Forthcoming methods@manchester events

What is…? talks

These talks take place every Thursday from 1 – 2pm in Room 1.69/1.70, Humanities Bridgeford Street.  See for more information.

2 December

What is sensitive interviewing? by Angela Melville, Law

In the social science research literature, sensitive research is most often used to mean conducting interviews about emotionally difficult topics, although it can also refer to the study of deeply personal issues, research with vulnerable populations, or research that could have negative consequences for participants. Sensitive interviewing raises issues about how interviewees experience being involved in research. Insights from survivors of rape (Campbell et al 2009), relatives of murder victims and women how have had abortions (Goodrum and Keys 2007) provide suggestions for researchers about how to conduct sensitive interviews, such as ensuring that information about the research is appropriate and the need for follow-up contact information.

9 December

What is GIS? By Sarah Lindley, Geography

Geographic information systems are a set of tools that capture, store, analyze, manage and present data that are linked to location(s). In the simplest terms, GIS is the merging of cartography, statistical analysis, and database.

The recording of the What is Creative Interviewing? talk by Jennifer Mason is now available at


Methods workshops

Monday 6 December

Research Computing Support for the University of Manchester

1 – 2pm, Room G30/31, Arthur Lewis Building, University of Manchester

This talk will outline the available support for research computing: optimising and parallelising computer models, visualisation, and supporting access to (inter)national high end computing facilities. Typical examples and case studies will be presenting illustrating, for example, how ITS has helped reduced the time to run computer models from years to hours. Research Computing Services offers a range of courses to postgraduates and staff that will improve your skills in all aspects of Research Computing including programming, high end computing and visualization.


Tuesday 7 December

Ethical Concerns for Conducting Sensitive Interviews

1 – 3pm, Room G30/31, Arthur Lewis Building, University of Manchester

Researchers and practitioners often interview vulnerable people or individuals on sensitive issues. As the person conducting the interview, one needs to be aware of power imbalances, ethical issues regarding confidentiality, safety, and respect, as well as how to conduct the interview – finding the balance between guiding the interview and allowing the interviewee to ‘own’ their specific experience and the telling of it.


Wednesday 19 January 2011, 2.00 – 4.30pm

Cross-national comparisons and the European Social Survey

Jaak Billiet, emeritus chair at the Catholic University of Leuven

Room 3.214, University Place, University of Manchester

This two-part workshop will be of great value to all researchers who are using, or planning to use, cross-national comparative survey analysis. It is also important for anyone teaching survey methods or cross-national comparative methods.


Wednesday 26 January 2011, 2.00 – 4.30pm

Introduction to Qualitative Coding Software

Wendy Olsen, CCSR, University of Manchester

Room 1.69/1.70, Humanities Bridgeford Street, University of Manchester

The use of NVIVO or other software is a matter of managing complexity, so small projects may need less computer-based support. I start off with giving my view about ‘how small is small’ (e.g. 6 interviews). The sophistication can increase considerably when NVIVO or spreadsheets are used to analyse data, e.g. for 40 interviews. I demonstrate some NVIVO activities such as browsing and coding. Sample NVIVO datasets are available online (publicly) at my websites as shown below. If possible, examine the sample interview material prior to the workshop. Compare these materials with your own. The more advanced NVIVO activities such as coding up case-study materials, making graphic images, and reporting using matrix intersection tables, are useful for those who want to develop themed conclusions from the materials.


Wednesday 16 February 2011

Methodological perspectives on causality from different disciplines

12.00 – 4.00pm, Room 1.69/1.70, 1st floor, Humanities Bridgeford Street

A half day workshop organised by methods@manchester and the Causal Analysis Group.

The objective of the workshop is to bring together researchers working on causality with a disciplinary focus, to learn about methods of causality from a different discipline. The intended audience includes postgraduate students and early career researchers from different disciplines but all researchers are invited. The speakers will present a methodological overview of their specific causal approach, using appropriate examples, in a lay person’s language. There are only 50 places available so please book early.

For more information and to book a place on the methods workshops above go to


Wednesday 19 January 2011, 12noon ‐ 5pm

Experiments Research Network Launch Seminar

Hanson Room, Ground Floor, Humanities Bridgeford Street, University of Manchester

This is the launch seminar of the University of Manchester Experiments Research Network, which aims to promote collaboration on experimental research and exchange methodological expertise. It is funded by methods@manchester.

Please register for the seminar by contacting Charlotte Jackson or by telephone on 0161 275 8080.


Other methods@manchester news

Annual Competition

We run an annual competition for small grants to support methods-related activities. The competition is open to all staff in the Humanities Faculty, but applications from more junior members of staff will be particularly welcome. (Joint applicants who are outside the Faculty will also be welcome.) The scheme is not open to PhD students.

Applications are invited for activities that extend, develop or promote methods through: inter-disciplinarily; innovation; international collaboration; new technologies; or new course development. There is funding for four awards, of up to £5000 each. The titles and aims of the successful applications from the 2009 competition are available at

For more information about this year’s competition go to

methods@manchester Blog

The methods@manchester blog is a space to reflect on the events and activities taking place, or on other methods related issues. The m@m team welcome your comments and reflections on the posts at Recent topics include the Multilevel Modelling day and the Timescapes workshop.

methods@manchester on twitter

You can now follow methods@manchester on Twitter at


Other events

Short Course in Missing Data in Longitudinal Surveys

The Centre for Census and Survey Research ( at the University of Manchester will be running a training course in missing data in longitudinal surveys in December. Some free places are available to SOSS staff and students.


Handling Missing Data in Longitudinal Surveys

14-16th December 2010

3 days (10am — 4:30pm)

Level: Advanced

Course Fee: £525 (£375 for those from educational institutions)

The first day of the course will provide an overview of methods for adjusting for missing data, descriptions of missing data and their predictors in the UK birth cohort studies, and introductions to the datasets to be used in the practical sessions on days two and three. The practical work will focus on multiple imputation, although weighting methods and joint models for the process of interest and the missingness mechanism will also be discussed. All the techniques will be demonstrated using real data from the UK birth cohort studies.

Further information and online bookings:

For enquiries, please contact:


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