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Dr Steve Kirkwood – Top Tips for Potential SUII-funded Projects

In this guest blog, Dr Steve Kirkwood provides advice from his experience of being a programme lead on one of our Knowledge Exchange programmes.  Steve is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Edinburgh.

 

Our project

I was the joint lead on a Scottish Universities Insight Institute (SUII)-funded programme in 2017 entitled ‘Developing Restorative Justice in Scotland’. In case you’re not aware, restorative justice is a process for facilitating safe communication between the direct victim of a crime and the person who committed a crime. It is well used in various parts of the world, and the evidence for its effectiveness is relatively strong, however it is little used in Scotland. The purpose of our programme was to explore and share the international evidence on restorative justice with policy makers, practitioners and academics in the Scottish criminal justice scene, with the hope of informing local policy and practice.

Continue reading “Dr Steve Kirkwood – Top Tips for Potential SUII-funded Projects”

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ANNOUNCEMENT – New Knowledge Exchange Programmes – 2018, Round 2

Last autumn we released our second call for proposals of 2018, on the theme of “Cooperation and Interdependence”.  We are delighted to announce that we have funded new knowledge exchange programmes from this round of applications.  These programmes include experts from across the disciplinary spectrum; among them clinical practice, disability studies, education, nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, politics, product design, psychology, public health, sociology, sport and exercise, and translation studies.

Continue reading “ANNOUNCEMENT – New Knowledge Exchange Programmes – 2018, Round 2”

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Joining the Dots in 2030 – Charlie Woods

We are about to embark on the decision making process for our next themed call around the broad topic of interdependence and cooperation.  Applications close on 23rd November and following our Programme Committee meeting in December the projects selected will run for the first nine months or so of 2019.  With this in mind, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on the projects that were part of our last themed programme carried out in 2018, which was in support of Scotland’s Futures Forum’s work on Scotland in 2030. Continue reading “Joining the Dots in 2030 – Charlie Woods”

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Citizens Basic Income – Where we are now?

Basic Income, under various monikers, has attracted a growing level of global attention in recent years.  At times referred to as Universal Basic Income or Citizen’s Basic Income, it represents an innovative approach to many pressing issues in contemporary society.  In September 2017, the Scottish Government committed £250,000 to allow four local authorities to explore the feasibility of Basic Income pilots.  In theory, a Basic Income would replace many current benefits and tax allowances with an unconditional, non-withdrawable payment to each citizen.  This foundational income would not be means tested, allowing all to rely on a stable, partial income.

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Promoting Wellbeing: What Works? – Charlie Woods

I recently attended a conference organised by ‘What Works Wellbeing’, which looked at the emerging evidence of what promotes wellbeing and quality of life for individuals and society more generally. The conference was organised around the themes of the What Works programme – work and learning, culture and sport, communities and cross cutting methods.

The idea behind a wellbeing focus is that it goes beyond narrow measures of economic output. Scotland’s National Performance Framework illustrated below is an excellent example of just such an approach.

Continue reading “Promoting Wellbeing: What Works? – Charlie Woods”

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Individual Freedom and the Common Good – Charlie Woods

Individual Freedom and the Common Good

In a recent fascinating article in the New York Times Colin Woodard summarises his analysis of how politics in America today is shaped by the values of the different groups that settled the country; from the Puritan communitarian legacy of the north east ‘Yankeedom’ to the personal sovereignty of ‘Greater Appalachia’. He identifies eleven different ‘nations’ or regions in the US that cross state boundaries and which, in his view, provide a much better guide to today’s political divisions that ‘north-south’ or ‘urban-rural’. At its heart he sees a tension between advancing and protecting individual liberty and promoting the common good.

Continue reading “Individual Freedom and the Common Good – Charlie Woods”

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New Call for Proposals and Roadshows

“The future is collaborative” – Jackie Kay (Scots Makar)

Focusing on the theme of Cooperation and Interdependence, our second call for proposals of 2018 seeks to explore the challenges and opportunities presented by ever increasing interconnectedness.  The call is now live, and further details can be found on the SUII website here.

Throughout September we’ll be running a series of informative workshops at our member institutions.

Continue reading “New Call for Proposals and Roadshows”

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Capitalism in the Age of Robots – Charlie Woods

Capitalism in the age of robots

In April this year Adair Turner (Chair of the Institute for New Economic Thinking) gave a speech entitled “Capitalism in the age of robots: work, income and wealth in the 21st century.” In it Turner argued that the rapid and unstoppable development of automation—based on robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning—will have profound implications for how we live and work over the next fifty to a hundred years.

