National festival showcases latest trends in research

Researchers from all across the UK are in Bath this week for the ESRC's 7th Research Methods Festival, taking place in the Chancellors' Building

Researchers from all across the UK are in Bath this week for the ESRC's 7th Research Methods Festival, taking place in the Chancellors' Building

Latest innovations in research methods will come under the spotlight over the next three days as the University plays host to the ESRC’s 7th Research Methods Festival 2016.

Covering an array of research topics, from analysing Big Data to collecting data in hostile environments, through to survey design and new methods in disseminating research, the Festival – which takes place in the Chancellors’ Building from Tuesday to Thursday – will bring together academics and PhDs from all around the UK.

Key themes for this year’s event, which is organised with the National Centre for Research Methods, include: International knowledge exchange; cohort and longitudinal methods; analysis of complex data sets; research methods pedagogy; and careers and skills development.

Speakers include Professor Jane Elliott (Chief Executive of the ESRC), Professor Emeritus Aaron Cicourel (University of California) and Professor Andrew Gelman (Columbia University).

With a number of active research projects led by members of the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences and School of Management to have received ESRC funding, the Festival offers an opportunity to profile how our own research is having an impact.

Among many projects, two of our researchers, Dr Katie Maras (Department of Psychology) and Dr Michael Donnelly (Department of Education) are both ESRC Future Research Leaders, with funding to develop separate projects that aim to improve responses for adults with autism and map the complexities in social mobility.

A number of our PhD students are also working on ESRC-funded projects too. Natalie Booth, from the Department of Social & Policy Sciences, is investigating the social impact on families when mothers are imprisoned, whilst Siobhan Mitchell from the Department for Health, is working alongside One Dance UK to consider how selection and evaluation techniques for ballet could be improved to aide young dancers.

Professor David Galbreath, Associate Dean in Research for our Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences and AHRC-ESRC Fellow for the Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security explained: “At a time of considerable change in the UK research environment, the next few days here Bath promises to offer a fascinating insight into the ways social research is being conducted, shared and disseminated across the piste.

“The ESRC - National Centre for Research Festival also provides us a fantastic opportunity to share with colleagues from around the country updates and findings from some of the many innovative social sciences projects our researchers are involved in. It’s an excellent networking opportunity for us all and a real coup for us here at Bath to be hosting and to showcase what we’re doing.”

Henna Patel, ESRC Policy Manager, said: "It is fantastic to see the seventh Research Methods Festival (RMF) take place this year at the University of Bath.

"The NCRM, which is funded by the ESRC, seeks to meet the methodological, training, and capacity-building needs of UK social science researchers from different disciplines, sectors and careers stages and the RMF is key in supporting these aims."

To find out more about the Research Methods Festival, which runs until Wednesday 7 July, see . To follow discussions on Twitter use #RMF16.

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Andy Dunne
University Press Office
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