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Professor John Curtice appointed ESRC Fellow on public opinion towards the UK and Europe

21 May 2015

 

Professor John Curtice, Research Consultant at NatCen Social Research and Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University, has been awarded a Fellowship by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of its new research initative 'The UK in a Changing Europe'.

Professor Curtice’s project will collate and analyse polling and survey evidence on public attitudes towards the UK's relationship with Europe. It will aim to provide impartial evidence on the state of public opinion aimed at both key stakeholders and the general public. In particular, the project will:

  • Conduct new academic research into what considerations encourage people to be pro—or anti-European.  A module of 20 questions will be included on the 2015 British Social Attitudes survey, as well as existing data reanalysed.
  • Establish a website facility that provides comprehensive information, advice and commentary on attitudes of relevance to the debate about Britain’s relationship with Europe
  • Provide a series of written research briefings, accompanied by seminar presentations in London. These briefings will be made freely available on the proposed website and emailed to key contacts.

Professor John Curtice, NatCen Social Research, commented: “Britain now faces the prospect of an in-out referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union at some point during the next two years, and the debate about what Britain’s relationship with Europe is already beginning. It is therefore important that everyone has easy access to comprehensive and impartial information on what the British public actually thinks about Europe, and this is what this project aims to provide.’

Rachel Ormston, co-head of attitudes at NatCen Social Research said: “Building on the role and success the WhatScotlandThinks project played during the Scottish referendum on independence last year this project will provide valuable insight into public attitudes towards membership of the European Union, regardless of the outcome of May’s election. The project will provide an important resource and platform through which the public are able to access up-to-date, impartial information and commentary, as well as engage with the data and discuss the findings.”

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has appointed nine senior research Fellows as part of its Europe initiative.

Notes:

  1. NatCen Social Research is an independent, not for profit organisation. We believe that social research has the power to make life better. By really understanding the complexity of people’s lives and what they think about the issues that affect them, we give the public a powerful and influential role in shaping decisions and services that can make a difference to everyone.
  2. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest funder of research on the social and economic questions facing us today. It supports the development and training of the UK’s future social scientists and also funds major studies that provide the infrastructure for research. ESRC-funded research informs policymakers and practitioners and helps make businesses, voluntary bodies and other organisations more effective. The ESRC also works collaboratively with six other UK research councils and Innovate UK to fund cross-disciplinary research and innovation addressing major societal challenges. The ESRC is an independent organisation, established by Royal Charter in 1965, and funded mainly by the Government. In 2015 it celebrates its 50th anniversary.