Continue reading “Capitalism in the Age of Robots – Charlie Woods”

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Learning from Loss: Fieldtrip

The Learning from Loss programme team have been hard at work, and their fieldtrip is finally here!  From the 10th to the 21st of June participants will explore a range of issues relating to climate change impacts upon the historic environment through the lens of threatened coastal heritage and vulnerable carved stone monuments. We will learn from the diverse experiences of the participants and explore different situations and alternative approaches enriched with experiences from colleagues from the USA and insights from community heritage managers and stakeholders.

You can find the full Learning from Loss Programme Itinerary here.

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Housing and Ageing – Online Discussions from the First Working Group

The Housing and Ageing programme brings together academics, policy makers, service users and organisations delivering policy objectives in practice to exchange knowledge and design best practice.

Working together with Housing LIN, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) and Age Scotland, the programme events focus on linking the strategic policy priorities of Housing and Ageing together with practice and service user experience.  The first of three working group events took place on 1 May 2018 in Stirling, demonstrating innovative approaches (including a serious game) and generating lively discussion; in the room and on social media.  The latter can be found below.
Continue reading “Housing and Ageing – Online Discussions from the First Working Group”

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Future Transitions in Palliative Care – Online Discussions from the Opening Event

Held at the Lighthouse, this first seminar in the series focused on understanding the current research, policy and practice landscape of palliative care.  This programme argues that there is a need to focus on positive and preferable destinations of care where the ethos and values of services provide a seamless transition for people with life limiting conditions, regardless of life stage.

Continue reading “Future Transitions in Palliative Care – Online Discussions from the Opening Event”

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Wellbeing: increasingly a crucial public policy goal

SUII Director, Charlie Woods, discusses the continued attention being dedicated to conceptions of wellbeing in research, policy and practice.

SUII Director, Charlie Woods, discusses the continued attention being dedicated to conceptions of wellbeing in research, policy and practice.

It has been four years since our themed programme on wellbeing (summarised here), which looked at the insights from taking a wider wellbeing approach to public policy and practice. Over this period, there has been a steady increase in interest in promoting wellbeing as a policy objective. This note highlights a couple of recent examples.

Continue reading “Wellbeing: increasingly a crucial public policy goal”

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Reducing harm and promoting wellbeing amongst people who have housing, health and substance use challenges

The seminar series entitled ‘An international and intersectional dialogue on how to reduce harm and promote wellbeing amongst people who have housing, health and substance use challenges’ started on the 27th of November in the Scottish Universities Insight Institute premises in Glasgow. For any member of an organising committee, there is always a certain degree of nervousness on the first day of an event. However, this was one occasion where the atmosphere was relaxed and conducive to interesting conversations from the very beginning.

Continue reading “Reducing harm and promoting wellbeing amongst people who have housing, health and substance use challenges”

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New Programme – Reducing harm and promoting wellbeing amongst people who have housing, health and substance use challenges

In the fourth of our introductions to the new programmes, Dr Tessa Parkes, Dr Hannah Carver, and Dr Fiona Cuthill provide a bit more detail on their new programme.

Continue reading “New Programme – Reducing harm and promoting wellbeing amongst people who have housing, health and substance use challenges”

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New Programme – Shifting Paradigms for Dementia: Involving People Living with Dementia across Research, Policy and Practice

In the third of our introductions to the new programmes, Dr Grant Gibson provides a bit more detail on the programme he’s leading with Dr Diane Pennington – ‘Shifting Paradigms for Dementia’.

Continue reading “New Programme – Shifting Paradigms for Dementia: Involving People Living with Dementia across Research, Policy and Practice”

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New Programme – Separated and Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children in Scotland

In the second of our introductions to the new programmes, Dr Paul Rigby and Dr Daniela Sime tell us a little more about ‘Separated and Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children in Scotland’.

Continue reading “New Programme – Separated and Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children in Scotland”

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New Programme – Conversations about language and literacy: promoting equity and attainment through engagement

In the first of our introductions to the new programmes, Dr Lynne Duncan and Dr Sarah McGeown tell us a little more about ‘Conversations about language and literacy: promoting equity and attainment through engagement’.

Continue reading “New Programme – Conversations about language and literacy: promoting equity and attainment through engagement”

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Call for Proposals, Scotland 2030: Advice from Programme Leaders

Early in September we ran a series of information workshops on our most recent Call for Proposals: Scotland 2030.

