Past events


Past event details

Communicating your research to diverse audiences

Friday 1 July 2016, 10.30am-4.00pm

Venue: Lancaster University Management School – Lecture Theatre 1

Speakers: Marcus Baron, Marketing Executive, Ernst & Young.  Helen Merrills, Senior Consultant, Communications Management. Holly Mills, Commissioning Editor, The Conversation

How do you communicate your work to people who will be interested in it? How do you make sure people who might use the work get to know about it?

Telling others about your research can be very satisfying and is increasingly a requirement in academic jobs.

Top communication professionals who have worked with academics to gain broad reach for their ideas and their research will share insights from a range of contexts. They will explore with you how complex ideas are distilled and presented for intended audiences. They will look at different communication channels such as press releases, social media, professional reports.

This workshop is interactive – you’ll hear from the professionals, but much of the day will be spent identifying what is ‘newsworthy’ from your research and who should hear about it, as well as creating and critiquing communications.

Students at all stages of their research will benefit from the workshop – from early stage researchers with an interesting perspective to those wanting to stand out for their impact and engagement in job applications.

Hosted by:
Gillian Hopkinson (Lancaster University Management School)
Anthony Hesketh (Lancaster University Management School)

Further details available on this flyer:

Contact for more information and booking.

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Exploring Feminist Legal Research

Wednesday 29 June 2016, 1pm-3pm

Venue: University of Liverpool, Room TBC

Instructor: Dr. Jamie-Lee Mooney

This short research seminar will explore some of the issues raised by feminist research. The aims and objectives of this session are as follows:

  • To raise awareness of law’s relationship with other disciplines.
  • To examine the way in which feminist theories and perspectives can be applied to law.
  • To understand that critique of the law does not have to be internal.
  • To consider the pros and cons of feminist perspectives in legal research.
  • To explore the theoretical insights of different schools of feminist legal theory and their application to feminist law reform.
  • To explore whether your PhD thesis could/does incorporate a feminist perspective.

Please register at

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Interdisciplinary NWDTC PGR Conference: Method, measurement and the problem of scale

Tuesday 21 June 2016, 12pm-4.45pm

Venue: The University of Manchester, Cordingley Lecture Theatre

Scale is a problem that researchers of all kinds, whether they turn their analytical attention to the big or the small, the present or the past, grapple with as a feature of what they study. Scale poses problems in terms of methodological approaches and techniques (how do we cope with data on a very large or very small scale?), but scale and scales/scaling are also concepts/tools we employ to address those problems. While scale has gained renewed visibility through discussions of the potentials and pitfalls of working with Big Data and digital devices, it is an issue which is closely tied to age-old debates on measurement and representation – how do you build scales that capture or allow us to better understand the character of social phenomena of all kinds? How do you make sense of the scales social actors employ to make sense of and manage the world? Increasingly, researchers also have to think about what might be involved in scaling up or scaling down, i.e. in moving between scales, and what constitutes the appropriate level for social inquiry.

The purpose of this workshop, aimed at DTC students, is to bring together leading researchers working across different fields of inquiry, each with significant international expertise in the social science and arts and humanities, to discuss and reflect upon the problem of scale in a variety of its contemporary forms and ways of productively and creatively engaging with it.

The workshop will take the form of six talks, an interactive problem-focused session and a roundtable discussion.

Further information is available in the event flyer:

Presenters are set to include Dr Kenneth Smith (Liverpool), Professor Rachel Gibson (Manchester), Dr Andrew Redden (Liverpool), Dr Thomas House (Manchester) and Professor Peter Diggle (Lancaster)

12.00 – 12.30pm Welcome
12.30 – 1.00pm Scales in music: symmetry and asymmetry Dr Kenneth Smith (Liverpool)
1.00 – 1.30pm The challenges of merging survey data with big data Professor Rachel Gibson (Manchester)
1.30 – 2.00pm Design and analysis of longitudinal studies: the impact of correlation scale Professor Peter Diggle (Lancaster)
2.00 – 2.30pm Interactive problem focussed session
2.30 – 2.45pm Break
2.45 – 3.15pm Getting big information from small data Dr Thomas House (Manchester)
3.15 – 3.45pm Scale: History and the collapse of time Dr Andrew Redden (Liverpool)
3.45 – 4.45pm Roundtable

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Telling Stories With Research: Narratological Analysis as a Method for Writing

Monday 16 May 2016, 3pm-5pm

Venue: University of Liverpool, Room TBC

Instructor: Dr Will Slocombe

In this workshop, Dr. Will Slocombe will talk about how narratological principles and an orientation to “telling stories” can be employed as a method for writing and editing academic work, including theses, articles and monographs. Aimed primarily at PhD students, this workshop is also open to academic researchers.

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Qualitative Quandaries: Analysing Language

Thursday 5 May 2016, 11am-4pm

Venue: Lancaster University, George Fox Building, Lecture Theatre 5

Hosted by Gillian Hopkinson (Lancaster University Management School) and Anthony Hesketh (Lancaster University Management School).

Deciding how to tackle and justify the analysis of our qualitative data is one of the most challenging aspects of academic life. In this session, with arguably the global leaders in their field, you can explore:

  • Critical Discourse Analysis with Norman Fairclough and Isabella Fairclough
  • Corpus Linguistic Analysis with Tony McEnery
  • Grounded Theory with Haina Zhang

These interactive sessions will:

  • Provide an overview of the main techniques
  • Offer practical examples and hands-on experience of using these techniques of qualitative analysis
  • Allow you to discuss and reflect on what each of these techniques might contribute to your thesis.

