Emerging priorities in mental health and addiction

We are delighted to announce a joint ENTER Mental Health, SDHI, and Centre for Addiction Research & Education Scotland CARES Conference to be held in St Andrews on Friday 3rd June 2016 entitled “Emerging priorities in mental health and addiction: the Virtual World, Ageing and Migration

This is a one day conference to explore key issues facing us as researchers, practitioners and policy makers

Further information and registration details can be found at https://enterepmhe2016.wordpress.com/

Enquiries should be directed to epmhe2016@st-andrews.ac.uk


ENTER logo  SDHI Logo 2013 Medium format.jpg   CARESLogo1

New Years Honours for Professor Annalu Waller and Professor Paul Boyle

AnnaluCongratulations to Professor Annalu Waller, Chair of Human Communication Technologies at the University of Dundee and associate member of SDHI, who has been awarded an OBE for her services to people with complex communication needs.

Professor Waller has been based in Computing at the University since 1989 and has helped established Dundee’s reputation as one of the world’s leading centres for research into augmentative and alternative communication technologies for people with severe communication difficulties.  She works closely with children and adults with disabilities, involving service users in the development of innovative technologies.  Read further here……

Paul Boyle2Congratulations also to Professor Paul Boyle (founding Director of SDHI) and now President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester who has been awarded a CBE in recognition for services to Social Science.  The Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) is awarded for having a role at national level, or a leading role at regional level, and for a distinguished, innovative contribution to any area.

Prior to his appointment at Leicester, Professor Boyle was the Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the UK’s largest funding agency for social science research.   Before joining the ESRC, Professor Boyle was Head of the School of Geography and Geosciences at the University of St Andrews and Director of SDHI and has published widely in Demography and Epidemiology.  Read further here……

Reflections and Outlook

As 2015 is coming to an end, it is a good time for reflection of what this year has meant for SDHI and what some of the personal highlights have been, and perhaps, even more importantly what is on the horizon for us in the new year.

It is probably not an uncommon sentiment – that is shared by many in December, the feeling that time is just going faster and faster and how could it be that another year has gone by at seemingly unprecedented speed. 2015 has been a good year. In Dundee, the University’s Transformation Agenda underpins the interdisciplinary work that SDHI began in 2003. In St Andrews, we see new opportunities for cross-disciplinary working and with close collaboration with NHS Fife with the appointment of Prof Alex Baldacchino in the School of Medicine there and as an Associate Director of SDHI. Over the past year we have worked increasingly in the context of local communities, whether we supported work on homelessness in Dundee or the work of Edinburgh based social enterprise, Crossing Countries in South Africa. We are working increasingly with non-governmental organisations and charities, including Sight Action, Action on Hearing Loss, RNIB, AMINA, Age Scotland, Alzheimer Scotland, Faith in the Community and many more. And we are making connections with business organisations such as Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE). In 2016, we are hoping to expand this further.

SDHI researchers have been involved in larger international initiatives and we have formed new research links across Europe, into the US, Brazil and Australia. This puts us into a good starting position for international research bids (e.g Horizon 2020), as well as ‘glo-cal’ collaborations.

We are pleased to see that several SDHI affiliated researchers have received personal achievement awards in 2015, including Dr Jenna Breckenridge, Dr Debbie Baldie and Gavin Wylie (we reported about these awards on this blog).

The year 2015 also gave us several inspiring events: We examined what it would take to ‘humanise health care’ in a one-day workshop. We had a full afternoon with presentations that explored the interface between ‘health, human rights and development’ and we engaged students, practitioners and academics at a breakfast roundtable to reflect about the emerging and current ‘social dimensions of addiction’.

These events show the phenomenal work that is happening in partnership with many partners at our universities. And they are testimony to the passion that many of us bring to this work, the caring spirit and the drive to make a difference, to have an impact, to transform lives.

In 2015 we had the pleasure to work so many new colleagues and disciplines, and we are very much encouraged to continue in this direction in 2016. It has helped us to see our local as well as our global environment with different eyes and produced new understandings of issues and solutions. We are working in close collaboration and in variable configurations with other interdisciplinary platforms and units at both universities, including CECHR, TCELT, Transforming Childhood, SISCC, DHSRU, DCHRR and many others.

In 2016 SDHI will review its current strategy ‘Connecting to transform lives’ (2014-2018), and while staying on course, we will seek further refinements and adaptations in discussion with our friends and partners.

We are pleased to co-host with ENTER the 2016 conference on emerging issues in mental health. And we will shortly announce a range of new webinars and seminars.

Join us on our journey into a new exciting year. Thank you for all your support and we look forward to working with you in 2016.

ESRC Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences PhD Studentships 2016

The ESRC Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences has listed the upcoming ESRC PhD studentship competitions for 2015/16 on its website (see below). Awards will be made in three areas.

These are 1) the collaborative competition http://www.socsciscotland.ac.uk/collaboration/collaborative_award_competition

2) the Skills Development Scotland competition http://www.socsciscotland.ac.uk/collaboration/skills_development_scotland competition

and 3) the Pathway, Open and Advanced Quantitative Methods competitions http://www.socsciscotland.ac.uk/studentships

SDHI Research Retreat – 6th-7th June 2016

PG Retreat - Kindrogan

Kindrogan Field Centre

SDHI is delighted to once again be hosting a 2-day retreat for postgraduate students and early career researchers engaged in applied health research from Monday 6th to Tuesday 7th June 2016.  The retreat will be held at Kindrogan Field Centre near Pitlochry and is open to all (health-related) researchers in the Universities of St Andrews and Dundee with a preference for those who self-define as ‘early-career’.  Accommodation and meals are included in the retreat fee.  To register your interest in attending the retreat please contact Rosanne Bell (r.c.bell @dundee.ac.uk).

Further information can be found on the flyer