skip to content

Department of Sociology


1. Project Title: Privatisation and Mortality in Post-Communism: A Multi-Level Indirect Demographic Analysis

Principal Investigator: Larry King

Funder: EC FP7 (ERC Advanced Investigator)

Project Start – End Dates: 01 September 2011 – 31 August 2017

This study proposes a new methodology for studying the impact of economic policies on public health, and in so doing advances an emerging new research tradition that the researchers call the Political Economy of Public Health.


2. Project Title: The IVF History Project

Principal Investigator: Sarah Franklin

Funder: The British Academy

Project Start – End Dates: 01 May 2012 - 06 May 2022

This project explores the history of IVF using archival and interview sources, as well as through analysis of media representations and ethical debate. The aim is to provide a historical sociology of IVF as a human tool.


3. Project Title: INTERCO: International Cooperation in the SSH: Comparative Socio-Historical Perspectives and Future Possibilities

Principal Investigator: Patrick Baert

Funder: EC FP7 (Collaborative Project)

Project Start – End Dates: 01 March 2013 - 28 Feb 2017

The INTERCO project sets out, firstly, to assess the state of the SSH in Europe. Secondly, it aims to outline future potential pathways that would promote cooperation across disciplinary and national boundaries. To achieve this, the project will study the SSH in their socio-historical context.


4. Project Title: The Digital Revolution in Publishing

Principal Investigator: John Thompson

Funder: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Project Start – End Dates: 01 April 2013 – 31 March 2017

This project aims to provide an in-depth account of the how the book publishing industry is being transformed by the digital revolution, analysing this process as it occurs and drawing out its broader implications.


5. Project Title: Fertilization Through a Looking Glass: A Sociology of UK IVF in the Late-Twentieth Century

Principal Investigator: Sarah Franklin

Funder: The Wellcome Trust

Project Start – End Dates: 01 October 2013 – 30 September 2018

This project aims to chart the emergence of clinical IVF in the UK during a distinctive era of basic scientific investigation of mammalian developmental biology. Drawing on interviews with many of the key players involved in IVFs translation into clinical practice, and supplementing these with a range of other sources, the research explores how the introduction of IVF was navigated, and what can be learned from this unusual case of rapid technological change affecting the basic mechanisms of human reproduction.


6. Project Title: The Human & Social Costs of Economic Crisis

Principal Investigator: Manuel Castells and John Thompson

Funder: The Balzan Foundation

Project Start – End Dates: 01 January 2014 – 28 February 2017

This project will explore the ways in which individuals and groups in different parts of Europe live through and experience the economic crisis, how it affects them and how they respond to it, both at the level of feelings, emotions and forms of suffering and in terms of practices and types of collective action. It will take a bottom-up approach, studying in a close, ethnographic way the daily lives of ordinary individuals in carefully selected regions of Europe.


7.  Project Title: How Ideas Travel: The circulation of paradigms, theories and controversies in social science and humanities from 1945 to date             

Principal Investigator: Patrick Baert

Funder: Shanghai Jiao Tong University                   

Project Start: 20/01/14  End: 19/06/17        


8. Project Title: MYWeB: Measuring Youth Well-Being

Principal Investigator: Maria Iacovou

Funder: EC FP7 (Project led by the University of Essex)

Project Start – End Dates: 03 February 2014 – 31 August 2016

MYWeB takes a balanced approach to assessing the feasibility of a European Longitudinal Study for Children and Young People (ELSCYP) through prioritising both scientific and policy imperatives. The MYWeB consortium contains researchers from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and provides expertise in the areas of children and young people's well-being, childhood care; education; the environment in which a child grows up, childhood/youth work and leisure and participation.


9. Project Title: Social Media, Human Rights NGOs, and the Potential for Governmental Accountability

Principal Investigator: Ella McPherson

Funder: ESRC & Isaac Newton Trust

Project Start – End Dates: 17 March 2014 – 23 August 2017

This research project's central aim is to critically understand the potential of social media for the pursuit of governmental accountability - a cornerstone of democracy - at human rights NGOS. These NGOs are increasingly jumping on the social media bandwagon to connect and share information with the vital constellation of stakeholders concerned with mitigating human rights violations: policymakers, publics, and the mainstream media. Yet, according to initial conversations with NGOs as background to this research, the value of these social media networks is unclear, and engaging in them diverts precious resources from other human rights work.