As part of the roadshows we asked past project leaders to discuss the lessons they learned in designing and delivering projects. Their reflections were particularly useful, so we’ve compiled some of the most beneficial here to help prospective applicants in developing their proposals.

Continue reading “Call for Proposals, Scotland 2030: Advice from Programme Leaders”

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Charles McFarlane (Who Cares? Scotland) – Reflections on the Final Stigma in Childhood Project Seminar

On Wednesday the 30th August 2017 I had the privilege of participating in several workshops and listening to great keynote speakers. The seminar was opened by Professor Andrew Kendrick (University of Strathclyde) who was brilliant welcoming us all to the event and going over the objectives for the day. As a care experienced member of staff within Who Cares? Scotland, I found the day very eventful and informative. It was just a shame there was so much going on but, due to time, I could only be participate in some of the workshops available.

Continue reading “Charles McFarlane (Who Cares? Scotland) – Reflections on the Final Stigma in Childhood Project Seminar”

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Charlie Woods – The Elephant in the Room

Apparently, a picture is worth a thousand words. With this in mind, I was delighted to come across this cartoon (by artist G. Renee Guzlas) to start our presentation at this month’s roadshows around our member universities, to help illustrate what lies behind SUII projects.

Continue reading “Charlie Woods – The Elephant in the Room”

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Dr. Amy Chandler – Reflecting on stigma, self-harm and young people

On 26th June I ran a workshop for the second Stigma in Childhood event, at the Scottish Universities Insight Institute at Strathclyde. This was an excellent opportunity to share some of my research on self-harm and young people, and hear from others about their views and experiences of the topic.

Continue reading “Dr. Amy Chandler – Reflecting on stigma, self-harm and young people”

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Storify of the Final Stigma in Childhood Project Seminar Now Available

The Stigma in Childhood programme seeks to address the unique issues for children who experience stigma, as well as common issues which allow learning from the experience of stigma in adulthood. In this, it considers how stigma is experienced by children from different places, and how it manifests itself; for children themselves, in families and communities, and in provision of services. Bringing together learning from theory, research, policy and practice, it will promote change for children and young people living with stigma and marginalisation.

Continue reading “Storify of the Final Stigma in Childhood Project Seminar Now Available”

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Call for Proposals: Scotland 2030 – Roadshows

Throughout September we’ll be running a series of informative workshops to coincide with our most recent call for proposals.

Focusing on the theme of Scotland 2030, this call is intended to complement and support Scotland’s Futures Forum’s current major programme of work.  The call for proposals is now live, and further details can be found on the SUII website here.

Continue reading “Call for Proposals: Scotland 2030 – Roadshows”

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Stigma in Childhood: The Fostering Network’s Young Champions

The past two Stigma in Childhood project seminars have emphasised the importance of the experience and contribution of the children and young people who remain at the heart of the project.  In particular, at the most recent event, Professor Pranee Liamputtong argued that research should be conducted with, as opposed to on, children and young people.

Continue reading “Stigma in Childhood: The Fostering Network’s Young Champions”

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Stigma in Childhood Project Seminar: Experiencing and Measuring Stigma in Childhood, Monday 26 June 2017

Building on discussions from the May event—which focused on cultural and social perspectives of stigma in childhood—the second seminar for the Stigma in Childhood project sought to explore theoretical and practical approaches to stigma as it is experienced by children and young people.  It brought together a range of speakers and participants, including international academics; representatives from organisations such as Who Cares? Scotland, the Scottish Refugee Council, and the Fostering Network; and care experienced young people themselves.  The event demonstrated the value of a multifaceted, collaborative approach to the issues surrounding stigma in childhood.

Continue reading “Stigma in Childhood Project Seminar: Experiencing and Measuring Stigma in Childhood, Monday 26 June 2017”

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Storify of the Second Stigma in Childhood Project Seminar Now Available

The Stigma in Childhood programme seeks to address the unique issues for children who experience stigma, as well as common issues which allow learning from the experience of stigma in adulthood. In this, it considers how stigma is experienced by children from different places, and how it manifests itself; for children themselves, in families and communities, and in provision of services. Bringing together learning from theory, research, policy and practice, it will promote change for children and young people living with stigma and marginalisation.

