Methods for Change

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.

A live event illustration from the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2020, where the Methods for Change team hosted a series of online workshops.

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.

Aspect Research Commercialisation (ARC) Accelerator

Aspect’s accelerator programme for social science academics and researchers.

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Aspect Student Accelerator Programme (ASAP)

Aspect’s social sciences student and alumni accelerator programme.

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Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Mapping

Identifying and mapping relevant resources for entrepreneurs and alumni.

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ABaCuSS

Developing working models of intrapreneurship in the social sciences.

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Methods for Change

Showcasing the value of social science methodologies to non-academic sectors.

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Marketing Toolkit

Developing a series of guidance and good practice cases for the communication needs associated with social science commercialisation.

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Research Commercialisation Workshop Series

Developing good practice for social sciences commercialisation.

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Entrepreneurship Workshop Series

A series of six workshops aimed at developing social innovation-based entrepreneurial activities.

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Aspect Podcast and Creative Challenge Series

Supporting social scientist entrepreneurs.

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The Mobilise Carer Assessment Platform

Supporting family and other informal carers as they adapt to caring under COVID-19 related restrictions.

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Business Engagement Sector ‘Deep Dives’

Exploring challenges related to industry and academic engagement.

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Digital Information Literacy Programme for Schools

Creating a pilot teacher training resource to combat online misinformation.

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Board Games Commercialisation

Creating an Ed Tech Games Hub for the Aspect consortium.

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Internationalisation of Aspect

Building relationships with HEIs in middle income countries.

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Research Funding Prize for Zinc Mission 2 Businesses

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Research Fellowships in Zinc Mission 3

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