Loughborough Doctoral College

Training and events

ESRC Advanced Training

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

Free places are available to ESRC-funded Midlands Graduate School students.

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 four courses include:

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

ESRC Advanced Training Initiative

Date: 10th & 11th December 2020

This will be online-only, regardless of any changes in health/safety 

Researching with Children and Young People in Diverse Socio-spatial contexts 

Loughborough University is offering a series of two-day advanced training workshops.  These are aimed at doctoral students and early career researchers seeking to develop their methodological expertise. 

The courses are small-scale and interactive, providing intensive, advanced research training, and an opportunity for a small group to work with a team of leading academics in the field. 

This 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, in both the Global North and Global South. Theoretical, epistemological and ethical considerations will be discussed and debated.  Much of the course will be dedicated to practical workshops exploring techniques and issues, including video ethnographies, ‘participatory methods’; researching past childhoods and past children’s voices, and techniques to engage with the emotions of children and youth. 

The course aims to disseminate experiences and best practice gained through research conducted by the Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group at Loughborough University.  Much of the insight comes from working young people who are often excluded (such as disabled young people, those from the global South and the past), which has led to consideration of the wider methodological insights, with resonance to anyone conducting research with young people.  

Places are also available for internal Loughborough graduate students and early career researchers.

The course will be run by Dr Louise Holt and taught by members of the Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group.

Please address any queries to: D.J.Wade@lboro.ac.uk




2. Methodological Advances in Applied Ethnography

Date TBC

Methodological Advances in Applied Ethnography

Workshop Facilitator: Tom Thurnell-Read 

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.

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.

For further information, please contact Denise Wade

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

Next course date: TBC

Presenter: Ian Taylor

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.

For further information, please contact Denise Wade

4. Applied Conversation Analysis

Next course date: 5th & 6th November 2020 9am-5pm  

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.

For further information, please contact Denise Wade