The session represents an important milestone for research students at the beginning of their studies, through to those writing up their thesis and seeking to underpin the veracity of their qualitative analysis and theory building.

10.30am – 11.00am Registration
11.00am -12.30pm Critical Discourse Analysis – Norman Fairclough (Lancaster University) and Isabella Fairclough (UCLAN)
12.30pm – 1.00pm Lunch
1.00pm – 2.30pm Corpus Linguistic Analysis – Tony McEnery (Lancaster University)
2.30pm – 2.45pm Coffee Break
2.45pm – 4.00pm Grounded Theory – Haina Zhaing (Lancaster University)

The session is open to all PhD students from all departments and also students from Manchester and Liverpool University.

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An Introduction to the European and International Dimensions of Legal Research

Thursday 5 May 2016, 11am-1pm

Venue: University of Liverpool, Room TBC

Instructors: Dr. Rob Knox and Dr. Nuno Ferreira

The first part of this session will be devoted to exploring some of the issues raised by postgraduate research in international law. It will discuss some of the basic framework of international law (especially customary international law and treaties) and international institutions (particularly the United Nations, the international financial institutions and various international tribunals), focussing on some of the specific challenges that research in these areas bring. In the discussion we will also discuss some of the unique methodological and theoretical challenges that the study of international law brings, and how this relates to wider fields of research.

The second part of the session will explore the European dimensions of postgraduate research. Both the Council of Europe and the European Union frameworks will be discussed, with a focus on both organisations’ characteristics, institutions, legal sources, law-making mechanisms, activities and policies. There will be the opportunity to discuss how to find out more about these two organisations and, especially, how this can all relate to your own research.

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Elicitation Techniques and Narrative Analysis

Tuesday 3 May 2016, 9.30am-1.30pm

Venue: University of Manchester

Presenter: Emma Temple-Malt

This half day workshop aims to show how elicitation techniques used in semi-structured/narrative interviews can be a powerful tool for capturing aspects of people’s everyday lives. It also offers practical suggestions of how you might analyse data where elicitation techniques have been used.

The first part of the workshop explains why you might want to use elicitation techniques to complement qualitative interviews and offers an overview of several elicitation techniques. It also discusses some potential issues and barriers that need thinking through when using elicitation techniques in interviews.

The workshop includes practical/hands-on activities to facilitate learning. Therefore participants are asked to complete a relational time-line prior to attending the workshop and to bring an object and/or photograph that relates to a particular moment noted down on their time-line. The time-line, object/photograph will be used in a paired activity to narrate this particular moment. Using elicitation techniques personally to tell stories gives participants the opportunity to experience first hand the power that using objects/photos in the process of telling stories about everyday lives can have.

The second part of the workshop outlines and offers suggestions for how you might thematically analyse interviews where elicitation techniques have been used.

Participants are invited to have a go at thematically analysing portions of qualitative interview transcripts that focus on civilly partnered couples in a joint interview, narrating their relational time-lines. Participants will be encouraged to explore the theme of how couples in joint interviews approach the narration of their time-lines.

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Critical Discourse Analysis

Friday 22 April 2016, 9am-5pm (2 sessions)

Venue: University of Liverpool – Seminar Room 8, South Campus Teaching Hub.

Instructor: Dr Andrew Kirton

This module is designed to introduce students to the theory and practice of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) over two intensive sessions. Students are introduced to a critical understanding of discourse, which in turn encourages the analysis of language use in relation to questions of power in society. The module seeks to enable students’ engagement in such analyses, introducing them to appropriate methods and techniques, and providing them the opportunity to put these into practice.

1st Session: Friday 22 April 2016, 9am – 5pm
2nd Session: Friday 6 April 2016, 9am – 12pm

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Using Foucault’s Methods

Monday 18 April 2016, 3pm-5pm (4 sessions)

Venue: University of Liverpool – Seminar Room 4, South Campus Teaching Hub.

Instructor: Dr Nicole Vitellone

This short course over 4 sessions guides students through the key points, concerns and issues raised by Michel Foucault’s methods and theory. Covering his key texts we address Foucault’s method as an important device for studying power and society. In so doing the module seeks to engage students with the uses of Foucault’s method for social science research and social inquiry.

The four sessions will be on the 18 & 25 April, and 2 & 9 May 2016 (Mondays) between 3pm and 5pm.

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Narrative Interviewing

Thursday 14 April 2016, 12.30pm-5pm (2 sessions)

Venue: University of Liverpool – Room TBC

Instructors: Dr Ciara Kierans and Dr Jessie Cooper

This two-day short course prepares the postgraduate researcher for work with narrative. Covering key contributions to this form of inquiry, the course will introduce the theoretical and analytical principles of narrative research; help build technical skills for conducting, transcribing and analysing narrative interviews and explore the contributions and limitations of the use of narrative inquiry in social science research.

1st Session: Thursday 14 April 2016, 12.30pm – 5pm
2nd Session: Friday 15 April 2016, 12.30pm – 5pm

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MNW One Day Symposium: Political Economy and Emotion: Into the heart of state, space and power

Monday 11 April 2016

Venue: University of Liverpool

This event brings together a range of academic expertise to create an interdisciplinary space for critical scholars to explore the role and significance of emotion in both facilitating and challenging power relations, social orders and state-political projects. The symposium will excavate state projects, the spatialization of power and the course of social-economic conflict and understand these are not merely ‘rational’ phenomena but as aspects of social relations that arise, fall, success and fail on the basis of the stability of power blocs understood, in part, as emotional and affective entities.

