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Major funding win for national research centre

3 September 2019

WISERD hands logo

A national research centre has been awarded £6.3m to continue its studies into civil society.

The Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) is one of four social science research centres in the UK to be successful in the highly competitive Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Centres Competition. It is the third major funding award in WISERD’s ten-year history.

Researchers at the new WISERD Civil Society Centre will undertake an ambitious five-year programme. Through the production of new empirical evidence and analysis, they aim to address many of the key challenges facing society, such as social and economic inequality, political polarisation and disengagement, migration and multiculturalism, the changing dynamics of work and the gig economy, and the impact of new technological innovations.

WISERD will draw on expertise and innovation from across its partner universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, South Wales and Swansea. Partnerships with other universities in the UK and across the globe will also play an important role. Key areas of skills and knowledge will include international comparative research, longitudinal research design and analysis, ethnographic and observational research, extended case studies and participatory research methods. Data infrastructure and data integration will also be a focus of the new programme.

Principal Investigator and Centre Director, Professor Ian Rees Jones, said: “This is a landmark achievement for WISERD. One of our key strengths is the ability to jointly undertake research with civil society partners, such as charities and our local communities. This award gives us the opportunity to further strengthen these partnerships and networks, in the UK and internationally, and deliver an exciting and accessible knowledge exchange programme over the next five years. We’re also looking forward to continuing to expand the capacity of social science research and nurturing another generation of future research leaders.”

ESRC Executive Chair, Professor Jennifer Rubin, said: "We are delighted to announce the funding for these four centres, which demonstrate the breadth of social science excellence in the UK. It is heartening to see the existing ESRC centres continue to build on an impressive body of work.”

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport, said: “These four centres represent significant investments across the social science research landscape. They will play an important role in maintaining the UK’s international standing at the cutting edge of social science research.”

The new WISERD Civil Society Centre will start in October and continue until 2024.

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