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Dr Gary Kerr


Gary Kerr

Associate Professor

Post Nominals JP BSc (Hons) MSc (Med Sci) PhD PhD MBA CMBE FRSA FHEA
Biography Dr Gary Kerr is Associate Professor in Festival & Event Management within the Tourism & Languages Subject Group of Edinburgh Napier University Business School. Gary is an enthusiastic teacher, researcher, trainer and practitioner in the festival and events industry.

- With two PhDs - one in biological sciences and another in critical event studies with science communication - Gary is an experienced researcher with expertise in qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches
- Principal Investigator of a multidisciplinary research team (including a colleague from the School of Health & Social Care) who are researching how festivals, events, visitor attractions and cultural venues can become more accessible for people living with dementia
- In Gary’s second PhD, he interviewed over 30 science festival directors to examine the business and management dimensions of science festivals, using approaches from critical event studies and science communication theory: the first study of its kind to examine science festivals from a critical events perspective
- Undertakes pedagogical research on the use of social media within higher education to facilitate and support student learning and engagement
- Formerly a Visiting Research Fellow at the African Centre for Technology Studies (Nairobi, Kenya), where he researched social and cultural dimensions within the business value chain of a new sustainable cooking technology (supported by Global Development Academy)

- Design and deliver bespoke international festival management, science communication and public engagement training courses for a number of diverse clients across academia, business and charity sectors
- Project Lead/Principal Investigator on various contracts awarded by the British Council to deliver ‘Festival Academies’ in the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman
- Project Lead/Principal Investigator of the India Festival Academy (online) delivered in partnership with the British Council (beginners, intermediate, and advanced level), generating significant commerical income
- Line Manager to 3 Associate Staff Members who help deliver commercial activity (Festival Academies)
- Delivered a festival management course at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague
- With colleagues, designed and delivered a festival management summer school for students from Edith Cowan University in Australia
- Delivered science communication training in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- Visit over 20 universities each year across the United Arab Emirates to train students on science communication, presenting and festival skills
- Academic skills trainer on social media and digital skills for researchers, communication skills and presenting skills

- Actively a practitioner within festival and events industry: generating commercial income; enhancing the curriculum; creating practice-based volunteering and employment opportunities for students
- Retains and develops practical skills through undertaking roles in industry such as Venue Manager, Event Manager, Staff Manager, Production Coordinator and Creative Producer
- Evidence of bringing practical experience into the classroom and enhancing curricula, bridging theory with practice and enhancing engagement with employers and industry through creating guest lectures with industry partners

Recent examples of professional practice roles:
- External Evaluator, Cheltenham Festivals
- Guest Curator of the GCHQ CyberZone at Cheltenham Science Festival
- Content Quality Controller, Innovator Festival, UAE
- Stage Manager, Olympic & Paralympic Homecoming Parade, Manchester
- Local Content Producer and Manager, Abu Dhabi Science Festival

- Certified Management & Business Educator
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- Awarded Postgraduate Certificate in Learning, Teaching and Assessment Practice (PGCert LTAP)
- External Examiner at Manchester Metropolitan University
- Personal Development Tutor to two colleagues undertaking PGCert LTAP
- Personal Development Tutor to 106 undergraduate students
- Year 2 Tutor for Tourism, Hospitality, Festival & Event Management suite of programmes
- Academic Tutor to students on Work-Based Learning (placement)
- Facilitator and Academic Tutor on the Employability Skills Programme
- Module Leader of ‘Planning & Public Policy for Festival and Events’ (Level 9) delivered in Edinburgh and to transnational education partners in Hong Kong and Singapore
- Module Leader of ‘Business Skills for Tourism, Hospitality & Event Management’ (Level 11)
- Contribute to teaching on the following modules ‘Business of Festivals and Events’ (Level 7); ‘Festival & Event Design and Delivery’ (Level 8); ‘Event Management’ (Level 8); and ‘Contemporary Issues in Festival & Event Management’ (Level 11).
- Dissertation supervisor to students at Levels 10 and 11 (Honours year and Masters level)
- Formerly Module Leader (parental cover) for ‘Festival & Event Impacts and Sustainability (Level 10) and for ‘International Festival & Event Environments’ (Level 10)

- Chair of the Working Group for Public Engagement Journal Club at the Scottish Public Engagement Network (ScotPEN)
- Member of the Public Engagement Advisory Group at the Royal Society of Edinburgh
- Internal Public Engagement Funding to run an event for people living with dementia to discuss research on festivals, events and accessibility
- Panel discussions at various festivals
- Creative Producer of festival and events, working with academics to engage festival and event attendees with their research
- Deliver training courses on public engagement to external partners

- Academic Framework Member - providing Covid-19 ad-hoc research and consultancy - to Scottish Parliament
- Steering Group Member of the Scottish Parliament's Citizen's Assembly on Covid-19
- Member of the Panel of Experts on Science Communication at the European Parliament
- Authored article for Union of Concerned Scientists (USA) on how academics can engage effectively with policymakers in light of Covid-19
- Authored two research reports for the Scottish Parliament

- Co-Lead of the University Armed Forces Network
- Deputy Convenor of the Business School Research & Integrity Committee
- Marketing and Student Recruitment Lead for Tourism & Languages Subject Group
- Member of the University Researcher Development Concordat Steering Group

- Chair of the Board of Trustees at Sonic Bothy - an inclusive music organisation for musicians with and without additional learning needs to explore, compose and perform contemporary music
- Director of Newmilns Snow and Sports Complex
- Member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh's Young Academy of Scotland
- Member of the Global Young Academy