PGR Theme Leaders needed for the MethodsNW “Methods Exchanges” Conference Launch
10th May 2017
In brief: This is an opportunity for doctoral students in their 2nd year or beyond to get experience of organising a panel at a regional ESRC research methods conference but it needs an urgent response by 10 am on Friday 3rd March.
MethodsNW invites you to take part in the conference-launch event of the new student-led Methods Exchanges programme as a PGR Theme Leader. You will be part of a small team responsible for developing a call for papers that highlight areas of interest under your theme and inviting other PhD students to present papers based on their experience of using the research methods in question. The conference planning committee is looking for second/third year PhD students to form planning groups for each of the four themed afternoon sessions, with the opportunity to take charge of the theme of your choice. You will also have the support of an academic lead for each theme and a helpful administrator.
The four themed afternoon sessions are designed to allow later-stage PGRs to present on their research methods under a specific theme to an audience of PGRs and invited academic staff. It is a unique opportunity to bring together researchers from other institutions to discuss and present their work to an interdisciplinary audience.
The ability to organise an academic panel session is valuable academic-career experience. You will take a leading, organising, and chairing role for your 2 afternoon sessions (3 hours in total), much as someone proposing a panel at an academic conference would do. We anticipate around 100 delegates for the event so your experience would go beyond organising a small workshop or seminar. Of course it is also a chance to discuss your chosen research methods with other PGRs and academics across four institutions with whom you might not otherwise meet.
What will it involve?
Initial face to face or skype meeting with other PGR leads and academic theme lead by 10th March
Develop and circulate a call for papers by 17th March. A draft programme of the day, including timings, will be circulated to each Theme Lead
Select presenters and invited participants and develop session programme by 14th April.
Attend launch event and act as chairs/leaders of your panel sessions (two afternoon sessions).
After the initial meeting it is envisaged that you will keep in touch with each other, your academic leads and administrator by email, Skype or other online channel. The details of the launch event are as follows:
Venue: Manchester Museum Kanaris Theatre
Date: 10th May 2017, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Booking: **save the date – registration to open in March**
The 4 themes are described below. If you are interested please contact Ian Fairweather firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 3rd March indicating which theme is most relevant to your research methods expertise, which institution you are at (Lancaster, Manchester, Liverpool or Keele) your pathway and what stage of your PhD you are at (2nd, 3rd or final year).
1. Quantitative methods
Quantitative methods are a mainstay of the social sciences and are key to dynamic and innovative research in a wide range of fields. Whether theoretically, methodologically or practically oriented, engaging in quantitative research requires researchers to ask questions of data, methods and analysis throughout the work they do. In a field which is witnessing exciting new developments around computational power and modelling, among other things, dialogue between researchers is particularly important. Working with the Social Statistics and Advanced Quantitative Methods pathways, this Methods Exchange will provide an opportunity for discussion and the cross-fertilisation of ideas.
Fieldwork in the social sciences may be used to investigate human behaviour, or the impact of policy, law, or environment upon humans. However there are a number of practical, theoretical, political, and ethical dilemmas that may arise from field research. These range from problems with access to ethical and legal concerns or the interpretative gap between researcher and researched. There are also physical and emotional strains attached to fieldwork and managing and maintaining field relations. The theme draws together researchers who are using observational techniques to addresses the opportunities and problems inherent in fieldwork.
3. New Forms of Data
New forms of data present new possibilities for the social sciences as we move from static datasets mirroring the qualitative-quantitative divide to data mixtures requiring hybrid skills and creativity a sound grasp of theory, methodology and method remains critical. We access social, cultural and economic worlds distributed across time and space (virtual and physical) through new forms of data, and thus have to be fully conscious of the terms of that access. This theme will address the hands on and practical as well as the theoretical, methodological and analytical issues that arise from engaging with the ‘digital’ broadly conceived.
4. Archives and Collections
This theme focuses on some of the practical challenges facing graduate students when making use of archives and collections. It also reflects on how technological change is shaping the way that scholars make use of archival collections of various kinds. We will pose questions about the provenance, politics and power of archives as well as the effects of digitisation. These questions need to be kept in mind when using archives in order to ensure that we make effective use of archival material in our research.