Speakers: Dr Roy Coleman, University of Liverpool – States of Emotion: Morbidity, make-believe and power
Dr Ben Anderson, University of Durham – Neoliberal effects
Professor Imogen Tyler, Lancaster University – Neoliberal stigma power
Dr Shona Hunter, University of Leeds – Challenging state suicide and other neoliberal fantasies
Dr Earl Gammon, University of Sussex – Narcissistic rage and neoliberal reproduction
Professor Stjepan Mestrovic, Texas A&M University – Conceptualizing postemotional justice in the courts

Further information on the symposium is available at the University of Liverpool website.

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Research Claims and Interpretative Contexts

Wednesday 24 March 2016, 1pm-2pm

Venue: University of Manchester

Presenter: Bryan Fanning

This seminar with be presented by Professor Bryan Fanning, Simon and Hallsworth visiting professor at the University of Manchester in the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (Code).

Andrew Abbott emphasises how throughout the history of the social sciences heuristic dualisms between positivism and interpretativism can be seen to play out again and again at all levels of debate and analysis. The focus of this seminar is upon some of the ideological and normative contexts of academic interpretations of British urban policy that are found in literature views accompanying research on community activism and land use planning. The case study refers to field research undertaken in the London Borough of Haringey and the interpretative contexts to which such research might be related. The aim is to address challenges that emerge in relating many kinds of social science ‘evidence’ to wider debates.

Professor Fanning is a leading scholar on the topics of racism and immigration studies within ‘new’ migration destinations specifically within the Republic of Ireland. His work is also concerned with understanding intellectual history and the welfare economy. He has a longstanding research interest in the politics of community participation in the United Kingdom with a particular focus on Tottenham and the London Borough of Haringey. He is a proponent of examining racism through a historical lens in relation to nation building, nationalism and post-colonial identities. He is member of the Migration and Citizenship Research Initiative in University College Dublin and currently on the editorial board of The Irish Journal of Sociology and formerly of Translocations and sits on the Holocaust Education Trust Ireland (HETI). Along with his several monographs his two latest works are:

Fanning, B (2016) Irish Adventures in Nation Building. Manchester: Manchester, University Press
Dillion, D and Fanning, B (2011) Lessons for the Big Society: Planning, Regeneration and the Politics of Community Participation. Surrey, Ashgate

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Masterclass – Creating Effective Collaboration

Thursday 15 March 2016, 1pm-4pm

Venue: The University of Manchester

Instructor: Dr Nathan Ryder

Collaboration is a skillset with great benefits for postgraduate researchers, both in researching for their PhD and beyond. This highly interactive workshop is an opportunity for participants to reflect on their strengths, determine what they want and develop a constructive approach to current and future collaborations. In particular, participants will:

  • recognise their greatest strengths and skills as collaborators;
  • explore practically what makes collaborations work;
  • identify their own collaboration goals.

This is an interactive session: participants will be expected to work in pairs and small groups, and share their ideas with the workshop.

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Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis

Thursday 10 March 2016, 1pm-5pm (2 sessions)

Venue: University of Liverpool – Room TBC

Instructors: Dr. Michael Mair, Dr. Philip Brooker and Dr. Chris Elsey

This two-day short-course is aimed at postgraduate and academic researcher interested in ethnomethodology and ethnomethodological conversation analysis. Focusing on ethnomethodological and conversation analytic approaches to the study of language, interaction and social practices, in practical terms it will cover (1) key works and ideas in both fields, (2) how to identify analytically interesting audio and video data, (3) how to work up audio and video data in and through the transcription process and (4) how to ‘build’ analyses of data individually and in collaboration with others.

Dates: Thursday 10 March & Friday 11 March
Times: 1pm-5pm

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Are Russell Group universities really “leading universities”?

Wednesday 9 March 2016, 1.00pm-2.30pm

Venue: University of Manchester

Presenter: Vikki Boliver

Dr Vikki Boliver, Senior Lecturer in Sociology/Social Policy at Durham University, leads a seminar on Cluster Analysis.

In 1992 the binary divide between universities and polytechnics was dismantled to create a nominally unitary system of higher education for the UK. Just a year later, the first UK university league table was published, and the year after that saw the formation of the Russell Group of self-proclaimed “leading universities”. This paper asks whether there are distinctive clusters of higher and lower status universities in the UK, and, in particular whether the Russell Group institutions can be said to constitute a distinctive elite tier.

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Monday 7 March 2016, 10am-1pm (3 sessions)

Venue: University of Liverpool – Teaching Room 410, Cypress Building (building 108, map ref E2)

Instructor: Prof. Jude Robinson

This short module on interviews is suitable for postgraduate students and research staff from all disciplines who require a period of additional supported study and reflection before they design and conduct their own research. Drawing on the rich sociological literature, students will be introduced to theories of why and when to use interviews and have the opportunity to develop research questions and learn how to conduct interviews as well as how to approach the preparation, analysis and writing up of data. The module is delivered over 3 workshops, each lasting for 3 hours, which will combine some lecture material, with discussions of the literature and issues, and practical exercises on conducting interviews and data analysis.

