Cardiff University based research institute receives £7 million for social science research.

The Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD), based at Cardiff University, has received major funding in excess of £7 million following a successful bid to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

As one of four UK research centres, WISERD will be part of an overall ESRC investment of £29 million in a series of new centres and investments which will focus on a range of subjects addressing the ESRC’s priorities of: economic performance and sustainable growth, influencing behaviour and informing interventions, and a vibrant and fair society; which includes a focus on civil society.

This new flagship centre, WISERD/Civil Society, will undertake a five year innovative and far-reaching research programme of policy relevant research addressing Civil Society in Wales, the UK and Internationally. 

WISERD Director Professor Ian Rees Jones said: “As part of WISERD, a partnership between the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, South Wales and Swansea Universities, this new centre (WISERD/Civil Society) is built around longstanding partnerships between academics, policy makers and civil society organisations.”

“WISERD/Civil Society research will aim to inform our understanding of the changing nature of civil society in the context of devolved government and processes of profound social and economic change.   Furthermore, because of its size and devolved government, Wales offers a unique context for studying these issues.  Viewing Wales as a ‘laboratory for social science’, the centre will build on existing networks of researchers who have a wide range of expertise and skills.”

“This new centre will bring together our partner institutions with researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh, Sheffield and Ulster.  This is indeed a unique and exciting opportunity to undertake collaborative and multidisciplinary research that is focused on contemporary features of civil society,” he concluded.

Established in 2008, WISERD provides an ‘All-Wales’ focus for research and has had a major impact on the quantity and quality of social science research in Wales.

The Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts MP said of the ESRC announcement: “Investment in these research priorities is key to driving innovation and growth, helping to influence and shape policy and deliver a better society for us all.”

The centre will launch in Autumn 2014.  Further details on the research areas covered by the new centre will be presented at the WISERD 2014 Annual Conference at Aberystwyth University on 3rd and 4th July 2014.




For further information, please contact:

WISERD Communications Team
Telephone: 029 2087 0026

Notes to editors:


The Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD) was established in 2008 to draw together and build upon the existing expertise in quantitative and qualitative research methods and methodologies at the universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, South Wales and Swansea.

WISERD undertakes research and capacity building activities that underpin research infrastructure in the economic and social sciences across Wales and beyond.   WISERD is based at Cardiff University.


Details of the WISERD 2014 Annual Conference can be accessed here:

About Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities.  Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University Chancellor Professor Sir Martin Evans. 

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise encompasses: the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences; and the College of Physical Sciences, along with a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff’s three flagship Research Institutes are offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places.


About The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC’s total budget for 2013/14 is £212 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.