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Institute of Advanced Study

Professor Aila-Leena Matthies

COFUND Senior Research Fellow at St Mary's College (January - March 2016)

Prof Matthies is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Jyväskylä, Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius, Head of the Department of Social Sciences. She is well-known and highly respected pioneer in Finnish social work owing to her interest in environmental and community issues in relation to social work.

The contribution of social interventions to the transition of communities towards resilience and sustainability. The planned programme of work relates to international and interdisciplinary research on the contribution of social interventions to the transition of communities towards resilience and sustainability. This is the subject of the Matthies’ current and ongoing international research collaboration. The Fellowship aims to deepen theoretical understandings and to develop practical research approaches to this question. The Fellowship will enable Matthies to extend her existing work and collaborate with key international figures working in the Centre for Social Justice and Community Action (CSJCA) on the sustainability of community practices and participatory methods. The main focus will be on exploring the sustainability of community based practices, including the ethics and impact of community-based participatory research (CBPR). This will happen by: a) intensive theoretical work in collaboration with members of the CSJCA, Institute of Hazard Risk and Resilience and Policy, Professions and Communities Research Group (PPC research group); and b) analysing and discussing CBPR practice content in ongoing community-based projects run by the CSJCA, resulting in improved critical reflection of the ethical dimensions of social interventions with communities.