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Research culture

Advancing social science scholarship to help tackle some of the most important social, ethical and political issues of our time

King’s College London is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, learning and understanding ‘in the service of society’. Through its position in the heart of London, the College has long-established connections with the capital’s economic, intellectual and political life. Research in the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy is closely related to public services and institutions, as well as to business and industry. 

Our academic staff advise governments, serve on commissions and public bodies and are seconded to national and international organisations. Through their work with the public, private and voluntary sectors,  King’s expertise is made available to the wider community. Recent examples include: Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman’s involvement in the Chilcot Iraq Inquiry; Professor Alison Wolf’s review of vocational education; Professor Ragnar Löfstedt’s review of health and safety legislation and Professor Louise Archer’s work  on science education with the Science Museum

Through our interdisciplinary approach to research, discipline-based experts (including economists, historians, philosophers, political scientists and sociologists) collaborate across the Faculty’s seven departments. Our diverse research areas span: urban sustainability; climate change; security uncertainties and risks; the changing nature of war and conflict; age and ageing; social care and children’s well-being; health and medicine from a social science perspective; scientific literacy; cultural inclusion; social cohesion in multi-faith societies;  inequalities in health and education; public service reform and the future of the professions.

We attract funding from a variety of sources including the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Natural and Environmental Research Council (NERC), as well as charitable and other organisations such as the Nuffield Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, the British Academy, The Leverhulme Trust and many more. 

Researchers applying for funding are supported by a dedicated Arts & Sciences Research Office as well as by professional Research Officers in their own departments.  

Our ESRC-funded Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership supports social science research students by offering them advanced training programmes based around 15 research themes and  by helping  to establish networks across the College (including the Institute of Psychiatry).

The formation of the Policy Institute at King's and King’s Cultural Institute provides staff in the Faculty with further opportunities for external collaboration, outreach, and engagement. Policy Institute at King's works to bridge the gap between academic research and public policy.  It provides  funding for researchers to engage directly with policymakers and to participate in policy debates. 

This dynamic research culture contributes to our success as a leading centre for research excellence; it underpins our teaching, informs our strategic planning and continues King’s long-standing commitment to serve society.

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