Research centres and networks

Reflecting our commitment to interdisciplinary research, members of staff and postgraduates participate within a wide range of interdisciplinary research centres and networks based in the Department and across the University.

Department Research Centres & Networks

Care-Connect logo - small

Care-Connect's mission is to use research to inform policy and practice, with the ultimate objective of supporting the creation and sustainability of caring, connected communities.

Director: Dr Andrea Wigfield

CIRCLE logo small

CIRCLE is a theoretically informed and policy relevant research centre which carries out research, evaluation and bespoke consultancy on contemporary issues and debates in three key areas: Care; Labour; and Equalities.

Director: Professor Sue Yeandle

Centre for Loneliness Studies

The Centre for Loneliness Studies carries out internationally recognised, high quality academic research on loneliness which is theoretically driven and both informed by, and able to inform, policy and practice.

Director: Dr Andrea Wigfield

University Research Centres & Networks

Digital Society Network

The Digital Society Network (DSN) is a network of researchers examining all aspects of digital-society relations. The DSN aims to: stimulate and support digital society research, enable collaborations within and beyond the Faculty of Social Sciences, and host activities which result in research funding and knowledge exchange.

The Director of the Digital Society Network is Professor Helen Kennedy, Department of Sociological Studies.


EpiStressNet is a new BBSRC/ESRC funded research network to investigate the roles of epigenetic mechanisms in the biological embedding of behavioural and physiological responses to stressful signals originating in the social environment, some of which are maladaptive and influence chronic disease risks.

The structure of social relations influences the wellbeing of human populations, and the stresses caused by social inequality are important determinants of chronic health risks.

However, the pathways which mediate or mitigate the effects of social stress on health are poorly understood.

The discovery that epigenetic processes respond to stress offers an opportunity to explore the molecular mechanisms through which social signals become biologically embedded, and thus reveal how social inequality gets "under the skin".

EpiStressNet members include Professor Paul Martin, Dr Kate Weiner and Dr Maurizio Meloni.


How we understand being ‘human’ differs between disciplines and has changed radically over time. We are living in an age marked by rapid growth in knowledge about the human body and brain, and new technologies with the potential to change them. How are these developments changing how we understand what it means to be human? iHuman is a new, exciting institute bringing together social sciences and humanities with psychological and biological sciences, to understand what it means to be human like never before.

iHuman is led by co-Directors Professor Paul Martin, Department of Sociological Studies, and Professor Dan Goodley, School of Education.

Migration Research at Sheffield (MR@S)

Migration Research at The University of Sheffield is an interdisciplinary network of scholars conducting world-leading and high impact research on global migration and mobility. Its approach is informed by a broad understanding of migration encompassing motives for migration, effects on sending and destination countries, as well as the broad range of impacts (legal, social, economic and political) and experiences of migration in various geographical regions.

The Co-Directors of MR@S are Dr Majella Kilkey and Professor Louise Ryan, Department of Sociological Studies

Sheffield Death Group

The aim of the Sheffield Death Group (SDG) is to offer a friendly and informal space for members to meet for discussion, collaboration and to share thinking. The SDG is a group of researchers and practitioners who work in the field of death, dying and bereavement and are local to Sheffield and the surrounding areas.

The Co-Convenors of SDG are Dr Julie Ellis and Laura Towers, Department of Sociological Studies

Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare (CATCH)

CATCH is researching new user-friendly technologies to enable people to live independently.

Centre for Criminological Research

The Centre for Criminological Research is the focal point for criminology and criminal justice at the University of Sheffield, one of Britain's main research-led universities. Reaching across the university to bring together experts from a wide-range of excellent departments, it forms a multi-disciplinary Centre conducting high quality research about key criminological subjects.

Centre for Energy, Environment and Sustainability

Researching, developing, and deploying innovative ways of advancing the understanding of energy, environment and sustainability for a low carbon future.

Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth

The Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth was established in 2002. It is a multi-disciplinary Research Centre committed to contributing to the improvement of children and young people's lives. Through research and dissemination it is actively involved in gaining a greater understanding of the lives of children and young people in modern society and in helping to develop and shape local, national and international policies that improve their everyday lives.

Centre for Health and Wellbeing in Public Policy

The Centre for Health and Well-being in Public Policy considers how people´s health and well-being can be defined, measured and improved in ways that help policy-makers determine the best use of scarce resources, and to investigate the determinants of well-being insofar as these are relevant to policy formulation.

Disability Studies at the University of Sheffield

A group of academics, postgraduate and post-doctoral researchers who are interested in the inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary process of theorising disability and challenging the conditions of disablism: the exclusion of people with physical, sensory and cognitive impairments.

Medical Humanities Sheffield

A cross-disciplinary environment focusing on teaching and research at the interface between medicine and humanities, with a core theme of 'locating the human' in healthcare.

The Sheffield Institute for International Development (SIID)

The Sheffield Institute for International Development (SIID) is a flagship interdisciplinary research institute within the University of Sheffield. Its network includes a growing fellowship of over 70 scholars and hundreds of postgraduate students from over 12 departments, in addition to a wider community of academic and practitioner partners in governments, think tanks and NGOs around the world.

SIID strives for social and environmental justice in a prosperous world, seeking solutions through meaningful partnerships with diverse actors from policy, practice, civil society, business and universities.

Sheffield Institute for Studies on Ageing (SISA)

The Institute is both a core group of specialists in gerontological research and training, who form a Section of the Division of Clinical Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine, and a cross-faculty network of academics in the University of Sheffield with active interests in gerontology.

South-East European Research Centre (SEERC)

SEERC is an international, not-for-profit research centre jointly established by the University of Sheffield and CITY Liberal Studies; it is located in one of the ancient hubs of South-East Europe, Thessaloniki, Greece. The Centre and its activities are founded on the belief that by supporting the peoples, economies and political institutions of South-East Europe through the conduct of research and policy analysis, the dissemination and application of findings and the facilitation of open and informed discussion, a significant contribution can be made to the development of a stronger, more stable and more prosperous European community.

Worldwide Universities Network

The Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) is a partnership of 17 research-led universities from Asia, Australasia, Europe and North America. The WUN alliance exists to make significant advances in knowledge and understanding in areas of current global concern. By fostering and encouraging collaboration between members, WUN brings together the experience, equipment and expertise necessary to tackle the big issues currently facing societies, governments, corporations and education.