Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates For the latest information and advice see: Coronavirus (COVID-19) frequently asked questions
Sgoil Cheumnaichean Saidheans Sòisealta na h-Alba

Hub Festivals - NOW COMPLETE (Below for reference only)

The SGSSS-DTP Hub Festivals are now into their 2nd year and we are excited to deliver this unique, interdisciplinary training and development opportunity, which brings together students from thematically aligned disciplines.


Much of our training emphasises methods, but these are not the only forms of learning that PhD students need. The Hub Festivals are designed to offer an opportunity to critically consider the ontological position of your discipline, and to consider how or if this differs from similar, but different disciplinary approaches. The Festivals offer space to intellectualise questions of disciplinary boundaries, and so consider the value and limitations of interdisciplinary working. Taking place over two days, the 2019 Hub Festivals will be hosted at the impressive Technology & Innovation Centre at the University of Strathclyde on 5-6 December. (Full programme to follow)

This will be a specialised event where academic staff and students can explore the contribution of their disciplinary areas. The Hub Festivals are not methods focused; rather they aim to exercise your intellectual curiosity.

*Please note this is not a forum for formal methods training*


Stability and Change: Social Science in a Turbulent World?

5th and 6th December 2019

The Scottish Graduate School for Social Science (SGSSS) Hubs Festival 2019 will bring together doctoral students from around Scotland to focus on the grand challenges facing social science. This two-day event will be an opportunity to meet colleagues and explore those challenges from different disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. To facilitate those objectives, there will be plenty of opportunity to share ideas both formally and informally.

Sessions will focus on exploring questions such as:

  • What are the grand challenges facing social science as defined by funders and policy-makers such as UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and those beyond the UK Borders?
  • How are the institutions and context of the social world changing, and where is there evidence of stability?
  • How can social scientists lead and support effective responses to those grand challenges?
  • How can early career social scientists think about their work in the context of addressing grand challenges at local, regional, national and international levels?
  • What can we do together as researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds to focus our interests and skills to address grand challenges?
  • How can we address all of the above whilst adapting to the personal challenges that arise from working in a turbulent environment?


What is a Hub Festival?

The Hub Festival is a space to share information and experiences with other PhD students from across the Social Sciences in Scotland. Before you come, we will ask you to submit a paragraph explaining a bit about what your PhD is about, what stage you are at, and what questions you would like to ask other PhD students. We will then discuss common points of interest and identify common themes.

The overarching theme that we have identified for the two day event is ‘Stability and Change: Social Science in a Turbulent World’. Our intention is to give students the opportunity to explore the opportunities for social science research to help address local, national and international grand challenges. There will be sessions that explore how grand challenges and sustainable development goals are driving social science research, as well as how researchers at all stages of their careers have used these to inform important projects.

To support that, we have scheduled some fantastic keynote speakers. Professor Pamela Abbott is a professor in the School of Education at the University of Aberdeen and Director of the Centre for Global Development. Professor John Clarke is from the Open University, and Dr Victoria Basham is from Cardiff University. All three of them will speak about their research and how it helps address current grand challenges, as well as reflecting on their journeys to where they are now.

Parallel sessions will be an opportunity to explore some of the challenges and issues that emerge from this increasingly important approach to funding social science. Issues such as the need for interdisciplinarity, working in low income countries, and how to secure excellent academic and practitioner outcomes will all feature.

So across the two days, you will have plenty of opportunity to mix with other PhD students, listen to plenary speakers and participate in workshops and panel sessions around these key themes.

Who is the Hub Festival for?

The Festival is aimed at any social science PhD student in a Scottish institution who wants to think about how their current research fits in these broader themes. It doesn’t matter if your work has a local, national or international focus. It doesn’t matter what stage of research you are at. And it doesn’t even matter whether you think your research has any broader practical application. This is a space to think these things through and share ideas and experiences with each other and with experienced researchers.

Where is it?

The event is hosted at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, close to the lively area of Merchant City should you wish to explore the city nightlife.

What’s included?

There is a small registration fee of £20.

We have asked for a registration fee because in our experience that helps ensure that the people who book actually turn up. If you have to cancel because of an emergency such as illness or unexpected care responsibilities, we can arrange for the fee to be refunded.  

The fee covers your attendance at the event, lunches and refreshments, and an evening ‘do’ on Thursday which will include some drinks and a finger buffet.

Can I claim these expenses?

This is a complicated question as it varies depending on whether your PhD is funded by the ESRC or not.

All students can be refunded up to £60 towards their accommodation. All students can be refunded for their travel as long as they use the most economical public transport option.

Students who are ESRC funded can claim additional expenses from their Research and Training Support Grant (RTSG). Other students will have to explore with their institution whether any additional expenses can be covered.

Places are limited, so please do sign up as soon as possible.

If you would like to sign up you can do so via this link: