Institute for Social Sciences Research (ISSR) newsletter - October 2 2020

Published on 2 October 2020

Our ISSR newsletter from October 2 2020, including items on ISSR engagement, research, impact, and our Graduate community

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Image advertising Black History Month 2020

Black History Month kicks off this week. Find out more about the programme online and book your free tickets

Moving Jamaica: Tour and discussion -Thursday 15 October

Hosted by Susan Mains (Geography, University of Dundee) and Sam Walker (St Andrews Preservation Trust Museum) this event provides a unique virtual tour of the current Moving Jamaica: Scottish-Caribbean connections and local-global journeys exhibition. It includes short film introductions by the photographers Varun Baker and Stephen McLaren followed by a live Q&A discussion.

This is part of the Black History Month events during October, and co-sponsored by Geography and Environmental Science, School of Social Sciences, Black Atlantic Research Dundee (BARD), University of Dundee.

Decolonising Education - A Conversation - Friday 16 October

Professor Fiona Kumari Campbell and Dr Fernando Lannes Fernandes will examine why oppressed indigenous voices and experiences need to be a central aspect of the curriculum and why this is important to today’s learners. Both Professor Kumari Campbell and Dr Fernando Lannes Fernandes are 'biracial' academics working within the School of Education and Social Work.

ISSR Lightning Talks Forum - Call for participants

If you have recently joined our Schools since July 2019 and would like to talk briefly about your research, we invite you to speak at our ‘Lightning Talks Forum’. Notes of interest welcome by email to

Date for the diary - Tuesday 3 November 2pm

Nominated by Dr Anne Keitel, Psychology in the School of Social Sciences, we are delighted to confirm Professor David Poeppel will deliver a talk as part of the seminar series. David Poeppel is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics and Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University (NYU).

Date for the diary - Monday 30 November 3pm

Why Ethical Behaviour is Good for the Economy: Towards Growth, Wellbeing and Freedom

Join us as we welcome Professor Morris Altman, Dundee Business School as he explores his new book on the importance of ethics to economics and the economy has been of long-standing concern and debate amongst scholars and public policy pundits.

The talk will provide a better understanding of why and how being ethical is good for the economy and for improving the wellbeing of our society at large whilst respecting and enhancing the rights and freedoms of individuals.

Research and Impact

Professor Colin Reid recently spoke at the Scottish Conference of the UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA). His presentation on Brexit and Environmental Governance looked at the new legislation across the UK on environmental principles.

He is a founding member of UKELA and the founding convener of the Environmental Law Section of the Society of Legal Scholars.

SGSSS has launched the three Supervisor-led Studentship Competitions 2020/21.

Dundee can apply for studentships through seven discipline pathways.

For information, guidance and key dates, go to the relevant pages on the SGSSS website

Although the deadline for one of the competitions - 'ESRC Steers' - is soon (9th October), it only requires a short 'Expression of Interest'. So please think about putting in an application.

Dundee has a good track record of success in the supervisor-led competitions; there is plenty of experience we can call upon to support staff.

To support the development of applications, the following process has been set up:

  1. Briefing sessions in the relevant discipline areas are being planned - staff will receive details from the pathway representative and/or myself to confirm.
  2. For those who wish to develop an application, there will be additional support, including from colleagues who have been successful in previous years.
  3. Internal deadlines - for review and advice to improve applications.
  • For Steers competition Friday 2nd October.
  • For Collaborative competition 16th October.
  • For SDS Collaborative competition 16th October.

To be emailed to Ed Hall and pathway rep.

If you would like to discuss a potential application, or have any questions, please contact Ed Hall.

Publishing news

What are the Implications of Changing Place for the Professional Performativity of Prison Officers?

Dr Matt Maycock is a Baxter Fellow in Community Education in the School of Education and Social Work having recently joined Dundee from the Scottish Prison Service.

Throughcare Support Officers (TSOs) were a unique role in the Scottish criminal justice system when they operated between 2015 and 2019. This research challenges and extends existing prison scholarship by asking a number of novel questions: to what extent do prisons as places shape prison officer identities and what happens to prison officer identities when you largely remove the prison itself. TSOs were prison officers who worked with newly released individuals from custody, and their work was based largely in the community supporting reintegration.

In this article, we utilize two strands of Judith Butler’s theories of performativity and materiality, theories that have been used to analyze professional identities in other professions, although not in the criminal justice system until now. Analysis from data generated through 20 semi-structured interviews (a sample of 49% of all TSOs), illustrates that through a greater fluidity of TSO roles, TSOs are able to agentically adapt to a range of situations and hierarchies. The reflections of TSOs provide a unique insight into the place and perception of prisons within the criminal justice system in Scotland. More widely our analysis provides new insights into the ways in which custodial and the community settings shape particular professional identities.

He has recently co-authored papers and also has a new book coming out over the next couple of months. Matt will feature again but first, here is the link to this paper.

European perceptions on crowdfunding for renewables: Positivity and pragmatism

Dr Theresa Dunn, Dundee Business School has co-authored a paper recently with the late Ariel Bergmann and Bruce Burton.

Newly announced

TCELT monthly literature club 7 October 2020

TCELT is an international, interdisciplinary research centre hosted by the School of Education and Social Work. Its vision is to have an impact on international research, policy and practice.

To find out more and if you would like to join the network contact Professor Divya Jindal-Snape

The future of the global energy system and global energy transition

CEPMLP / Extractives Hub are jointly hosting two roundtable discussions.

Chaired by CEPMLP director and Extractives Hub team leader Prof Peter Cameron, the event will bring together academic experts for an interdisciplinary discussion of law, economics and political science dimensions regarding the future of energy.

The event takes place on 9 October

Scottish Policy & Research Exchange (SPRE)

Scottish Policy & Research Exchange (SPRE) has put together a new Resources webpage to help scholars and policymakers connect.

This includes tools, videos & other resources to support your #PolicyEngagement strategies.

Graduate community

Dundee Training Events

Many thanks to everyone who attended the recent training events; topics included publishing from your PhD, and data management. Another series of events is planned for the autumn. If there are topics or skills you would like to be covered, please contact Ed Hall

Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS)

The SGSSS offers training and development opportunities for social science doctoral students from universities across Scotland. To receive a weekly update on SGSSS activities, go to the website and sign up for the newsletter and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Also, make sure you sign up for their 'Social' micro-site, which has lots of info for students, plus access to excellent online training resources. Click on the 'Social' button at the top of the SGSSS homepage to register.

ISSR Engagement

Get involved

If you would like to be featured in the ISSR newsletter please send any items to me. This could be any staff/RPG articles of funding successes with a social science interest, COVID-19 research, awards & recognition, progress on existing work. All news welcome!

(100-250 words will be fine – excluding links, one line intro about yourself, title and image by no later than 11am Friday).

*Do not include hyperlinks. Heading/text in full and separate full link in your content please.

Access support and facilitation from ISSR.

I am available on Teams on Tuesday afternoons from 2-4pm so please get in touch if you have an idea or project that you would like support in promoting and/or help to facilitate with.

Don't forget to join the ISSR community through Teams to access updates on research-related activities. Simply click on 'create or join team' and enter the code e2wv1jf. I can help support, facilitate and arrange online events. Please contact Donna on Teams for a chat and find out how ISSR can support you.

If you know anyone who would like to receive information please ask them to contact ISSR to be added to the distribution list.


Donna Hendry

Research and Knowledge Exchange Officer

+44 (0)1382 388173
Story category Public interest