The NIHR School for Social Care ResearchThe NIHR School for Social Care Research (SSCR) aims to increase the evidence-base for adult social care practice. The SSCR undertakes high-quality primary research and provides a focus for applied research in social care within the NIHR. The location of the School within the NIHR is recognition of the significant contribution that social care makes to the nation's health.
The SSCR launched in February 2009, will receive funding of £3m per annum for five years in the first instance and will represent a centre of world-class research excellence. It will comprise a small group of intramural researchers already working in the field of social care and a larger body of extramural associates, including those with wider areas of relevant disciplinary or subject expertise.
The SSCR will undertake primary research on adult social care sector in England. It will cover the delivery of social care by professional and non-professional staff working in both statutory and independent sectors. It will include research by social care professionals as well as academics, and encourage the active involvement of service users and their carers.
Professional social work will be a major focus, but it will not be the sole disciplinary resource for the School. Its work will need to draw on a wide range of academic disciplines and methodologies, including those typically under-applied to the social care context, yet central to understanding its operation.
The SSCR is a partnership between six leading academic centres of social care research in England:
- Personal Social Services Research, London School of Economics (LSE)
- Personal Social Services Research Unit, University of Manchester
- Social Policy Research Unit, University of York
- Personal Social Services Research, University of Kent
- Social Care Workforce Research Unit, Kings College London
- Tizard Centre, University of Kent.
An initial call for statements of eligibility for intramural membership was made in June 2008, restricted to research teams working on DH funded long-term programmes of social care research, which resulted in four academic centres being successful and establishing the School in February 2009. Following the 2008 RAE the NIHR made another call in March 2009 to broaden the SSCR’s membership, which resulted in King’s College London and the Tizard Centre, University of Kent joining the School.
The leader of each of these teams form the new School Executive, and Professor Martin Knapp, from the PSSRU LSE, is the inaugural Director of the School. An Advisory Board chaired by David Behan, Director General for Social Care, Local Government and Care Partnerships in the DH works closely with the School Executive to develop business plans, including proposals for research programmes.
SSCR consultation on commissioning research
The SSCR is consulting on views to develop the research agenda, its topics, methods and processes, which in turn may lead to research that makes a positive impact to care and support, and thereby to individual lives.
The SSCR invites views and ideas on any of the following:
- Topics in adult social care that need further research
- Specific research questions
- The methods needed to answer them
- The ways that research findings can be translated into a form that can aid the development of practice
New national Social Care Research Ethics Committee
The Department of Health is committed to facilitating ethical research that improves the evidence base for adult social care practice while protecting the rights, safety, dignity and well-being of those who take part.
Following consultation with the public and stakeholders, a new national Social Care Research Ethics Committee began operating on 5 June 2009.
Appointed by the Social Care Institute for Excellence, the Committee will enhance the capacity and reputation of the National Research Ethics Service for high-quality, proportionate ethical review of social care research.
For more information about the national Social Care Research Ethics Committee, visit www.screc.org.uk/.