Rural Research Group

Researching the economic, social and cultural issues affecting today’s rural communities

The Rural Research Group is an inter-disciplinary social science research group with members from each of the University’s 4 colleges. Our aim is to support a collection of academics researching issues relating to rural development from the local to the international scale.

The Group runs monthly events, including reading groups, seminars, research planning workshops, postgraduate student events and policy-focused workshops. These help to build a strong community where we share knowledge of ongoing activities, foster collaborative working and engage with external stakeholders who can inform and benefit from our research.

The Group has developed following a major publication, Interpreting Rurality, Multidisciplinary Approaches edited by Dr Gary Bosworth and Professor Peter Somerville.  This included contributions from 16 researchers who were members of the group.  The book was launched with a debate on the future of rural areas as part of the ESRC’s festival of Social Science. This sparked a blog to continue the debate, share news of rural issues and showcase new research:

Anyone interested to know more about the Rural Research Group, or wishing to enquire about opportunities to study for an MPhil or PhD should contact Dr Gary Bosworth.

The Group’s current members are:


Organisation Member Role/Dept.
University of Lincoln                       Dr Gary Bosworth Geography
Prof. Peter Somerville  Social and Political Sciences 
Liz Price  Business 
Dr Chris Phelan  Business 
Sarah Schiffling  Business 
Dr Claire Markham  Psychology 
Dr Eric Ruto  Business  
Dr Jennifer Jackson   Business  
Dr Wesley Key  Social and Political Sciences  
Prof. Martin Hingley  Business   
Prof. Simon Pearson  Director of LIAT 
Dr Iain Gould LIAT
Mrs Isobel Wright LIAT
Prof. Matthew Cragoe  College of Arts 
Dr Martin Elliot-White   Business  
Prof. David Charles    Business  
Dr Rupert Hildyard   English and Journalism 
Dr Anna Tarrant  Social and Political Sciences  
Prof. Stephen Hall Life Sciences
Susan Marango  Current Mphil/ PhD students       
William Hamilton 
Jo Hardy 
Mahdieh Zeinali 
Kenny Odunukan 
Tim Whilde 
Sneska Lee
Nigel Curry Visiting Professor
Rose Regeneration  Ivan Annibal  Visiting Fellows  
Strutt and Parker  Jason Beedell 

Current research activities among members of the Rural Research Group cover a range of topics, including:

  • The need for better broadband to support rural businesses and communities
  • The potential for developing salt-tolerant crops with The Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology
  • The challenges of ageing in rural places
  • New tourism developments and place branding
  • Innovation and new "rural business models" in rural economies
  • Entrepreneurship among younger farmers
  • Local food networks and short food supply chains
  • Migration into rural areas
  • Opportunities for entrepreneurship in rural Africa and Bhutan
  • Service provision in remote island communities
  • Microbreweries and village pubs
  • Rural development funding – the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Links Between Activities Developing the Rural Economy (LEADER) and post-Brexit opportunities