Students sitting on the grass in Dumfries

Impact of Research

With a focus on tackling social inequalities and injustice by influencing change, the potential for meaningful impact drives our collective thinking as we develop and deliver research projects and disseminate the outcomes.

Local Partnership work

Dr Sandy Whitelaw’s research identifies deficit models of service and delivery and tackles complex structures to implement improvements. He is actively collaborating with Dumfries & Galloway Physical Activity Alliance which undertook a review of the forces that shaped investment decisions and developed a ‘rational’ mechanism for such decisions that is being taken up region-wide. As a ‘first’ in Scotland, this mechanism has attracted considerable interest nation-wide. Dr Whitelaw also explores the beneficial role of Social Enterprise in a rural economy. Working in partnership with Third Sector partner agencies, The Usual Place (TUP) and Dumfries Theatre Royal he has provided insights into the organisational features that best support the needs of young people with additional support needs (ASN) - and their transference to other organisations. This work: is used locally by TUP in their nurturing role with other Third Sector organisation; highlighted by South of Scotland Enterprise as an exemplar of the positive role of social enterprise in a rural economy; and, generated links with Scottish Government through the activist role that TUP take on in promoting the voice of young people with ASN. This model is used as an exemplar nationally with TUP supporting the set-up of similar organisations across the country.

Education: Good Readers but Poor Spellers

Dr Jeremy Law has research interests in developmental disabilities and literacy, and explores cognitive factors related to reading and spelling compensation of children and adults with dyslexia. With a view to identifying mechanisms for support and interventions to allow individuals to achieve, his research looks at risk and protective factors in reading and dyslexia, and why some individuals with disabilities succeed and others do not. 

Dr Law is now working with local authority education teams to provide guidance and support for new resources on teaching spelling. The tools and teaching methodologies being developed are applicable globally to the English language community.

Older Refugees and Internally Displace People in African Countries

Dr Alistair Hunter‘s research  lies at the intersection of ageing and migration and delineates and clarifies the evidence base on older displaced people in Africa and globally. His work has led to invitations to speak internationally, particularly in relation to ongoing refugee crises, and provides academic insights that inform policy makers, stakeholders within civil society, industry and academia.

Gender Inequalities in Tourism

Dr Anna de Jong has been working with geographers, economists, and business academics through partnerships with the University of Surrey and the Open University to develop creative, interdisciplinary ways to tackle gender inequalities within the tourism industry. The research highlights the need to establish stronger international networks among women working within the tourism industry, to create opportunities for knowledge exchange and influence policy. This has led to the research team creating the Gender, Entrepreneurship and Social Policy Institute; a growing network with members from across the UK, Europe, and Africa.

Professor Fabrice Renaud, Director of Research in SIS commented: “The potential for impact is always at the forefront of our thinking as we develop new research projects. Whether initiated from beyond our borders or beginning in our surrounding communities and growing and developing to have wider impact at a national and global level, their impact is profound.”