This is the website and blog of Dr John Lever.


I am an interdisciplinary social scientist with a background in sociology, human geography and latterly management. Before moving to the University of Huddersfield, I worked in the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University and at Cities Research Centre at UWE: Bristol. During this period there have been two broad themes to my research: 1) Sustainable Communities and 2) Sustainable Food Systems.

I am currently working with Deema Refai and Radi Haloub on the BA/Leverhulme funded project: 'A Better Future - Understanding Refugee Entrepreneurship' (BFURE), and on an Academy of Marketing funded project with Claire McCamley, Fiona Cheetham and Brendan Canavan, which aims to visualise a place-based economic future for South Kirklees.

BFURE Project

In recent years, the ‘migration crisis’ in Europe has raised concerns about addressing the social and economic needs of the growing numbers of refugees arriving in the UK from countries such as Syria. The BFURE project is interested not in the costs incurred by supporting refugees, but in the skills and knowledge refugees have when they arrive in the UK, and how these skills can be harnessed to support and enable refugees to contribute to the UK economy and further social integration.

The project will explore refugees' knowledge and skills through a series of ‘Pop-up Skills Shops/Clinics’ and ‘Skill-Gap Workshops’ with local authorities, non-government agencies and refugees across West Yorkshire during 2019-2020.

Current and past research projects

2019-current: Visualising a more sustainable sense of place in Kirklees (Academy of Marketing).

2019-current: A Better Future – Understanding Refugee Entrepreneurship (BFURE) (BA/Leverhulme)

2018-current: 'Sounding out Refugees’ Stories: Music, Entrepreneurship and De-stigmatisation in Jordan (University of Huddersfield)

2017-current: Sharing the burden of supermarket food waste: towards sustainability and a circular economy? (University of Huddersfield Business School)

2014-current: Ongoing evaluation of the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (self-funded).

2010-current: ongoing work on Global Markets for Kosher and Halal Meat/ Food in Europe, Middle East and South East Asia (funded, self-funded, and consultancy).

2016: An investigation of Syrian refugee entrepreneurship in Jordan (supported by Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development)

2016: Comparing Halal requirements in the UK and the UAE (Dubai Accreditation Centre, UAE)

2015: Comoodle and the Collaborative/Sharing Economy (Kirklees Council)

2014: The Future of Local Food in Kirklees (Kirklees Public Health & University of Huddersfield Business School)

2013: Workers in Rural Wales and the South Wales Valleys (European Commission/ Welsh Government)

2012: Destitution in the UK Asylum System (in Bradford) (Destitution Concern Bradford)

2011: Multi Agency Work and Roma children in Education (BHA for Equality in Health and Social Care, Manchester)

2010: Assessing 2010 European Year for Combatting Poverty and Social Exclusion (Institute of Volunteering Research on behalf of the Office for Civil Society)

I was also involved in the following ESRC and EU funded projects and national policy evaluations:

The Welfare Quality® Project

The Dialrel Project

Non-Governmental Public Action Programme

Neighbourhood Management Pathfinders