1st Session: Monday 7 March 2016, 10am-1pm
2nd Session: Monday 14 March 2016, 10am-1pm
3rd Session: Monday 21 March 2016, 10am-1pm

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Ethnographic Studies of Science and Technology

Thursday 3 March 2016, 1.30pm-6pm (2 sessions)

Venue: University of Liverpool – Room TBC

Instructors: Dr. Ciara Kierans and Dr. Jessie Cooper

This two-day short course is aimed at the postgraduate researcher interested in social science approaches and studies of medicine, science and technology. Drawing from ethnographic research in anthropology and sociology, we focus on foundational ethnographic texts in this field, theoretical and analytical concerns and arguments, and the integrated character of methods, analysis and writing in ethnographic inquiry.

1st Session: Thursday 3 March 2016, 1.30pm-6pm
2nd Session: Friday 4 March 2016, 1.30pm-6pm

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Visual Methods

Monday 22 February 2016, 1pm-5pm (2 sessions)

Venue: University of Liverpool – Seminar Room 4, South Campus Teaching Hub.

Instructor: Dr. Paul Jones

This two-day short-course is aimed at postgraduate and academic researchers who would like to learn more about sociological approaches to visual analysis. In particular, the module addresses some of the recurrent ways in which cities have been represented visually, and is so interested in how images of urban contexts are generated and disseminated. Paying specific attention to the work of i) photographers and ii) architects against this backdrop, the module is organised around preparatory reading of classic and contemporary research contributions, which will include discussion of how to identify analytically-relevant urban visual data, and a walking tour or Liverpool City Centre, addressed towards visual representations in situ. Assessment on the module is via a short research presentation, which is to be based on interrogation of visual data with reference to a technique of analysis specified within the module.

1st Session: Monday 22 February 2016, 1pm-5pm
2nd Session: Tuesday 23 February 2016, 1pm-5pm

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An introduction to the latest thinking in social impact measurement: Wellbeing valuation

Wednesday 10 February 2016, 1pm-2.30pm

Venue: University of Manchester

Presenter: David King – Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust

Social impact measurement is a hot topic at the moment. WIth governments scaling back the services they provide, greater burden is placed on charities and not-for-profits to support people. At the same time, there is more scrutiny over how money is spent, especially when a financial return cannot be identified. Social impact measurement proides a much needed perspective to evaluate all of an organisation’s activity.

HACT was first launched in 1960 to support housing associations, and now works closely with the housin gsector to meet changing needs with data services, impact analysis, and strategic research. As the UK’s largest not-for-profit sector, a simple way of assessing social impact was needed. Working with Daniel Fujiwara HACT devloped wellbeing valuation, which quickly became the industry standard.

This workshop will explore the methodology and explain how it has been used in the social housing sector, including a change to test the approach.

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Participatory Action Research

Tuesday 2 February 2016, 9am-5pm

Venue: University of Liverpool – 7-7a Abercromby Square (building 143, map ref D3), Seminar Room 1.

Instructor: Louise Hardwick

This one-day workshop is aimed at postgraduate and academic researchers interested in conducting a PAR with an identified collaborative community partner. There will opportunities for ‘shared conversations’ on issues involved in planning and conducting a PAR and consideration of: (1) theoretical perspectives that inform a PAR approach, (2) appropriate methods and activities for a PAR approach, (3) ethical considerations related to a PAR approach.

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Understanding Society Using Quantitative Methods

Monday 1 February 2016, 1pm-3pm (12 sessions)

Venue: University of Liverpool – Room 201, PC Teaching Centre. Eleanor Rathbone Building

Instructor: Dr. Peter Campbell

This module looks into the rationale and practice of analysing numerical data, largely derived from survey research, and the use of such data to understand the social world. It covers a range of skills from basic univariate and multivariate analysis techniques, to a consideration of the potential insights offered by longitudinal datasets and their analysis. General issues regarding the generation and usage of quantitative data will be considered, and from these first principles the particularities of longitudinal research design will subsequently be examined. The context in which quantitative analysis of the social world has arisen will also be considered.

Dates: Every Monday 1pm-3pm, from 1 February to 9 May (Dates and times TBC)

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Focus Groups

Monday 1 February 2016, 10am-12pm (4 sessions)

Venue: University of Liverpool – Seminar Room 8, South Campus Teaching Hub.

Instructor: Prof. Jude Robinson

This short module will help postgraduate students and research staff to design, plan and carry out focus group discussions. Using case studies to illustrate the application of focus groups to research particular issues, students will gain understandings of the theory, practicalities and ethics of using this method to elicit data, and how to prepare and analyse these data. This module consists of a series of 4 workshops, each two hours long, to be held on consecutive weeks, which will combine lectures and discussions with practical exercises within the group, as well as discussions about the wider literature.

The four sessions will be on the 1, 8, 15 and 22 February 2016 (Mondays) between 10am and 12pm.

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Writing and Publishing Journal Articles

Tuesday 26 January 2016, 9.30am-5pm

Venue: University of Manchester

A publishing insider’s view of how to plan, write and successfully publish in top peer-reviewed journals. Lead by Patrick Brindle former Publisher for Research Methods, Publisher for the Social Sciences and Publisher for Online Content at Sage. Patrick Brindle was awarded his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge in 1998. At Cambridge he taught courses in research methods, the social sciences and history. Patrick took the step of moving to publishing in 2000. He has held a number of editorial roles at Pearson Education, Oxford University Press and SAGE Publications. He has worked on academic books, textbooks, journals and on online content and video. Fee £30.

