Social sciences

child in handcuffs

In 2013, in partnership with University College London (UCL) and with funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for three years, POST established a dedicated Social Science Section. The aim of this was to provide parliamentarians with more access to social science research evidence and to run a study on the use of research evidence within Parliament.

POST has been awarded a further three years funding from ESRC to continue the existing partnership with UCL until 2019. The aims of this phase are to: continue to embed the social sciences across POST’s work programme; maintain a social science stream of work, including support to Select Committees; and to use the findings from the research study to inform POST’s activities. The Social Science Section will also focus on capacity building opportunities around the use of research and facilitating academic engagement.

Current work on POSTnotes and POSTbriefs

Evidence on effective approaches to relationship and sex education

This POSTnote will review national and international evidence on the effectiveness of different approaches and methods of relationship and sex education in schools.

Comparing economic and behavioural interventions

This POSTnote will look at the use of behavioural interventions in government.

Parental Alcohol Misuse and Children

This POSTnote will look at parental alcohol misuse in the UK and its effects on children.

Housing Quality and Health in the Private Rented Sector

This POSTnote will look at the effect of quality of housing in the private rented sector in England.

Informal Caregiving

This POSTnote will look at the prevalence of informal caregiving across the UK and its impact on the lives and opportunities of carers.

Meet the advisers

  • Abbi Hobbs

    Abbi has a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from the University of York. Prior to joining POST, she worked for the Academy of Medical Sciences, and as an independent consultant on several social science research projects in science policy and health.

  • Caroline Kenny

    Caroline has a PhD in Political Science from the University of Birmingham. Prior to joining POST, she worked at the Institute of Education, University of London studying the use of research in policy and practice and has supported policy-makers and practitioners from across the UK and Europe to use research in their decision making.

  • Sarah Foxen

    Sarah has a PhD in Sociolinguistics from the University of Exeter. Having previously completed an AHRC fellowship with POST, she joined POST as a Social Science Adviser in 2017. Sarah leads on POST's academic engagement work.

  • Rowena Bermingham

    Rowena recently submitted her PhD on British Sign Language linguistics at the University of Cambridge. She joined POST as a Social Science Adviser in 2017 after completing an ESRC Fellowship with POST in 2016.

  • Cassie is on secondment with POST from the Social & General Statistics section of the House of Commons Library. She has an MSc in Social Research Methods from the University of Surrey.