About ISR


Welcome to the Institute for Social Responsibility.

ISR Launch 27th September 2019 with Jane Brophy and cake.

Established in 2019, and formally opened by Jane Brophy MEP, the Institute for Social Responsibility exists to foster, commission and support research and knowledge exchange activity that critically examines broad conceptualisations of social responsibility across all disciplines.

ISR is committed to the development of a sustainable and vibrant research culture at Edge Hill University, acting as an inter-disciplinary, cross-departmental hub. This hub co-ordinates and supports research, bringing together academics, practitioners and the wider public through a range of seminars, workshops and lectures, and promotes practitioner and community engagement through knowledge exchange and impact.

ISR also supports annual research fellowships, giving academics the space to work on external funding bids to support research on social responsibility. ISR also provides enhanced research support training for staff and provides a home to the research unit for Evaluation and Policy Analysis, dedicated to the assessment of public policy. In addition, the work of ISR is supported by visiting fellows from a range of disciplines, and an external advisory board.

ISR provides a ‘home’ to those who want to reflect and to think strategically and differently about conceptualisations of social responsibility in our changing world. It also seeks to support research and research staff working in these areas. We look forward to working with you

Professor Jo Crotty
Director: ISR


ISR New Mission:

  • ISR will contribute to the ongoing development of a sustainable and vibrant research culture at Edge Hill University by acting as an inter-disciplinary, cross-departmental hub, co-ordinating and supporting research, promoting practitioner and community engagement and assessing public policy within the sphere of social responsibility
  • Embracing a range of conceptualisations of social responsibility from across the public, private and third sectors, the Institute will both initiate and support research, provides an interface for practitioners and academics to inform new ways of working and learning, create a platform for knowledge exchange, and assess the impact of UK public policy through the Policy Evaluation Unit (EPA). Learn more about the EPA.


ISR Aims to:

  • Assist in the generation of a vibrant and stimulating research culture at Edge Hill University
  • Make a positive impact on pressing issues in the realm of social responsibility by supporting and initiating independent, internationally recognised research.
  • Emphasise the co-production and exchange of knowledge both during and as an outcome of our research and public policy assessment with practitioners and academics alike.
  • Contribute to debates on social responsibility and enhance policy formation – regionally, nationally and internationally – through a range of public events and practitioner engagement.
  • Showcase interpretations and conceptualisations of social responsibility and citizenship within the public, private and third sector, and intersections therein.
  • Host Visiting Professors, Visiting Fellows, and to host Practitioners in Residence, to work directly with staff, students and our established networks.
  • Provide support for established and new research centres across the University that seek focus on specific areas of ISR’s remit.
  • Assist in the development of academic staff through the provision of research training


ISR Staff:

ISR Director, Prof Jo Crotty
Jo is both Director Knowledge Exchange and ISR. Combined these are university-wide roles furthering excellence in research and knowledge exchange. Jo’s research interests lie in civil society development, corporate social responsibility, environmental management and state-society-business relations, predominantly in former Soviet Union countries, with particular focus on Russia and Ukraine.

Jo has published circa 70 journal articles, conference papers and book chapters, including British Journal of Management, Sociology, Non-profit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly and Organization Studies. She has also presented papers at international conferences including Academy of Management Annual Meeting and the British Academy of Management where she has been nominated and won prizes.  She has been awarded research funding from ESRC, where she is part of the review college, and the British Academy. She is also a member of the Editorial Board of Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management Journal.  Learn more about Jo.

ISR Associate Director (External Relations), Dr Victoria Foster
Victoria draws on her background in Fine Art to inform her work with marginalised groups with the aim of consciousness raising and providing a critique of current policy initiatives. She has carried out a number of research projects that have employed a range of arts-based and participatory research methods in order to achieve this aim. This approach to research enables a critical exploration of those elements of life that are often hidden or disregarded. These methods and their underlying theories are outlined in her book Collaborative Arts-based Research for Social Justice. Victoria has been the recipient of an ESRC CASE award for her doctoral research and an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship. She has worked on large scale NIHR-funded research as well as a wide range of smaller projects. She is currently leading a QR-SPF project, ‘Growing the Small Local Enterprise Sector in Skelmersdale’ which is using a participatory methodology to explore principles of community wealth building. Learn more about Victoria.

ISR Fellow (Research and External Funding), Dr Melanie Lang
Melanie is Assistant Director of the Centre for Child Protection and Safeguarding in Sport and Reader in Child Protection in Sport. Her work focuses on safeguarding and abuse prevention in sport, athlete welfare, gender-based violence, and children’s rights in sport.  She is the UK lead for the Erasmus+ funded project ‘Child Abuse in Sport: European Statistics’ (2019-2021), and the IOC Advanced Research Grant Programme project ‘Athlete- and coach-led education for teaching about abuse and neglect’ (2020-2021). She was previously national lead on the European Commission-funded project ‘Gender-Based Violence in Sport’ (2016-2018).  Melanie’s expertise in athlete welfare, abuse prevention, and the policy and politics of safeguarding in sport has been recognised nationally and internationally, leading her to be invited to serve as an expert member of the NSPCC Sport England Child Protection in Sport Unit Research Evidence and Advisory Group, the Pool of European Experts on Sexual Violence in Sport, and the Research Chair in Security and Integrity in Sport at Laval University, Quebec, Canada.  Learn more about Melanie.

ISR PhD Student:

Frank Burke (Department of Social Sciences)

Title: Flourishing in Local Landscapes: Exploring the Transformative Potential of Engagement with Community Growing Projects

Francis has worked in the public/community sector for the last 20 years, primarily in social housing, where he held a number of community development positions.  His work centred on community engagement and capacity-building in some of the most challenging and disadvantaged wards in the UK – the goal being to assist people to access opportunities in terms of skills, employment and education, housing, greenspace and neighbourhood renewal.  He was also a voluntary board member of a local social enterprise for 10 years. Learn more about Frank.

His PhD research will explore to what extent notions and claims that active participation in community growing projects can lead to transformative outcomes for individuals and communities.  The view that being grounded or rooted in a ‘local landscape’ can also lead to individuals reaching some greater level of potential or ‘flourishing’, will also be examined.

Supervision team: Dr Victoria Foster, Dr Irene Dudley-Swarbrick.

Last updated on Last updated on Was this page helpful? Yes No Thanks for your feedback! Please tell us more: