About ISR


Welcome to the Institute for Social Responsibility.

Established in 2013, as the Institute for Public Policy and Professional Practice, its remit has grown to critically examine broad conceptualisations of social responsibility across the social sciences, arts and humanities.

Edge Hill has a long tradition of breaking the mould, which goes back to the 19th Century when it was established as the first non-denominational teacher training institution for women. We are therefore steeped in a tradition which encourages critical thinking, collaboration between the worlds of practice and Higher Education.

ISR is committed to continuing this tradition through the ongoing 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. ISR also promotes practitioner and community engagement through knowledge exchange and assesses the effectiveness of public policy through a dedicated evaluation unit.

We are all living and working in a time of transition and change. ISR provides a ‘home’ to those of you who want to reflect and to think strategically and differently about conceptualisations of social responsibility in our changing world. 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.


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
Formerly Executive Dean of the Institute of Business and Law and Aberystwyth University and Head of Dept. at Salford Business School, Jo’s research interests lie in civil society development, corporate social responsibility and state-society-business relations, predominantly in former Soviet Union countries. Jo has worked on conceptualisations of CSR using both historical insights and theories from outside the traditional sphere of management. 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 and the British Academy and sits on the Editorial Board of Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management Journal. Read more…

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 JusticeVictoria 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 range of smaller projects. Victoria is an advocate of a plant-based diet and is interested in sustainable, organic food production. She is a mother of two sons and, in what spare time she has, practises meditation and ashtanga yoga. Read more…

ISR Fellow (Research and External Funding), Prof Claire Parkinson
Claire Parkinson is Professor of Film, Television and Digital Media and Co-Director of the Centre for Human Animal Studies (CfHAS). Her research interests focus on media, film and Animal Studies; (un)sustainable consumption; eco-media; American cinema; activism; and, film and politics. Read more…

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