Sadie Watson

UKRI Future Leaders Fellow

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As a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow, Dr Sadie Watson is undertaking a four-year Fellowship ‘Measuring, maximising and transforming public benefit from UK Government infrastructure investment in archaeology’ focusing on ensuring that public spending on archaeology for infrastructure projects leads to meaningful and relevant research and genuine community participation.

Sadie has been a leading practitioner in field archaeology for two decades and has in-depth knowledge of the profession and its pressures. From 2008-2019 she worked as a MOLA Project Officer and was responsible for major sites with large field teams. She has extensive experience excavating and supervising complex urban sites and was responsible for leading excavations at Bloomberg London.

She has combined her technical expertise with continued academic enquiry, having maintained a research focus on the development of the archaeology profession. She has a PhD and was Archaeologist in Residence at the MacDonald Institute, University of Cambridge, focussing her research on current challenges to archaeological practice, the need to increase the knowledge contribution made by development-led archaeology and for the sector to revolutionise its offering.

The UKRI Fellowship enables Sadie to further develop this research with empirically collected data and research collaborations, to establish firm principles for improving the work archaeologists do and the results we disseminate. The outcomes will include a toolkit enabling developments to be refocussed to ensure public benefit is at the core of every archaeological project in the future.

Sadie is an elected member of Council for the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) and Secretary for the CIfA Special Interest Group for field workers.

Sadie Watson MOLA