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Writing Clearly About Research

Monday 25 January 2016, 9.30am-5pm

Venue: University of Manchester

Understand the fundamentals of clear writing, focusing on audience, style, warranting and external application for those with some writing experience. This course is lead by Patrick Brindle, former Publisher for Research Methods, Publisher for the Social Sciences and Publisher for Online Content at Sage. Patrick also co-established and managed a team of development editors whose job was to work closely with authors to improve the accessibility, style and market-readiness of their manuscripts. Over 15 years in editorial, Patrick has worked with hundreds of social science scholars and researchers on their texts and has witnessed and dealt with every kind of writing problem (and excuse) in the proverbial book. Fee £30.

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Supervising Quantitative Research Degrees – An event for Supervisors of DTC students organised by UK Data Service (University of Manchester)

Friday 22 January 2016

Venue: Jisc, Brettenham House, London

This one-day event is for you if you have an interest in supervising research postgraduates in quantitative social science subjects. In this workshop we will explore experiences of what works in:

  • research student recruitment and funding
  • research design for proposals
  • the supervision process (the supervisor experience and the student perspective)

Additionally we will hear from the ESRC support services, which can provide data and training for your students.

The session is open to current and soon-to-be supervisors and particularly those who have less experience.

Cost: £15 (including light lunch)

The day is organised collaboratively by the Administrative Data Research Network, CALLS Hub, Centre for Longitudinal Studies, CLOSER, NCRM, UK Data Service and Understanding Society.

To view the programme and book a place please go to

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Laurence Hemming on ‘Us’ – A Seminar Series on Subjectivity by Laurence Paul Hemming

12 January – 8 March 2016

Venue: County Main Seminar Room 4, County College, Lancaster University

This seminar series begins with a fragment of an ancient love-poem that speaks of “you and me”, and asks how has “you and me” been thought – before, within, and after the philosophy of subjectivity? Is every relation between “you” and “me” an effect of power? Can “you” ever be equal to “me”? And how is sexuality, how is love, how is sex, to be thought – now and in the future? Does sex, does love, does “you and me” ever assume a public face?


1. ’The Number of Us: Ancient Thoughts, Modern Ideas’. 12th January, 2016
2. ‘The Power of Us: Against Foucault, Beyond Butler’. 26th January, 2016
3. ‘The History of Us: Heteronormal Hegel, Equal Marx’. 9th February, 2016
4. ‘The Subject of Us: Other than Buber, Contrary to Levinas’. 23rd February, 2016
5. ‘The Politics of Us: Justice for the Errors of the Past’, 8th March, 2016.

Laurence Paul Hemming is Professor in the Departments of Politics, Philosophy and Religion and Organization, Work and Technology at Lancaster University, UK. His publications include: Heidegger’s Atheism (Notre Dame University Press, 2002); Postmodernity’s Transcending: Devaluing God (Notre Dame University Press, 2005) and Heidegger and Marx: A Productive Dialogue over the Language of Humanism (Northwestern University Press, 2013).

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Telling Stories With Research: Narratological Analysis as a Method for Writing

Thursday 17 December 2015, 11am-1pm

Venue: University of Liverpool, Room TBC

Instructor: Dr Will Slocombe

In this workshop, Dr. Will Slocombe will talk about how narratological principles and an orientation to “telling stories” can be employed as a method for writing and editing academic work, including theses, articles and monographs. Aimed primarily at PhD students, this workshop is also open to academic researchers.

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From Social Disorder to Moral Order

Wednesday 9 December 2015, 2pm-4pm

Venue: University of Liverpool, Lecture Theatre 6, Rendall Building

Speaker: Dr. Dirk Lindebaum (

Anger is ‘brief madness’ – the Roman lyric poet Horace once proclaimed. His observation rendered millennia ago retains its currency in today’s world of organizations, inasmuch as there are strong currents in the psychological and management literature that continue to cast anger in a negative light, as a destructive and disruptive force. Indeed, expressions of anger are often used interchangeably with hostile dispositions, such as aggression, abuse, anti-social behaviour or violence. Anger is thus cast both as an individual psychological disorder and as the cause of a social disorder. While certain fields of scholarship, like negotiation, leadership, and social movements studies have begun to recognize that anger may sometimes yield positive consequences, most of the literature continues to portray anger predominantly as an unwanted, disruptive and negative emotion.

This talk seeks to challenge this view by arguing that anger can be a positive force in society and organization. Drawing inspiration from the 1950s jury room drama Twelve Angry Men, a more equivocal and nuanced account of anger is proposed as an emotion that can help create and maintain a moral order and, subsequently, restore a social order.

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Researching within the LGBT Community

Thursday 3 December 2015, 1pm-4pm

Venue: University of Liverpool, School of the Arts Library, 19 Abercromby Square, L7 7BD

Organised with the University of Liverpool LGBT Staff + Postgraduate Network.

This event aims to bring together researchers whose work or interests are focused on the LGBT community, to demonstrate the breadth of research being undertaken in this field, and to discuss the opportunities and challenges of researching within this community.

