Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit

SPIRU exists for the common good. It is an applied research unit that aims to make a positive difference to people’s lives by tackling poverty and inequality in Scotland.

Opportunity to develop the following Common Good Attributes
Active and global citizenship
Confidence
Entrepreneurial mind-set
Responsible leadership
What’s involved?
The work programme will reflect the on-going needs of SPIRU and the common good aspirations of the participating student. Most students will work toward a badge in Active and Global citizenship, contributing to the core work of SPIRU. However, SPIRU’s work is wide-ranging and allows for alternative bespoke work programme to be pursued. For example, the work could also involve: Responsible leadership – For example, taking a central role in organising and delivering student research conferences Entrepreneurial mind-set – For example, identifying and developing new ways to better understand poverty and inequality in Scotland Confidence – For example, delivering work that challenges misconceptions about poverty and inequality in Scotland.
How will participating in this activity/opportunity allow students to make a positive difference to the communities that we serve?
SPIRU exists for the common good. It is an applied research unit that aims to make a positive difference to people’s lives by tackling poverty and inequality in Scotland. All of work is oriented to making a positive difference to the communities we serve. Often this work is a step-removed from service delivery, i.e. we are more likely to be concerned with informing food banks about how they could work more effectively, than we are to deliver emergency support through a food bank.
What are the benefits of taking part in this activity/opportunity for participating students?
This should appeal to students on two grounds. First, it affords an opportunity to experience the work and environment of a research unit. Students who are interested in pursuing a research career / doctoral research will gain insight and acquire experience of what this involves. Second, it affords an opportunity to advance the work of SPIRU in tackling poverty, inequality and social injustice in Scotland.
Success stories
Although SPIRU is a new GCU research unit (formed in 2018), it builds on a previous Unit and tradition of applied poverty research. As the then Scottish Poverty Information Unit, we offered trainee research positions to GCU undergraduate students, some of whom progressed to Ph.D. study. Others have been successful in gaining summer studentship grants with the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.
Which School or department delivers/ supports this activity?
Glasgow School for Business and Society
School of Engineering and Built Environment
School of Health and Life Sciences
Which students can participate in this activity?
Open to all GCU students. If you would like to be involved e-mail John (McKendrick, Co-Director of SPIRU, with specific responsibility for Common Good Trainee Researchers and Work Placements) to request a short application form. If eligible, you will be asked to attend an informal interview / induction to agree a 10 week work programme (comprising 2.5 hours per week).
Contact
Name: Professor John H. McKendrick
Department/School: Glasgow School for Business and Society