Continue reading “Storify of the Second Stigma in Childhood Project Seminar Now Available”

The Relationship between Poverty, Attainment, and Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing: Making a Difference to the Lives of Children and Young People

Focusing on early adolescence, a critical stage in development, this programme looks to examine the relationship between poverty, attainment, and children’s mental health as a means of addressing the attainment gap between rich and poor.  The attainment gap is a global and complex problem, which requires international and multi-disciplinary perspectives.  It will bring together academics, policy makers, and practitioners to question: what we currently know about the problem, how we can best extend our understanding of these relationships, and how this can inform public policy and practice.  A sense of belonging to school lies at the intersection of poverty, attainment, and mental health.  Through engagement with children the programme will build children’s voices into discussion, ultimately contributing to the Scottish Attainment Challenge.

Programme Team:

Dr Joan Mowat (University of Strathclyde) – Inclusion, Children with Social, Emotional, and Behavioural Needs, Leadership for Social Justice
Dr Gale Macleod (University of Edinburgh) – Education, Young People Identified as having Disruptive Behaviour
Alastair Wilson (University of Strathclyde) – Social Mobility, Mentoring, Widening Participation
Dr Anna Beck (University of Strathclyde) – Educational Policy, Teacher Professionalism
Graham McPheat (University of Strathclyde) – Social Work and Looked After Children
Professor Stephen McKinney (University of Glasgow) – Creativity, Culture, Poverty
Dr Louise Marryat (University of Edinburgh) – Mental Health, Public Health and Policy
Lee Knifton (University of Strathclyde) – Head of the Mental Health Foundation
Marian MacLeod (Children in Scotland) – Policy Manager, Children’s Welfare
Patricia Lyon (Place2Be) – Cluster Manager, Counselling for Children
Paula Dudgeon (Glasgow City Council) – Educational Psychology
Professor John McKendrick (Glasgow Caledonian University) – Applied Human Sociology, Poverty and Inequality
Fiona McHardy (The Poverty Alliance) – Research and Information Manager
Aileen Wilson (Inverclyde Children’s Services) – Children’s Rights and Participation
Dr Gillean McCluskey (University of Edinburgh) – Multi-agency working, Pupil Voice
Sara Spencer (Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland) – Project Manager

Coproducing Justice: International Social Economy Network

The significance of employment to desistance—the cessation of offending or antisocial behaviour—is well established, yet there are multifarious obstacles to people with convictions accessing and sustaining work.  Social enterprise and cooperative structures of employment can circumnavigate some of the systemic obstacles, such as criminal records and employer discrimination.  But such structures are a rarity in the UK justice system, and their potential is largely unexplored.  Bringing together international, multi-disciplinary academic and industry leaders, this programme seeks to inform the development of social enterprise and cooperative structures of employment for people involved in the justice system.  It will bring together research, policy, and practice, which have heretofore developed separately, to forge and deepen links to form a sustainable network to address these challenges.

Programme Team:

Dr Beth Weaver (University of Strathclyde) – Desistance, Co-production, Social Cooperative and Enterprise Structures of Employment
Professor Stephen Osborne (University of Edinburgh) – Chair of International Public Management, Co-production, the Third Sector and Public Services
Dr Michael Roy (Glasgow Caledonian University) – Social Business, Social Enterprise, Health and Wellbeing
Sarah Soppitt (Northumbria University) – Criminology, Criminal Justice Practice, Desistance
Elizabeth Docherty (Glasgow Social Enterprise Network) – Director
Paul Morris (Glasgow City Council) – Development Officer and Operations Manager for Glasgow Region City Deal Employability Project
Thomas Jackson (Community Justice, Glasgow) – Head of Community Justice, Glasgow
Jayne Chappell (Social Firms Scotland) – Finance and Development Manager

Storytelling for Resilience: Communicating Systemic Approaches to Climate Change

This timely and necessary programme brings together climate change adaptation specialists from across the natural and social sciences.  It identifies two central challenges for increasing resilience to extreme events: to make complex research results more accessible and tractable for decision-makers, and to acknowledge that decision-makers include the general public as they self-organise and respond to new local challenges, in parallel with policy and practice.  To address these challenges, it proposes a novel approach: storytelling for climate change adaptation.  Using state-of-the-art storytelling training, it will bring a fresh set of communication and engagement skills to climate change researchers and practitioners.  These skills will be applied by the wider community of climate change professionals, enhancing knowledge exchange activities.  It aims to demonstrate the efficacy of storytelling in bringing about real-world impact, through application to a specific case study with a flood-prone community.

