Transformative Research at Aberystwyth University

Transformative Research at Aberystwyth is an initiative to stimulate and support innovative research at the frontiers of social science enquiry. The programme is funded by the ESRC under its ‘Transformative Social Science’ initiative and runs initially for two years to February 2016.

Aberystwyth University has appointed Michael Woods as Professor of Transformative Social Science to co-ordinate the programme, supported by a Steering Group comprising Professor Rhys Jones (ESRC Transformative Social Science award holder), Professor Mark Whitehead (ESRC Transformative Social Science award holder) and Dr Jenny Deaville (RDO for Social Science).

The aims of the programme at Aberystwyth are to:

  • build the capacity of social scientists to design and deliver transformative research; 
  • support methodological innovation for transformative research; 
  • promote transformative research at Aberystwyth to academic audiences and expand our collaborative networks; and
  • develop new ways of communicating social science research to achieve transformative impacts in society.

To support these objectives, the Transformative Research programme includes a number of activities:

  • Research networks and sand-pit events: Cross-disciplinary research networks focused on strategic priority themes of the ESRC and other funding bodies, initiated with a ‘sand-pit’ event and with competitive seedcorn funding available to develop research ideas and grant proposals.
  • International symposium: Competitively awarded funding of £5,000 to organize an international symposium to promote findings from a social science research project at AU to leading figures in the relevant discipline(s).
  • Transformative methods workshop and seminars: A one-day workshop to explore and develop new methodological approaches for transformative and transdisciplinary research, and regular internal seminars to share innovative ideas and expertise in social science research methods.  For events see here.
  • Creating community conversations project: Project with Ymlaen Ceredigion to engage local communities in conversations about climate change resilience, adaption and mitigation, drawing on insights from the ESRC Transformative Social Science project ‘Negotiating Neuroliberalism’.

For more information contact Professor Michael Woods by e-mailing