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Sociology Research (UoA21)

Sociology became a separate unit in the School of Geography, Politics, and Sociology in 2002.

Proud of our research portfolio

The unit has seen significant growth, from 19 staff submitted to REF2014 to 25 in REF2021. We are proud of our Sociology research portfolio.

We have a long-standing commitment to collaborative working and interdisciplinarity. This is through expertise in areas such as bioethics and anthropology.

We host the Policy, Ethics, and Life Sciences research centre, founded in 1999. 

Research clusters

We organise our Sociology research within three clusters:

  1. Identities, Embodiments, and Selves
  2. Power, Inequalities, and Citizenship
  3. Imagining Pasts and Futures

Research funds

In this REF period, we received just over £3m in research income. We're addressing some of the most pressing and important issues of the current era. More than half of this funding came from UKRI.

Interdisciplinary collaborations

Interdisciplinary collaborations are at the heart of many of our grants, including:

Unit colleagues were fellowship funded by Leverhulme Trust, EU Horizon 2020, and ESRC.

Research community

Our Sociology research community is also strengthened by:

  • our current cohort of 20 PGR students
  • the active contributions of postdoctoral researchers (21 over the REF2021 cycle)

We have a strong track record of Sociology research with policy, practitioner, social, and cultural purpose. It echoes the School’s Impact Manifesto and the University’s 2021 Vision of One University Without Walls.

Influencing policy through collaborative partnerships

We have more than 50 research relationships at regional and national level with:

  • charities
  • not for profit organisations
  • think-tanks

Colleagues work across the policy spectrum with both elected representatives and government policy makers (for example the Home Office and DWP).

We work with several international organisations, including:

  • Plan International
  • International Rare Disease Research Consortium
  • EU Agency for Fundamental Rights

At the regional level, partner organisations include:

  • West End Refugee Service
  • People’s Kitchen
  • Disability North
  • Newcastle City Council
  • multiple schools
  • several healthcare bodies

A recent initiative is the re-location of The North East Child Poverty Commission to the Unit. It's a widely respected consortium of important regional actors. They work to impact national and regional policies on child poverty in the North East.

Equality, diversity, and inclusion

Sociology research activity is grounded in our commitment to a collegiate and inclusive environment. Our School was one of the first in our Faculty to be awarded Athena Swan Bronze status in 2017.

Women have been subject area head and research director/REF coordinator for the entire REF period. We are actively reviewing our recruitment processes.

We're working with University initiatives to improve the racial diversity of our staff group. This reflects a proactive engagement by us with EDI issues across the University.

Colleagues have contributed to the:

  • University-wide BAME staff network
  • Disability Interest Group
  • Listening Campaign for the Real Living Wage (now in place)
  • implementation of the Wellcome Trust Reimagine Research Culture Initiative

Research case studies

Find out more

To find out more about the Unit’s research, follow these links: