Institute for Social Sciences Research (ISSR) newsletter - September 11 2020

Published on 11 September 2020

Our ISSR newsletter from September 11 2020, including items on ISSR engagement, research, impact, and our Graduate community

On this page

Save the date - 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).

View and register for forthcoming seminars in the programme.

The pandemic: Where are we now?”

This second seminar will take stock of ongoing research initiatives, and explore potential of cooperation for researchers across ISSR’s constitutive schools.

Prof Morris Altman: Errors in Decision-Making, Misguided Policy, and Covid-19

The response to Covid-19 has been overwhelmingly to lockdown much the world’s economies in order to minimize death rates as well as the immediate negative effects of Covid-19. Reliance on lockdown is short-sighted and a recipe for disaster.

I argue that such policy is too often de-contextualized as it ignores policy externalities, assumes death rate calculations are appropriately accurate and, as well, assumes focusing on direct Covid-19 effects to maximize human welfare is appropriate.

Dr Alison Munro: The impact of CORONAVIRUS on People Who Use Drugs - A Research Void

This talk will address the gaps in research on the impact of COVID 19 on people who used drugs and the potential impact on this group in the context of drug-related deaths in Scotland.

Dr Pam Ramsay: A digital resource to support recovery among COVID Intensive Care survivors and their family members

This short talk will outline the rapid development of a digital resource to support survivorship following COVID-related critical illness, and early work to support its implementation into practice and research.

Richard Holme: Navigating lockdown with school teacher and academic collaborative professional learning practice

This presentation will discuss the development of a Professional Learning Community (PLC), using the Scottish education intranet site GLOW during lockdown.

Dr Jan Boehnke: IMPACT: Severe mental illness, physical comorbidity and COVID-19

The presentation will give a brief insight into activities at the School of Health Sciences contributing to global efforts to investigate and reduce the burden of disease derived due to multimorbidity, in particular involving mental illnesses.

Janine Hunter and Prof Lorraine van Blerk: In the Shadow of a Pandemic: Harare's Street Youth Experience COVID-19

Growing up on the Streets has been working with street youth in three cities since 2012. A legacy ‘story map’ project with street youth in Harare was planned for March; just as a six-week national lockdown began and movement across Zimbabwe’s capital city was severely restricted.

Research and Impact

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.

New online Journal of Student Research in Social Science

Over the course of 2020, we have become increasingly aware of the need to provide more opportunities for our students to disseminate the work that they undertake when completing dissertations and theses. With that in mind, we have decided to establish an online journal called the Journal of Student Research in Social Science. It will be an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal which aims to support students and early career researchers as they take their first steps to publish and disseminate their academic work.

The journal will focus on social science-led collaboration across five interdisciplinary research themes: Health and wellbeing; Social justice and social change; Governance, policy and regulation; Environment and Innovation in methods and data analytics.

For more information and if you would like a role on the editorial board, please contact either Anna Robb or Richard Holme.

Publishing news

Hungarian Roma and musical talent: Minority group members’ experiences of an apparently positive stereotype.

When we think of problems in intergroup relations, we often focus on the impact of negative stereotypes on minorities. However, a recently published paper based on Psychology's Anna Dobai’s PhD research with Hungarian Roma shows that the apparently positive stereotype of Roma musicality can also be experienced as problematic. This is because it can be perceived as speaking volumes about the majority’s power to define Roma identity without reference to how they themselves define their identity and could constrain their abilities to act on terms that were on their own.

Dobai, A. & Hopkins, N. (2020) Hungarian Roma and musical talent: Minority group members’ experiences of an apparently positive stereotype. British Journal of Social Psychology.

Politics’ Continued Erosion of Sustainable Development for Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples

Dr Sufyan El Droubi, Law and Prof Raphael Heffron, CEPMLP in the School of Social Sciences published a multi-lingual article in Periferias Journal.

Newly announced

Scottish Universities Law Institute announces SULI ECR Fellowship Awards

Dr Sean Whittaker, Dundee Law School has been awarded the Scottish Universities’ Law Institute Early Career Fellowship for his project titled “A One-Way System? Examining the Supply of Environmental Information in Managing Flood Risk in Scotland”.

Current events, both in Scotland and abroad, have emphasised the risk that flooding and flood events pose to local communities and to the wider environmental aims of governments. In discussing how to manage and build community resilience to floods however, neither Scottish nor international law provides many opportunities for citizens to act as sources of information.

Building on his previous work, the project seeks to identify how the law in Scotland promotes or hinders citizen involvement in flood risk management projects, with a focus on the co-production of information and design of flood risk projects. This project is designed to lead onto a bigger interdisciplinary project on how society responds to and prepares for environmental disasters through the law.

If you wish to contact Dr Whittaker about his work please email him at

Lessons from the Middle East - Thursday 17 Sept 6.30pm via Zoom

Dr Husam Al Waer, Architecture and Urban Planning in the School of Social Sciences leads this heart-warming and eye-opening event, to show that the region still has lessons for the rest of the world and the way it forms and manages its towns and cities. tells a tale of urban tragedy and triumph. Set to music with artist’s illustrations.

AL ZA'ATARI REFUGEE CAMP: an enforced Fifteen Minute City

This is a FREE fringe event, part of the UDG and AoU joint Symposium on The Fifteen Minute City. Registration is required.

Graduate community

Another series of Graduate Community events will be held in September, all on Teams.

Thursday 17th September, 10-11am (note earlier time). The focus of this meeting will be best practice for the management of data. Philippa Sterlini from the Library and Learning Centre will do a presentation, and there will be plenty of time for discussion and questions.

Thursday 24th September, 11am-12pm. The focus of this meeting will be publishing from your PhD.


Congrats to CEPMLP PhD candidate Juliet Agbeibor successfully passing her viva. Minimal corrections to her thesis, titled “Corporate Social Accounting, Accountability, and Company-Community Conflict in Mining,” are required within one month. Her thesis deploys the textual analytics software NVivo in order to conduct a thematic retroductive analysis. The conflict-prevention and peacebuilding effects of accountability on company-community conflict have been studied in the literature, yet there is limited evidence on the nature of the linkages between accountability practices and company-community conflict.

The external examiner is Prof John Ferguson, Head of School, School of Management, University of St Andrews. The internal examiner is Dr Elizabeth Bastida of CEPMLP, and the convenor is Mrs Janeth Warden-Fernandez. The examining committee was very impressed by Juliet’s excellent performance at the viva. Her supervisors are Dr Manny Macatangay and Dr Theresa Dunne.

ISSR Engagement

Get involved

If you would like to circulate any information around research you are involved with or events you have held for inclusion in the Institute for Social Science Research newsletter, please send a short description (100-250 words not incl images and links) to ISSR. This is a good way to make your research more widely visible across the University. The newsletter goes live weekly on a Friday so content please by 4pm on any Thursday.

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