The Social Sciences Research Centre (SSRC) was founded in 1965/6 to exploit the intrinsic strength of an interdisciplinary approach to research across the social sciences at UCG/NUI Galway. Over this period of fifty years the SSRC has provided a focus for interdisciplinary research between economists, geographers, political scientists, psychologists, and sociologists. A primary focus of the centre’s activities in the early years was research relating to the social and economic development of the West of Ireland. In recent times, five specialised research centres – Health Promotion, Landscape Studies, Public Policy, Intercultural Studies, and Nationalism and Organised Violence – have functioned under the aegis of the SSRC. Membership of the SSRC is open to all full-time staff of the university. Postgraduate students may also join, as may social sciences researchers from outside the University with whom members share common research interests. One of the SSRC’s main functions, historically, has been to publish the research findings of its members.
At present, there are three main distinguishable strands of research being pursued by SSRC members. These are:
- smart and livable cities and towns
- critical social theory and ethnographic approaches, and
- rural communities and their development.