KBS Lecturer Awarded Research Grant by the Issachar Fund and the Templeton Religion Trust

Dr Carola Leicht has recently been awarded a research grant by the Issachar Fund and the Templeton Religion Trust for her project.

Kent Business School is proud to announce that Dr Carola Leicht, Lecturer in HRM and Organisational Behaviour, has recently been awarded a research grant. The grant has been awarded by the Issachar Fund and the Templeton Religion Trust for her project ‘Cooperation, Cohesion and Leadership in (new) atheism: using “science vs religion” narratives as an adaptive tool for meaning-making’. Dr Leicht will use the funds to study how perceptions of an inherent conflict between science and religion provide atheists with a sense of group identity.

Hopefully, my research can contribute to discussions in academia and higher education around diversity and inclusion – a very hot topic and something that the Diversity Team within KBS are actively pursuing.

Dr Leicht will use a wide array of research methods ranging from web-scraping techniques to social scientific online experiments. The project will contribute to several different fields within the social sciences, in particular to social and organisational psychology. Through this research, Dr Leicht will provide insight on how leaders use conflict narratives to their advantage and how linking science with secularity and rationality against religion might have (unintended) negative consequences for the scientific community.

Dr Leicht commented ‘I am absolutely thrilled to have been given the opportunity to study in more detail how leadership narratives can impact on group processes, something that has fascinated me from the beginning of my academic career. In particular, I am hoping that this project will provide new insights into how anyone who is interested and driven to pursue scientific studies can live up to their potential, independent of their religious or non-belief.  I am also very excited that this project will be part of a larger sub-granting scheme, which means that throughout this project I will be part of a bigger network of projects whose researchers meet on a regular basis. This not only provides me with excellent networking opportunities but also gives me a chance to represent KBS and the University of Kent to scholars around the world.’

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