The SIMIAN (Simulation: a Node) project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council to promote and develop social simulation in the UK. The project was started in the summer of 2008, and involves a collaboration between CRESS and Dr Edmund Chattoe-Brown at the University of Leicester. SIMIAN is a node of the National Research Methods Centre.

The project involves three "demonstrator" simulations chosen to address important social science challenges:

  1. Interaction: Where many theories exist across the social sciences, how can simulation be used to integrate and compare them so that social science as a whole can progress?

  2. Novelty: How can simulation develop theories in which meanings and capabilities of objects are not "given" but change and develop in use and social interaction?

  3. Norms: Different social sciences understand and measure norms in different ways. How can they be integrated to produce effective theories?

These three demonstrators will form the basis for a range of training and capacity building activities:

  1. Taster courses to show what simulation can do.

  2. Build-a-model courses to show how to build a first working simulation.

  3. Specialised courses to train advanced users in specific topics.

In addition, there will be presentations at conferences and workshops, user fellowships to encourage collaboration between users and academics, and international exchange visits.