To offer opportunities for research collaboration, professional growth, and affiliate groups.

Research includes using the thematic networks to write books and journal articles collaboratively, run e-conferences and in person symposia, offer seminars and host forums

Professional growth includes support for post grad, and early career researchers, leadership opportunities, mentoring, knowledge sharing, and building transdisciplinary capabilities

Affiliate groups include associations of researchers and research users who define them and their ideas across all disciplines, sectors and locations using theme-based collaborative research networks, research seminars, and other events both online and in the physical sphere.



Tackle pressing social issues. Locally and internationally, social scientists are called upon to solve major problems: how to respond to climate change, inequality, and development. Sharing our intellectual capital across disciplines and sectors will position us to meet these challenges.

Defeat the tyrannies of distance and silos. eSocSci neatly defeats the tyranny of distance and institutional silos by creating a non-partisan online presence. In New Zealand social scientists are spread among many disciplines, sectors and geographical locations. eSocSci is a mechanism for crossing these boundaries. eSocSci now provides a working platform for 30 interdisciplinary thematic networks consisting of both academic and public sector researchers and used by over 2,250 members.

Create communities of practise. The aforementioned networks have been successful in orchestrating seminars, conferences both on and offline, summits, journal articles, and reports for national and international bodies, creating valuable research with real-world impacts. When appropriate, we promulgate the network findings through blogging, videos, and podcasts; and promote links to published articles, events, and jobs through our social media channels.

We welcome all members from the research community to join us.



Engaged Social Sciences Hui Rangahau Tahi (eSocSci) began life as the Building Research Capability in the Social Sciences (BRCSS) Network in 2003, bringing together research projects under the general title of “Social Futures for Aotearoa/New Zealand in a Global Area”. When the BRCSS network came to a close in 2010 the idea of networked cross institutional research was deemed too valuable to set aside and the Engaged Social Sciences Hui Rangahau Tahi (eSocSci) network was born.


Staff Bios

Associate Professor Robin Peace Robin Mugshot

Robin has been the Director since 2010. In 2012 she led a successful bid that secured two years MBIE funding that underpinned the current developments and direction of eSocSci. Robin is a practising academic affiliated as a migration researcher to the 6 year government funded CaDDANZ project, teaches the only postgraduate qualification in New Zealand in evaluation, and has a strong interest in methodological development in the social sciences. Robin is the Regional Director of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences for Massey University’s Wellington Campus and the NZ Royal Society delegate to the International Social Science Council.


Melanie MilicichMel Mugshot
Seminar coordinator

Melanie has been involved in eSocSci since BRCSS and is responsible for liaising with network leaders and institutions to facilitate the network seminars that eSocSci is becoming renown for. Melanie is based at the University of Auckland and is a human geographer by training. She is committed to helping people make research connections across disciplinary and institutional boundaries. She worked in the interdisciplinary thematic initative “Transforming Cities” at the University of Auckland and now works for the Urban Research Network which helps connect researchers interested in urban issues across the University of Auckland with others nationally, internationally and with practioners. She is the project manager for the Engaged Social Science Research Initiative (ESSRI) for the University of Auckland and is a member of the New Zealand Geographical Society.


Rhiannon DaviesRhi not so ancient
Communications coordinator

Rhiannon has been working in the marketing and communications field for five years and is a newly-minted sociolinguist. She joined eSocSci in 2014 and is responsible for maintaining the website and social media feeds, harvesting and writing blogs, editing the video and audio content, among other things.



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