The Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Equalities Research (I-SPHERE) is among the UK's top social and urban policy research centres. In our joint submission with the University of Edinburgh we were ranked first in Scotland and second in the UK on the comprehensive Research Power indicator in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. This indicator reflects size, scope and quality of research. Led by Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick the Institute also includes internationally renowned professors: Glen Bramley, Hal Pawson, Mark Stephens and Sarah Johnsen.

I-SPHERE members have a robust track record of externally funded research, including research council and charitable funding as well as commissions from a wide range of government departments and agencies throughout the UK and beyond. Strong scholarship credentials are evident in the Institute's publication record.


The Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Equalities Research was previously named:

  1. Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Environment and Real Estate
  2. Institute for Housing, Urban and Real Estate Research (IHURER). IHURER was set up in 2011, bringing together existing research groups within Heriot-Watt University, namely:
    • Centre for Research into Socially Inclusive Services
    • Housing and Urban Society
    • Property Economics and Investment.