Institute for Social Science

Support for Research

Support for Research

Find out about funding, events and competitions to support research.

Crowd gathered in the street

The Institute for Social Science supports research in a number of ways:

  • an annual funding call
  • running events on particular themes or topics
  • postgraduate researcher video competition

All these activities are open to researchers across the university, from postgraduates to senior professors. In addition, we support the next generation of researchers through our annual ‘Challenge Labs’ programme.

We run these in conjunction with the Humanities Research Institute and Institute for Creative Arts Practice.

We are always looking for new projects to nurture and support. We are happy to meet with individuals or clusters to discuss how we can help.

Please contact either Liz Todd, our Director, or Alex Robson, Institutes Officer.

Funding call

We hold at least one competitive funding call a year, where we invite scholars to present their ideas for new research projects.

We run our funding calls in tandem with our sister institutes (Institute for Creative Arts Practice and Humanities Research Institute).

We know that brilliant ideas do not always fit within funding call timetables. So, in exceptional circumstances, we might decide to fund projects outside of our funding call windows.

In all cases, we would urge you to get in touch with us and tell us about your ideas so we can work out how we can best help. Contact Liz Todd or Alex Robson to discuss.

To make sure you don’t miss out on information about our events or our funding calls, please join our mailing list.



We have an ongoing programme of events which can be found on our events page. As well as our own events, we run events with our sister institutes, Creative Arts Practice and Humanities.

We are also running a series of events in the new year and spring with the Dean of Social Justice. These events will focus on gender, anti-racism and poverty.


The Institute for Social Science hosts a monthly event called TALKSocSci.

TALKSocSci was set up by the Institute to create a space for researchers to come together and talk about a particular topic. These events are hosted by the Institute but they are typically led by two academics who might offer different opinions or perspectives on the same topic.

To date we have had sessions on ‘What is inequality and does it matter?’, ‘Methodologie@Newcastle’, ‘Negotiating partnerships beyond the University’ and ‘Researching Children’s out of school lives’.

Upcoming sessions will be on ‘Urban Gender Violence’ and ‘Gender: history, politics and importance to social science and society’.

If you would like to be part of TALKSocSci and present on your research, please get in touch with Alex Robson.

Ideas for events?

If you have an idea for an event or series of events, please contact us to discuss.

You can keep up to date with all of our events via our newsletter

Video Competition

First place – Sarah Atkinson from the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences. Sarah’s video was truly excellent, simple yet emotive, and communicated her research and impact clearly. She really demonstrated how the use of technology by parents and speech and language therapists could change lives.

Watch Sarah’s video here.

Second place – Gemma Roberts from the Institute of Neuroscience. Gemma’s video set out the potentially huge impact that changing NHS guidelines could have as a result of the work she is involved in. This would not only impact dementia patients but could save NHS resources.

Watch Gemma’s video here.
Third place – Adrienne Attorp (Geography, Politics and Sociology), Lydia Lymperis (Education, Communication and Language Sciences) and Amelie Ott (Engineering). We really liked the clear messages and found their videos’ both simple, effective and creative.

Watch Adrienne's video, Lydia's and Amelie's.

We would also like to commend the following on their submissions which you can view:

Challenge Labs

**COVID 19 UPDATE** Unfortunately, due to the Covid 19 outbreak, Challenge Labs will not take place in the summer of 2020. Please keep checking our website for further updates regarding the Challenge Labs programme.

Our Challenge Labs funding call is open to Undergraduate, Postgraduate students and Postgraduate researchers registered at Newcastle.
Challenge Labs is designed to support Newcastle University students to develop interdisciplinary and collaborative research projects.
Projects can be within the arts, humanities or social sciences, or between these subjects and other subject areas in the University.
Every year the Humanities and Social Science Faculty’s three Research Institutes (Humanities, Creative Arts Practice and Social Science) invite students to devise a specific interdisciplinary research ‘challenge’.
These might relate to ‘real-world’ or ‘societal’ issues (such as illiteracy, global warming, or ‘fake news’) or they could be purely academic. They should:
  • be ‘research-worthy’ problems
  • require group working
  • take an approach that draws on methods and expertise derived from a number of disciplines
These subjects must include one or more arts, humanities or social science disciplines. They need not be limited to these. We welcome applications from students working across Faculties.
One of our previous 2019 winners, Philippa Carter, has wrote a very interesting blog about the impact of her project 'How can memories of Chopwell's past provide a vision of the future?'
The next Challenge Labs will take place in summer 2020. If you are interested in hearing about our next Challenge Labs funding call, register your interest by contacting Christopher.O'Keeffe.