The Social Sciences Lab (SSL) is a research and educational project focusing on the study of social processes, which:

— plans and organises the Oxford Russia Fellowship for young scholars in social sciences;

— develops methods in education and designs workshops in the social sciences;

— facilitates research projects in the domain of social sciences, their publication and dissemination;

— organises lectures and seminars across Russia with local and international scholars;

— helps to develop and run Russian Readings seminars in leading European universities and research centres.


Spring 2018

SSL held a research and design spring break school on the topic of social mobility. Seminar participants explored whether social mobility is the freedom of choice, studied the barriers to social mobility, and developed several possible ways to surmount them. The school was divided into two groups: academic researchers and program designers. They participated in different tracks, studying and working through the topic of social mobility from different sides. Researchers addressed topics such as career strategies for women in formal institutions, the function of libraries after renovations and in light of changing user practices, as well as academic mobility of educators from abroad in Russia. Program designers developed solutions for single-industry towns, disadvantaged neighbourhoods, and problem schools.


Jesús López Baeza

Architect, researcher with the SPIN Unit consulting agency

Simon Herzog

Designer, visiting professor at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID)

Lee Elliot Major

Professor of Social Mobility, University of Exeter

Ekaterina Shulman

Political scientist, lecturer at the Institute for Social Sciences at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)

Alexander Nenashev

Systems culture designer, founder of the network

Viktor Vakhstayn

Sociologist, dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences

Pavel Stepantsov

Sociologist, lecturer at the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences

Summer 2018

SSL and Oxford Russia Fund announced their first fellowship call for young researchers — the Oxford Russia Fellowship.

The goal of the programme is to facilitate the emergence of high-quality scholarship and expert publications in and from Russia to aid the international integration of Russian scholarship, as well as to spark public discussion on social processes.

Autumn 2018

SSL together with the Oxford Russia Fund developed the Russian Readings series of seminars held at leading European universities and research centres focused on Russia. The goal of these seminars is to support exchange between Russian scholars and their colleagues abroad.