About the Institute

The Scanlon Foundation Research Institute exists as a bridge between academic insight and public thought on matters relating to Australia’s social cohesion.

Our mission and vision.

The Scanlon Foundation Research Institute (SFRI) undertakes research to help Australia advance as a welcoming, prosperous and cohesive nation, particularly where this relates to the transition of migrants into Australian society. 

As an independent, not-for-profit research institute, the SFRI is dedicated to formalising and strengthening research that adds value to Australia in the fields of social and applied sciences.

What we do

The SFRI conducts research into social cohesion, multiculturalism and related factors in Australia that is empirically-based, rigorous and highly regarded.

It publishes the outputs of its activities with a view to generating dialogue, moving forward the public agenda and making available practical tools, improvements and innovations to improve the social and economic circumstances of local communities, regions and society. It works in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders interested in creating value in Australia, including academic institutions, businesses, governments, and other not-for-profit organisations. 

Through written publications, events, videos and podcasts, the SFRI makes its research accessible and practical for the people who need it. In doing so, it links thought to action to empower the critical thinking that will help drive Australia’s social cohesion forward.

The SFRI has a broad research agenda but is particularly interested in understanding:

  • The demographic, geographic, political and social dynamics of cohesive communities;
  • Perceptions of the Australian population as they relate to multiculturalism, social cohesion, migration and associated factors;
  • The contributions of existing, new and emerging communities towards building social cohesion; and
  • How programs can be applied to strengthen social cohesion.

It uses a range of scientific methods; however, given its commitment to inclusion and engagement, participatory and survey research feature strongly in the SFRI’s approach.

The need for the SFRI’s work has come from the increasing attention given to the concept of social cohesion and the lack of available data on the Australian experience beyond SFRI’s annual Mapping Social Cohesion survey.

While there is research undertaken by others on social cohesion, there is no other research institution that parallels the longstanding work of the Scanlon Foundation.

Search our publications to find research, analysis, and commentary related to these priorities using the search function on the homepage.