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Our Centre

Currently one of six Pioneering Research Programmes (PRPs) at Queen’s, CESI is housed within a newly refurbished and buzzing social science space at 2-8 Fitzwilliam Street. CESI is much more than a traditional ‘centre’, rather it is now a large, interdisciplinary social science research infrastructure and hub. Its academic members are drawn predominantly from its six host and partner Schools/Centres:

 

Our Mission

CESI connects research evidence to solutions that improve the lives of children, families and communities. CESI’s focus on innovation shapes our approach to bringing together academic research with policy and practice need, to foster faster positive social change.

 

Our Aims

We deliver new opportunities for members through our CESI infrastructure for globally significant research and innovation excellence

  • To build research capacity across disciplines in QUB adding value to our partner schools research activity  
  • To drive new research challenges through collaborative research projects 
  • Promotes and provides opportunities for evidence synthesis and implementation through Campbell UK and Ireland
  • Work with our partner communities and the Public Engagement Unit in QUB to further the work of collaborative spaces in communities where members of the CESI academic community can collaborate to drive changes in local health and social care and the economy.
  • Identify and provide training courses for students, academics, industry and the third sector 
  • Acts as a connector between academic staff and a wide range of external organisations

 

Research and social innovation

Working with key stakeholders, our research supports the development, delivery and evaluation of a wide and diverse range of social interventions. We are currently running over 30 externally-funded research projects that are organised around three interconnected thematic areas aligned to the sustainable development goals of:

  • Good health and wellbeing
  • Quality education
  • Sustainable cities and communities

We have extensive expertise in the use of innovative qualitative and advanced quantitative methods for increasing our understanding of the nature and extent of particular social problems. We are also leading the way internationally in the use of randomized controlled trials to evaluate the impact of complex social interventions and of systematic reviews to synthesise and learn from existing evidence.

Our research often challenges existing assumptions and taken-for-granted practices and helps us to identify new and innovative approaches to tackling long-standing social problems. We place a particular emphasis on early intervention and prevention, reflecting our commitment to tackling social problems at their root and before they arise or have time to take hold.

 

Outcomes focused

We are concerned not just with how well social interventions are delivered and thought of but, fundamentally, with whether they are effective. At the heart of our work, therefore, is a focus on the outcomes of social interventions and, more specifically, whether they do actually lead to measurable and lasting improvements in the health and social wellbeing of children, families and communities.

 

Partnerships and Impact

We value the many partnerships we have developed with a wide and diverse range of non-governmental organisations, government departments and agencies and voluntary and community groups. By involving key stakeholders in all aspects of our work - from the identification of priority areas for research through to the design, interpretation and communication of research findings - we seek to ensure that our research is relevant and has significant and demonstrable impact.

Alongside collaborations in relation to individual research projects we have also invested in long-term relationships with local communities through the notion of innovation zones.

 

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