Loughborough Doctoral College

Training and events

ESRC Advanced Training

Loughborough University offers advanced training in the social sciences across five areas, delivered through a series of two-day workshops.

Five free places are available to external students on each course supported through ESRC-funded bursaries, covering the cost of travel, subsistence, overnight stay and course fees.

Aimed at doctoral researchers and early career researchers seeking to develop their methodological expertise, these courses offer innovative and truly advanced content taught by world-leading academics in the respective methods and fields.

The five courses include:

1. Researching with Children and Young People in Diverse Socio-spatial Contexts

Next course date: To be announced

The course will consider the methodological and ethical issues of researching with hard-to-reach groups, such as those with disabilities, and also relationally with young people in their families in international contexts. Day two will focus upon the practical application of innovative methodological techniques in researching with young people.

2. Methodological Implications of Critical Realism: Ontology, Method, and Impact in Sport, Management and Economic Analysis

Next course date: To be announced

The course will begin by explaining the theoretical foundations of critical realism as a way of understanding social inquiry and the implications of this for research design. It moves on to discuss the method of retroduction and develop practical ability, through the use of tasks, to design research. The focus of the second day will be on practical applications of critical realist compatible methods in the field of economics, management and sports policy.

3. Methodological Advances in Applied Ethnography

23 – 24 November 2017

Methodological Advances in Applied Ethnography

Workshop Facilitator: Dr Karen Lumsden

Download the Methodological Advances in Applied Ethnography Application Form 

Ethnography is increasingly used as a research tool to provide a reliable evidence base and to inform policy and interventions in diverse disciplines (e.g. education, social sciences, medicine and health), as well as in professional settings. The approach has been adapted, developed and amended in creative ways in response to such demands and to wider social and technological change. This 2-day intensive course is specifically designed to: 1) address the many complex advances in contemporary ethnographic techniques and approaches, and 2) to consider the diverse issues around the application of ethnography to real-world problems and solutions.

The course is suitable for those who wish to take the approach and techniques forward in flexible ways for application to ‘real-world’ scenarios and applied research. It is also designed for those who wish to communicate their ethnographic research findings using non-traditional forms of technology such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs, to ensure they are confident to do so in an ethically sensitive and reflexive manner. The above aspects are unpacked via not just traditional ‘on the ground’ ethnography, but also via consideration of innovative and adaptive ethnographic methods that take the methods forward in finding ways to address atypical ethnographic encounters and specific challenges.

The course will be delivered by Dr Karen Lumsden, an experienced ethnographer and qualitative researcher whose work has engaged with diverse end-users including police forces and local authorities, as she produces findings to assist future policy and practice. She will illustrate ethnographic advancements and adaptations in policy, practice, and public, through a diverse range of real-world case studies and settings, and by drawing on her own experience of research with police, victims groups, and youth cultures. Karen has published extensively in international peer-reviewed journals (including the British Journal of Criminology, Sociology, Theoretical Criminology, Policing & Society, and Qualitative Research), has authored books based on ethnographic encounters and reflexivity (including Boy Racers: Youth Masculinity and Deviance, and Reflexivity in Criminological Research), and has taught social science research methods at postgraduate level and also in applied settings to police and practitioners. For more info visit http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/socialsciences/staff/karen-lumsden/

Indicative course content:

The application of ethnographic research in a range of settings and interdisciplinary contexts, including communities, public and private sector, and in informing policy and interventions.

  • Methodological advances in contemporary ethnography: the role of reflexivity in the practice of applied ethnographic research; specific ethical issues encountered in innovative and flexible forms of ethnography; engaging participants; and the analysis of context and environment.
  • Innovations in ethnography such as:creative techniques in the digital age, including virtual, visual, and arts-based approaches; techniques for dealing with atypical ethnographic encounters; innovative and specialist techniques for addressing specific challenges (e.g. short-term, focused research and applied ethnography).
  • Achieving impact through ethnographic research: liaising with and understanding end-users, the way they work, and the various challenges they face in using ethnography; meeting deadlines; and producing theoretical and empirical reports to inform interventions; the wider context (the debates around impact agenda, changes to REF, and public ethnography).
  • Practical sessions on communicating ethnography to diverse audiences and adapting ethnography for specific challenges.

Download the Methodological Advances in Applied Ethnography Application Form

For further information, please contact Denise Wade

4. Advanced Media Content Analysis: Computer Assisted Gathering and Analysis of Texts in Digital Environments

Next course date: To be announced

The course will begin by looking at gathering data using online resources and will analyse the challenges of conducting content analysis in a digital environment. It will demonstrate the use of data collection open source Web crawler software such as httrack, and optimizing search content engines using Google and Nexis. There will be practical tasks to allow students to apply these techniques. Day two will focus on analysing large sets of data using automated content analysis software, including examining the strengths and weaknesses of applying this method to large datasets via analysis of case studies.

5. Applied Conversation Analysis

Next course date: To be announced

This course offers advanced methodological training and shows how the latest developments in Conversation Analysis have led to advances in applied research in medical, legal, welfare and other settings. Attendance will help to develop skills in identifying where and how to focus research efforts, and how to design and conduct a research project so as to ensure that it has impact. Loughborough University has the greatest concentration of leading Conversation Analysis researchers in the UK, including some of the leading international scholars in the field of applied Conversation Analysis.