Emma is highly experienced in conducting research and evaluation. She worked as a Research Fellow in Creative Businesses for the Bristol Business School at the University of the West of England on a European teaching and learning initiative that developed modular teaching on Creative Entrepreneurship. She has worked as a Research Fellow at the Digital Cultures Research Centre, University of the West of England, on the AHRC/EPSRC funded ‘Creative Citizens‘ project which explored the value of citizen’s everyday creative activities. Emma was part of a team focusing on ‘Creative networks’ and the value-creation that arises between relatively formal communities of this kind and the growing highly informal networks of individual creative citizens, often formed around online communications platforms.

Emma has worked as a research associate for the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE). Her work with NCCPE included research for an AHRC funded NCCPE project ‘Researching the Engaged University’ led by Professor Keri Facer at Bristol University. The project aimed to scope and synthesize current thinking and existing practices that relate to university public engagement. The project publication ‘Towards a Knowledge Base for University-Public Engagement: sharing knowledge, building insight and taking action‘ summarises the findings and recommendations from the project. The research was based on a literature review of research into university-public engagement and consultation with over 90 researchers and professionals in the field.

As a freelance consultant she has carried out numerous commissions with a primary focus on media education, youth/community media & technology-based social inclusion initiatives and on engaged practices in higher, secondary and primary education. Emma is a specialist in participatory action research, particularly practice-based work using creative techniques and processes.

Emma’s past research and evaluation projects include – research for Barnardo’s South West, investigating barriers to educational access for black and minority ethnic families in South Gloucestershire – evaluation of a youth media bursary scheme funded by Mediabox addressing issues of social exclusion of young people in urban and rural areas of Wiltshire – an internal review of research activity at the University of the West of England’s Digital Cultures Research Centre  (DCRC) – a Children’s Service Innovation Project creatively consulting with young people to find out how digital media could be used to improve young people’s access to health services for NHS North Bristol Trust on behalf of Knowle West Media Centre.

Emma gained her PhD at the University of the West of England. Her collaborative doctoral research, undertaken in partnership with Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC), was funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council UK. The practice-based research titled ‘Platform Futures’ explored and evaluated the role of new technology in the creative media practices of young people in informal educational settings.

For her MA dissertation Emma conducted research titled ‘From Community to Classroom’ (2005) that examined community media practitioner’s expectations of the relationship between creativity and digital media when working in the traditions of informal education in the context of partnership work with schools. The study focused on a pilot project ‘Blueboard’ funded by the flagship national programme Creative Partnerships which partnered 4 community media companies with 11 Bristol schools in order to help schools develop new ways of working with digital media.

(Header images from left: Artwork by Wei Ong (2008) commissioned for KWMC and image by Lauren Hunt featuring Emma Agusita discussing her PhD research with HRH Prince Edward and KWMC director Carolyn Hassan during the prince’s recent visit to KWMC).