Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF)
The Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) is a public benefit foundation funded by a group of private philanthropists with interests in academia and social science, founded in 2008. It is dedicated to cross-fertilisation in the social sciences, the promotion of new modes of inquiry and the development of interdisciplinary expertise and methods. One of its specific objectives is to promote better understanding of social entities and processes and see this used in solving subject specific problems.
To achieve this objective it intends to provide a series of research grants, enter into partnerships with academic institutions and support research activities that promote development in its field.
Academic Background & Objectives
There is an increasing recognition — both within and outside academic organisations — that the most pressing social and research challenges are beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research. There is evidence of this in universities, key funding bodies and the users of social science research.
This is particularly true of fundamental questions in the social sciences: How do societies evolve? Why does hunger persist? How do people make decisions? What are the causes of war? These questions are inherently complex and call for diverse insights. A particular challenge created by this complexity is the need to understand the implicit content of the models employed in social science and to ensure that it is appropriate for social analysis.
The ISRF believes that interdisciplinary research — understood here as not just the simple combination of traditional approaches, but the cross-fertilization of established disciplines and the introduction of new modes of inquiry — is critical for the advancement of new knowledge and for solving contemporary theoretical and practical problems.