The European Research Council recently announced that Dr Monika Baár of the Faculty of Arts is to be awarded what is known as a consolidator grant worth € 2 million for her innovative research project RethinkingDisability: The Global Impact of the International Year of Disabled Persons (1981) in Historical Perspective.
Monika Baár will use the funding to study the global impact of the UN Year of Disabled Persons in 1981. ‘Until now, the Year of Disabled Persons in 1981 has been ignored and forgotten in almost all modern historical documentation’ explains Baár. ‘This is not only a great pity, but also totally unjustified. This year can be seen as a turning point, just like 1968. It was the first time that the ‘handicapped’ were given a voice and an identity, and we were shown just how loaded the term ‘disabled’ is in western society.’
The ERC Consolidator Grants are awarded every year to the best researchers in Europe. It is a highly competitive and prestigious award. Approximately 8% of the proposals submitted are honoured. The € 2 million grant will allow Baár to set up a new research group comprising three PhD students, two postdoctoral researchers and various international experts.
Monika Baár has been working as a Rosalind Franklin Fellow in the Faculty of Arts since 2009. She specializes in modern history, with a particular interest in marginal groups. Baár has been very successful in acquiring external funding, one of her more recent successes being a Wellcome Grant for her research on the history of training and using guide dogs for the blind.
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