Centre for Research in Communication and Culture

About us

Dr Heike Jöns Dr. phil. (Heidelberg)

Photo of Dr Heike Jöns

Reader in Human Geography

Academic career

2016-: Reader in Human Geography, Loughborough University.
2012-2016: Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, Loughborough University. 
2007-2012: Lecturer in Human Geography, Loughborough University. 
2006-2007: Olympia Morata Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Heidelberg. 
2004-2006: Feodor Lynen Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, University of Nottingham. 
2002-2004: Research Associate, DFG Project Internationale Wissenschaftsbeziehungen funded by the German Research Council, University of Heidelberg. 
2002: PhD, summa cum laude, University of Heidelberg. 
1997-2002: PhD Researcher and Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Heidelberg.

Professional responsibilities

2016-: Elected staff member of Loughborough University Council.
2016-: Elected member of Scientific Council, Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde (IfL), Leipzig.
2014-2015: Member of the Leibniz Society’s Evaluation Commission, Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde (IfL), Leipzig.
2013-2015: Advisory group member, The 16th International Conference of Historical Geographers 2015
2014-: Committee member, History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group (HPGRG), RGS-IBG.
2007-2014: Secretary, History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group (HPGRG), RGS-IBG.
2004-2013: Editorial board member, Social Geography.
1997-2006: Member of the organizational team for the Heidelberger Hettner Lectures.

Prizes and awards:

2016: Award of funding for a two-year research project by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation (P-I, 2016-18).
2016: Recipient of a Research-informed Teaching Award (RiTA), Loughborough University.
2013: Recipient of HEA Mike Baker Doctoral Programme Award
2012: Award of funding for the EU FP7 research project POCARIM (Co-I; 2012-14).
2005: Recipient of “Mother Earth” prize for outstanding research in human geography, Voss Foundation for Geography.

My research focuses on academic travel, the geographies of knowledge production and the historical geographies of the university. Conceptually, it is informed by triadic thought that I have developed in different empirical contexts since the early 2000s. I have also published research on bank branch development in Hungarian banking, 1987-1999, and on European church design and centres of interaction in the Middle Ages, 300-1514.

Most of my work has examined transnational mobilities of researchers and academics and the related geographies of knowledge production. Building on detailed discussions of suitable conceptual resources (Jöns 20022006200720102015; Jöns , Mavroudi & Heffernan 2015), I have been particularly interested in the role of travel for the formation of global knowledge nodes and networks (Jöns 2008; 2015); in subject-specific cultures of academic travel (Jöns 2007; Heffernan & Jöns 2013); in the enablers, experiences and outcomes of academic travel and how these vary by home/host countriesgendercareer stagediscipline/research practice, biographical ties and imperial context. The underlying empirical case studies have examined researcher mobility to Germany from 1954 to 2010 with an emphasis on Humboldt Research Fellowships (all countries) and Humboldt Research Awards (United States); academic travel from the University of Cambridge from the 1880s to the 1960s; and the role of academic travel in the emergence of the modern German research university between 1700 and 1914.

My recent work has developed a new research agenda on the geographies of the university from three perspectives. The first explores trends in global higher education through a critical engagement with internationalisation strategies and world university rankings. The second studies the historical geographies of British universities. The third investigates how external linkages shaped the emergence of the modern research university. Together with Dr Dean Bond, I am currently working on a research project funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation on the nature and networks of 18th and 19th-century German universities (2016-2018).

My teaching examines transnational mobilities, highly skilled migration and knowledge production.

Current postgraduate research students

Jordan Dawson: The profiles, practices and perceptions of visitors to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London.
Daniel Giles: The geographies of running: an international comparative perspective.
Natalie Tebbett: Internationalising UK students through migrant academic staff.

Recent postgraduate research students

Hannah Deakin (2012): Erasmus student workplace mobility: a UK perspective.
Kelly Wakefield (2013): Transnational Higher Education Networks for Learning and Teaching in geography.
Lucia Paul (2013): Transylvanian saxons’ migration from Romania to Germany: the formation of a return diaspora.
Ulrike Waellisch (2010): Geographies of creative production: the perspective of visual artists in Paris.

Jons, H (2017) Feminizing the university: The mobilities, careers, and contributions of early female academics in the University of Cambridge, 1926-1955, The Professional Geographer, in press.

Jons, H, Monk, J, Keighren, IM (2017) Towards more inclusive and comparative perspectives in the histories of geographical knowledge, The Professional Geographer, in press.

Jons, H and Freytag, T (2016) Boundary spanning in social and cultural geography, Social and Cultural Geography, 17(1), pp.1-22, ISSN: 1470-1197. DOI: 10.1080/14649365.2015.1126628.

Jons, H (2016) The University of Cambridge, academic expertise and the British empire, 1885-1962, Environment and Planning A: International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 48(1), pp.94-114, ISSN: 1472-3409. DOI: 10.1177/0308518X15594802.

Jons, H (2015) Talent mobility and the shifting geographies of Latourian knowledge hubs, Population, Space and Place, 21(4), pp.372-389, ISSN: 1544-8452. DOI: 10.1002/psp.1878.

Jons, H, Mavroudi, E, Heffernan, M (2015) Mobilising the elective diaspora: US-German academic exchanges since 1945, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 40(1), pp.113-127, ISSN: 0020-2754. DOI: 10.1111/tran.12062.

Jons, H and Hoyler, M (2013) Global geographies of higher education: The perspective of world university rankings, Geoforum, 46, pp.45-59, ISSN: 0016-7185. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2012.12.014.

Heffernan, M and Jons, H (2013) Research travel and disciplinary identities in the University of Cambridge, 1885-1955, British Journal for the History of Science, 46(2), pp.255-286, ISSN: 0007-0874. DOI: 10.1017/S000708741200074X.