The ESRC Social Science Stem Cell Initiative (SCI) was set up in the autumn of 2005 with the broad aim of supporting a range of activities during a three-year period, to the value of £1.7million, to build research capacity and raise awareness within the UK social science community, in regard to the emerging field of Stem Cell science. The ESRC has already invested in a number of research projects (n=6) in the area (see Research link on menu bar), as well as the cross-Council support for Career Development Fellowships. The Initiative also will link to capacity building that the Genomics Centres propose to undertake, both independently, and as a network, the latter in collaboration with the Genomics Forum.


The principal strategic objective of this initiative is to build research capacity for high quality, independent social science research on Stem Cell technologies, to deepen interdisciplinary links to the biosciences, to foster translational research and activity between social science and industry, and to demonstrate and publicise the important role that ESRC work makes to the field as a whole

In achieving this objective, the Initiative aims to

A number of activities will take place related to both awareness raising and profiling the role of the ESRC within the wider Stem Cell field, including a series of workshops and seminars around different aspects of Stem Cell science and technology. These workshops/seminars would take different themes, draw on the wider resources of the Stem Cell Initiative, and engage national and international participants, as appropriate. Beyond the seminar series organised by the Initiative, provision will be made for competitive bids to series proposals made from the wider UK social science field, especially those that include participation from clinicians and industry.

Links to non-social science constituencies

The SCI will ensure an ongoing liaison with and dissemination to various users, including the other Research Councils, government, the NHS, private corporations, medical research and patient charities, interest groups and the wider public.

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