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 Lars Cornelissen
Academic Editor

Dr Lars Cornelissen joined the ISRF in October 2018. As Academic Editor, Lars is responsible for assisting the Director of Research in academic matters, editing the termly Bulletin, assisting in the academic management of competitions and commissioning and producing content for the Foundation’s website. One of his key tasks is to encourage and facilitate the wide dissemination of research funded by the ISRF. To this end, he works closely with The Conversation.

Lars received his PhD from the University of Brighton in May 2018. His thesis discusses the philosophical foundations of neoliberalism, preparing the ground for a new critical approach to the history of neoliberal thought.

Stuart Wilson
Administrator

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:

DR LORENZO BERNASCONI KOHN
TREASURER
MS INGRID MULDER
SECRETARY
DR JOHN LATSIS
CHAIRMAN

The Independent Social Research Foundation intends to appoint a Director of Research to lead the Executive Team of the Foundation, at the retirement of the current postholder during 2020.

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 provides a series of research grants, enters into partnerships with academic institutions and supports research activities that promote development in its field.

The Role

The Director of Research is responsible for the academic activities and outputs of the Executive Team, in pursuit of objectives supported by the Academic Advisory Board and agreed by the Foundation Board.

Reporting to the Foundation Board, the Director of Research leads on the academic activities of the ISRF, including academic funding initiatives, workshops and colloquia, communication of research activities, and alumni relations. The Director of Research reports to both Boards on existing activities of the Foundation, makes recommendations for continuation, modification or cessation of such activities, and proposes potential new initiatives and projects. The Director of Research works to acquire knowledge of the Europe-wide research funding environment.

The Candidate

The ideal candidate for this position should have a Social Sciences or Humanities PhD, and probably currently hold a middle-ranking or senior academic or academic-related position. The ideal candidate will be able to work effectively, independently and sociably within a team and have a strong interest in promoting interdisciplinary research in a creative way. 

Relevant Experience

Experience relevant to the post includes: own ongoing academic research, including publication, presentation, grant writing; administrative competence (chairing administrative meetings; organizing and conducting large and small conferences and meetings; agenda-writing, minuting, and report-writing); managing and negotiating working relations with academic partners in the UK and in Continental Europe; small-team management; hosting and conducting social events. 

Further Particulars

This is envisioned as a five year (fixed term, renewable), full time post with one day per week dedicated to the postholder’s own research activities.

The salary is in the range of GBP 75-90k based on qualifications and experience. 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 is 31st March 2019. An initial round of interviews will be held in the period 20-31 May 2019.

Enquiries may be made to: Stuart Wilson (stuart.wilson@isrf.org)

To apply, please send a CV (including details of two referees) and a covering letter to jobs@isrf.org.

2018 Annual Report

2017 Annual Report

2016 Annual Report

2015 Annual Report

POLICY PLAN

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, and for the previous year here.