The student will be based in the Social Policy subject area within the School of Social and Political Sciences. They will be supervised by Dr Valeria Skafida (Social Policy) and Dr Isabelle Darmon (Sociology).
The student will be based in the Social Policy subject area. The Social Policy group is committed to developing comparative and cross-national research in its field. The Social Policy subject area, which includes the Global Public Health Unit [GPHU], is the leading centre for research and teaching in social policy in Scotland and one of the major centres in the UK. In the 2014 RAE the University’s submission to sub-panel 22 (Social Work and Social Policy, comprising Social Policy and Social Work staff in the School and health and family researchers from other parts of the University), was graded as having 40% of activity at world-leading (4*) level and 41% at 3*. The grade point average of 3.19 was ninth in the UK. With 99% of eligible staff submitted in the REF, these results gave the submission first place in the UK in The Higher (18 December 2014) ranking of research power.
Teaching was assessed as ‘excellent’ in the last Teaching Quality Assessment and further commended in its most recent Teaching Programme Review in 2014. There is a strong postgraduate programme, with ESRC recognition, and staff make significant contributions to postgraduate teaching in SSPS’s Graduate School. There are close links with colleagues with cognate interests in other subjects within the School (Politics, Sociology, Social Anthropology and Social Work) and further afield, notably Education, Law, and interdisciplinary research centres such as the Academy of Government and the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships. Social Policy has an active programme of subject and school seminars and of international contacts. The group has close links with policy communities in Scotland, and many of its graduates have occupied prominent positions in Scottish academia, voluntary agencies or the Scottish Government.
Q-Step – Quantitative Methods
The School hosts one of 15 UK Q-Step Centres which specialise in the provision of advanced quantitative methods training. Social Policy provides the leadership for the university’s multi-disciplinary Q-Step centre. Depending on prior experience, the student would be encouraged to complete the following PG courses in their MSc year: Core Quantitative Data Analysis; Intermediate Inferential Statistics; Researching Contemporary Britain Using Longitudinal data; Research Design. Q-Step runs a seminar series which brings together our community of students and staff involved in QM research, where all PG students are encouraged to attend and present. AQMeN, now based in the School of Social and Political Science, also offers relevant training, as do other UK QM hubs, and the student could enrol on condensed courses on, for example, Missing Data Imputation and Joint Models, Sequence Analysis and Latent Class Analysis if necessary. For more information: http://www.q-step.ed.ac.uk/
FRIED – Food Researchers in Edinburgh
The student would also join a vibrant community of food scholars. Both supervisors are part of a small steering group which runs the Food Researchers in Edinburgh (FRIED) network, with 200+ members – an interdisciplinary network of food scholars. We run a monthly seminar series, and specific events for postgraduate students, which the incoming student would be encouraged to participate in. International workshops with our French and Danish partners will provide opportunities for possible comparative joint papers. FRIED activities spill over into teaching, and the student would be welcome to audit relevant UG Honours options, e.g.: The Social Life of Food (convened by 2nd
supervisor); Digesting Food Policy (convened by 1st
supervisor); Geographies of Food. For more information: http://edin.ac/1JCqKu2