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Strategic Aims

The division remains highly committed to supporting the outstanding scholarship and research of individual academics, disciplines and departments across the division. However, the contextual issues identified above demand that we do more to influence the higher education sector and research funders; improve preparedness and success rates in the field of collaborative, interdisciplinary and multi-institutional research; diversify research funding; optimise research impact; train and improve the career development and mobility of the next generation of researchers; and support departments to take a more strategic approach to research planning.  

The overarching objectives are as follows: 

  1. To maintain Oxford’s position as a world leader in research and scholarship in the social sciences, attracting the best researchers at all career stages and creating a stimulating and supportive research environment in which to work.
  2. To increase the influence of Oxford social sciences research in addressing key societal challenges, strengthening our engagement with external partners and better communicating our research strengths and impacts.

In order to achieve these objectives the division will focus on six strategic aims:

  1. To influence the research agenda of major national and European funding bodies and research policy-makers.
  2. To strengthen Oxford’s collaborative research capacity both as a source of innovation and a means of improving the quality and success of large grant applications.
  3. To diversify funding sources in support of all forms of research activity, including the identification of research development priorities.
  4. To extend the impact and influence of Oxford’s social sciences research beyond academic communities through more effective engagement and communication.
  5. To train and support early career researchers to become the next generation of research leaders.
  6. To support departments in strengthening their strategic research planning.

The full strategy document can be found on SharePoint (accessible to University members only).

To complement the Research Strategy, the division has also agreed an 'Articulation of Innovation for Social Sciences', which can also be found on SharePoint (accessible to University members only).

The division will announce a further internal funding call to support new research initiatives in innovative, curiosity-driven research areas in Michaelmas term 2015.

Information regarding funded incubator themes can be found on the incubator themes webpage and information about the current open call is available at: www.socsci.ox.ac.uk/services/research-and-impact/incubator-themes

Research Strengths

Our size and shape mean that we are well placed to respond, and contribute, to many of the challenges and themes emerging from funding bodies and government. We have critical mass in a number of areas of specialism, with significant strengths in:

  • aid, poverty and development;
  • big data;
  • conflict, justice and crime.
  • environment, climate change and resource management;
  • future cities;
  • global economic performance and management;
  • governance;
  • migration and population.