Research Methods

Run by expert Senior Researchers and Professors, these workshops focus on a range of methodology-related issues across disciplines.
15/11/2016 12.15-1.45pm EEG169 Textual Analysis Dr John Parham
29/11/2016 12.15-1.45pm EE1102 Methodology Matters Prof Maggi Savin-Baden
06/12/2016 12.15-1.45pm EE1104 Using interviews and questionnaires in research Prof Eleanor Bradley & Prof Lisa Jones
31/01/2017 1:00-2:30pm EE2019 Work-based research Prof Geoffrey Elliott
07/02/20167 12.15-1.45pm EEG027 Philosophy of Research Methods:  Why Epistemology and Ontology Matter Prof Eleanor Bradley
21/02/2017 12.15-1.45pm EEG027 Feminist Approaches to Research Prof Maggie Andrews
07/03/2017 12.15-1.45pm EE2010 Exploring Dreams, Counting the Cost: Researching and Writing the History of Theatre Institutions Prof Claire Cochrane
15/06/2017 9:15-3:15 EEG021 Introduction to Systematic Reviews and Critical Appraisal Charlotte Taylor
04/04/2017 12.15-1.45pm EE1104 Synthesising Qualitative Research: An Introduction to Meta-ethnography Prof Eleanor Bradley
25/04/2017 12.15-1.45pm EEG027 Archival Research Prof Suzanne Schwarz

Textual Analysis – Dr John Parham

This session covers the major traditions of textual analysis as a qualitative research method and will focus primarily on content analysis, semiotic analysis, and narrative analysis. These are all methodologies designed to uncover and analyse the messages being carried in texts. In the session we’ll explore each method’s underlying aims and purpose, its main tools and techniques, and its strengths and weaknesses. Together, we will consider how each of these methods might be applied by practising them in relation to one or two examples of the same text. There will be time for further discussion and/or questions at the end. By the close of the session you will have a working understanding of each of these key traditions of textual analysis and of which method or methods might be most appropriate in your own research.

Methodology Matters – Prof. Maggi Savin-Baden

For many people in academic life, research is a challenge, whether they are new or experienced in their research fields. Part of the challenge is due to the range of approaches and methods available, and it is not always a straight forward decision when deciding which one to choose. With the rapid development of qualitative research in particular, there has been a startling increase in the number of choices about carrying out a study. This workshop explores different methodologies, suggesting that beginning with a clear methodology is likely to provide more rigour than the ‘just doing a few interviews’ or the ‘just setting off and hoping’ approach.

It is a workshop designed to support researchers who are seeking to do sound qualitative research: research that is philosophically informed located in appropriate approach, well designed, competently analysed and interpreted and that produces trustworthy findings.

Using Interviews and Questionnaires in Research – Prof. Eleanor Bradley and Prof. Lisa Jones

In this session we will discuss various types of interviews and questionnaires that are commonly used in research, with illustrative examples often taken from our own research. We will consider the strengths and limitations of each type of data collection method.  We will focus particularly on issues relating to bias, transparency and transferability, considering how to account for these when designing, conducting, analysing and presenting research.

This session is suitable for those who are interested in qualitative and/or quantitative research. Professor Bradley is primarily a qualitative researcher and Professor Jones is primarily a quantitative researcher so you will be able to hear from both perspectives.

Work-based research – Prof. Geoffrey Elliot

This session will cover key issues to be considered when planning and carrying out work based research (WBR). The main focus will be on WBR in the researcher’s own organisation. Questions covered will include:

  • Does WBR challenge traditional higher education?
  • Is it helpful to conceptualise WBR as reflective practice?
  • WBR – doing to or doing with?
  • Who needs to negotiate the WBR contract?
  • What are the ethics of care in participant observation and WBR?
  • How do I develop a WBR proposal and thesis?

The session will draw upon material from the first UK textbook on work based research jointly authored by the tutor:

Costley, C, Elliott, G and Gibbs, P (2010) Doing Work Based Research: approaches to enquiry for insider researchers, London: Sage.

Philosophy of Research Methods: Why Epistemology and Ontology Matter– Prof. Eleanor Bradley

Professor Eleanor Bradley will consider the role of epistemology in relation to your research. This session will consist of an overview of the philosophical underpinnings of research, with a particular focus on the relevance of epistemology and ontology for research.  The workshop will have relevance for researchers who are currently developing their methodology, highlighting the importance of different types of knowledge, truth and realities. There will be the opportunity for researchers who have already designed their research project to reflect on their methodological understanding, as well as to refresh their thinking in relation to epistemology.

Feminist Approaches to Research – Prof. Maggie Andrews

This is a session for anyone who thinks they may be interested in exploring feminist approaches to research, to better understand what they might be about and consider whether they might have any bearing on research we do. We will explore questions such as: Is there really such a thing as ‘a’ feminist approach to research? If so how would how would it manifest itself in research questions and hypotheses? Does feminist research need to use different methodologies or sources for research? Do feminist approaches mean researchers need to consider different forms of research dissemination?

Synthesising Qualitative Research: An introduction to meta-ethnography – Prof. Eleanor Bradley

This session will consider the background and methods associated with the synthesis of qualitative research.  Professor Eleanor Bradley will provide a brief overview of the development of meta-ethnography since its introduction in the late 1980s.  Examples of completed reviews, both published papers and recently completed reviews, will be used to develop practical guidance for those wishing to undertake a meta-ethnography as part of their doctoral work or post-doctoral research study.

Introduction to Systematic Reviews and Critical Appraisal – Charlotte Taylor

This one-day workshop will provide an introduction to systematic reviews and critical appraisal methods, with a particular focus on the synthesis of quantitative health research. This workshop is suitable for students who wish to conduct a systematic review as part of their PhD, and academic or research staff who would like to conduct a systematic review as part of a research project, or in preparation for a funding bid.

We will use a mix of group work and practical sessions to introduce the following topics:

  • What is a systematic review?
  • Developing a protocol for your systematic review
  • Literature searching
  • Data extraction
  • Critical appraisal
  • Writing the synthesis
  • Reporting your systematic review
  • Disseminating your systematic review

Please note that this workshop will not cover meta-analysis.

Materials will be provided for workshop attendees. A laptop or tablet will be required for this session.

Archival Research – Prof. Suzanne Schwartz

Professor Suzanne Schwarz is a highly successful historian with research interests that focus on the transatlantic slave trade and abolition in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  She has recently been awarded a prestigious fellowship to undertake research in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle. Having also attracted funding from numerous external funding bodies (including the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy, the Economic History Society, the Huntington Library in California, the Society for Nautical Research Society, and the Scouloudi Foundation in association with the Institute of Historical Research), in this masterclass Suzanne will share her insights of working as a successful archival researcher.

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