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Researchers' mission to tackle society's knottiest issues


Imaginative, inventive, problem-solving research that helps make communities better, fairer and happier is the aim of Brunel University London’s new Institute of Communities and Societies.

Pressing problems like migration, rights, poverty, inequality and transparency will top the interdisciplinary study group’s research agenda, it explained on its official online 12 May launch.

Brunel’s fifth research institute is led by feminist sociologist Dr Meredith Jones, an expert in interdisciplinarity, medical humanities and pop culture.

“I hope to build the ICS as an inclusive research institute that has deep international and local connections,” said Dr Jones. “As much as we want to work on global projects we are equally interested in making closer connections, especially in West London. Our focus is interdisciplinary, and that really has no bounds. We will be working to bring together diverse disciplines like neurobiology and performance art, or river engineering and anthropology, for example.’

The pandemic — its past, present and future — is a key focus for the ICS’s first research projects. It plans to throw ideas into the mix from working with experts in very different areas alongside community, industry, charity, Government and different cultural groups. Netting big ambitious research grants and setting up cross-institute PhDs are also on the institute’s to-do list, along with reviving Brunel Older People's Reference Group (BORG) and working with Brunel Public Policy.

To find out more about what’s coming up at the ICS visit the website and subscribe to the newsletter by emailing