NIHR School for Social Care Research

Conducting specialist research into social care.



The School for Social Care Research (SSCR) at Social Care and Society, the University of Manchester is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). We are one of only seven specialist social care research groups in England. Visit the NIHR SSCR for more information on the NIHR research groups.

At Manchester, our work programmes are framed around four themes:

  1. long-term social care;
  2. social care in the criminal and civil justice system;
  3. innovative use of data to improve social care practice;
  4. social care practice and marginalisation.

We aim to:

  • provide a focus and leadership for adult social care research within The University of Manchester;
  • conduct high-quality peer-reviewed research to produce new knowledge to inform the development of social care practice;
  • encourage and support collaborative research for social care across the University and the NIHR;
  • develop research capacity in social care through the development of staff.

Learn more about us.



Catherine Robinson Professor Catherine Robinson is Associate Director of SSCR at Manchester. She leads on developing research collaborations and leveraging external funding. She has a global research portfolio in mental health, social care and mixed methods research, including suicide prevention in India and programmes of work in dementia care and NHS/social care integration.




Work programmes




About us

The School for Social Care Research (SSCR) is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

SSCR is a partnership between the following institutions:

  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • King’s College London
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Kent
  • University of Manchester
  • University of York
Our history

The SCCR is currently in Phase III, running from 2019 to 2024. It has been in operation since 2009, with previous phases also including The University of Manchester as a partner.

These phases were Phase I, commencing in May 2009, and Phase II, commencing in May 2014. Phases I and II included PSSRU at The University of Manchester, which Social Care and Society absorbed in 2019.

Who we are

The Manchester SSCR Executive Group is:

  • Professor Catherine Robinson (Associate Director of SSCR Manchester, Professor of Social Care Research, Director of Social Care and Society). Deputy Director and Capacity-Building Lead, National SSCR.
  • Dr Paul Clarkson (Senior Lecturer in Social Care/Deputy Director of Social Care and Society, SSCR Leadership Fellow). Member of Capacity-Building Management Team and Lead for Social Care Incubator, National SSCR.
  • Professor Alys Young (Professor of Social Work Education and Research, SSCR Senior Fellow)
  • Professor John Keady (Professor of Mental Health Nursing and Older People, SSCR Senior Fellow)
  • Dr Katrina Forsyth (Research Fellow, Social Care and Society, SSCR Senior Fellow)
What we do

Our work programme leads are responsible for research activities in four different areas. These activities are competitively funded by NIHR SSCR and include research projects, collaborations and core developmental activities for research staff.

We work with research staff across The University of Manchester, promoting and undertaking social care research.

Collaborations include those with:

We work with other parts of the NIHR to promote social care research and develop capacity. This includes the North West Research Design Service (RDS), and the Greater Manchester Clinical Research Network (CRN), including the Enabling Research in Care Homes (ENRICH) initiative.

We also work with Greater Manchester local authorities in developing their social care research capacity, including a portfolio of studies aiming to use routinely generated data on social care for evaluation and service development and through the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy. 


Contact us

If you have any questions about the SSCR at Manchester, please contact one of our Social Care and Society Directors.

Catherine Robinson (Associate Director)

Paul Clarkson (Deputy Director)

Twitter iconFollow us on Twitter: @SCSManchester