Diversity Awards.

Promoting equality also influences Professor Valentine's world-leading research. She has won the highly regarded Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographies Gill Memorial Award for contributions to Geography and gender, as well as the Murchison Award for her work on the geography of difference, equality and diversity, and a Philip Leverhulme prize for high achieving scholars.

This year marks the largest ever cohort of new Fellows elected to the British Academy for their distinction in the humanities and social sciences.

Seventy-six world-leading academics have been elected from universities across the UK and around the world.

As well as a fellowship, the British Academy is a funding body for research, nationally and internationally, and a forum for debate and engagement.

I look forward to joining a group of outstanding scholars who represent excellence in their fields and demonstrate the value of humanities and social science research in the UK and worldwide.

Professor Gill valentine

Professor Sir David Cannadine, President of the British Academy, said: “I am delighted to welcome this year’s exceptionally talented new Fellows to the Academy. Including historians and economists, neuroscientists and legal theorists, they bring a vast range of expertise, insights and experience to our most distinguished fellowship.

“The election of the largest cohort of Fellows in our history means the British Academy is better placed than ever to help tackle the challenges we all face today.

“Whether it’s social integration or the ageing society, the future of democracy or climate change, Brexit or the rise of artificial intelligence, the insights of the humanities and social sciences are essential as we navigate our way through an uncertain present into what we hope will be an exciting future.

“I extend to all of our new Fellows my heartiest congratulations and I look forward to working closely with them to build on the Academy’s reputation and achievements.”

The announcement was also warmly welcomed by President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Keith Burnett, who commented: “It is a source of great pride to me and to this University that our Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Gill Valentine has been awarded this prestigious honour.

“To be made a Fellow of the British Academy is a mark of true international distinction in the Humanities and Social Sciences. To receive this accolade while also holding a senior administrative office is doubly impressive.

“I would like to convey my sincere congratulations to Gill on this achievement, which is added to the leadership she has demonstrated of the Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield and her highly-respected work on diversity.”