Institute for Social Sciences Research (ISSR) newsletter - August 28 2020

Published on 28 August 2020

Our ISSR newsletter from August 28 2020, including items on ISSR engagement, research, impact, our Graduate community and other news, events and announcements

On this page

'The Pandemic: Where Are We Now?

22 September 2020, 11:00-12:30

Registration is now live to book your place for the first of our events as part of the ISSR Seminar Series.

This promises to be a very interesting and insightful panel and we look forward to you all attending. Look out for news on speakers and topic as we share prior to the event.

As always, sending happy positive thoughts your way and I hope you all enjoy the weekend.

Date for the diary

Wednesday 21 October 2020 14:00-16:00

Are you a new member of staff? 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.

If you wish to discuss in more detail, contact Judith Sixsmith

Research and Impact

Dundee Geographer key part of international collaboration on housing

Community Housing Canada logo

Dr Edward Hall (Senior Lecturer, Geography) is an International Co-Investigator on ‘Community Housing Canada: Partners in Resilience’, funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada).

Lead by the University of Alberta, the CAN$1.3m/£0.75m project involves 13 university partners (including University of Dundee and University of Auckland, New Zealand) and 13 community housing organizations, with a mandate to combine expertise from the academic and community housing sectors to strengthen capacity to build sustainable, resilient community housing. (See 'A human right: Research aims to build sustainable, resilient community housing in Canada').

Running from June 2020 to June 2025, the project includes a PhD studentship based in Geography at the University of Dundee, with an exciting remit including international fieldwork and contributing to the wider project.

Community Housing Canada is part of a much larger initiative, the Canadian Housing Evidence Collaborative hub, which seeks to transform housing across the country and contribute to global impacts on housing access and homelessness.

Dr Edward Hall was invited to join the team because of his research expertise in disability and inclusion, and is Co-Investigator in the Area of Inquiry 'Fostering Social Inclusion Through Community Housing'.

He is also part of the team’s cross-cutting activity to ensure the research is attentive to the needs of vulnerable groups.

Impact of Covid-19 on the professional experiences of newly qualified and early-career social workers

Researchers from the University of Dundee and Glasgow Caledonian University are exploring the impact of Covid-19 on the professional experiences of newly qualified and early-career social workers (ECSW). As part of a broader longitudinal study of ECSW, funded by the Scottish Social Services Council, the team is conducting a national survey and interviews of social workers about their current practice.

Led by Dr Trish McCulloch in the School of Education and Social Work and Dr Scott Grant, Glasgow Caledonian University, this research will help us understand how this workforce is experiencing these changes and how best to support it in and through new challenges across diverse practice settings. It will identify the ongoing professional needs of the workforce in times of pandemic.

Publishing news

Argyro Kanaki, School of Education and Social Work, recently co-authored an open access book chapter written in Spanish with Susana Carvajal from the School of Humanities.

This paper presents the results of our research work with learning diaries. Our research aimed to explore the manifestations of metalinguistic awareness of students who were learning Spanish at Dundee University in three different, evening classes. It showed that, by using a diary, students consciously expressed detailed reflections on language analysis and compared Spanish with their first language. The paper concludes with some recommendations for the enhancement of language teaching and learning experience, and the improvement of both teaching materials and teaching methods.

Carvajal, S. and Kanaki, A. (2020) El uso de diarios como herramienta pedagógica para explorar la conciencia metalingüística de los estudiantes universitarios de idiomas, in Lallana Amparo, Hernández Martín Lourdes and Fuertes Gutiérrez Mara (Eds.), Five years of ELEUK conferences: a selection of short papers from 2019 (pp. 67-78).

Conversing with Caribbean and Northern Scottish Landscapes and Lifescapes | Northern Scotland

Dr Susan Mains, Geography and Environmental Sciences and Karen Salt, University of Nottingham explore how we create conversations around Caribbean and Scottish connections. Now free to access in a special online collection.

The paper itself can be seen on Wiley Online Library.

Shared and modality-specific brain regions that mediate auditory and visual word comprehension

Anne Keitel, Psychology in the School of Social Sciences co-authored a paper on auditory and visual (lip reading) speech processing. The paper itself can be seen on the eLife website.

Anne also share a recent blog post.

Newly announced

ASTUS – UK Space Agency project to combat human trafficking in Uganda

Trafficking in persons (TIP) affects millions of people globally. United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 seeks to end these practices by 2030, and colleagues in Geography at the University of Dundee will be contributing to this through an exciting new project.

Professors Lorraine van Blerk and Mark Cutler, Geography and Environmental Sciences in the School of Social Sciences, together with a consortium led by the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab and involving Makerere University in Kampala, secured funding from the UK Space Agency to work on Anti-trafficking using Satellite Technology for Uganda’s Sustainability (ASTUS). The project’s eight-month Discovery Phase, running until 31 March 2021, will seek insights into Uganda’s situation, needs and capabilities in TIP and scope a Modern Anti-trafficking Support System (MASS).

Underpinned by both satellite imagery and an understanding of the physical and cultural landscapes through extensive stakeholder-engagement, MASS will be potentially replicable by other countries around the world to tackle this global problem. Additional funding will be sought to develop this bespoke earth observation system in an Operational Phase involving global project partners which include Airbus and Hope for Justice. Professors van Blerk and Cutler are assisted by Researchers Dr Roeland Hemsteede and Janine Hunter.

The UK Space Agency has also issued a press release regarding this.

Project Perfect Stranger and The PlagueRound Game-Show

Dr Johanna Linsley, Lecturer in Creative Practice in the School of Humanities is inviting researchers in the social sciences who might be interested in undertaking some form of creative research or working with artists on aspects of their existing research.

The international theatre company ZU-UK, working with InGAME and the School of Humanities at University of Dundee, has developed a programme of training using playful techniques to think about meaningful interdisciplinary exchange, particularly in the time of COVID-19.

PLAGUEROUND is an experiential and performative workshop in the form of a Game-Show, aimed at researchers in the early stages of a new research project. You can find more details in the full project description.

Politics and water through the events of The Great Stink

In honour of World Water Week #WWWeek, The Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science shares their recent blog looking at the important relationship between politics and water through the events of The Great Stink.

Find out more by accessing the webpage.

Graduate community

ESRC Social Science PhD Consultation

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is undertaking a consultation as part of their 'Review of the PhD in the Social Sciences'. They want to 'capture views on the strengths and limitations of current doctoral study'. They are 'particularly interested in examples from existing experience, the learning from trials of new or innovative approaches, and views of areas where change would be beneficial to enhance skills and ensure doctoral graduates are fully prepared for a range of future careers with their health and wellbeing safeguarded'.

The findings of the review will inform the ESRC’s strategy for doctoral training.
The consultation is open until 16th September 2020.

Any questions, please contact Ed Hall.

Date for the diary - 18 November 14:00-16:00

ISSR is holding a 'lightning talks' event for PGRs who have commenced their studies at Dundee since July 2019. It will take place on Wednesday 18 November, 14:00-16:00.

If you would like to do a 5 min lightning talk on your doctoral research please email ISSR and if you would like to explore this in more detail please contact Ed Hall.

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