Institute for Social Sciences Research (ISSR) newsletter - September 25 2020

Published on 20 September 2020

Our ISSR newsletter from September 25 2020, including items on ISSR engagement, research, impact, and our Graduate community

On this page

Love books and podcasts? This one is for you!

Visit the magical world of Harry Potter in this week’s book club. Jonathan speaks to Sharron Tonner-Saunders from Education and Social Work about identity and the power of writing your own story.

School of Education & Social Work lecturer Jonathan Brown has started a fantastic University of Dundee Book Club podcast for your listening pleasure! The podcast aims to interview staff across the campus about the books that have impacted them on a personal and/or professional level.

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 are welcome by email to

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.

Funding awards

Co-Pod 2: Evaluating, enhancing and building local capacity for a community co-produced mobile application for sustainable cocoa production

Alexandra Morel, Geography and Environmental Sciences in the School of Social Sciences, has been awarded funding from the Global Research Fund (GCRF).

The overall aim of the project is to support the farmer-led implementation of climate-smart cocoa management practices through the co-development of an information gathering and sharing mobile platform that can be tailored to individual farm characteristics and farmer needs. The focus of Co-pod is to coproduce this mobile application to ensure it meets the needs of smallholder farmers, who dominate the cocoa sector in West Africa and will have a straightforward interface for maximum usability across the sector. The consortium includes the University of Dundee, the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Flumens Ltd and the Nature Conservation Research Centre in Ghana.

Strengthening Nigeria's Responses to COVID-19: Renewable Energy for Resilient Healthcare Systems in Rural Areas

Professor Volker Roeben and Dr Maria Augusta Paim, CEPMLP in the School of Social Sciences have been awarded funding from the Global Research Fund (GCRF).

The project team includes Dr Xiaoyi Mu also of CEPMLP as well as researchers from the Nigerian Covenant University and officials of the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency. The interdisciplinary research project will identify business models for health care facilities in rural Nigeria using reliable, renewably generated power for an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research and Impact

The pandemic: Where are we now?”

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for joining the panel this week and for the extremely positive and valuable input from our presenters on their topics.

With around 40 attendees it was evident that there will be many more opportunities to engage further across the ISSR community and look forward to supporting staff and researchers in this way. I think the format worked well followed by some very interesting discussion.

We really enjoyed the panel and it was very much appreciated by staff and researchers in attendance.

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

Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru: Historic Events and Current Susceptibility

Dr Simon Cook, Geography and Environmental Sciences in the School of Social Sciences has recently co-authored a new open-access paper.

The aim of this paper is to create a glacial lake inventory for the Cordillera Huayhuash in Peru and to evaluate the susceptibility of lakes to the generation of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Using high-resolution satellite images, we undertook qualitative and quantitative analysis of lake type, characteristics and distribution, and placed our findings within the context of existing Peru-wide lake inventories. We also mapped and analyzed past GLOFs, revealing a total of 10 GLOFs and 4 ambiguous events, most of which have not been reported before. We found that past GLOFs usually occurred as a result of moraine dam breach during the proglacial stage of lake evolution.

Further, we used our lake inventory to evaluate GLOF susceptibility of all lakes larger than 20,000 m2. Of 46 evaluated lakes, only two lakes (Lake Tsacra and Lake W014) are currently susceptible to generating a GLOF, which would most likely be through dam overtopping resulting from a flood originating in smaller lakes located upstream. The future perspectives of lake evolution and implications for GLOF hazard management are discussed in light of the post-Little Ice Age glacier ice loss as well as in the context of extensive related research undertaken in the nearby Cordillera Blanca.

Examining the impact of Brexit on environmental governance across the UK: Mapping Post-Brexit Environmental Law

Professor Colin Reid, Dundee Law School has a new open-access article available.

The UK’s withdrawal from the EU will not bring about immediate changes to the substance of environmental law in the UK, but that law will become easier to change. The future position is complicated by devolution within the UK, where differing policy objectives on continuing alignment with the EU and weaknesses in the inter-governmental structures are causing problems. Environmental principles are being given legal recognition and new structures for environmental governance being created for each nation. These include environmental watchdogs that go some of the way to making up for the loss of the oversight provided by the EU institutions.

Newly announced

CEPMLP / Extractives Hub are jointly hosting two roundtable discussions on the future of the global energy system & global energy transition

The event takes place on 9 October

Black History Month 2020

Decolonising Education - A Conversation - Friday 16 October

As part of Black History Month 2020, 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 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