Institute for Social, Policy and Enterprise Research (iSPER)

The Institute for Social, Policy and Enterprise Research (iSPER) brings together academics from across the University of Plymouth and supports them in delivering high quality and impactful social, enterprise and policy research. We work to promote collaboration with academics from other institutions, as well as stakeholders outside the academic community, at a regional, national and international level. In particular, we encourage and facilitate multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research to make a real impact on academia, businesses, communities and public policy.

To find out more about iSPER and our research please scroll down to access links to our projects, publications and impact case studies.

Professor Rod Sheaff, Director, iSPER

Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Business

Listening to children in trouble with the law

A multidisciplinary symposium took place on 30 November 2018 to look at shortcomings in the criminal justice system. Experts in youth justice, psychology, policing and law from around the UK and from Europe convened in Plymouth. They were joined by experienced local police officers, appropriate adults, judges and solicitors.

Find out more about the event

iSPER Themed Research Groups and Initiatives 

iSPER's key research strengths are reflected in its Themed Research Groups (TRGs), which bring together academics from across different disciplines who have a shared interest in a specific research theme. 

Our TRGs provide an ideal vehicle for interdisciplinary collaboration not only across the social sciences and business and management disciplines but also with academics outside our core disciplines, including those in the natural sciences and arts.

In addition to the TRGs, iSPER also has two standalone Themed Research Initiatives (TRIs) which specialise in delivering research excellence in new, emerging and niche areas of research.

Further details on each of the Themed Research Groups and Initiatives can be found below.

iSPER on Twitter


Strategy and Policy Innovation in Supply Chain Management under Environmental Pressure

Under the Researcher Links scheme offered within the Newton Fund, the British Council and National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) held a workshop on the above theme in Tianjin, China on 27–29 October 2018. Early Career Researchers (ECR) from the UK were invited to apply to attend this workshop. The workshop was coordinated by Professor Jingjing XU (University of Plymouth) and Professor Bo LI (Tianjin University) with contributions from other leading researchers.

More details about the workshop

Dr Oliver Smith speaking at the iSPER Brexit Event

The iSPER Brexit Series

Since the British public voted to leave the European Union, there has been widespread conjecture as governments across Europe and beyond try to assess the political and social ramifications of the result. 

As such, policy makers face a number of challenges in light of the increased responsibility placed on them – as areas of legislation previously under EU competence will soon be decided nationally.

In a new project led by the Institute for Social, Policy and Enterprise Research (iSPER) leading academics across a range of fields will attempt to shed light on how the referendum result might affect their areas of expertise.

Find out more about The iSPER Brexit Series

Dr Lise Hunter speaking at the South West Trade Summit