Professor Brian Head
Professor Brian Head
22 November 2012

Leading social scientist from The University of Queensland Professor Brian Head has received two accolades for his research leadership and expertise this year.

He was recently elected to the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA), which was preceded by an appointment to the Australian Research Council College (ARC) early this year.

ASSA is Australia’s premier institution promoting social science research, and recognises distinguished research careers through electing new members as Fellows.

These Fellows are elected by their peers on the basis of scholarly distinction in their discipline. Professor Head, an expert in public policy and a former senior public servant, had been elected to the Academy in the discipline of political science.

“Election to the Academy is a great honour. I am especially pleased that my work linking up academia with government and the community has been recognised in this way," Professor Head said.

Professor Head is the research leader for the Sustainability and Environment Program and the Policy Analysis Program at UQ's Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR). He was also appointed as an ARC College member in the area Social and Behavioural Sciences earlier this year.

"It's certainly an honour to be asked to serve on the ARC College, where there are only 16 members for all the social sciences in Australia. My past experience as a reviewer, and as a recipient of grants, has made me appreciate the importance of supporting the robust peer-review processes operated by the ARC," he said.

UQ ISSR Director Professor Mark Western said Professor Head’s achievements raised the profile of the Institute.

“It’s a great achievement to be appointed to the ARC College and is a vindication of the strength of Professor Head’s research expertise," Professor Western said.

"Becoming a fellow of the prestigious Academy of the Social Sciences in the same year is a further honour that recognises he is a leader in his field,” he said.

Professor Head is also an expert in the politically-fraught but critical area of translating social science research into public policy. He leads a major project on “Evidence-based policy and research utilisation” that examines the blockages to improving the use of evidence to inform public policy.

His other research areas include program evaluation, social inclusion, service delivery, integrity and accountability, early intervention and prevention, and several projects on water policy and planning.