In July WISERD is hosting a series of events in place of our usual Annual Conference. The WISERD Summer Series will consist of four events exploring some of WISERD’s established and developing research areas. As part of the series, we will be hosting a PhD Poster competition, kindly sponsored by the Learned Society of Wales and the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership.

The events are free and open to all but would be of particular interest to academic researchers and people working in the areas of migration, wellbeing and food networks.  


Monday 5th July


Roma civil society organisations in Europe: Navigating uncertainty in times of Brexit and COVID-19

A 2019 report commissioned by the UN found that Roma living in the UK have long endured a "state of invisibility, marginalisation and exclusion" which pervades almost every area of their lives. Moreover, concerns about their legal status after Brexit have posed additional challenges to the work of civil society organisations both in the UK and Europe.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not affected everyone equally and has unmasked the prevalent socio-economic inequalities that affect racialised populations of the world, including the European Roma community.

Civil society organisations have worked for decades to support the integration, de-stigmatisation, and advancement of Roma people's rights. Understanding the impacts of Brexit and COVID-19 on segregated populations is one of the most critical tasks researchers and policymakers currently face.

Civil society organisations have worked for decades to support the integration, de-stigmatisation, and advancement of Roma people's rights. Understanding the impacts of Brexit and COVID-19 on segregated populations is one of the most critical tasks researchers and policymakers currently face.

In conversation with researchers and civil society organisation's leaders, this panel discusses the challenges and opportunities civil society organisations face in terms of segregation and social integration of Roma in light of the effects of Brexit and COVID-19. Furthermore, the panel will address possible ways civil society organisations can use to mobilise and voice the various concerns raised in the current political context to draw policymakers' attention to the social inequalities of minority and excluded groups.




Tuesday 6th July


The Foundational Economy of Food Under COVID-19 – The contribution of developing food networks

The ongoing COVID- 19 pandemic has underlined the ‘essential nature’ of the Foundational Economy and highlighted the vulnerability of reliance systems such as healthcare or food. In this context, the interest in and demand for innovative place-based alternatives to our system of food provision have increased rapidly across the UK, as more people engage in food aid initiatives and community-supported agriculture, or focus on the importance of public food procurement schemes. In this panel, we want to examine some of these developments and invite social and policy entrepreneurs involved in food networks in Wales to discuss how their experimental approaches can contribute to civic gain.




Wednesday 7th July


Well-Being and Social Participation: Education, Cultural Engagement, and Health

Overall summary of panel - The three papers to be presented at the panel will address questions and issues concerning well-being and its enhancement, in three contrasting areas of what might be termed ‘social participation’ - that is, in education, cultural engagement, and health. More specifically, the papers will examine the experience of adult returners to Higher Education at foundation level; the experience of those with dementia who are part of cinema-audiences; and the theory and practice of ‘social prescription’ in relation to GP practice and co-productive models of health delivery. 

Paper 1: Education – Presenters Marie Clifford and Emma Wheeler: The research is concerned with the well-being of Foundation Year students in Higher Education.  The researchers are specialists working with 'non-traditional' learners and explicitly focus on the pedagogical implications of learning being facilitated within an interdisciplinary teaching team.  The specific needs that these students often present are identified and are drawn from a current action research project using arts-based methods, creating digital stories of lived experience.  Through reflective practice, 'trauma-informed' understandings are considered as classroom practices are disseminated across the wider Higher Education context in light of the 'Universal Design for Learning' theoretical framework.

Paper 2: Cultural Engagement – Presenter James Rendell: The research is interdisciplinary in character examining dementia-friendly cinema screenings and their audiences, and how these events support wellbeing, inclusivity, and sociability. An emerging cultural phenomenon with very little research, the paper is located within wider fields of people with dementia and leisure activities, dementia-friendly communities, and empirical cinema audience research that explores the participative opportunities and environmental barriers for those with dementia when attending these specialised screenings. The paper also develops the research agenda for further study into this topic, stressing collaboration between academic, industry, cultural, charity, governmental stakeholders, and including participants with dementia as a core tenet of these dialogues.

Paper 3: Health – Presenter Steve Smith: Physical, mental and social components of well-being are known to be important to health. However, in health research and practice much of the focus has been on physical and mental well-being with less attention paid to social components, which we assert detrimentally affects the development of health policies and practices. Responding, The Wales School for Social Prescribing Research (WSSPR) are developing a tool for measuring the quality of respondents’ overall experience of social well-being , using a Group Concept Mapping (GCM) exercise, with a view to evaluating systematically health policies and practices, and in particular social prescribing. 




Thursday 8th July


Migration Research Wales network launch and Inaugural Keynote

This event will be the official launch of the WISERD Migration Research Network. It will provide an opportunity for members of the WISERD research network to introduce themselves, their work, and outline their future plans.


Following the launch, there will be a keynote address delivered by Dr Gwennan Higham (Swansea University)

International migration in Wales: nation of sanctuary in a hostile environment

This lecture will consider the state of international migration in Wales in the 21st Century. It will explore the increasing divergences between integration policies in the devolved nations of the UK in contrast with Westminster’s ‘hostile environment’ policy. Specifically, it will focus on issues of language learning, belonging and citizenship and the potential of fostering a culture of hospitality in Wales.

The launch will take place 10 - 10:45am (please note this is a closed meeting, invite only)

The keynote address will take place 11-12:30pm



Please register for each event separately. Any questions, please email