The Department of Social Sciences at Edge Hill has a mature and dynamic research culture and a well-established tradition of excellence in research, evidenced in our record of work and publications recognised as of national and international importance.
We are committed to research that seeks to make a difference in the real world and to benefit and voice the needs of some of our most socially and economically marginalised people and communities locally, nationally and internationally.
This ethos and commitment informs and defines our research in a range of policy-orientated and policy-relevant research areas including; children and young people, gender and sexuality, conflict and political violence, social science research methodologies and migration, identity and cosmopolitanism.
About our research
Within the Social Sciences, research involves work on a range of diverse subjects; voicing children and young people in the policy-making process; gender, social work and participatory research; youth transitions; sexuality, consent and citizenship; children’s worlds and peer interactions; participation, youth, youth policy and the global financial crisis; integration, cosmopolitanism and migration; state violence, truth recovery and human rights and comparing community experiences of counter-terrorism policies.
At the heart of this diversity, and what draws us together, is a long-standing commitment to promoting progressive social change by adopting critical social scientific perspectives and undertaking inquiry into policy-relevant areas and issues specifically designed to counter discrimination and inequality, on the grounds of age, disability, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. Our work employs social science research to give voice to the socially excluded, notably children and young people, and those often rendered invisible in the policy realm. In so doing our research is designed to challenge established and dominant social policy paradigms and norms of practice and impact in social, economic and cultural terms in order to advance social justice.
Current and ongoing research projects being undertaken by Social Sciences staff at Edge Hill include:
- Youth Policies in an Age of Austerity
- Young People and Sexual Citizenship
- The Impact of Counter-Terror Law and Policy on Muslim Communities
- Children, Return Migration and Identity
- Voicing Young People in the Policy Process
- State Violence and Collusion
- Citizenship and Community Activism
It is equally important for us that this cutting edge research, as well as the social concern and advocacy it reflects, underpins our teaching and informs, enhances and enriches the learning experience of our students.
Our research strategy
The primary aim of the research strategies of the Department of Social Sciences is to ensure the engagement of staff in cutting edge research, the production of high quality, nationally and internationally esteemed publications and to impact positively on communities, stakeholders and society beyond academia.
This is paralleled by two other core goals. First, to promote research that will generate and disseminate social knowledge designed to have a significant and positive social, economic and cultural impact in terms of policy and practice for socially marginalised and excluded groups and communities. Second, to increase the number of PhD students and create a context to ensure the successful completion of their theses.
The development and growth of a dynamic research culture is a key goal for the strategic planning of the Social Sciences. Research is central to our activities, reflected in its mainstreaming in departmental decision-making processes. The Social Sciences has a dedicated Research Coordinator who provides support and advice, along with senior researcher colleagues. Research is central to planning within the department. and also underpins curriculum design, management and delivery, with research-led teaching at the core of our programmes; particularly at all levels. The research culture of the department is enhanced by the organisation of seminar and public lecture series and via meetings of the research centres/groups.
Research seminar series
The Department organises an annual research seminar series. This includes fortnightly events where presentations are given by both invited academics undertaking cutting edge internationally-recognised research and early career researchers from within the department itself. The seminar environment provides an opportunity for colleagues to benefit from the insights of experienced visiting speakers and early career researchers to explore their work and future research directions in-depth, through discussion and dialogue, with colleagues.
Individual planning, self-reflection and research support
Individual planning and self-reflection is also central to the development of staff research profiles and activity and research support is provided in a range of guises, including appraisal and review processes to allow for the identification of support needs and to inform resource decision-making, including, staff deployment, administrative and other responsibilities and access to research leave and funding. A mentorship system ensures that all new staff, and early career researchers in particular, are allocated to, and mentored individually by, senior research active academics (Readers and Professors).The departmental systems of research support is oriented toward the support in preparation of external funding bids, production of outputs, development of research projects and delivering papers at international conferences, and is enhanced by university-wide research support policies and facilities.
Research management, leadership and planning
Leadership within departments is provided by Heads of Department, supported by the research coordinators along with senior research members of the staff team (professors, readers). Research leadership within the centres/groups is provided by research coordinators. Department research planning forms part of the overall annual department strategic plans, discussed with senior management at bi-annual monitoring meetings, including the Faculty Associate Dean for Research and Head of the Research Office. Department plans are also discussed at Faculty Research Committee and the University Research Committee (at which in both cases the department is represented by the research coordinator)
Further research areas
Get in touch
If you would like to discuss any aspect of our research please get in touch with Professor Mark McGovern: