About the Social Futures Institute

Social Futures Institute mission

The Social Futures Institute (SoFI) conducts internationally excellent research on contemporary social issues. The Institute includes the Centre for Strategy and Leadership, which is the focus for research in business, and the Teesside Centre for Realist Criminology.

The Institute intends to further knowledge in its specialist areas and, wherever possible, ensure impact in the real world. Our research interests are wide-ranging and include the disciplines of social policy, criminology and criminal justice, sociology, business, youth studies and education, sport and exercise science and psychology.

On video: On Research: Dr Paul Crawshaw
Dr Paul Crawshaw, Director of the Social Futures Institute, talks about his passion for research.
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The Institute has more than 60 academic and research staff, two research centres and four research units. Members are drawn from a range of the University's academic Schools. SoFI members have secured external grant funding from sources including the British Academy; European Commission; Joseph Rowntree Foundation; UK Research Councils (EPSRC; ESRC) as well as a range of other regional, national and international partners.

Our core objectives are to:

  • conduct internationally excellent research in the social sciences and disseminate findings
  • conduct research that has demonstrable cultural, economic and social impact
  • further knowledge and inform and shape debates relevant to contemporary social issues and policy.

Annual report

Institute structure

News and events

We run a weekly seminar research series throughout the year, and host an annual conference. For details please see

The research interests of our members are wide-ranging and SoFI hosts two research centres and four research units in fields across the social sciences: