Methods for Change

Showcasing innovative social science methodologies

Methods for Change workshop series

Methods for Change is a free interactive workshop series that focuses on innovative social science research methods. It is part of the The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science 2020.

Led by researchers at the University of Manchester and contributors from Aspect Partner Universities, the series is made up of three interactive workshop sessions on visual, participatory and policy-led methods. In these workshops, researchers will draw upon their experiences and share insights on cutting-edge perspectives and tools to study the social world.

You can find out more about the project and it’s objectives in our blog post here

What you’ll learn

Workshop participants will learn about different research tools and explore their application across different sectors outside academia.

The three workshop sessions aim to advance understandings of social problems using a creative suite of methodologies. They bring together insights, activities and discussions relevant to practitioners from a variety of sectors.

Who should attend?

Fellow academics will benefit from the workshops equally to project managers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, designers, campaigners and members of the public with an active interest in social science research.

Theses events are now sold out – register for the waiting list

You can register your place on the event waiting list using the Registration links on the event listings below.

  • 9November

    Exploring the transformative power of visual social science methods

    10:30 - 12:00
    Organiser: Methods for Change

    Exploring the transformative power of visual social science methods

    REGISTER

    With interviews and questionnaires representing the most well-known forms of data collection, social science research is often understood as the study of written or spoken language. However, many social scientists find that more ‘hands on’ and artistic methods are more useful to generate insights into the social contexts challenges that they study, allowing participants to express themselves in ways not captured by talking alone.

    In this session, social scientists will share insights on their experiences with visual research methods. We will discuss different forms of visual methods and how they might be designed and implemented in a variety of social settings to facilitate change.

    Dr. Amy Barron
    Research Associate, University of Manchester
    Dr. Cheryl McGeachan
    Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Glasgow
    Dr. Jennifer Owen
    Postdoctoral Fellow, Cardiff University
  • 10November

    Collaborating for change through participatory methods

    10:30 - 12:00
    Organiser: Methods for Change

    Collaborating for change through participatory methods

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    Whilst we often think of social science research as the study of people and their life-worlds, many researchers plan and conduct the research with the people they are studying. Participatory research is based on the premise that stakeholders and beneficiaries are capable of social innovation. It recognises that participants can play meaningful roles across the research process – from planning and designing research, to analysing data and communicating findings. Participatory approaches involve challenging established power structures between ‘expert researchers’ and ‘researched community’, often with a focus on collective action.

    In this session, social scientists will share insights on their experiences with participatory research methods with a variety of communities and organisations. We will discuss a range of participatory methods and how they can be designed for and implemented in a variety of social settings to facilitate change.

    Dr. Laura Pottinger
    Research Associate, University of Manchester
    Dr. Kersty Hobson
    Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, Cardiff University
    Professor Jenny Pickerill
    Professor in Environmental Geography, University of Sheffield
    Dr. Megan Blake
    Senior Lecturer, The University of Sheffield
  • 11November

    Creating social change through policy-led methods

    10:30 - 12:00
    Organiser: Methods for Change

    Creating social change through policy-led methods

    REGISTER

    Social scientists are interested in learning about people and societies, but their field of research is not limited to the study of individuals and social groups. Social lives are embedded in large macro level systems. Institutional forces, circumstances and boundaries are at the base of the socio-political realities of everyday life. To gain insights into – and have an impact on – these larger systems, researchers apply a variety of methods.

    In this session, social scientists will share insights on their experiences with policy-led research methods. We will discuss a variety of methods that can be applied within policy-led research and explore how they can be designed for and implemented in a variety of social settings to facilitate change.

    Dr. Ulrike Ehgartner
    Research Associate, University of Manchester
    Dr. Alison Browne
    Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Manchester
    Dr. Ralitsa Hiteva
    Research Fellow in Infrastructure Governance, University of Sussex