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PhD drama student: BBC New Thinker

02 Jun 2014

A partnership between BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) aims to find the academic broadcasters of the future; the brightest minds who have the potential to turn ground-breaking ideas into fascinating programmes

The BBC New Thinker scheme received hundreds of applications from academics who are at the start of their careers and are passionate about communicating modern scholarship to a wider audience. Following a six-month selection process, the winners were chosen from a group of 60 finalists, who attended a series of day-long workshops at the BBC's bases in Salford and London. 

The ten were chosen by a judging panel made up of producers from Radio 3 and BBC Television Arts and academics from AHRC. 
 
Naomi, who is researching the Suffrage Campaign and the Actresses’ Franchise League, said she was delighted to receive the award. 
 
Naomi Paxton said: “I’m thrilled to have been chosen to be one of the 2014 New Generation Thinkers and am excited about sharing my research with a wider audience. My research is on the performative aspects of the Votes for Women movement with particular focus on the use of propaganda theatre. Founded in 1908, the Actresses’ Franchise League worked both in and outside of the theatrical professions to educate, entertain and campaign for the suffrage cause. They marched, demonstrated, wrote and performed plays and worked with all the suffrage societies across the country, using their talents and public profile to gain interest and support.” 
 
The ten winners will spend a year working with Radio 3 presenters and producers to develop their research and ideas into broadcasts. They will make their debut appearance on Radio 3's arts and ideas programme, Free Thinking, on successive editions beginning Tuesday 10 June and will be invited to make regular contributions to the network throughout the year. 
 
They will deliver talks at Radio 3's annual Free Thinking Festival of Ideas at Sage, Gateshead in November 2014, and will have an opportunity to develop their ideas for television, including working with BBC Television Arts to make short taster films.