10. Project Title: SurrogARTs - Assisted reproduction beyond the nation state and nuclear family?

Principal Investigator: Marcin Smietana/Sarah Franklin

Funder: Marie Curie IOF

Project Start – End Dates: 1st Oct-14 – 31-Mar-17

The project aims to examine the experiences, meanings and practices of negotiating relatedness in European gay father families created through surrogacy and egg donation in the UK and, transnationally, in the US. The study of the under-researched and developing phenomenon of surrogacy seeks to identify how reproduction or subversion of mainstream family models by Assisted Reproduction Techniques (ARTs) is shaped by four factors: (a) genetic links between parents and children, (b) participation of more than two parents in the conception of the child, (c) intersected gender and sexuality of the parents, (d) social determinants such as class, race, nationality and bio-political institutions in the transnational context. The comparative framework of the US- and UK-based fieldwork enables comparison between the former free market of ARTs and the latter more regulated one.


11. Project Title: Family trajectories and young adults' transitions into home ownership

Principal Investigator: Rory Coulter

Funder: ESRC & Isaac Newton Trust

Project Start – End Dates: 1st Nov-14 – 31-Oct-17

This project aims to understand how family trajectories influence the nature and timing of young adults' transitions into homeownership. While there is a consensus that young adults are increasingly delaying homeownership because of declining affordability, credit constraints and insecure jobs (Andrew, 2012), the impact of family structures and ties remains more uncertain. By analysing how family trajectories, economic forces and the housing system interact to affect young adults' access to homeownership, this research will provide evidence about social fluidity in contemporary Britain.


12. Project Title: The Digital Whistleblower: Fiscal Transparency, risk assesment and impact of good governance policies assessed

Principal Investigator: Larry King/Mihaly Fazekas

Funder: EC Horizon 2020 (Innovation Action)

Project Start – End Dates:01-March-15 – 28-Feb-18

DIGIWHIST’s goal is simultaneously to increase trust in governments and improve the efficiency of public spending across Europe. It will do this through the systematic collection, structuring, analysis, and broad dissemination of information on public procurement and on mechanisms that increase accountability of public officials in all EU and some neighbouring countries.


13. Project Title: (In) Fertility, Education and Reproductive Health

Principal Investigator: Jackie Scott/Sarah Franklin

Funder: The Philomathia Foundation

Project Start-End Dates: 15-May-2015 - 14-May-2017

Three main projects are being undertaken as part of this research: 1) How does education directly and indirectly affect the fertility decisions of men and women? ; 2).  How does the UK compare in fertility intentions and outcomes, with other European countries where policies differ markedly?; 3) How are policies on infertility and its treatment changing?


14. Project Title: Sociology and Social Policy

Principal Investigator: Hazem Kandil

Funder: Leverhulme Trust (Philip Leverhulme Prize)

Project Start - End Dates: 01-Jul-2015 - 30-June-2018

This prestigious prize is allowing Dr Kandil to carry out US-based research to pave the way for a large project on conscription.    



15. Project Title: An interview study of attitudes towards parenthood and intimate life among HIV-positive gay and bisexual men in London

Principal Investigator: Robert Pralat

Funder: British HIV Association

Project Start-End Dates: October 2015 - October 2017

This project is an exploratory, qualitative study aiming to improve understanding of key issues that will ultimately enable better provision and integration of sexual and reproductive health services for HIV-positive MSM, as well as those who may use sperm donation from them (with or without entering into co-parenting arrangements).


16. Project Title: 'Life in a Glass': A Programme of Public Engagement

Principal Investigator: Sarah Franklin

Funder: Wellcome Trust

Project Start - End Dates: 01-Oct-2015 - 30-Sept 2018

The goals of this outreach programme are to generate engagement with an ongoing programme of social and historical research (the Cambridge IVF Histories and Culture Project), to create a body of interactive online materials, and to establish collaborative partnerships with users outside of the academy.


