About SPIRU

The Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit was launched at GCU in April 2018. SPIRU builds upon the legacy of the Scottish Poverty Information Unit (SPIU). This was founded at GCU by Emeritus Professor Gill Scott in 1995, who served as the Unit’s director until her retirement in 2006.

The initial purpose of the Information Unit was to gather data and disseminate evidence on poverty in Scotland at a time before the Scottish Parliament was reconvened and before widespread internet and web access. SPIU quickly attained a reputation as an authority on poverty and social justice in Scotland. In collaboration with the Child Poverty Action Group and other partners, the Unit published successive editions of the signature text, Poverty in Scotland. SPIRU’s Co-Director, John McKendrick, continues to edit this series.

Wherever possible, we work with those with direct experience of poverty and the consequences of inequality to understand the causes of and develop effective responses to social exclusion, deprivation and disadvantage. These principles are enshrined in our partnership with the Poverty Alliance.

Meet our staff:

Lecturer in Politics, Programme Leader for the BA Social Science

Ruth’s research focuses on deliberative democracy and democratic innovations, particularly looking at how a deliberative approach can be used to implement policy changes which tackle social inequalities and environmental issues.

PhD Student / Occasional Lecturer in Politics & Social Policy

Political Economy research into the links between poverty and employment, specifically in-work poverty, and how it relates to an individual’s intensity of work.

Contact details:

Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit, W504a, Hamish Wood Building, 70 Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, G4 0BA​.