Speakers include:

  • Gareth Hagger-Johnson, UCL: The first pooling of UK population data in order to demonstrate mental health inequalities for LGB people
  • Jennifer New, University of Liverpool: The experiences and needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans people seeking asylum and refugees living in Liverpool
  • Periklis Papaloukas, De Montfort University: The psychosocial experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans persons living with multiple sclerosis
  • Sean Ralph, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust and University of Liverpool: A Qualitative Study on the Views and Experiences of Health Professionals on Discussing Sexual Orientation and Sexuality with Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Patients in an Oncology Setting
  • Niamh Thornton, University of Liverpool: Visibility and production of queer Mexican literature and film

The session will consist of brief presentations from each of the speakers, a Q&A panel session and a networking opportunity over coffee.

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Sociology and Democratic Knowledge: Re-imagining Sociology After the Public University

25 November 2015 2.00pm – 4.00pm

University of Liverpool, The Moot Room, South Campus Teaching Hub

Speaker: Professor John Holmwood (University of Nottingham)

The talk addresses the rise of the public university and its association with a ‘citizenship complex’ that reconciles, market, bureaucracy and associationalism through an expanded conception of social rights (Parsons; Lockwood). On this understanding, sociology has a particular affinity with an egalitarian societal community and, therefore, the Parsonian emphasis on ‘professionalism’ has more in common with Burawoy’s ‘public sociology’ oriented to civil society than might otherwise seem to be the case. A problem arises when we recognize that the university is increasingly marketised and reduced to private rather than public interests as part of a general attack on social rights (especially in the US and UK). This is an attack which implicates sociology in its claims both to professional expertise and critique. How might this attack on social rights be understood and what are its implications for the university as a site of knowledge and public reason? How might sociology respond to the challenge?

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Blogging for Academics: A Practical Workshop

13 November 2015 10.00am – 4.30pm

University of Liverpool, Civic Design PC Teaching Centre, Gordon Stephenson Building

Instructor: Dr Jennifer Allanson (TupleSpace)

Blogging is a productive tool for communicating research at multiple stages of a project. This may be as a reflection on the process, dissemination of multi-media content, the creation of an archive, or reaching specialist and/or non-specialist audiences. In recent years, the LSE Impact Blog ( has explored academic blogging as a tool with a particular focus on its use by Social Scientists and Nadine Muller ( ) has created a platform for Early Career Researchers in the Humanities. These have established its usefulness at multiple stages of projects and career trajectories. Whether you want to create a blog related to a specific project or to construct an academic self, the aim of this workshop is to provide you with the tools to do so. The day will consist of two halves. The first half will be dedicated to a reflection on the process of blogging and thinking about design and structure, and the second half will be a practical lab-based session on using WordPress for blogging. This will be a useful introductory session for new bloggers and a refresher for those who want to expand their use of WordPress for their projects. This session is open to researchers from PG level to established scholars. By the end of the day each participant will have a WordPress-hosted site of their own, which can then be developed further with support from the trainer. Training will be provided by Dr Jennifer Allanson of TupleSpace (

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Methods@Manchester Methods Fair

4 November 2015 11.00am – 4.30pm

The University of Manchester, Roscoe Building

The Methods Fair includes three strands of workshops and talks (12 workshops/talks in total taking place) a keynote presentation, publishing clinic, exhibitions by institutes and external organisations and a poster competition.

Keynote: Professor Jane Green, co-investigator of the British Election Study
Clinic: A publishing clinic will be run by Sage Publications
Prize: A prize will be awarded for the best poster competition. This competition is sponsored by Sage.

Opportunity for presenters

A strand of the workshops/talks will be delivered by PhD candidates and will consist of a talk lasting approximately 20 minutes on the research methods which are proposed/used and why they have been chosen, whilst considering the overarching thesis topic and data being collected. Should any PhD candidates be interested in presenting at the Methods Fair, please let Mark Kelly know by email confirming thesis title, method used and a brief synopsis of the talk (

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The Inaugural Regional Postgraduate Q-Step Event

Wales and South-West Postgraduate Event

19 October 2015 Cardiff University

The conference will mark the launch of the network and allow postgraduates in the network to hear about the research being done by colleagues across the different Q-Step centres.

You are invited to submit abstracts for oral presentations and/or poster presentations for the launch of the Q-Step Postgraduate Network.

This event is particularly relevant to the AQM framework as abstracts are sought from postgraduates on research projects directly related to or inspired by the Q-Step initiative and the ‘crisis’ of quantification in social sciences or projects using predominately quantitative research methods. Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words long and should be sent to event organisers at the email addresses below, no later than Monday 14th September.

Confirmation of acceptance will be sent out on or before Monday 21st September.

For more information, please contact either Charlotte Brookfield ( or Jennifer Hampton (

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Research Data Management Workshop

6 – 7 October 2015

The University of Manchester

Organised by the UK Data Service and FOSTER

Good research data management is fundamental for high quality research. While many PhD students acquire the skills to collect and analyse data, the handling and managing of research data is not usually addressed in such methods training. Also, funding bodies and scientific journals increasingly require data created during publicly funded research or underpinning publications, to be openly available. This again requires good data skills and data management planning early in the research cycle.

From the early stage of the research design, through to the later stages of analysis and data storage, good data management equates to efficient research and the saving of time and resources.

Our two-day workshop, which combines both presentations and interactive activities, exercises and discussions, will provide PhD students with practical skills directly applicable to their own research. Drawing on a wide range of data – both quantitative and qualitative – the workshop will address the following key topics in data management:

  • documentation and contextual description
  • ethical and legal aspects of managing and sharing sensitive data
  • anonymising research data for reuse
  • writing a data management plan
  • data handling (e.g. file organisation and data storage and security)
  • data preparation

By the end of the workshop, participants will know how to apply good data management practices in their own research, and will be able to work more efficiently and effectively with data individually or as part of a research team, where data are often co-produced and shared.

