Faculty of Social Sciences News
University of Warwick awarded £1.25 million to boost impact of Social Sciences research
The University is one of 32 organisations receiving £1.25 million from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), through five-year Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAAs).
IAAs enable research organisations to support a wide range of social, economic and behavioural science activities, generate greater benefits from research and help to create a more prosperous, inclusive, healthy and secure society.
The award will unlock the impact of Warwick Social Sciences research by supporting a breadth of impact activities that allow funding to be used in flexible, responsive, and creative ways. The overarching aim is to foster a world-leading and inclusive impact culture to effect positive societal change.
Professor Nick Vaughan-Williams, Vice-Provost and Chair of the Faculty of Social Sciences (Principal Investigator of Warwick’s Round 2 IAA and Discipline Lead for Round 3) said:
“Warwick’s Faculty of Social Sciences is in the enviable position of having received three rounds of ESRC IAA funding. For ten years, this major investment has supported 200 projects across the University with more than 250 end-users of our innovative, interdisciplinary, and impactful research.
“Our ambitious vision for the next five years will ensure that the real-world application and impact of our research will transform our Social Sciences and position Warwick as a regional, national, and international driving force for social scientific enquiry.”
Professor Caroline Meyer, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Warwick said: “Here at Warwick we are enormously proud of our Social Sciences research and the positive impact it has on our local, regional and international communities.
“Warwick’s priority areas for the new IAA are to deepen policy engagement, unlock the potential for commercialisation of Social Sciences research, to accelerate Warwick’s regional engagement, and to upskill the next generation of Social Science impact leaders.”
The University will continue to offer evolving impact and rapid response funding and in addition will launch a new Postdoctoral Policy Fellowship scheme and create a new Warwick Social Sciences Policy Hub to embed practitioner engagement throughout the research lifecycle.
Interim ESRC Executive Chair Professor Alison Park said: “The social, behavioural and economic research we fund helps us understand how we live and how society functions, throwing new light on how best to tackle our most pressing challenges. This investment creates a network of research organisations with dedicated funding to support and accelerate the impact of this research.
“We have already seen the benefits of previous rounds of IAA funding, which have leveraged an extra £52 million from partners ranging from local government to private business. This new cohort of 32 research organisations in receipt of IAA funding is the largest and most diverse group ESRC has funded. I look forward to seeing how these investments maximise the impact of social science research.”
Assuring quality of adult learning disability and autism services
Previous ESRC IAA funding supported a project by Assistant Professor Dr Louise Denne to work with the Care Quality Commission to develop a Quality of Life Framework which put the perspectives of people with learning disabilities at the heart of CQC inspections and help assure the quality of support available in adult learning disability and autism health and care settings. A tool was also developed as part of project which the CQC can use while inspecting adult learning disability and autism services.
In 2022, the Department for Health and Social Care published a Policy Paper – the Building the Right Support Action Plan - which references the quality of life inspection tool.
Improving communication and performance in elite sport
Assistant Professor Kieran File researches how professional athletes, coaches and managers use language when engaged in team and media communication. His current research focus is on how athletes, coaches and managers use language with one another to achieve their interpersonal and professional sporting goals.
Kieran’s IAA-funded projects showcase how Applied Linguistics research can help competitive organisations understand how to improve communication and performance. His particular focus on communication in high-pressure, high-intensity contexts in professional sport has enabled him to undertake exciting impact work with England Boxing and Williams Formula 1. His work is also now attracting interest from other professional sports bodies as well as international organisations dealing with crisis and emergency communication.