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Dr Richard Gale

Dr Richard Gale

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography

+44 (0)29 2087 5275
Room 2.86, Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA
Available for postgraduate supervision


Richard is a Lecturer in Human Geography whose research lies at the intersection of geography with sociology. Prior to coming to Cardiff, Richard was a DPhil student and Research Assistant at Oxford University and then a University Research Fellow in Sociology at Birmingham University. Richard has researched extensively on the relationship between ethnic and ethno-religious diversity and local authority planning. In particular, he has a longstanding interest in the relationship between planning and the spatial politics of mosque construction, on which he has published widely over the last two decades. With Dr Andrew Rogers of Roehampton University, Richard led a Research Council-funded ‘Faith and Place Network’, which generated a Policy Briefing, endorsed by the UK Central Government, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Archbishops of Canterbury and Wales. Richard has also participated in number of significant government consultancies on the theme of faith and planning, under commission to central, local and devolved governments in the UK.



  • Postgraduate Certificate in University Teaching and Learning, Cardiff University (2012)
  • D.Phil Human Geography, University of Oxford (2004)
  • PG Cert Social Science Research Methods, Oxford Brookes University (2000)
  • MA Area Studies (South Asia), SOAS, University of London (1998)
  • BA (Hons.) History of Art and Architecture, University of East Anglia (1996)


  • Visiting Research Fellow, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, Florence (2007, Spring).
  • Research Fellow (F/T) to Dr Therese O'Toole, Department of Sociology, University of Birmingham. Leverhulme Trust funded project, Political Interest and Engagement among Black and Minority Ethnic Youth (project ref: 00094AF) (2004-2005).
  • Research Assistant (F/T) to Professor Ceri Peach, School of Geography, University of Oxford. ESRC funded project, The Social Geography of British South Asian Muslim, Sikh and Hindu Sub-Communities (project ref: R000239765). Post involved development of a micro-scale Geographic Information System of the distribution of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh populations, based on surname analysis of electoral register data (2003-2004).
  • Research Assistant (F/T) to Professor Ceri Peach, School of Geography, University of Oxford. Leverhulme Trust-funded project, Ethnicity and Cultural Landscapes (project ref: F/773/A). Project participants included Dr Simon Naylor and Dr James Ryan, now both at Exeter University, Cornwall Campus. Project involved surveying all publicly registered Hindu, Muslim and Sikh places of worship in England and Wales by building type, patterns and intensity of use and tradition/sectarian affiliation of user-group (1999-2000).

Awards and Prizes

  • 2009: ESRC Research Methods Bursary (£574) for 'Higher Course in Statistics' (University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield).
  • 2008: ESRC Fee-Waiver Award to undertake series of interlinked courses in Advanced Quantitative Methods (Methods and Data Institute, Nottingham University).
  • 2007: ESRC Research Methods Bursary (£749) for training in Demography (Centre for Census and Survey Research, University of Manchester).
  • 2000-2003: ESRC Doctoral Studentship.
  • 2000: European Union Scholarship (£300) awarded to participate at the 32nd 'European Research Forum on International Migration and Ethnic Relations' (EUROFOR) conference on 'European Metropolises and Cultural Boundaries', Berlin.

Memberships / External Activities

  • Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG)
  • British Sociological Association (BSA)
  • American Sociological Association (ASA)
















Richard's substantive interests are in the areas of ethnic and religious segregation, place and the politics of identity, religion and urban governance, and ethnicity and political participation. Richard is interested in debates surrounding social research methodology, and is committed to strategies that combine the insights of quantitative and qualitative research approaches. To date, his primary contributions have been to debates in the geographical study of religion and Islam in the UK and the political engagement of young people of minority ethnic heritage. He is also increasingly committed to research that builds on co-productive relationships between academics and community groups. This is particulary expressed thorugh research Richard leads in partnership with the Somaliland community in Cardiff, with support from Cardiff University's Community Gateway, as well as the ESRC and Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).


2011-2012: £7,000, British Academy, Small Grant for project 'Distant Relations and Proximate Others?: Friendship Networks in Ethnically Diverse Neighbourhoods' (PI, with Naru Shiode, CI).

2010-2011: £3,000, Royal Geographical Society (With the Institute of British Geographers) Small Grant for project 'Street Corner Conviviality? Neighbourhood Diversity and Social Network Formation'.

2006-2007: £74,695, Joseph Rowntree Foundation 'Lessons from the West Bowling Youth Initiative (WBYI): Then, Now and the Future', (18 months) (co-applicant with Dr Santokh Singh Gill (Principal Investigator), Dr Gaby Atfield, Prof Mairtin Mac an Ghaill and Dr Therese O'Toole).

2004-2006: £25,000, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) for 'Review of the Evidence Base on Faith Communities' (co-applicant with Prof J. Beckford and Dr D. Owen, University of Warwick, Prof Ceri Peach, University of Oxford and Prof Paul Weller, University of Derby).

2004-2005: £7,500, Nuffield Foundation 'Small Grants Scheme' Award for research into patterns of religious discrimination in urban planning.


Past projects