Sgoil Cheumnaichean Saidheans Sòisealta na h-Alba

Hub Festivals

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?

The Festival will include an opportunity to hear from key speakers on these questions, as well as a chance for students to present their own work, learn about the broader context of social science research as well as tips for surviving and thriving in that research environment, share ideas and discuss future plans.

Why should I attend?

This is a unique opportunity for your academic, intellectual and career development… It is not a conference – rather the Hub Festival is meant to be an opportunity for greater interaction (e.g. cohort building, networking) between PhD students through lively discussion, debates, dialogue and group work. Attendees will be expected to participate fully across the two days.

Interdisciplinary focus

The Festival will be structured around the three Hubs that form the SGSSS. These bring together researchers in disciplinary and interdisciplinary pathways to facilitate a wider discussion and engagement. Some activities and sessions will be run for specific hubs, others will be open to participants from all hubs and pathways. A more detailed schedule will be available when registrations open in September 2019.

For details on how are pathways and hubs are organised, click here.

It is envisaged that places will be limited to approximately 30 students per hub.


Students will be asked to make a nominal contribution of £20 towards the event to secure their place.

However, please note that SGSSS will reimburse reasonable travel and accommodation costs (up to £60 for the evening of Thursday 5th December) – if your institution is 30+miles from the venue