Fellows survey results informs the Academy’s 2024-2029 strategy

The Academy’s Fellowship is at the heart of our community, with their expertise covering the breadth of the social sciences, and their practice and research addressing some of the major challenges facing communities, society, places and economies today. Last autumn we asked our Fellows for their insights into what our priorities should be for our 2024-2029 strategy as we continue our work to promote the social sciences in the UK for public benefit.

We had a fantastic response, with over 240 Fellows responding to the survey, directly informing our strategy and, therefore, helping shape our activities and priorities over the next five years. There were three clear outcomes from the survey which our Fellows felt were priorities for our work over the medium term.

You said: Embed social science evidence and mindsets more fully across governments and decision-makers.

We have: Placed this at the heart of one of our six strategic objectives in our new strategy and will work to promote the contributions of the social sciences to the economy, society, people, business and the environment, and their impacts, to policymakers and other government stakeholders. As part of our activities in this area, we will also advocate for the symbioses between the social sciences, STEM and medicine in identifying societal challenges, so that the benefits of the social sciences are better understood in both the public and private sectors and are therefore more regularly included alongside STEM in policy initiatives and funding streams.

You said: Grow public awareness of the social sciences.

We have: Embedded this vital area into our strategic objectives in our new strategy, specifically to build on our existing work with the We Society podcast and our partnered events with sister bodies to inspire and engage the public with the contribution the social sciences make to our daily lives. We also plan to begin building a public-facing social science community with our Fellows and social science graduates at its core, to help share the impact of the social sciences to society.

You said: Secure the pipeline of future social scientists.

We have: Focused one of our six 2024-2029 strategic objectives on this area, working towards fostering a strong, skilled and diverse pipeline of social science students for the benefit of society, employers and individuals. This work will include collaborating with partner organisations to enhance student access to high quality careers advice for social science, which will be actively promoted to less well represented parts of the community to further promote opportunities for all.

In addition to the above, the Academy will be continuing our long standing work to help safeguard the health of the social sciences in education and higher education. Thank you to all of our Fellows who responded to our survey and helped to shape our new strategy. You can find out more about our plans for the next five years in our 2024-2029 strategy.