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Cardiff wins £1.2m boost for social science research

7 March 2023

Cardiff University has won a £1.25m share of funding to turn social science research into real-world benefits for wider society.

The investment, part of a UK-wide £40m package from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), will support 32 Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAAs) in social sciences across universities and research organizations in the UK.

Cardiff has an outstanding track record for winning IAA support.

Professor Roger Whitaker, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Enterprise, said: “This latest tranche of funding will allow us to build on eight years of success empowering social science research to help society. It will deliver crucial early-stage support to tackle pressing problems, allowing us to translate research into real impacts, create jobs, transform public services, attract private investment and forge new partnerships with business and charities.”

Professor Claire Gorrara, Dean of Research and Innovation, College Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, said: “This is our third IAA success for social sciences research, enabling us to build and scale social science impact and innovation that complements our investment in sbarc|spark, Cardiff’s social science research park. Evidence shows that for every £1 million invested by ESRC, an additional £1 million is leveraged back into knowledge exchange and impact from non-academic partners, including businesses, charities, local councils and others.”

Professor Jenny Kitzinger, Co-Director of the Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre, has led one of Cardiff’s outstanding ESRC IAA success stories to date, using funding to develop an online e-learning course to provide guidance and training for healthcare professionals to improve understanding of Prolonged Disorders of Consciousness.

Her work won an Outstanding Public Policy Impact award from the ESRC in 2021.

The support from ESRC has had tremendous societal impact, allowing us to provide better help and support for the families of an estimated 60,000 patients in vegetative or minimally conscious states, helping us raise awareness of failures in care provision for those facing heart-breaking decisions.

Professor Jenny Kitzinger Director of Research: Impact and Engagement and Co-Director of the Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre

ESRC Interim Executive Chair Professor Alison Park said: “The social, behavioural and economic research we fund helps us understand how we live and how society functions, throwing new light on how best to tackle our most pressing challenges. This investment creates a network of research organisations with dedicated funding to support and accelerate the impact of this research.”

Cardiff is one of 32 research organizations across the UK which will benefit from the award, including Swansea University from Wales.

The five Research Councils are: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC); Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC); Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC); Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

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