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About us

SPARK approach
SPARK's researchers will work with external partners to solve societal problems.

Our work sets out to tackle major societal challenges.

In our world of global connections and complications, we cannot expect one institution or academic subject to hold all of the answers. Creating the world's first Social Science Research Park (SPARK) is a response to this challenge. Adapting and evolving the traditional science park model, it creates new infrastructure for combining our social science know-how with those of our partners.

SPARK brings together interdisciplinary research groups to address issues that affect us all, from the causes of unemployment to ways of making us healthier and safer. Pooling expertise under one roof will allow us to work in new ways as we develop and explore answers to these problems.

Social science parks: society's new super-labs

Social science parks: society's new super-labs

17 November 2015

The ideas behind the Social Science Research Park.


High-quality collaborations with industry, the public and third sectors will enable our students to think about their futures, encourage them to imagine what can be achieved and allow them to explore their entrepreneurial spirits.

New insights and new knowledge will be born out of new partnerships; a distinctive way of working we hope will shape the future of social science research.

George Boyne

This facility gives the University a wonderful opportunity to be a global leader in applied social science. Co-locating centres of research excellence alongside the private, public and third sectors will generate ideas that can be trialled and evaluated quickly and rigorously.

Professor George Boyne, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences