Research in the social sciences aims to understand the complex connections of individuals and society through empirical methods. The primary disciplines in the School of Social Sciences (SSS)—Economics, Psychology, Public Policy and Global Affairs, and Sociology address questions concerning humans and society at multiple levels of analysis, with diverse research focus and methodology—from individuals’ physiological and neural processes, to individuals’ decisions and social behaviours, to interactions between individuals and institutions, to the functioning of macro social institutions. In response to major challenges facing humanity, the School’s research addresses the social, political, psychological and economic implications of issues such as changing demographics, technological advancement, and sustainability. Such effort not only contributes to nationally and internationally impactful research output, but also engages local communities and the nation at large to address major issues of social concern.
The School’s four strategic research clusters based on the school’s comparative research strength provide the platform for interdisciplinary research exchange among researchers with common research interests. The ‘Aging, Inclusion and Healthcare’ Research Cluster aims to foster an exciting and dynamic intellectual environment for interdisciplinary research and contribute to innovative ways in addressing ageing issues – this cluster draws on the expertise in ageing research across all the four programmes within the school to address critical ageing concerns in Singapore and Asia. The Cognitive and Behavioural Science Research Cluster brings together researchers interested in behavioural sciences, cognition, decision and actions, memory and learning, and brain functions across the development progress of individuals – from infants to students to aged populations. The Environment and Sustainability Research Cluster seeks to facilitate, cultivate, and produce multi-disciplinary, collaborative and innovative research focused on sustainable environment, urban sustainability and smart cities, and social resilience. The ‘Policy and Society Research Cluster’ brings together social scientists whose research offers insights into a wide range of issues, including trade, politics, security, new industries, food, migration, social justice, social institutions, and popular movements – focusing mainly in Southeast Asia and Asia.
Aging, Inclusion and Healthcare Research Cluster
This cluster draws on the expertise in ageing research across all the four programmes within the School of Social Sciences including Economics, Psychology, Policy & Global Affairs, and Sociology to address critical ageing issues in Singapore and Greater Asia. The cluster will foster an exciting and dynamic intellectual environment for interdisciplinary research, contributing to innovative ways in addressing the challenges posed and harnessing the opportunities presented by a rapidly ageing demographic across the region and around the world. The focus will be on multifaceted aspects of ageing from examining public policy and financing concerns, age friendly cities and supportive communities, to gaining deeper understanding of enhancing individual, familial and social capacities across the later lifespan marked by health, illness and mortality. The cluster will promote collaborative research by exploring synergies for grant applications and publications. It will have an active seminar and workshop series as well as outreach programmes and social media presence to promote intellectual exchanges across different disciplines and stakeholder groups on ageing. The cluster will also work closely with the Master of Sciences in Applied Gerontology programme to nurture interest, engagement, and participation from learners, researchers, and practitioners from all walks of life to work towards innovations and sustainable solutions that enhance and advance healthy, creative and inclusive ageing.
Cognitive and Behavioural Science Research Cluster
The Cognitive and Behavioural Science Research Cluster in SSS brings together researchers interested in behavioural sciences, cognition, decision and actions, memory and learning, and brain functions across the development progress of individuals (from infants to students to aged populations). The research cluster includes researchers from behavioural economics, developmental psychology, social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, linguistics and sociology.
Through research sharing activities, the cluster aims to foster research collaborations and generate research findings and programmes that can help boost healthcare, wellbeing, education, technology advancement, and societal welfare.
The cluster will be collaborating with LKC Medicine, NBS, Engineering Schools (such as CEE, MAE, and SCSE), research centres such as CRADEL, CLIC, ARISE, LILY, NTU-WeBank Joint Research Centre, NTU-LTA Transport Research Centre, and Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Singapore.
Environment and Sustainability Research Cluster
The Environment and Sustainability Research Cluster aims to facilitate, cultivate, and produce multi-disciplinary, collaborative, and innovative research focused on sustainable environment, urban sustainability and smart cities, and social resilience. It brings together scholars from the disciplines of Economics, Sociology, Psychology, and Public Policy in an effort to critically inform public debate and seek solutions to the challenges posed by climate changes, urbanization, natural hazards, man-made disasters (e.g., terrorism, wars), and transboundary crises (e.g., financial crisis, epidemics, cyber warfare). It strives to advance knowledge on how sustainability can be pursued over the long term on national, regional, and global levels as well as promote sustainable development practices. It also strives to enhance the capacity of individuals and communities to cope with challenges and bounce back after a challenging condition or traumatic experience.
The Cluster aims to facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue and collaborations across the university through informal gatherings, workshops, formal seminars and conferences, submission of joint external grant proposals, and having joint publications. Besides, it aims to establish a strong research network with local and foreign universities, research centers, and policy groups through seminars, conferences, and research collaborations. Also, it aims to mobilize citizens to become important agents of change in sustainable development and promote the well-being of communities in times of adversity through communications and outreach activities. These activities include newsletters, webinars, awareness events (e.g., public forum), school presentations, public talks, and exhibitions. It is expected that the work of the Cluster can support policymakers and practitioners to make evidence-based decisions for promoting sustainable development and enhancing social resilience as well as engage citizens in adopting good practices for sustainable development.
Policy and Society Research Cluster
The Policy & Society research cluster promotes interdisciplinary research on social, economic and policy issues, with a focus on Southeast Asia and other parts of Asia. Research will explore interactive dynamics between local, national, regional, and global actors, and unveil the forces and mechanisms behind social change, economic development, and governance transformation. While recognising the importance of rigorous research, we pay special attention to policy implications of our research and foreground the efforts to connect researchers and policy stakeholders, such as governments, NGOs, and communities. The cluster members work on a wide range of issues, including, but not limited to, trade, politics, security, new industries, food, migration, ethnicity, religion, social justice, social institutions, and popular movements.