SeNSS has held its official launch!
The SeNSS launch took place on 12 December 2016, at the House of Lords in London. The launch event was attended by around 90 SeNSS members, including the Vice-Chancellors of partner institutions, senior academics and administrators, as well as representatives of the ESRC, other external stakeholders and practitioners who have given the consortium their backing.
Challenging the rejection of social science experts
Speaking at the launch were Sharon Witherspoon, MBE, Head of Policy at the Academy of Social Sciences and its Campaign for Social Science and Jonathan Portes, formerly Chief Economist at the Cabinet Office and now a Research Fellow at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
Professor Shamit Saggar, SeNSS Director, said, “I was struck by Sharon Witherspoon’s call to ensure that advanced quantitative training is spread across several social science disciplines. She rightly pointed to several significant social science challenges that are increasingly being tackled by disciplines such as sociology, political science, psychology and economics, all of whom now regularly require such training and skills of their doctoral candidates”.
Professor Saggar also noted that, “Jonathan Portes is a seasoned observer of practitioners of evidence-based policymaking. He commented that the rejection of experts – as illustrated in the recent Brexit referendum – was really aimed at social scientists. This means that SeNSS leaders have a particular responsibility to ensure that our doctoral students are aware of this sentiment, but also to equip them to be persuasive and credible as well”.
SeNSS awarded funding by the Economics and Social Research Council
The ESRC will be funding 14 new Doctoral Training Partnerships - of which SeNSS is one - across the UK, with the first intake of students starting in October 2017. In total, around 500 studentships will be available each year across all of the DTPs, with 50 Postdoctoral Fellowships also funded through the DTP Network.
The DTP will enable SeNSS to offer fully-funded doctoral studentships each year for the next six years, providing high quality social sciences training.
Students will also have the chance to collaborate with over 200 external organisations already in partnership with SeNSS. In addition, the consortium’s External Innovation Group, comprising senior research users and practitioners will be on hand to provide strategic advice.