Centre for Remote and Rural Communities


The Centre for Remote and Rural Communities is interdisciplinary and aims to surface the voices that do not always get heard across the Highlands and Islands and Internationally. Through creative and innovative research, we seek to contribute new ideas for inclusive sustainable development and that challenge inequalities embedded in hierarchies of knowledge and social norms in communities. This may include understanding processes of intersecting aspects of inequality, including gender and sexuality, age, race and ethnicity, religion, disability, but also include issues of access to education, employment and justice. 

It also requires understanding many layers of changing contexts, including historical and recent/current conflict, environmental fragility and climate change, mobility and migration, personal and power relationships and transitions in governance. Research about intergenerational differences in aspirations and expectations is inclusive of children and youth who are recognized as having the energy and creativity to motivate others. By building partnerships and creative spaces for dialogue, we link people in communities, civil society, enterprises and policy makers together as agents of change.

Themes include:

  • Access and inclusion – with an emphasis on identifying inequalities with remote and marginalised communities and in rural areas, and working with academic policymakers and other stakeholders to address such inequalities;
  • Sustainability – with a specific focus on asset/ resource ownership and management, leadership, intergenerational community driven research, regional and international development, third sector activities, entrepreneurial thinking and public service delivery to remote and marginalised communities and in rural places;
  • Managing change – particularly in relation to political, economic and social change, local-global linkages, climate change, demographics, migration and technological advances within the context of remote and marginalised communities and rural areas.

We focus on research that provides evidence that can change thinking but also influence policy and practice. It draws on affiliation across academic disciplines seeking to draw on wide ranging interdisciplinary research expertise and ensuring more research informed teaching. We include a Centre for Enterprise and Innovation, CREATE, which builds links between the university, business and communities. The Centre also builds the capacity of Early Career Researchers through supporting links between postdoctoral students across social sciences, arts and humanities and in promoting exciting pathways of professional and academic progression. In this way we hope that research will be living and responsive to landscapes of change.

The Centre for Remote and Rural Communities builds on our previous Centre of Remote and Rural Studies, led by Philomena de Lima.

Any enquiries please contact Director of the Centre for Remote and Rural Communities - Dr. Vicky Johnson