The contribution of social sciences to health: Call for evidence

The Campaign for Social Science (CfSS) has issued a call for case studies as part of its new project, The Health of People.

The project aims to demonstrate the vital role of social science research and practice in contributing to health and addressing specific issues facing the NHS, UK healthcare, and health more broadly. It will set out major problems facing UK health, and provide concrete examples of how social science research and expertise can address them, such as the prevention of ill-health, optimising the benefits of biomedical advances and managing long-term conditions. It will also will set out an agenda for the better use of social science research in health policy making and service provision.

As part of the report, case studies of research are being sought in which the social sciences have made a significant contribution to improving health and/or the quality of our health services – and in which there may scope for even greater contributions in future if the social sciences were more fully harnessed.

CfSS takes a broad approach in its call for evidence and hopes to include work from a wide range of academic disciplines (e.g. sociology, psychology, health economics) and practitioners (e.g. clinical, public health).

Key themes

CfSS would particularly welcome case studies that fall within its six key themes, selected using a framework adapted from the 2016-17 ‘NHS Mandate’ (the summary of key priorities given by the Department of Health to the English NHS to guide their actions during the course of the year):

  • Improving outcomes and tackling inequalities
  • Safety
  • Efficiency and productivity
  • Prevention
  • Access and quality
  • Rebalancing the health system away from a crisis focus, towards care closer to home and the community (this includes better access to GPs, improving mental health and learning disability services, and creating more integrated care).

Case study questions

For each case study, please address the following key questions with a maximum of 100 words for each section:

  1. Problem – outline the issue at stake
  2. Purpose – outline the aim of the study
  3. Social Science contribution – detail the specific social science contribution
  4. Impact – detail the impact (including any direct lessons for policy and practice)
  5. Scope for further social science contribution – comment on the scope for even greater contribution in this area if the social sciences were more valued
  6. Details (using the Harvard system of referencing) to the full study (‘For further information, see Smith et al (2015)’


Please submit electronically to Daniela Puska or by post to Campaign for Social Science, 33 Finsbury Square, London, EC2A 1AG.

The deadline for submission is Friday, 6 May.

Submissions may be published in the report or on CfSS’s website. Please specify if you do not want your name and/or your submission to be made public.

Download the call for evidence.

About the Health of People Working Group

The Health of People project is led by Professor Susan Michie, Director, Centre for Behaviour Change, University College London and combines the expertise of 18 social and behavioural sciences academics and practitioners.

Find out more information on this project and on Working Group members.