by Professor Lydia Plowman
Since September 2018 I’ve been working as Associate Director (Interdisciplinarity and Advanced Training) with the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS). This graduate school unites sixteen universities across Scotland to be the UK's largest facilitator of funding, training and support for doctoral students in the social sciences. SGSSS is funded jointly by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Scottish Funding Council so that ALL doctoral research students in Scottish universities can benefit from the enormous range of opportunities that SGSSS provides – not just those students who have ESRC studentships.
The SGSSS does much more than oversee the allocation of funding for research students: we create and fund world-class research training opportunities, including summer schools, working with business and a ‘spring into methods’ festival in conjunction with AHRC but we also encourage students to identify and organise their own events funded by SGSSS. We oversee a one-year post-doc scheme and we facilitate internships with a range of partners, including the Scottish Government and the NHS. I am keen to open up opportunities for interdisciplinary activities, encouraging us to work across sectors and disciplines, and some of the ESRC studentships are allocated specifically for interdisciplinary research. These opportunities will be valuable to the students who go on to work in the ever-expanding field of research that is intrinsically interdisciplinary, as well as to the many research students with a PhD who do not go on to a career in academia.
We have 26 doctoral students affiliated to the Centre for Research in Digital Education. Whether full time or part time, they’ve been funded by a variety of routes – by ESRC, but also by the College for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, by research projects, by the Ministry of Education in various countries overseas or by self-funding. Our research students are studying a broad range of areas across and beyond digital education, drawing on different disciplines and often with a supervisory team drawn from within and beyond Moray House to reflect their diverse disciplinary orientations.
Find out more about the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science: https://www.sgsss.ac.uk/