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

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.

Away from the ISRF, Stuart is Executive Director & Editor of todolist.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:


2019 Annual Report

2018 Annual Report

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.