Impactful social science methodologies for 21st century problems
Social scientists are developing methodologies that are useful beyond academia. Methods for Change plans to develop an online platform to showcase the value of social sciences methodologies to the wider world and demonstrate to industry the benefits that social sciences research can bring to their organisations.
Reflecting on already existing research methodologies within the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) at the University of Manchester and allied researchers at partner institutions (Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Oxford, Sheffield, Sussex and York), the Methods for Change team held conversations with social scientists from Universities from across the UK, to establish the characteristics and possibilities afforded by the methodological approaches they use, if applied by/within organisations such as businesses, third sector organisations and government departments.
These conversations served as the basis for the facilitation of collaborations between academics and artists/ designers, with the aim to distil key elements of 30 research methods and present them in novel, thought provoking or creative ways to reach a range of different audiences beyond academia. The pieces produced come in a variety of formats including comic illustrations, posters, zines, short films and animations and communicate methods through visual, sensory and physical elements. These will be accompanied by accessible, jargon free written ‘how to’ guide about the methodological approach, with step-by-step instructions and top tips for carrying out the method.
The M4C team has secured funding from Aspect to pursue Phase 2 of the project. This will include:
- Engaging with a range of spatial, quantitative, and mixed methods to produce additional creative. resources and how-to guides.
- Working with the Business Engagement CoP to build up a community of practice around academic and non-academic partnerships.
- Pursuing collaborative opportunities across the Aspect network from non-traditional funding sources
How can other Aspect members get involved?
Aspect members can use the multiple resources available on the M4C project page as teaching resources. Given that many social sciences students will go on to work in non-academic sectors – government, NGOs, industry – educating them early about these research methodologies and their applications outside of academic will pave the way for change at a much earlier stage.
The M4C team is looking to engage with a range of 20-30 researchers across the Aspect network to create a second round of how-to guides – particularly around spatial, quantitative, and mixed methods addressing social, environmental, political, and economic societal challenges. Aspect members should get in touch with the M4C team if this is of interest.
For further information on how to be involved please contact Dr Ali Browne (firstname.lastname@example.org)
19 September 2023
This ‘How-To’ Guide outlines the Remote Ethnography method used by Dr Alison Briggs from the University of Manchester. The animated GIF was created in collaboration with Caroline Boyd of Boy Oh Boy! Designs
30 August 2023
This ‘How-To’ Guide outlines the Collage method used by Dr Amy Barron from the University of Manchester. The artwork was created in collaboration with Maddy Vian, Maddy Vian Illustration.
28 July 2023
This ‘How-To’ Guide outlines the Making Textiles Together method used by Dr Amy Twigger-Holroyd from Nottingham Trent University, and Dr Emma Shercliff from Arts University Bournemouth. The artwork was created in collaboration with Maddy Vian, Maddy Vian Illustration.
12 July 2023
This ‘How To’ Guide outlines the Multi-method Mapping method used by Heather Miles for The University of Manchester. The animated GIF was created in collaboration with Caroline Boyd, Boy Oh Boy Designs.
12 July 2023
This ‘How To’ Guide outlines the Militant Research method used by Dr Jess Adams for Newcastle University. The video was created in collaboration with Aude Aboul-Nasr.
30 May 2023
This ‘how to’ guide outlines the Designs for Addressing Racial inEqualities (DARE) research method used by Dr Temidayo Eseonu from Lancaster University. The artwork was created in collaboration with Caroline Boyd, Boy Oh Boy Designs.
30 May 2023
This ‘how to’ guide outlines the Critical Spatial Data Science research method used by Dr Caitlin Robinson from the University of Bristol. The artwork was created in collaboration with Jack Brougham.
30 May 2023
This ‘how to’ guide outlines the Constructivist Grounded Theory research method used by Dr Denise Miller from the University of Greenwich. The artwork was created in collaboration with Chris Murray, More than Minutes.
2 March 2023
In this blog the Methods for Change team reflect on two interactive sessions on spatial, qualitative, and mixed methods convened as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2022.
3 January 2023
The Methods for Change (M4C) team delivered a session organised by Dr Temidayo Eseonu on Innovate UK funding, in particular, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) that link businesses, academics, and inspiring graduates and post-graduates.
7 November 2022
Join the Methods for Change Team two interactive events on a diversity of social science methods for understanding and addressing 21st century challenges!
30 September 2021
A detailed Final report by the Methods for Change project team.
29 July 2021
Here we join Heather Miles, University of Manchester, reflecting On the Creative Methods Zoo question “If your research method were an animal, what would it be?”
28 July 2021
In this guest blog post Lauren White, an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield, shares her reflections and methodological musings from the Creative Methods Zoo.
19 July 2021
In this article, six postgraduate researchers profiled in the gallery reflect on their experiences of collaborating with Methods for Change creatives to communicate their methods in thought-provoking ways.
19 July 2021
This ‘how to’ guide outlines the Biographical Mapping research method used by Penny Tinkler and Laura Fenton from the University of Manchester. The image was created in collaboration with More Than Minutes.
15 June 2021
Exploring A Comprehensive Qualitative Approach to Evaluation Method, with the Methods for Change project.
11 June 2021
Exploring the Participatory Film Making Method, with the Methods for Change project.
4 June 2021
Exploring the A Place-based Case Study Approach Method, with the Methods for Change project.
3 June 2021
Exploring the importance and opportunities for social science methods to create change.