by Savita Willmott
Who contributes to “environmental solutions”? As the evidence for climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental change mounts, researchers and practitioners are increasingly trying to find new ways to motivate public and sector stakeholders to take pro-environmental actions. In order to make sure that public communication campaigns are effective, environmental communicators regularly seek out partnerships to reach audiences, often through working with communities or audience-led organisations. Continue reading
by Charlie Dormer
A new set of research and innovation challenges has recently been announced through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), providing major opportunities for the social sciences to collaborate with other academic disciplines and businesses to solve specific economic and societal challenges.
ISCF is made up of major industrial and societal challenges in different areas of research, where academics work with businesses and other partners to find innovative solutions.
The challenges are being announced in batches each year known as ‘waves’. The latest batch – wave 2 – was announced in November 2017, and the first competitions for each challenge are now being launched. Continue reading
by Martin Ince
Professor Jennifer Rubin, ESRC’s new Chief Executive and Executive Chair Designate, explains her goals for the ESRC, her research background and how social science can help address global problems to improve outcomes.
Professor Jennifer Rubin has just become the ESRC’s Chief Executive and Executive Chair Designate. In April, the post will transform into Executive Chair of ESRC, one of the nine constituent bodies of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
She joins from King’s College London, where she is professor of public policy and was director of the Policy Institute at King’s. Continue reading
Tim Vorley is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Associate Dean for Engagement, Impact and Innovation at Sheffield University Management School. He is an economic geographer by training, and the focus of his research is entrepreneurship, innovation and regional development. Tim convenes the Innovation Caucus, a group of 66 social science academics across the UK, who are funded by Innovate UK and the Economic and Social Research Council to provide real-time research insights about innovation theory, policy and practice.
Melanie Knetsch is ESRC’s Strategic Lead: Interdisciplinarity and Impact. Part of her role includes developing ESRC’s thinking and activities around interdisciplinary, challenge-led activities and ensuring that our research portfolio is more visible to potential users, as well as creating opportunities to enable researchers from other communities to engage with social science. She is currently overseeing ESRC’s engagement with the Industrial Strategy and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
At the beginning of this year the Government opened a consultation on a new Industrial Strategy for the UK. Throughout the year it has become increasingly apparent that social scientists are not only well positioned to ride the wave of the Industrial Strategy, but they are also making a splash in their own right. Yet, beyond the ‘early engagers’ already involved, there remains a wider need for the social sciences to recognise and articulate the value of what they bring to the Industrial Strategy and the businesses it is intended to support. Continue reading
Sue Haydock is Communications Officer at ESRC, and manager of the annual ESRC Festival of Social Science. Here she gives an insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes all year round to make the Festival – this year involving more than 270 events across the UK – a success.
The ESRC’s Festival of Social Science is a week-long celebration of the social sciences, with events taking place across the UK, from Scotland to Cornwall and from Kent to Northern Ireland. It takes place each year, usually over the first full week of November. Continue reading