Who Are We?

The Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) is a public benefit foundation funded by a group of private philanthropists with interests in academia and social science, founded in 2008. It is dedicated to advancing the social sciences through the promotion of new modes of inquiry and the development of interdisciplinary expertise and methods, and through better understanding of social entities and processes.

To achieve this objective it intends to provide a series of research grants, enter into partnerships with academic institutions and support research activities that promote development in its field.

Academic Background & Objectives

There is an increasing recognition — both within and outside academic organisations — that the most pressing social and research challenges are beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research.  There is evidence of this in universities, key funding bodies and the users of social science research.

This is particularly true of fundamental questions in the social sciences:  How do societies evolve?  Why does hunger persist?  How do people make decisions?  What are the causes of war? These questions are inherently complex and call for diverse insights.  A particular challenge created by this complexity is the need to understand the implicit content of the models employed in social science and to ensure that it is appropriate for social analysis.

The ISRF believes that interdisciplinary research — understood here as not just the simple combination of traditional approaches, but the conversation between established disciplines and the introduction of new modes of inquiry  — is critical for the advancement of new knowledge and for solving contemporary theoretical and practical problems.

The ISRF’s Executive Team comprises:

Dr Louise Braddock
Director of Research

Dr Louise Braddock works with the ISRF’s Foundation Board to direct all academic work within the Foundation, in consultation with its Academic Advisors. She proposes, implements and assesses the Foundation’s funding strategy and activities.

She trained as a psychiatrist, and now researches and publishes on the philosophy of psychoanalysis. She has taught philosophy in Cambridge, and in Oxford where she is an associate member of the Philosophy Faculty and co-convenes the St John’s College (Oxford) Interdisciplinary Psychoanalysis seminar (oxfordpsychoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk). She is an academic associate of the British Psychoanalytical Society.

Dr Rachael Kiddey
Academic Editor

Dr Rachael Kiddey joined the ISRF in 2014. As Academic Editor, Rachael’s priorities are editing the ISRF’s termly Bulletin, assisting the Director of Research in academic matters, and responsibility for commissioning and producing content for the website. Rachael’s role includes encouraging wide dissemination of research funded by the ISRF, for example through podcasts, popular articles and talks and the use of film.

Rachael is also currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford where she works on a project called ‘Architectures of Displacement: The Experiences and Consequences of Emergency Shelter’. She received her PhD from the Department of Archaeology at the University of York in 2014. Her doctoral research involved developing methodologies for working archaeologically with homeless people; documenting how heritage can function in socially useful and transformative ways. This research was shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Award for Widening Participation Initiative of the Year 2012 and was shortlisted for the Society for Historical Archaeology’s Mark E. Mack Community Engagement Award 2016. Her monograph ‘Homeless Heritage’ was published by Oxford University Press in 2017.

Stuart Wilson

Stuart Wilson oversees the general administration of the ISRF’s operations. He supports the Director of Research in the implementation of the Foundation’s funding strategy and activities, and is the first point of contact for all general enquiries.

He is an experienced administrator whose previous employers include University College London and King’s College London.

The ISRF is advised by an Academic Advisory Board comprised of leading international academics from across the social sciences.

The composition of the Academic Advisory Board is as follows:
Greg Watson is Honorary Secretary to the Academic Advisory Board.
Former Academic Advisory Board members include:

The ISRF’s Foundation Board comprises:


2017 Annual Report

2016 Annual Report

2015 Annual Report


The Independent Social Research Stichting’s policy plan draws together the objectives and activities of the foundation.

The ISRF is an endowed foundation – the endowment, and any additional donations, are directly used to promote and support the objectives of the ISRF. Oversight responsibility for the foundation’s endowment lies with the ISRF Investment Committee. The Executive Team are responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the annual budget, as approved by the Foundation Board. The Independent Social Research Stichting (the “ISRF”) has its own remuneration policy. A financial statement for the most recent financial year is available here.

Academic Assistant

The ISRF intends to appoint an Academic Assistant to support the academic work of the foundation and to edit the thrice-yearly ISRF Bulletin.

Working with the Director of Research, the Academic Assistant will maintain a network of ISRF Fellows and partners.

The Academic Assistant will be responsible for the ISRF Bulletin: establishing themes, commissioning and editing articles, and collating articles into a document of publishable standard. Reporting to the Director of Research, the postholder will also assist in the academic activities of the ISRF, including contributing to academic aspects of grant and essay competition management. Reporting to the Administrator, the postholder may additionally be called upon to assist in academic-related administrative processes.

The Candidate

The ideal candidate for this position should normally have a PhD in a Social Sciences or Humanities subject, be able to work effectively, independently and sociably within a team and have an interest in interdisciplinary research.

Further Particulars

This is envisioned as a full-time, fixed term post available for 12 months in the first instance, with a start date from October 2018. However, part-time applications (minimum of 0.5 FTE) will also be considered.

The salary is in the range of £25,000-£30,000pa (full time; pro rata for part-time applicants) based on qualifications, skills and – in the case of the upper limit – is inclusive of London allowance. Benefits include 25 days annual leave (plus office closure days) and season ticket loan.

Candidates must be able to demonstrate their eligibility to work in the UK in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Where required this may include entry clearance or continued leave to remain under the Points Based Immigration Scheme.

The closing date for applications was 10th August 2018. Interviews will be held in the period 20-30 August 2018. Applicants may be asked to submit a short piece of original written work in the form of an Editorial Note based on a previously published ISRF Bulletin of their choice.