Opinion Former Article

ESRC: Social science projects supporting innovation and enterprise in the UK

The ESRC is pleased to announce that it is supporting 15 new projects in partnership with civil society and public sector organisations, with the aim of applying academic knowledge and thinking to organisational challenges.

With a number of budget cuts, the civil society is assuming an increasing role in delivering services; strengthening community cohesion and promoting enterprising solutions for economic, social and environmental challenges. Social science research in the past has helped to inform many organisations on regulation and the reform of their services, as well as supporting innovation and enterprise in the UK. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is pleased to announce that it is supporting 15 new projects in partnership with civil society and public sector organisations, with the aim of applying academic knowledge and thinking to organisational challenges.

Each project will involve a range of collaborations in order to share and apply good ideas, research results, experiences, theories and engagement skills. These projects include:

•Professor J Pitt, University of Bedfordshire, Responding to the Mental and Physical Health Effects upon Young People of Life in High Crime, Low Income, Neighbourhoods (RES-192-22-0110)
•Dr A Dawson, University of Stirling, Exploring the role of third sector interventions in reducing Scottish older people's use of formal health and social care resources (RES-173-27-0233)
•Dr R Bartlett University of Southampton, Developing an Aesthetic of Dementia Activism: Using art to mediate agency (RES-189-25-0270)
•Dr J Fish, De Montfort University, Developing professional knowledge about breast cancer in lesbian and bisexual women (RES-192-22-0111)
•Dr V Reid, Durham University, The provision of infant electroencephalogram (EEG) editing and analysis software (RES-189-25-0266)
•Professor H Ball, Durham University, Infant Sleep Information Source (RES-189-25-0276)
•Professor A Jones, University of Huddersfield, Towards the Prevention and Intervention of Child Sexual Abuse: Cross-cultural Explorations, Explanations and Impact Evaluations (RES-192-22-0132)
•Dr S Elsley, University of Edinburgh, Creative methods in research with children (RES-192-22-0129)
•Professor S Leekam, Cardiff University, Integrating research and practice in autism spectrum disorders (RES-189-25-0275)
•Professor D Demeritt, King’s College London, Improving the communication and use of ensemble flood predictions (RES-189-25-0286)
•Professor F McNeill, University of Glasgow, Desistance Knowledge Exchange Project (DesKE) (RES-189-25-0258)
•Professor J Mohan, University of Southampton, Measuring the Impact of Local Infrastructure Support on Small/Medium Third Sector Organisations (RES-173-27-0236)
•Professor L Martin, Manchester Metropolitan University, Developing a cost benefit and social value framework in micro-provider contexts; third sector and university partnership (RES-173-27-0234)
•Dr C Lightowler, University of Glasgow, Improving the use of research in the third sector: Lessons for academia and practice (RES-173-27-0231)
•Mrs R Challenger, University of Leeds, Improving Crowd Event Preparation and Management: Combining Academic and Practitioner Perspectives to Enhance Knowledge and Practice (RES-189-25-0269)
The ESRC's Knowledge Exchange Opportunities enable academics to work with civil society organisations and the public sector. The opportunities are available for social science researchers at all stages of their career with the intention of encouraging dialogue and collaboration with and between these diverse sectors.

Dr Fiona Armstrong, Head of Knowledge Exchange, comments: "We are excited about the new collaborations the Knowledge Exchange Opportunities encourage. I believe these collaborations will result in excellent partnerships which will support innovation and generate new ideas that will support the organisations involved."

ESRC Press Office:
•Danielle Moore
Email: danielle.moore@esrc.ac.uk
Telephone 01793 413122
•Jeanine Woolley
Email: jeanine.woolley@esrc.ac.uk
Telephone 01793 413119
Notes for editors:

1.The Knowledge Exchange Opportunities run as a number of staggered calls per year. A call is currently open and closes on 27 October 2011. Call documents are available on the following link (http://www.esrc.ac.uk/funding-and-guidance/collaboration/knowledge-exchange/opportunities/index.aspx)
2.The newly designed research catalogue can be used to find relevant academics and research findings. This source can be used by people working in the public sector, business, civil society and academia, by providing research on the most important social science issues affecting Britain today.
3.The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the civil society sector. The ESRC’s total budget for 2011/12 is £203 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes. More at www.esrc.ac.uk

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