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About GIS Research Group

The Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Research has been established for over 30 years, and its research activity and outputs has given it an international reputation.

Our members have an extensive knowledge of the use of GIS in applied studies in addition to a wide expertise in teaching with and researching open source and proprietary GIS packages. Staff within the Centre have published over 100 papers in peer reviewed journals.

Collaborative focus: WISERD 

A key collaborative focus has been the ESRC/HEFCW-funded Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data (WISERD), established to promote cross-institutional and multi-disciplinary research in the social sciences across the UK and internationally. WISERD is a collaborative venture between the universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, South Wales and Swansea. WISERD’s total research grant capture since 2009 is £36.2m and in 2019 amounted to £8.9m. 

WISERD hosts the UK-wide WISERD Civil Society Research Centre, a major investment by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). In 2018 WISERD was successful in securing a highly competitive Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Centres Competition, which secured £6.3 million as reinvestment into the continuation of civil society research. This is the third major funding award in WISERD’s ten-year history and will involve an ambitious new five-year programme of work 

The new ESRC-funded Civil Society Centre was launched in February 2020 at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, with the stakeholder event, Celebrating Civil Society Research: A New Chapter. Mark Drakeford (MS) First Minister of Wales and Professor Alison Park, Director of Research at the Economic and Social Research Council spoke at the event. As part of this Third Phase of funding, WISERD will be undertaking a five- year programme (2019-2024) of policy relevant research to address Civil Society, Civic Stratification and Civil Repair in Wales, the UK and internationally. The research will be inter-institutional and multidisciplinary and produce new evidence on the changing nature of civil society.   

Since 2009, Professor Gary Higgs has served as Co-Director of WISERD at the University of South Wales. Following the announcement from ESRC that they will be investing £2.8m in the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) over five years until 2024, WISERD is among the nine partner centres who will continue to work with the NCRM to deliver a new phase of innovative training and capacity-building activities. These will be in the application of core and advanced research methods techniques. 

Higgs directs WISERD's Training and Capacity Building programme and will lead on the organisation of training events across WISERD’s disciplines, which will be delivered to a wider UK audience through his appointment as a Senior Fellow of the NCRM.



For further information about the GIS Research Unit, please contact:

Professor Gary Higgs