This workshop is part of the FOSTER-CESSDA training series and is part funded by the European FOSTER project. Teaching will be delivered by trainers from across the CESSDA network.

Veerle Van den Eynden, UK Data Service
Libby Bishop, UK Data Service
Irena Vipavc Brvar, Slovenian Social Science Data Archives (ADP)
Anna Sofia Fink, National Archives/Danish Data Archive (DDA)

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Introduction to QGIS: Understanding and Presenting Special Data

1 October 2015 9.30am – 4.00pm

University of Liverpool, Training Room 1, Sydney Jones Library

Instructor: Dr Nick Bearman

This course will introduce spatial data and show you how to import and display spatial data within the open source GIS program QGIS. We will also cover creating choropleth maps, some basic spatial data analysis (e.g. calculating rates) and appropriate methods of visualising spatial data. By the end of the course you will be able to load data into QGIS, symbolise it effectively and be able to prepare a publication quality map.

No previous experience of GIS or QGIS is required, but some experience of using spatial data will be beneficial. Refreshments and lunch are provided, and numbers on the course are limited and allocated on a first come, first served basis.

If you are already familiar with the basic elements of GIS, you may wish to attend the course “Introduction to Using R for Spatial Analysis” instead where we focus on applying these GIS skills in R, and develop your spatial analysis skills (more details at


£45 – UK registered students
£85 – staff at UK academic institutions and research centres, UK-registered charity and voluntary organisations, staff in public sector and government
£200 – all other participants including staff from commercial organisations
Reduced prices are available for those less able to pay, please contact Nick Bearman for details.

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Managing Qualitative Research

Tuesday 17 March 2015 – Venue: Lancaster University

‘Writing by Numbers: a ‘proforma’ for doing and writing up qualitative research’ Professor John Burgoyne. 10:30am-12pm
This practical and interactive session helps you map out your research issues and shows how writing and the research process are inter-related.

Personal challenges in aligning research paradigms and methods Professor Caroline Gatrell 12.45pm – 1 pm
Personal experience of achieving your PhD: a reflection on perspectives Dr Valerie Bevan 1pm – 1.45pm
In this session Caroline first introduces the question of managing relationships between methodology (theoretical underpinnings of your thesis) and method (your research design). Valerie then shares her personal experience of aligning her data analysis and findings with theoretical perspectives in her PhD thesis.

Managing Emotion in Qualitative Research Interviews Professor Caroline Gatrell 1.45pm – 2.30pm
This session explores the challenges of managing emotion in qualitative interviews

Group work: questions and answers 2.45pm – 4 pm.

Space for participants to consider and discuss their own dilemmas in managing qualitative research.

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Transformative Social Science

Friday 17 October 2014 – Venue: University of Liverpool

Speakers: Professor Sandra Walklate, Professor Fernand Gobet, Professor Peter Wade, Dr Mark Elliot, Professor Michael Hughes, Professor Chris May

The third annual NWDTC Doctoral Student event will take place on the 18th June 2014 and will be centred on the subject of transformative social science. As such, the event will examine the development of ideas, discoveries or tools that radically change our understanding of existing concepts or practices, both within and beyond fields of academic research. The event will be organised around a panel discussion and series of workshops led by prominent researchers from Liverpool, Lancaster and Manchester in Politics, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Economics/Business and History. Open to all current DTC students.

Further details available on the University of Liverpool website.

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Methodological Innovation in Child and Infant Research Conference

29 September 2014 – Venue: University of Lancaster

This is a Methods North West conference focusing on the challenges and issues that arise when conducting research that involves children and infants. A range of eminent speakers will talk about their experiences using a range of methodological approaches (qualitative and quantitative) that cover child engagement through stories and play, video, drama and music, creation of measurement tools (eg questionnaires), coding complex information, and treating children as research partners and citizens.

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Master Classes Series: Freedom of Information and Transformative Research

Wednesday 5 March, 1 – 4pm

Venue: The Chandler Room, The Foresight Centre, University of Liverpool

Organised by engage@liverpool and co-sponsored by Methods North West.


  • Harmit Athwal, Campaign Against Racism and Fascism
  • Graham Smith, Deputy Commissioner and Director of Freedom of Information, Information Commissioner’s Office
  • David Whyte, University of Liverpool
  • Stuart Wilks-Heeg, University of Liverpool
  • Shiar Youseff, Corporate Watch
  • Ian Shannon, former Deputy Chief Constable of North Wales Police

The third in our Master Classes series for 2013-14 brings together some of Britain’s most prominent experts on the use of freedom of information requests. The Master Class will hear those speakers discuss the research opportunities and the limitations presented by the freedom of information requests. This session will offer expert advice on how to make use of the sources of data held by public bodies. Participants will also have a chance to discuss their own research approaches and problems and to engage face-to-face with our speakers in an extended workshop.

Lunch will be provided. This Master Class is open to all staff and to postgraduate students in the UK. Attendance is free but places are limited so please ensure you book in advance.

