Research Culture and Environment
The School of Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS) was formed in 2010 and is one of five Schools that comprise the University of Glasgow’s College of Social Sciences which is itself one of the largest centres of social science in the UK’.
SIS is one of the University’s smaller Schools but whatever it may lack in size it makes up for in its ambition, across the breadth of its activities. Over the last ten years it has made significant investments in academic staff at all levels to support, enhance and nourish its thriving research culture. The outcomes of that ambition are evident in the substantial contributions academics from the School made to no less than 7 UoA in the 2021 REF. This has been achieved through a purposely constructed, enabling environment which supports academics at the forefront of their disciplines to hone their expertise by working in novel ways to achieve impact through interdisciplinarity. It is this expertise in working across disciplines that underpins their many collaborations across the University and in local, national and international partnerships which, in turn, generate impact at all three levels.
SIS is home to distinct disciplinary research clusters. These include:
The emphasis on research within SIS is evident in the growth of the School in recent years. In addition, the number of Postgraduate Research students enrolled within the School has increased from a headcount of 19 in 2017/18, to 47 in 2021/22. This growth is a reflection of the research culture within the School, and an extension of the world-changing ambitions of the wider University of Glasgow research community.
SIS is consistently evolving to work in different ways to make research more accessible, and to allow staff and students to share their work to a wider audience. From masterclasses, designed to support Postgraduate Research students to hear from those who are the top of their field; to the Solway Seminar Series which offers an opportunity for staff, students and the general public to hear about research taking place within the School. These sessions aim to inspire the audience and allow for sharing of ideas and vibrant discourse on research topics. The series demonstrates the breadth of activity and depth of research taking place within SIS.
Professor Carol Hill, Head of School, commented “While the University has had a sustained presence in Dumfries for more than 20 years, the School of Interdisciplinary Studies was established just over 10 years ago. From a standing start in relation to research, what we have been able to achieve is quite remarkable.”