Two students sitting together studying

Celebrating our Partnerships

In order for research outcomes to play a relevant and significant role for society and the environment, research at the School of Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS) is carried out in partnership with many academic and non-academic actors. By partnerships, we mean not just being involved in the same projects or research activities, but rather co-developing research ideas and proposals and co-executing project objectives, and dissemination and outreach activities. Non-academic institutions are brought in during the project development phase and become either outright members of project teams or they partner in our activities. For example, our new project Towards a green and inclusive post-pandemic recovery of the Blue Economy and coastal communities (RRR-Coast) has seven partners representing regional bodies, professional associations, local/national government agencies and United Nations agencies.

Partnership starts within our own University, where numerous projects led by researchers at SIS involve close collaboration with different Schools in the College of Social Sciences and with different Colleges in the University. Equally, other Schools and Colleges reach out to SIS researchers when developing projects where our expertise is sought.

Generally, our partnerships are very often long lasting and involve multiple projects and activities over time. They also go beyond research. For example, the University of Glasgow and Nankai University in Tianjin, China have a Joint Graduate School with various MSc programmes, one of which, Environmental Science, is convened by SIS. The relationships established with researchers involved in this programme have contributed to the development of research projects in the recent past, and the aim is to develop further research activities in the future.

Our projects have local, national and international reach and so do our partnerships. For example, in the region, Dr Jeremy Law works with the Dumfries and Galloway School Authority to assess and develop a novel approach to spelling instruction to better support young learners and help address the literacy attainment gap. Across Scotland Dr Naomi Richards leads the Dying in the Margins project which looks at how the social determinants of health impact people at the very end of their lives,

working closely with people who are at the end of their lives and experiencing financial hardship, and with multiple clinical and third sector stakeholders to develop the knowledge base and advocacy around equity-informed palliative care.

In the UK, we collaborate with many academic institutions, particularly in larger international projects such as the OPERANDUM, which investigates nature-based solutions to reduce hydro-meteorological risks in rural areas of Europe and the Living Deltas Hub project, which addresses sustainable development issues in major deltas in South and Southeast Asia. Both these projects have additional multiple academic and non-academic partners with whom we collaborate closely.  Professor Patrizia Riganti works on the Scoping Culture and Heritage Capital Research project led by the University of the Arts, London, which includes among other partners MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology).

Internationally, we work collaboratively in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Northern America and Oceania, and partnerships are too many to name. In terms of international or intergovernmental organizations, we collaborate with UNESCO on a couple of projects, including in Professor Patrizia Riganti’s project Community Involvement and Social Investment for a Sustainable and Inclusive Management of Maritime Heritage in Mozambique: towards a new framework which also involves the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM). We also work intensively with the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security in the Living Deltas Hub project and in the RRR-Coast project led by Professor Fabrice Renaud. In these two projects, we jointly address issues of sustainable development. Professor Cecilia Tortajada works with the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) on global water megatrends that will shape the water sector in the future.

Professor Renaud said: “Our School has a large national and international network of academic and non-academic institutions with which it collaborates fruitfully. As we move forward with our research strategy, SIS will continue to develop close and meaningful partnerships locally, nationally and globally to ensure our research is informed by multiple perspectives and continues to remain relevant for society and our environment”.