Prof Sarah Skerratt

Selected Publications

Director, Rural Policy Centre

Research interests

  • Policy researcher, with particular focus on interface between policy vision and rhetoric, and how things play out “on the ground”. Specialises in rural policy issues, particularly community resilience, poverty, their assessment/measurement.
  • Enhancing evidence-into-policy, working closely with policy colleagues in the civil service (analysts and policy advisers) and parliaments (Committees and cross-party Groups in Scotland and internationally).
  • Presenting at local, regional, national and international gatherings, on the policy-practice interface, engaging with audiences and stakeholders to take forward new ideas and work collectively to break new ground.
  • In the Scottish Parliament, she provides Secretariat to Cross Party Group on Rural Policy, is a regular witness to the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee (2011-2016). She was vice-chair of the Land Reform Review Group (2012-2014), Ministerial adviser on land reform (2014-2015), appointed to Scottish Government’s “I million acres in community ownership by 2020” short life working group (2015-2016), and the Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force (2016).
  • Sarah is on partial secondment to Audit Scotland, to “rural-proof” their audit work.
  • Sarah is on the Boards of: SRUC, Rural Housing Scotland and SURF.

Research Interests

Selected research projects

  • Rural Mental Health
    Evidence of the extent of mental ill health in rural Scotland is patchy at best. SRUC joined forced with the national charity Support in Mind Scotland to carry out a survey (summer 2016) of mental ill health in rural areas, and is now working to input evidence into policy.
  • Rural Scotland in Focus 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016
    Sarah founded, edits and contributes to the biennial publication Rural Scotland in Focus, which “takes the temperature” of rural Scotland, and gives a fast-track to evidence and impartial commentary. It is used by thousands of stakeholders in Scotland, and now has international interest with similar products being developed elsewhere.
  • Rural community resilience
    “Community resilience” is a term which is used very often in policy circles to describe the desired outcome for communities across rural Scotland. This research provides systematic analysis of “resilience” and gives examples of its component elements and where it has been achieved.

Selected publications

  • Roberts, Anderson, Skerratt, Farrington, (2016), “A review of the rural-digital policy agenda from a community resilience perspective”, Journal of Rural Studies
  • Ashmore, F.H., Farrington. J.H. & Skerratt, S. (2015) Superfast Broadband and Rural Community Resilience: Examining the Rural Need for Speed, Scottish Geographical Journal, 131:3-4, 265-278, DOI: 10.1080/14702541.2014.978808
  • Skerratt, S. (2013), “Enhancing the analysis of rural community resilience: Evidence from community land ownership”, Journal of Rural Studies, Volume 31, pp. 36-46
  • Skerratt, S. and Steiner, A. (2013), “Working with communities who do not engage: complexities of empowerment”, in Special Issue of Local Economy: Localism: Debunking the Myths, Vol 28(3).
  • Skerratt, S. (2011), “A critical analysis of rural community leadership: towards systematised understanding and dialogue across leadership domains”, invited submission to The Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government. 2011 Volume 17, Number 1, pp.87-107.

See all of Sarah Skerratt's publications.

Prof Sarah Skerratt

Sarah Skerratt

Head of Land Economy, Environment & Society Research Group and Director of SRUC’s Rural Policy Centre

Address: Land Economy, Environment & Society, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG.

Telephone: 0131 535 4335

Fax: 01315354345