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Our Centre

We are a large and interdisciplinary social science research centre that draws together and coordinates the research of over 130 academic, research and support staff and over 20 doctoral full-time research students from across the University. The centre is one of the University’s flagship ‘pioneer research programmes’ identified for priority support and strategic investment.

The Centre builds upon over 25 years of internationally excellent and world-leading research at Queen's on children, families and communities. Reflecting our interdisciplinary nature, we currently work with six core partner Schools/Centres across Queen's:

Our Mission

We seek to improve the lives of children, families and communities by working in partnership to create robust evidence to find innovative solutions to key social problems.

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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