Oxford Institute of Social Policy

The Oxford Institute of Social Policy (OISP) is a research unit within the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, drawing together scholarly and policy-relevant social policy research at University of Oxford. The institute is a centre of excellence for research on a variety of social policy topics. It has a multi-disciplinary outlook and employs a wide range of research methodologies and theoretical perspectives. Our experts come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, including demography, economics, political science, social policy analysis, and sociology.

Over recent years, our social policy research has been funded by a variety of organisations, including the Anglo German Foundation, the European Commission, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Nuffield Foundation, the South African Government, and UNICEF. The John Fell fund of Oxford University Press also provides funding for several projects. In addition, a research grouping is funded by the University of Oxford’s Martin School programme on Inequality and Prosperity with Citi.

Research carried out within OISP is by and large international in its substantive focus, covering the underlying social problems, ongoing policy debates, politics, and policy-making, welfare systems and social policy instruments, and evaluating the outcomes of social policies.

Research strengths are grouped around the following thematic areas:

  • Family policy, gender, demographic change
  • Education, social policies and inequalities
  • The politics of social policy reform
  • Poverty, welfare and social exclusion
  • Inequality and Prosperity (Oxford Martin School)