Dr Claire Sowton

Research Engagement and Impact Manager (RKEI)

  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • University of Edinburgh

Contact details



Moray House School of Education and Sport, SJ 4.13

University of Edinburgh (Holyrood Campus)
Post code


  • Mon (AM), Tues-Thur


I joined Moray House School of Education and Sport in 2009 with an ESRC funded studentship (MSc + PhD) informed by a professional background planning, delivering and evaluating publicly funded projects. Following a teaching fellowship and my postdoctoral research, I have developed my career in research management and support for knowledge exchange and impact. I have a particular interest in the role of data visualisation in demonstrating impact.

In 2022-2023, I was funded by Creative Informatics (University of Edinburgh) through their resident entrepreneur programme to develop a data-driven design tool - seemingly the first of its kind globally in the quilt industry. Alongside my role as Research Engagement and Impact Manager, I use this experience to reflect on the relationships between research, impact and practice, and to explore technology-mediated meaning making in the creative industries.

I am an Advance HE Fellow and continue to supervise MSc students, undertake consultancy (arts engagement and evaluation) and project management.

In 2022, I completed the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) Engage Academy and Advance HE's Aurora leadership development initiative for women. 

Email:  claire.sowton@ed.ac.uk


PgCert Academic Practice, 2019

PhD, University of Edinburgh, 2014

MSc, University of Edinburgh, 2010

MBA (Cultural Management), Queen Margaret University, 2007

MA (Sociology), University of Aberdeen, 1999


Responsibilities & affiliations

Advance HE Fellow

Aurora, 2022

NCCPE Engage Academy, 2022

Postgraduate teaching

I have taught on a range of courses since 2014 as Teaching Fellow and as part of the MSc Education and MSc Educational Research programmes of study.

Areas of interest for supervision

MSc Education, MSc Educational Research, MSc Digital Education

Past PhD students supervised

I have supervised postgraduate students focused on a range of subjects including transformative learning, arts and dance education, peer learning, mobile learning.  

Research summary

digital cultural heritage and arts engagement, digital and data education, transformative learning, knowledge exchange and evaluation

Past research interests

AHRC-funded Artcasting research project (grant number AH/M008177/1), Litlong (School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures), Arts Rooms Research Partnership, ESRC studentship 1+3 doctoral research