Lucy Peacock


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    Research Interests

    Lucy rejoined the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations in 2020 as a Research Fellow following the completion of her PhD in interfaith relations and young people at the Centre. Lucy is a member of the Centre's Faith and Peaceful Relations research group and primarily works on research related to religion, interfaith and young people (including schools and higher education). 

    Since gaining her PhD in 2020, Dr Peacock has won three bids as Principal Investigator, marking her as a leading early career researcher. Dr Peacock was Research Fellow on the IDEALS UK project on religion and worldview diversity in higher education, and recently led as PI a new study which aims to promote meaningful university Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) opportunities across religious and worldview perspectives by better understanding how to foster STEM environments inclusive of belief diversity. Lucy is currently Research Fellow on a project exploring how Christians and Muslim colleges prepare their students for leadership roles in a religiously diverse society

    Lucy is an Associate Teaching Fellow of the HEA and has delivered lectures for Coventry University MA modules ('Religion, Peace and Conflict'), BA modules ('Race and Racism' / 'Youth, Education and Extremism') and workshops for the university's Doctoral Training Centre. Lucy currently supervises a PhD exploring non-Christian faith-based responses to hardship in the UK.

    PhD Project

    Lucy's PhD research provided an original account of the relationships between interfaith encounters and peaceful relations among young people in British schools, through a case study of the Faith and Belief Forum’s School Linking Programme. The School Linking Programme is an informal education programme which trains teachers in interfaith dialogue facilitation skills and brings students from different schools together to engage creatively with questions around religious and non-religious belief. In order to explore how School Linking fosters peaceful relations between students, the research asked: a) what impact can be captured by the Faith and Belief Forum’s existing evaluation data, b) how the School Linking process informs or inhibits peaceful relations at the interpersonal and institutional levels, and c) how academic understandings of ‘peaceful relations’ can be reassessed in light of the research’s findings.

    The research’s contribution to knowledge was fourfold. First, it contributed to a number of themes in religious and intercultural education literature (including religious literacy, ‘safe space’ and the role of community schools as sites of religious diversity) and addressed a lack of research-driven evaluations of interfaith initiatives with young people and/or in schools. Second, it took an inductive, reflective approach to evaluation, which was implicitly critical of the assumption-based ‘theory of change’ model. Third, the research generated the first dataset of its kind to capture teacher and student feelings towards interfaith contact across 75 schools in London and Birmingham. Lastly, contact theory was reassessed to develop a new, context-specific, theoretical framework for how interfaith contact supports and inhibits ‘peaceful relations’ in schools. A further, practical, outcome of the research was to inform the design and evaluation of School Linking through consultation with the Faith and Belief Forum during Autumn 2020.

    The PhD took a unique approach to an under-researched topic; it combined interdisciplinary research around religion and education and the sociology of religion with impact evaluation to provide an original account of the role and effectiveness of interfaith approaches as a tool for fostering peaceful relations among young people in schools.


    Prior to joining CTPSR in September 2016 to undertake doctoral research, Lucy was Fundraising and Communications Manager at peacebuilding charity Concordis International for over three years. Before this, Lucy achieved a First Class BA in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Cambridge in 2012 and an MSc with Distinction in Global Governance and Ethics from University College London in 2013.

    As Research Assistant to Professor Kristin Aune during her doctorate, Lucy supported two national research projects: 'Chaplains on Campus' and 'Tackling Religion-Based Hate Crime on the Multifaith Campus'. She undertook more than 400 hours of work alongside her full-time PhD conducting interviews, designing and administering surveys, undertaking quantitative data analysis and co-authoring reports.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 13 - Climate Action
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    Education/Academic qualification

    MSc, Global Governance and Ethics, University College London

    Award Date: 1 Aug 2013

    Degree, Theology and Religious Studies, University of Cambridge

    Award Date: 1 Jul 2012


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