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Interdisciplinary Research Themes

Interdisciplinary Research Themes: A Beginner’s Guide

What is an interdisciplinary research theme?

Interdisciplinary research themes are designed to be inclusive spaces to encourage and support interdisciplinary research across (and beyond) the College of Social Science. They organise events, support colleagues looking for funding, identify potential synergies, and help establish collaborations.

Our current themes and their contact email addresses are:

Interdisciplinary Research ThemeEmail address
Addressing Inequalities inequalities-irt@glasgow.ac.uk
Challenges in Changing Cities cicc-irt@glasgow.ac.uk
Digital Society and Economy digital-irts@glasgow.ac.uk
Justice, Insecurity & Fair Decision Making justice-irt@glasgow.ac.uk 
Sustainability sustainability-irt@glasgow.ac.uk

 Please email a theme if you would like to be added to their mailing list.

How do I become a member of a theme?

The themes don’t have members – they are not research groups or centres. Rather, each theme represents a community of interest in that topic. If your research (past or planned) fits with that topic, then you are already “part of” that theme. The themes do have leadership teams who help direct activities, but they are not members. Their role is to ensure the theme is as useful as possible to researchers in that area.

My work related to more than one theme. Do I have to pick one?

Some of the themes, especially where they relate to tricky or “wicked” problems, may overlap. As a researcher, you can engage with as many themes as you like – someone interested in wellbeing might attend a networking event organised by Addressing Inequalities, a seminar on urban planning from Challenges in Changing Cities, and a grant application work in progress session organised the Justice, Insecurity and Fair Decision Making. That’s exactly how the themes should work – we are here to help people join the dots, not put people in boxes.

What do the theme leaders do?

The themes each have a leadership team, drawn from different schools and career stages, who design and implement the core activity programme for that theme. This involves running seminars, workshops, networking or skills development in areas where we have identified a need to support interdisciplinary working. They also work closely with colleagues in Research Development to identify and share funding calls or other opportunities that would be of interest to researchers working across the whole theme.

Can anyone go to a theme event?

All events are advertised across the college, and are generally open to everyone interested in that topic (some events may be targeted to specific career stages; if so this will be clearly stated). If you would like to make sure you get updates (including funding calls and invitations to share your work) directly, you can sign up to their mailing list by contacting the relevant theme (s).

Can I contact the themes about my own idea?

Yes! This is a really important part of the themes’ remit. As well as their core activity programme, each theme also has a “responsive mode” to ensure researchers across the college benefit from the support of the IRTs. If you have an idea for an event or research project that is relevant to one or more of the college themes and would like more information on how we can support this, please get in touch. Options include:

  • Helping you plan and/ or communicate your own workshops
  • Identifying potential funding schemes that best fit with your research plans
  • Providing mentoring or additional review for grant applications
  • Highlighting your work to internal and external audiences
  • Connecting you with colleagues or collaborators.

More than anything, the themes are a place where you can talk through your ideas and access new perspectives. So please do get in touch! And of course, all researchers are welcome to reference the IRTs as part of the context for their research at Glasgow, when applying for funding.

If you would like to be added to the mailing list of a theme, in order to receive correspondence detailing upcoming events, funding updates, networking requests and more useful information, please email them using the associated email address listed aobve.

You can also find upcoming events and relevant news from across the College on the website.