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Researching Work and Family: Methods across disciplines

A one day Conference

Wednesday 19 June 2013 – Venue: Lancaster University Management School

Hosted by: Lancaster Methods. Convenor: Dr Caroline Gatrell, Doctoral Director, Lancaster University Management School

This workshop examines work and family research across disciplines (organizational psychology, sociology, management studies) from the viewpoint of the doctoral researcher. Leading scholars in the work-family field will talk about work-family research methods and our keynote speakers will be Professor David Morgan, University of Manchester and Professor Gary Powell, visiting from Connecticut University USA. Invited speakers also include Dr Eleanor Hamilton and Dr Caroline Gatrell (Lancaster University) and Dr Simon Burnett (Prudential plc).

This conference is aimed primarily at PhD students, however Masters students with a particular interest in these topic areas are also welcome. Limited places are available for students from outside the NWDTC.

For info we attach a link to a recent review of research on work, family and work-life balance (by Gatrell, Burnett, Cooper and Sparrow 2012) which you might find useful (pdf available from if you cannot access the link).

Further information

This conference will be hosted by Lancaster University Management School for the benefit of students who are part of both the Lancaster/Liverpool/Manchester Doctoral Training Centre and Methods North West. The purpose of the conference will be to offer to research students new perspectives on work and family research across disciplines (organizational psychology, sociology, management studies). These will be considered from the viewpoint of the researcher.

David Morgan

The Morgan Centre at Manchester is named after David Morgan in order to celebrate his life-long commitment and contribution to the sociology of families and relationships. David taught in the Sociology department at the University of Manchester for almost 35 years. Since retiring he holds an Emeritus Professorship at Manchester together with visiting Professorships at Keele University and NTNU, Trondheim. His main interests have been family sociology (with a particular emphasis on family theory), gender and especially men and masculinities and auto/biographical studies.

Gary Powell

Professor Powell is an internationally renowned scholar on work and family, and gender and diversity issues in the workplace. He has extensively published over many years on the topics of work and family and women and men/gender and diversity in management.

All PhD students from Manchester, Liverpool and Lancaster and across disciplines are welcome. Up to 100 places may be booked on a first come first served basis.

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Live Data: Research in Real-Time

Thursday 24 January 2013 – University of Liverpool

The ubiquity of advanced information systems, the growth of social media and the emergence of new forms of data has pushed the problem of working with and managing real-time information to centre stage in various domains of social life: finance, economics, government, business, the workplace and more. The purpose of this one-day event is to bring together postgraduates, researchers and practitioners whose work involves tracking and analysing practices, processes and data in real-time. It will focus on two broad areas of research where ‘live data’ is a particular focus: first, quantitative approaches to handling and analysing new data sources, including real-time open, administrative, transactional, citizen-produced and event data; and, second, ethnomethodological studies of real-time information work. It will be of particular interest to researchers in a range of fields (from the social sciences through to computer science) with an interest in the study of new technologies, information infrastructures and practices. All speakers work with ‘live data’ but in different ways. The morning session deals with quantitative and computer science research methods while the afternoon shifts to detailed studies of information-using practices.

This one day symposium was hosted by Engage@liverpool in association with Methods NorthWest. For more details on the event, please see the engage@liverpool website.

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Ketso-based workshop for Methodology Review and Development

Monday 9 July 2012

Room 2.16, Arthur Lewis Building, University of Manchester

This Ketso based workshop is designed to support students moving towards the end of the first year of their PhD. The focus of the session will be to help you to clarify the (details of) methods that you will be using in your PhD research; identify problems and issues that need to be address in applying those methods and to develop a road map through your PhD research.

The session will naturally complement formal end of year review review processes.

Aims of the day

  • To provide students with an opportunity to review their progress, identify areas of challenge and enable the sharing of ideas for solutions and strategies.
  • To support students in developing their methodologies and clarifying their action plans for their thesis research.
  • To facilitate connections between students to foster and encourage networking and peer support, both during the event and on an ongoing basis.

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Attitudes Symposium

Attitudes: Ontology, Methodology, Impact – A One Day Symposium

Tuesday 26th June 2012 – Humanities Bridgeford Street Building, University of Manchester

What are attitudes? How do we know about them? How should we measure them? How are attitudes used in research to explain and describe other phenomena? How is an understanding of attitudes useful for policy makers? These are some of the questions that we hope to cover in this one day symposium, hosted by the new Attitudes Research Group at the University of Manchester.

The attitude as an explanatory and descriptive concept has been with us for nearly a century and yet we still know relatively little about what attitudes really are. Originally a subject of psychological investigation they have taken on a research life of their own within quantitative social science. The use of the concept has now spread throughout the Humanities and this is reflected in the disciplinary breadth of the speakers at this symposium.

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Visualisation and Visual Data: Beyond the Quantitative Qualitative Divide

Friday 30th September 2011, 10am to 4pm – Postgraduate Statistics Centre, Lancaster University

Launch Event for Methods North West, research training element of the new North West Doctoral Training Centre. Co-sponsored by ESRC National Centre for Research Methods Lancaster-Warwick-Stirling Node.

Speakers include

  • Dr Ruth Allen of Lancaster University – ‘Visualising learning space’
  • Dr Les Humphreys of Lancaster University – ‘Using web-based material in visual sociology’
  • Dr Julia Hallam of University of Liverpool – ‘Mapping the City in Film: A Geohistorical Analysis’
  • Prof Chris Brunsdon of University of Liverpool – ‘Spatial statistical analysis and geographical information systems’
  • Prof Martin Everett of University of Manchester – ‘Visualising Social Networks’
  • Dr Andrew Irving of University of Manchester – ‘Visual Anthropology’

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