UQ's flagship unit for applied social science research

ISSR is one of the largest social science research institutes in Australia, with more than 60 leading researchers, policy experts, and management professionals whose multidisciplinary approach delivers a broader perspective to the challenges our clients face.

ISSR was established in 2007 to showcase UQ's strengths in social science research, to coordinate and integrate related research activities, and to position the University as a national leader in applied multidisciplinary social science.

"Every country struggles to address questions like how to ensure prosperity, wellbeing, quality of life, fairness and security.

Our work as social scientists is to provide the evidence that is needed to improve policy and practice, and to ensure our research is relevant and translatable to the big questions and to the global challenges of inequality and sustainability."

Professor Mark Western, Director of the Institute for Social Science Research


To undertake social science of public value, and to contribute to the public interest, the advancement of knowledge, and the advancement of our fields.


The Institute's goals are to:

  • Address significant social problems, questions and issues. The significance or importance of our work relates to its relevance to public and social policy, broad societal impact and scientific (that is, substantive disciplinary) concern.
  • Create public value. We aim to contribute beyond academia and to have value, relevance and impact for stakeholders, partners, and-users and society as a whole.
  • Produce high quality research. We aspire to develop strong theories and coherent substantive arguments, high quality evidence, high quality methods of analysis, and robust defensible interpretations of that evidence.

Our values

As well as supporting the realisation of UQ's Learning, Discovery and Engagement objectives, ISSR works towards and supports the values of UQ to create a positive and sustainable unit of high quality research. The success and continued development of ISSR is underpinned by the University's values:

  • The pursuit of excellence
  • Creativity and independent thinking
  • Honesty and accountability
  • Mutual respect and diversity
  • Support our people