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University grant — a boost to social scientists in the Midlands

The Methods and Data Institute, and the Graduate School are to receive £80,000 from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to develop new and intensive methods — teaching for the region.

The Methods and Data Institute will host high profile courses throughout next year, providing advanced training in quantitative methods for the social sciences. The Graduate School will provide online learning materials to support the Methods and Data Institute’s courses.

The courses will culminate in a major conference on teaching methods in early 2009.

Professor Cees van der Eijk, Director of the Methods and Data Institute and lead researcher for the grant, said: “This prestigious grant is recognition of the quality and innovative format of the methods training supported by the Institute.”

Dr Matthew Donaghy, from the Graduate School, and project manager for the initiative, said: “This partnership between the Graduate School and the Methods and Data Institute will enable us to develop new online materials to enhance the face to face training provided. It will also foster links between other Midlands universities and enhance their own approaches to teaching research methods.”

These courses offer a unique blend of two day face to face instruction and interactive e-learning support. They can be taken singly or as a programme of study and cover a vast range of subjects, from data theory to computer-aided text analysis.

The clinics will benefit academics from all disciplines in social sciences to update or extend their methods repertoire.

The courses are particularly relevant for academics who teach research methods, researchers with significant existing experience, and early career researchers and postgraduates who need training in advanced methods for their work.

Emma Thorne | alfa
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