30th September 2016

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The Universities of Dundee and St Andrews have agreed to revise the structures for health and related research with SDHI being incorporated into the Dundee Centre for Health and Related Research [DCHARR]

Since SDHI began in 2003, as part of the Dundee-St Andrews ‘preferred partnership’ work supported by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), it has been  proactive in nurturing innovative multidisciplinary and cross-institutional approaches to research, to research capacity and capability building, and to knowledge exchange.

Achievements include being partners on 62 research awards totaling some £6.3M, the running of eleven conferences (four of which were international in scope), and the support of over 75 workshops, seminars and symposia, alongside six two-day postgraduate retreats and a similar number of public engagement events.

The collaborations across disciplines, between the universities and between academics and community partners will continue to thrive. The Universities would like to express our gratitude to our partners here.

Special thanks is given to Professor Thilo Kroll for recent leadership and long-standing engagement with SDHI and to the Institute’s administrative team of Mrs Rosanne Bell and Dr Fred Comerford for all their extraordinary work and support over the years.

The SDHI Management Team

Professor Margaret C Smith                              Professor Huw Davies

Welcome to SDHI

The Social Dimensions of Health Institute (SDHI) is an organisation which encompasses the variety of inter-disciplinary health-related research being conducted in both the University of Dundee and the University of St Andrews.

The Social Dimensions of Health Institute is a platform for a broad interdisciplinary research and knowledge exchange network. It brings together researchers with complementary expertise and skill profiles to enhance efforts to understand and explain the social dimensions of health and healthcare.

The Institute subscribes to a broad conceptualisation of health that encompasses well-being, social participation and societal inclusion. SDHI promotes research and knowledge exchange at the intersection of global challenges.

Research is undertaken and supported at the individual, organisational and socio-political and environmental level. Research conducted by SDHI researchers is focused on research problems, which due to their complexity necessitate inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration. In addition to understanding the context, causes and consequences associated with the social dimensions of health, SDHI is concerned with understanding the organisation, coordination and effectiveness of health care services.

The institute supports collaborations between academics with backgrounds in diverse social and health sciences, as well as arts, computing and humanities. It also encourages joint working with professionals in health and public services, third sector organisations and businesses. It has positioned itself as a broker for innovative, interdisciplinary, applied research to inform the understanding of health and well-being and the delivery of health care in Scotland and  internationally.


SDHI will be an internationally recognised institute of excellence for innovative interdisciplinary applied research into the social dimensions of health and healthcare.


SDHI aims to both deliver and promote the delivery of international quality, interdisciplinary research and knowledge exchange around the social dimensions of health, well being and social participation and the organisation, coordination and effectiveness of services concerned with them. Specifically, SDHI aims to

  • Increase the quantity and quality of interdisciplinary research within the Universities of Dundee and St Andrews in relation to the social dimensions of health, well being and social participation and the organisation, co-ordination and effectiveness of services and thus to maintain and improve the research ratings of relevant departments
  • Establish and maintain a multidisciplinary research and knowledge exchange environment and network that facilitates strategic academic collaboration between researchers from the Universities of Dundee and St Andrews and beyond
  • Promote creative and innovative thinking in a multidisciplinary knowledge and skills environment
  • Develop and support sustainable national and international collaborations and networks to contribute to the knowledge base and mobilisation about social dimensions
  • Develop effective collaborations with health, social, voluntary and public care sector organisations and the business community to facilitate the transfer of research findings into practice and policy
  • Develop interdisciplinary research capability and capacity at the intersection of social and health-related sciences