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08 June 2023

United Kingdom

Wise Centre for Economic Justice

Wise Centre for Economic Justice

Name of the research center:

Wise Centre for Economic Justice

Research Center contact:

Professor Sara Cantillon, Director, Wise Centre for Economic Justice Sara.cantillon@gcu.ac.uk Alison Lockhart, Senior Research Administrator a.lockhart@gcu.ac.uk

Founded as a research group in 2012 by the late Professor Ailsa McKay and granted official status as a recognised Research Centre within GCU in 2018. WiSE has 13 academics from across three Academic Departments; a full time Research Fellow and an Ailsa Mc Kay Post Doc fellowship. There are also approximately 5 funded post docs and 16 PD students.

How many sustainability-focused researchers are part of the center (#)?

More than 15

Implementation of SDG-focused research centers

GSBS has two established Research Centres of its own: the WiSE Centre for Economic Justice and the Moffat (Tourism) Centre, and a Research Unit, SPiRU standing for the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit. Faculty from the School for Business and Society are also members of the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, which works at the interface of research in social innovation and social economy, health economics and public health. In addition the School has seven research groups. These groups focus on Consumer Lifestyles & Experiences; the Gender Research & Equalities Network; Media & Culture; Responsible Business; Risk, Society & Governance; Social, Criminal & Legal Justice; and Sport & Physical Activity, and they drive research and research-led teaching across all six departments of the School.

In which ways is research fostered, motivated, or incentivized by leadership in the institution

To facilitate the development and maintenance of a healthy research culture, the School operates a Research Support Allocation (RSA) exercise which allows all members of staff to apply for research time as part of workload allocation. This includes allocations of one half to two full days per week for research. Smaller allocations are normally used for junior staff undertaking doctoral qualification, with larger allocations awarded to support faculty to pursue research that has been deemed to be internationally excellent or world-leading (as identified by the UK's Research Excellence Framework (RSA) 2021 results). The RSA exercise takes place on an annual basis, with performance measured against the criteria for different allowances and through appraisal undertaken as part of the Performance and Development Annual Review (PDAR) with Line Managers.

Percentage of resources is directed toward sustainability-oriented research at your institution

While there is no absolute figure for this, the guiding framework for the University's Research Strategy 2030 is the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), upon which the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework is based. As such the majority of supported research is SDG-oriented.

Main focus of the center's work

Researchers in WISE do both theoretical and methodological research, however the primary focus is policy. The Centre provides research informed policy engagement domestically and internationally, with policymakers and elected members. WISE academics engage in international academic and epistemic communities to develop research networks (Care Justice Network with Strathclyde and Glasgow Universities; Global Challenges Fund Gender Network with South African universities). “The impact that WiSE has is really important, not just to the work I do and the advice I provide, but to people in society.” Gary Gillespie, Chief Economist of the Scottish Government https://www.gcu.ac.uk/wise/

How many sustainability/SDG-oriented publications are produced by the center(s) each year on average? Please separate your response into peer-reviewed articles and other publications.

The Centre produces 5-10 SDG-oriented peer-reviewed publications per year on average. A recent example is a key comparative piece of work and output aligning with SDGs 5 and 10 published in Feminist Economics (https://doi.org/10.1080/135457...) exploring the differing impact of COVID-19 on the role of grandparents in informal childcare in South Africa and the UK.

Examples of other publications are two key publications for the UNECE and UN Women project: “Strengthening social protection for pandemic response” which works on strengthening care policies with a gender lens, and is being implemented with the participation of UN regional commissions and cooperating partners. Nina Teasdale and Sara Cantillon wrote a joint report for the UNECE research series on rethinking the care economy and empowering women.

Explain briefly how research carried out in the center feeds into teaching, giving examples of modules/courses or related degree programmes.

WISE organises research-led teaching across three programmes at PG levels.

MSc in International Economic and Social Justice (commenced 2019) (Dept. Economics/Law) and MSc in Human Rights (commenced 2021) (Dept. of Social Sciences)

These two Masters programmes are specifically aligned with several SDGs – 1, 2, 5, 8, 10 and 16. Launched in 2019 and 2021 with a focus on multi-disciplinary approaches to theoretical understandings of human rights, poverty and justice, and implications for policy making and policy analysis in the UK and internationally. One Masters is taught solely from across the WISE Centre team and the other with Wise and the Dept of Social Sciences. The importance of both economic justice and gender equality research was underscored in the 2022 Times Higher Education (THE) Social Impact Rankings which placed GCU as 1st in the United Kingdom and 5th in the world for gender equality research (SDG 5).


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