Our 'Golden Jubilee'!

Tuesday 23 August 2016

We've had our 50th academic article published, reaching a milestone rarely achieved by projects in the social sciences. 

The latest article, on the links between different sources of physical activity and the mental health of residents in deprived areas, adds to a wide ranging contribution to understanding the wider determinants of health for disadvantaged communities. 

Our work is a multi-disciplinary, mixed-methods study of a complex intervention, seeking to assess the health and well-being impacts of housing-led regeneration over the medium-term. In addition to a repeat household survey with a nested longitudinal cohort administered in fifteen study communities, we also involve both cross-sectional and longitudinal qualitative research, and epidemiological analysis of population, health and deprivation data over time for the city of Glasgow.  

Elements of the study design have been adopted by several other studies across the world, and GoWell has been used as an example of mixed-methods research in teaching programmes at a number of universities.

The study commenced in 2005, conducted its first household survey in 2006 and produced its first academic publication in 2008.  Reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of the study, the fifty academic articles are published in journals from a variety of fields including: housing; urban studies; planning; geography; social policy; public policy; public health; epidemiology; psychology; migration studies; youth studies.

GoWell is conducted as a partnership between three parts of the University: Urban Studies; the Glasgow Centre for Population Health; sportscotland; and the CSO/MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit.  GoWell is funded by The Scottish Government; NHS Health Scotland; NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde; and the Wheatley Group of social landlords.  Reflecting its sponsors and wider stakeholders, including Glasgow City Council which provides in-kind support to the study, GoWell not only focuses on academic production but also on impact upon policy and practice. 

In addition to the fifty academic articles, we have also produced 26 briefing papers summarising the implications of our findings for policy-makers and practitioners, and 150 newsletters for communities.  We also recently won an award for research impact and made a major contribution to the top ranking achieved by Urban Studies in the REF 2014 assessment.

Principal Investigator Professor Ade Kearns said: 

“We are rightly proud of this major achievement for the study, which reflects the tremendous efforts of all the GoWell team members over the years, both past and present.  We are also grateful for the ongoing trust and support of our sponsors, who have allowed us to pursue our wide-ranging agenda in the knowledge that we will deliver results that are relevant to their activities, and to the interests and needs of disadvantaged communities.  

I am delighted that we have been able to provide originality, rigour and impact from our study, all of which are key components for academic excellence.”

This article was originally published on the University of Glasgow website.