Programme Team:

Melissa Bedinger (Heriot-Watt University) – Ergonomics, Socio-technical Systems and Climate Change
Esther Carmen (University of Dundee) – Science Policy and Practice Interfaces, Community Resilience
Professor Lindsay Beevers (Heriot-Watt University) – Civil Engineering and Water Management
Ioan Fazey (University of Dundee) – Environmental Change and Human Resilience
Alanah Knibb (Freelance Illustrator) – Art, Graphic Novels and Comics, Science Communication
Julia Bentz (University of Lisbon) – Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation, and Economics
Ingrid Coninx (Wageningen University) – Climate Adaptation and Policy Implementation Gaps

Developing Confident Life Stories about Child Bereavement: Normalising and Supporting Bereavement Experiences through Storytelling and Comics

This programme will explore the impact of bereavement on young people, supporting them to construct and represent their own stories through the medium of comics.  More than 75% of young people experience the death of someone close, with the figure even higher for vulnerable children.  Given the impacts of bereavement on wellbeing, including psychological health and educational achievement, this is a crucial issue.  While recent Scottish policy emphasises developing discourse and support, a culture of silence around bereavement remains.  Comics are an ideal medium for storytelling, with the combination of image and text providing an accessible creative space for expression.  The process of creating comics helps generate confident life stories, which will be used to support professionals and carers, inform national policy on childhood bereavement, and normalise discussions of bereavement more generally.

Programme Team:

Dr Golnar Nabizadeh (University of Dundee) – Comics and Visual Literacy
Dr Susan Rasmussen (University of Strathclyde) – Health Psychology
Professor Christopher Murray (University of Dundee) – Comic Studies
Professor Divya Jindal-Snape (University of Dundee) – Chair of Education, Inclusion and Life Transitions
Dr Damon Herd (Dundee Comics Creative Space) – Autobiographical Comics and Comics Performance
Philip Vaughn (Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design) – Practice and Production in Animation
Dr Sally Paul (University of Strathclyde) – Public Health, Death, Dying and Bereavement
Judith Furnival (CELCIS) – Residential Childcare, Suicide and Care Leavers
Nina Vaswani (CYCJ) – Youth Justice, Bereavement and Loss

Image: Jindal-Snape, D et al.  Fibromyalgia and Us. UniVerse, 2017.

Creative Communities: Making the Invisible Visible through Creative Expression of Mental Wellbeing in Land and Sea Communities

This innovative programme seeks to create new modes of expression to address, communicate, and share the often obscured challenges of people experiencing (or affected by) mental ill-health.  Focusing particularly on the rural areas of Scotland, from land-based to maritime communities, it will explore how to develop an increased sense of personhood and collective wellbeing in these frequently invisible communities.  It seeks to understand how the resilience of rural communities and the wellbeing of individuals can be enhanced if mental health issues are expressed, shared and addressed more widely.  Its overarching aims are to inform the Scottish Government Rural and Mental Health Policy development, and to contribute more generally to the Mental Health agenda in Scotland by reflecting the lived experience expressed by citizens.

Programme Team:

Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam (The Glasgow School of Art), Design Innovation.
Professor Chris Speed (Edinburgh College of Art), Chair of Informatics.
Professor Stewart Mercer (University of Glasgow), Chair in Primary Care Research.
Professor Sarah Skerratt (Scotland’s Rural College), Director of SRUC’s Rural Policy Centre.
Dr Jane Atterton (Scotland’s Rural College) – Rural and regional development issues, rural economies and businesses.
Dr Tara French (The Glasgow School of Art) – Psychology and Design Innovation.
Dr Mafalda Moreira (The Glasgow School of Art) – Amplified Design Mindset, human-centred and strategic design.
Dr Cheryl McGeachan (University of Glasgow) – Human Geographer, historical and cultural geographies of mental ill-health.

Community credit unions and payroll deduction: a report on a field trial

Representatives from credit unions, universities, Carnegie UK Trust, the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, the Ethical Finance Hub and others, met last week at the City Chambers for the launch of a new report on the opportunities and challenges facing community credit unions in initiating payroll deduction schemes.

The report, Credit Unions and Payroll Deduction published on International Credit Union Day (20 October 2016) is based on work by  academics Dr Kathryn Waite and Dr Robbie Mochrie, as part of a SUII follow up programme, in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals and two community credit unions based in Glasgow – Drumchapel Credit Union and Greater Govan Credit Union.

Continue reading “Community credit unions and payroll deduction: a report on a field trial”