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COLLABORATIVE SOCIAL SCIENCE

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Launch Report: UCL’s Collaborative Social Science Domain

UCL’s Collaborative Social Science Domain (CSSD) was officially launched at an event on 12 December 2017. The event attracted an audience of around 130 researchers from across UCL and was hosted by Professor Alison Fuller, CSSD Chair and Pro Director (Research and Development), Institute of Education, UCL. Professor David Price, Vice-Provost (Research), UCL talked about the importance of cross-disciplinary research in addressing global, societal challenges and UCL’s strong support for the CSSD.

Presentations
Brokers and boundary-spanners: the changing role of the social sciences in the UK research landscape

Keynote Speech by James Wilsdon (former Chair, Campaign for Social Science, Professor of Research Policy and Director of Impact and Engagement at the University of Sheffield and programme leader at the Centre for Global Higher Education, IoE, UCL).

Can the Amazon Echo be used in the home to help those living with dementia?
Presentation by Dr Nicholas Firth (Centre for Medical Imaging, UCL Computer Science).

  • Project overview
  • This project was supported by CSSD’s 2016-17 Social Science Plus funding scheme which supports innovative research collaborations between social scientists and engineers, scientists and researchers from across UCL.

A personal message from Professor Alison Fuller:
Looking at the list of registrants for the CSSD launch I can see that there was interest from all disciplines and faculties right across UCL.  This is really encouraging as the Domain is committed to breaking down traditional institutional barriers, and we want to encourage and facilitate more social scientists and other researchers to work together in creative and innovative ways. 

I thought that the launch was a stimulating and provoking evening which highlighted some of the hurdles social science researchers face but also some of the opportunities as well.  In his talk, James Wilsdon reflected on recent changes to the UK research landscape, and outlined eight opportunities that these are creating for transdisciplinary social science.  An important conclusion from Nicholas’s project, a successful technology-based intervention in dementia, was the significant scientific benefits associated with having a transdisciplinary team bringing qualitative and quantitative methodological expertise together.

Looking to 2018, CSSD will:

  • Award a £10K pilot project from our Social Science Plus that will lay the basis for a major funding application. The call is currently open and will close at 9am on 10 January)
  • Take a lead role in the UCL process for selecting outline bids to the ESRC’s 2018 Research Centres Competition
  • Continue to organise workshops for early career researchers are being planned and will cover a wide range of important topics

In the meantime, please do explore our website and sign up for our newsletter. You can of course follow us on Twitter as well.

Best wishes

Professor Alison Fuller