communities, wellbeing and science – a day of public engagement


SDHI  is planning  a day of public engagement as part of the ESRC festival of science 2011 The aim is to present a range of work to the public, to inform a wider audience about what SDHI and its affiliations do, what we aim to deliver, and how this may impact on the wellbeing and quality of life of individuals in the community.

Participation in the event will provide students and staff the opportunity to present their work to a non-academic audience, engage service users in the work of  SDHI and the broader social-wellbeing-research community. This will also demonstrate why public involvement is important to our research and research planning and may promote service user participation in future research and research related activities.

Finally, this day event aims to underline the interdisciplinary and co-operative approach within the research community which SDHI is committed to facilitating.

The event will take place in Dundee’s Central Library in the Wellgate Shopping Centre on Saturday, 29th October 2011. For more information follow newsupdates on our blog and Twitter or contact Dr Fred Comerford

What matters to you about health care other than health?

Can cardiac rehabilitation help you or someone you know?

Do projects designed to improve health, wellbeing and participation work – How can we tell?

How can new technologies help the elderly and people diagnosed with dementia?

Have you ever been involved in scientific research? – find out just how important your input can be.

……..and more!

Research staff from the Social Dimensions of Health Institute, and some friend of the institute, will be on hand to tell you about their work and show you how we try to answer these questions and more.

Come along and create logic models, play with mind maps, check out how we do our research or just ask us questions

You can even have a go at “who wants to be a millionaire”. (We can’t offer you the money’ but we can promise you the thrill)

We will be by our stands on the Lending library floor of Dundee Central library in the Wellgate shopping Centre from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm so please drop by and chat with us.

Friends of SDHI who are taking part

PAMIS –  University of Dundee. Working with vulnerable adults

SHARE – University of Dundee. Developing a database of people in Scotland, willing to take part in health related research.

SCDRN – NHS. Scottish Dementia Clinical research Network.

3rd Research Fair for Nursing, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals

For the third consecutive year the NHS in collaboration with the University of Dundee is hosting on 27th June a day with presentations and workshops to develop research skills in clinical professionals at Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital. The Social Dimensions of Health Institute (SDHI) contributes to this capability building event. For more information visit

Patient safety through patient involvement


Patient views and experiences can contribute to safer health care services. Professor Vikki Entwistle, SDHI has worked with the Yorkshire Quality and Safety Group to examine patient involvement in patient safety. “Trust me- I am a patient”. Read the full interview with Vikki Entwistle in the Health Service Journal (HSJ), 19 May 2011, p.26-27.

SDHI Mid-Year Update

Co-Directorship Arrangement

The Co-Directorship arrangement (Prof Huw Davies, St Andrews/Dr Thilo Kroll, Dundee) put in place after the departure of Professor Brian Williams to the NMAHP Research Unit at the University in Stirling has been helpful in emphasising the links between St Andrews and Dundee as well as in terms of the interdisciplinary research portfolio of the institute.

‘Networking existing networks’

It is one of SDHI’s key objectives to build productive relationships with existing research and professional networks. One example is the collaboration with the Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience (CECHR), which is a joint venture between the University of Dundee and the Scottish Crops Research Institute (SCRI). This has produced joint PhD studentships, a mutual representation of SDHI and CECHR representatives on committees, and an upcoming knowledge exchange event in the autumn, entitled ‘Natural Disaster Mitigation for People with Disabilities: Identifying vulnerability, building resilience.’ Since April the Alliance for Self Care Research (ASCR), a consortium of Scottish higher education institutions and the NHS continues after a successful 5 year run in a new outfit. The acting director is Prof Vikki Entwistle who also serves as an Associate Director within SDHI.
There have also been constructive discussions with the NMAHP Research Unit to inform future collaborations.
SDHI has also supported a knowledge sharing day with focus on ‘Cancer and Employment’ on the 6th May, which has led to the implementation of a working group in this area.

Enhancing visibility and internationalisation

Since January 2011 the SDHI team has worked towards greater visibility of its activities in the two universities. This process is ongoing and will build on the good collaborative relationships established between the two universities in the past. The use of social media tools will allow us to communicate news and updates more rapidly in the future. The team opted against a static newsletter and favours a more dynamic, interactive newsblog. The use of Twitter enables us to tweet news items as they occur and report on events and activities in real time. Event blogs form useful information repositories with a life long after the event has occurred.

Internationally, SDHI has received further recognition through hosting a well-attended conference on 4-5th of May in Dundee, entitled ‘Rehabilitation and Participation: Building Bridges Between Researchers, Practitioners, and Service Users.’ Read more about this conference on the event blog at
The conference has led to future international collaboration in the area of rehabilitation, disability, participation and health.

A second conference with around 100 attendees , entitled ‘Making Healthcare Safer: Learning from Social and Organisational Research’ will take place on 27-28th June in St Andrews. Read more at

Capacity and capability building

SDHI continues its commitment to building research capacity and capability in the form of workshops on ‘writing for publication’ and ‘grant writing’ in collaboration with the School of Nursing & Midwifery at the University of Dundee.
The team will also revisit the popular Kindrogan retreat format, which did not take place this year as a result of changes in demand.

Public engagement

SDHI will host a showcase and public engagement event as part of the Dundee Science Festival in the autumn 2011. In this process it is working closely with the Revealing Research team at the University of Dundee.

Research activity and academic output

Grant development and publication volume remain substantial and are likely to further increase in the second half of the year. Just in the first four months of the year, SDHI team members have contributed to grant income generation in the order of £1 million through their various collaborative networks. Seven grant applications are currently under submission and 29 peer reviewed publications have been published or accepted between January and April 2011. We will report on highlights and greater detail of these activities on this blog in future.

A new research strategy that specifies objectives and targets for the next three years is currently being finalised.

Please follow us on the Internet

News blog

Twitter @SDHIresearch

We look forward to hearing from you!