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Impact: How our research makes a difference

We are proud of the record that the Cardiff School of Social Sciences has in impacting upon public debate, policy development and practice based innovations. The success we have had in the public service aspects of our mission reflects our long-standing links with Welsh Government and other public agencies across Wales. Mark Drakeford, currently Health Minister for the Welsh Government, was previously a former full-time member of staff. Professor Andy Pithouse, is currently seconded as a Special Advisor to the Minister/Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services.

Other examples of our impact and influence include:

  • DECIPHER’s evaluation of the Welsh Government’s Free Breakfast Initiative is cited as good practice in the UK Government’s Magenta Handbook for evaluation.
  • Professor Helen Sampson Director of the Seafarer’s International Research Centre is a Special Advisor to the Transport Select Committee.
  • Skope’s Director has served as advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee on Education and Skills.
  • Dr. Rachel Hurdley discussing the work of Erving Goffman on BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed.
  • WISERDEducation is a £1m initiative supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.
  • Staff from Cesagen have been involved in the Cardiff sciSCREEN project which, has organised 20 events attended by more than 1300 people since 2010.
  • Professor Ralph Fevre’s work on disability discrimination has shaped UK policy and practice on equality.
  • Dr Amanda Robinson’s research was a key influence on the recent Welsh Government White Paper on tackling domestic abuse.
  • The School is a key partner in the recently launched Public Policy Institute for Wales, funded by Welsh Government.

Endorsements of Our Research Quality

The research activity of our staff at the School of Social Sciences - whether in advising governments, in making changes to policy or in receiving acclaim for research publications - continues to receive praise from a number of key stakeholders. 


Innovation and Impact success for SOCSI research

Two research projects at the School of Social Sciences have been recognised at this year’s prestigious Innovation and Impact awards.

Pioneering UPSI research which prompted a major drug operation and changed policing was recognised for its impact, winning the Award for Social, Cultural or Policy Impact; and a ten-year DECIPHer study that reduced the uptake of smoking among adolescents was awarded the Innovation in Healthcare Award. Read full story

Improving community policing

Pioneering research led by Professor Martin Innes of the Universities' Police Sciences Institute (UPSI) which prompted a major drug operation and changed policing was recognised for its impact, winning the Award for Social, Cultural or Policy Impact.

Preventing smoking in teenagers

The ASSIST programme, a ten-year study led by Professor Laurence Moore that reduced the uptake of smoking among adolescents by training influential students to act as peer supporters, was awarded the Innovation in Healthcare Award.

Impact Case Study

EU regulation on chemicals ‘toolbox’

Read about how research by the Cardiff Work Environment Research Centre (CWERC) led to a collaborative project with the European Trade Union Institute and the European Textiles Workers Federation to develop a 'toolbox' of guidance materials to support small firms in the textiles industry. The toolbox made a positive impact on practical support for workers and employers in managing the risks of hazardous substances at work. Read more

In the Media

Our academics often appear in the media to provide comment or offer their expertise on a topical issue. Below are some recent examples with links to articles and clips.

Hawk-Eye technology research sparks national conversation
Research led by Professor Harry Collins into Hawk-Eye technology has been featured on the Conversation UK, sparking debate about its accuracy in sport. ‘Out! Goal! The ball was in! But could Hawk-Eye get it wrong?’ has received more than 10,000 views on the independent news and commentary website, in which articles are written by academics and journalists.

Research on pre-teen experiences of sexism receives national press attention
New research carried out by Professor Emma Renold on the views and experiences of pre-teen boys and girls growing up in a sexist society received national press attention. Commissioned by the NSPCC and the office of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, ‘Boys and Girls Speak Out: A Qualitative Study of Children’s Gender and Sexual Cultures (Age 10-12)’, addressed the absence of young people’s own experiences in public concern and media debates surrounding sexism and sexual harassment. The research received widespread coverage in the newspapers and online. It was featured in the Telegraph by women’s journalist Louisa Peacock and the story appeared on BBC Wales News, ITV Wales News, S4C youth programme ‘Ffeil’, Real Radio, Capital Radio, Western Mail, South Wales Echo and South Wales Argus

Professor Renold will be working closely with the National Assembly for Wales’ cross party group ‘Childhood Sexuality, Sexualisation and Equality’ to inform future policy development and resources for practitioners over the coming year.

Research results make a big splash
Initial results of a survey carried out by a team led by Professor Alan Felstead have made a big splash in the news! Read more

Research results continue to make the news
Research on the Skills and Employment Survey 2012 directed by Professor Alan Felstead continues to have impact following another successful launch event in Wales. Read more

From New York (Times) to Los Angeles (Radio)...SOCSI in the USA
Neil Stephens has been promoting SOCSI research in America! His research on in vitro meat was covered in the New York Times, with follow up radio interviews live on NPR in Los Angeles and to 10 million people on Marketplace, the most listened to business radio show in the USA.

Press releases


13 January - UPSI secures grant to advance policing research in Wales


5 December - Boys and girls speak out on sexism and sexual harassment 

28 November - Research reveals 'unchartered territory' on violence against women in Wales 

22 October - Transforming lives of children and young people in care

17 October - Developing social work training

3 October - Overhauling quantitative social science training

23 September - Hate crime still a daily reality for people in Wales

8 July - Workers in Wales make the best of a bad job 

1 July - Improving community health and well-being through innovative research

20 May - A climate of fear: employees face greater stress and job insecurity while working harder 

29 April - Risk expert who predicted MMR crisis says governments still in danger of not getting it right

24 April - Survey shows a rise in demand for people with degrees

4 April - Better protecting victims of anti-social behaviour

20 March - Forecasting the Future with Big Social Data

5 March – Disabled employees more likely to experience ill-treatment at work – article published in Work, Employment and Society. The story was picked up by more than 100 media outlets to date, including sources in America, Canada and India.

20 February – Governing pollution from ships