17. Project Title: Chainreact: Making Supply Chains Transparent, Understandable and Responsive

Principal Investigator: Ella McPherson

Funder:EC Horizon 2020 (Industrial Leadership)

Project Start - End Dates: 01 Jan -2016 - 31-Dec-2018

ChainReact is an effort to make supplier networks transparent, understandable, and responsive, so that companies and their stakeholders can see, react to, and ultimately transform corporate network impacts.


18. Project Title: Becoming Black: Gender, Racism and Representation in the Costa Chica/Mexico

Principal Investigator: Monica Moreno Figueroa

Funder: Cambridge Humanities Research Grants Scheme

Project Start - End Dates: 01-Feb-2016 - 01-Feb-2017


19.Project Title: Institutional Racism and the Contemporary Logics of the State in Mexico

Principal Investigator: Monica Moreno Figueroa

Funder: British Academy

Project Start - End Dates: 01-March-2016 0 28-Feb-2018


20. Project Title: The Role of Ideas in Political Change: Philosophy and the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM)

Principal Investigator: Marcus Morgan

Funder: Leverhulme Trust & Isaac Newton Trust

Project Start - End Dates: 01-May-2016 - 30-Apr-2019

Can ideas really change the world? What are the mechanisms through which abstract philosophical thought is translated into concrete political transformation? How are foreign ideas put to work in local contexts? How are historical concepts made relevant to present circumstances? This research intends to answer these questions through a detailed examination of the impact, development, and legacy of philosophical concepts emerging out of existentialist, humanist, and Marxist frameworks, upon the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) in South Africa.


21. Project Title: Debating Homosexuality in Uganda: The case of members of parliament (2005-2015)

Principal Investigator: Veronique Mottier

Funder: Cambridge Africa Alborada Fund

Project Start - End Dates: 28-June-2016 - 17-Dec-2017


22. Project Title: A Comparative Study of Gendered Violence: India and South Africa

Principal Investigator: Manali Desai

Funder: SHSS Research Support Fund

Project Start - End Dates: 01-Oct-2016 - 01-Oct-2018


23. Project Title: Ethics and Governance of Autonomous Systems and Machine Learning in the Digital Society

Principal Investigator: Ella McPherson

Funder: SHSS Research Support Fund

Project Start - End Dates: 01-Oct-2016 - 01-Oct-2018


24. Project Title: Latin American Antiracism in a ‘Post-Racial’ Age

Principal Investigator: Monica Moreno Figueroa

Funder: ESRC

Project Start - End Dates: 01-Jan-2017 - 31-Dec-2019

This project aims to investigate anti-racist practices and ideologies in Latin America. It will contribute towards addressing problems of racism and racial inequality in the region, while the situation in Latin America will provide lessons of wider relevance to anti-racism generally. More information about the project can be found on the LAPORA website.


25. Project Title: Alternative Metrics of Impact in Multilateral Agencies: The Potential for Knowledge for Sustainable Human Development

Principal Investigator: Kate Williams

Funder: ESRC & Isaac Newton Trust

Project Start - End Dates: 01-Jan-2017 - 30-Sept-2020


26. Project Title: CancerScreen: Screening for Cancer in the Post-Genomic Era: diagnostic innovation and biomedicalisation in comparative perspective

Principal Investigator: Stuart Hogarth

Funder: EC Horizon 2020 (ERC Starting Investigator)

Project Start - End Dates: 01-March-2017 - 31-Aug-2021

With a specific focus on screening/early detection of cancer, this project will map the diagnostics industry's dynamics, technological trajectories and regulatory developments in Europe and the USA from 1996 to the present day. The project will provide unprecedented insight into the factors shaping the development of a new generation of molecular diagnostic tests, and examine how these technologies are reconfiguring disease categories and redrawing the boundaries between health and sickness.


27. Project Title: Pro Futura Fellowship: The Military Origins of Freedom and Oppression

Principal Investigator: Hazem Kandil

Funder: Stiftelsen Riksbankens Jubileumsfond/ Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study

Project Start - End Dates: July 2017 - June 2020

A World Leader

The Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge is a world-leading centre for teaching and research in Sociology, consistently ranked first in UK league tables by The Guardian, The Times, and the Independent.