Are you a social scientist with experience of working with businesses or industry partners? Are you interested in business engagement but not sure how to go about it? Do you have opinions on the type of support the University/Division should provide for social sciences in this area? Are you interested in how social sciences can tap into the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund recently announced by Government?

If so the we would love you to come along to one of our focus groups to share your expertise, opinions and ideas. We have identified 3 dates for the focus groups to take place (apologies for the timing, our ESRC funding for this project is on a very short timeframe):

  1. Fri 28 Apr 2017, 11:30-13:30 lunch provided
  2. Thu 04 May 2017, 09:30-11:30 coffee and biscuits provided
  3. Fri 05 May 2017, 10:00-12:00 coffee and biscuits provided

All the sessions will take place at the Social Sciences Divisional Office, Room A (Hayes House, 75 George Street, OX1 2BQ). Please confirm by return of email ( which session you would like to attend and if you have any special requirements. We will be in touch with more details of the format of the session in due course. If you cannot make any of these dates but you would like to feed into this then please let us know and we will arrange to speak to you separately if timing allows.


To give you some background, the divisional Research and Impact team has recently commissioned colleagues, Sarah Macnaughton and Britta Wyatt from Oxentia (previously known as Isis Enterprise - the external innovation consulting and training arm of Oxford University Innovation Ltd) to carry out a scoping exercise to explore social sciences engagement with businesses and industry. In particular:

  1. the division's areas of strength re: business development and industry engagement
  2. the scope of appetite for this kind of engagement from social science researchers
  3. the demand from the private sector for input from social science research
  4. how best we can support this type of activity

We have identified a few areas we think might be areas of potential for Oxford social sciences but would like to test these areas through the focus group discussions and figure out if there are other potential areas we have missed. Suggested areas so far: finance, banking, insurance and risk; big data; energy and environment; cities/urban futures incl transport.

We are keen to make the outcomes of this work practical and relevant for researchers across the division, so your time on this would be very much appreciated. Many thanks in advance.