Conference and Funding Opportunities

ESRC Research Methods Festival 2018

2018 will be the eighth biennial Festival, and previous events were highly successful in attracting around 800 social science researchers at various stages of their careers, from across a range of disciplines and sectors. The Festival will be held 3-5th July, 2018 at the University of Bath.


Closing date 2018-07-03 00:00:00 0

The Marine Biological Association Postgraduate Conference returns to Plymouth from the 21st-23rd May 2018, for its 15th anniversary.

Held at The University of Plymouth’s Marine Institute, the key aim of the conference is to provide a platform to showcase postgraduate research, in the marine biological and ecological disciplines, in a friendly and encouraging environment. As well as a series of student talks and posters, the registration includes: Workshops - Science, media and communication workshop by Dr Jonathan Copley; a highly experienced science communicator, co-founder of SciConnect Ltd and Associate Professor at the University of Southampton. - “Working your networks” – a hands-on networking workshop by Alexandra Spencer, Associate of the Royal Society of Biology. - Career development panel – a cross-sector panel from the marine biology profession, sharing experiences and advising on careers in marine biology. Social activities - Drinks reception at the National Marine Aquarium’s stunning Eddystone Reef Exhibit. - Conference dinner at the historic Marine Biological Association. - Optional extra socials and excursions on the evening of the 20th May and day of 24th May. Keynotes (tbc) - Nicholas Higgs (University of Plymouth) - Matthew Frost (Marine Biological Association) - Willie Wilson (Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science) - Ana Queirós (Plymouth Marine Laboratory) PLEASE NOTE THERE IS A COST TO ATTEND THIS CONFERENCE.


Closing date 2018-04-01 00:00:00 0

Student Research Using the ONS LS and Census Microdata

The ONS LS is comprised of census records for individuals spanning from 1971 to 2011, along with associated life events data - currently it has records for over 1,100,000 members. CeLSIUS provides support for people from the UK academic, voluntary and statutory sectors wanting to use this tremendous resource. We are funded by the ESRC to provide this service and there is no charge to the user.


Closing date 2018-03-28 00:00:00 0


Advanced Spatial Analysis for Researchers using ArcGIS

This two-day course covers advanced spatial analysis techniques using the industry-leading GIS software – ArcGIS. Participants will learn about methods of spatial analysis, ArcGIS extensions, model builder and how to build web applications. Previous experience of ArcGIS is a prerequisite. The course covers: - GeoDatabases - Manipulating coordinate systems - Advanced geoprocessing tools - Spatial analysis - Creating models using the ModelBuilder - ArcGIS extensions - Building and sharing web maps using webGIS Please note this course does not cover statistics, regression methods and the likes. By the end of the course participants will: - Understand the benefits and creation of geodatabases - Be able to use advanced geoprocessing tools and ESRI extensions - Understand how to create a model - Be able to create web maps to share their data PLEASE NOTE there is a cost to attend this training.


Closing date 2018-02-07 00:00:00 0

Applied GIS and network analysis for social science applications

This two-day course uses a series of accessible hands-on practical activities and short lectures to introduce participants to sophisticated spatial data analysis tools within a GIS. On day 1 we work with vector data (points, lines, polygons) to apply a range of spatial analytic and visualisation techniques used for applied research within the social sciences. On day 2 we also introduce network analysis and focus on measures of proximity and access, construction of service areas and the evaluation of facility or service locations. All activities are structured around a series of research questions which could be applied in many research contexts. We use ESRIs ArcGIS industry standard proprietary GIS software, widely used by the research community and commercial sector. The data used relate to individuals, households and neighbourhoods (small areas) and a drawn from sources typically used within the social sciences (including census, survey and commercial data). We emphasise that the approaches, questions, challenges and operational decisions are generic to these kinds of geographic analyses. PLEASE NOT TO ATTEND THIS COURSE THERE IS A COST.


Closing date 2018-03-01 00:00:00 0

Using Creative Research Methods

his course will outline creative research methods and show you how to use them appropriately at every stage of the research process. The course assumes that you have a good working knowledge of conventional research methods, and builds on that knowledge by introducing arts-based methods, research using technology, mixed methods, and transformative research frameworks such as participatory and activist research. Any or all of these techniques can be used alongside more conventional research methods and are often particularly useful when addressing more complex research questions. In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to try applying these methods in practice. Attention will be paid to ethical issues throughout. The day will include plenty of practical advice and tips on using creative methods in research. The course covers: - Arts-based methods - Research using technology - Mixed methods - Transformative research frameworks By the end of the course participants will: - Have a good level of knowledge of creative research methods - Understand how to use creative methods alongside more traditional methods - Understand when to use creative methods in research - Know how creative methods can add value to funding bids This course will be relevant for researchers from the third sector, public services (e.g. health, criminal justice, social care, education, local or national government), and those who work in independent research organisations or academia. It is an intermediate level course and attendees will need a good working knowledge of traditional research methods. PLEASE NOTE THERE IS A COST TO ATTEND THIS COURSE.


Closing date 2018-03-15 00:00:00 0

Writing about Methods

This workshop aims to give participants a range of practical approaches they can adopt when writing about methodology in the social sciences. Using a range of exercises throughout, the course focuses on 20 or so writing strategies and thought experiments designed to provide more clarity and power to the often-difficult challenge of writing about methods. The course also looks at common mistakes and how to avoid them when writing about methods. The focus throughout is on building confidence and increasing our repertoire of writing strategies and skills. The course covers: - A range of practical writing strategies for handling methodology - The challenges of writing a PhD methodology chapter or a methods section in a research paper - Writing for qualitative and quantitative research approaches - Understanding different audiences and the needs of different academic markets By the end of the course participants will: - Better understand who and what ‘methodology writing’ is for - Know the differences and similarities between PhD methods chapters, research paper methods sections and methods books - Understand and reflect on 21 principles (or starting points) of best practice in methodology writing - Focus writing on audience needs and expectations - Be aware of common mistakes and misunderstandings and so avoid them - Reflect on the relationship between methodology writing and other parts of your manuscript - To develop learning and best practice through exercises and examples This course would be suitable for PhD students, post-docs and junior researchers in the social sciences.


Closing date 2018-04-20 00:00:00 0

Enhancing the potential of Focus Groups

Focus groups are used regularly in qualitative research, but sometimes under-used in that the potential of this method is under-estimated. Focus groups can be much more than lightly structured group interviews, instead creating vibrant spaces for dialogue in contentious fields, allowing participants not just to articulate what they know, but also to know more critically through the communal exchange. The emphasis in this course is on how focus groups can be used as a constructive method particularly well suited to inclusive/participatory/transformative research designs. The day will include aspects of how to organise an effective focus group, but the primary focus will be on going beyond traditional focus groups by incorporating enriching features such as video stimulus, communal activities and repeated focus groups in iterative cycles. The tutor will draw on her experience of facilitating different kinds of focus groups for different purposes and participants. This one-day course provides opportunities to share practical experiences, distil insights, and learn about new possibilities. There will be activities to support skill development and prompt discussion. Course participants will be offered templates for planning focus groups. We will also address the types of analysis that make best use of focus group data. The tutor draws on her own experience in facilitating focus groups to present options including: - using photo and video stimulus for recall, reflection and dialogue - using activities within focus groups - iterative use of focus groups in dialogic cycles PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE COST TO ATTEND THIS COURSE


Closing date 2018-04-26 00:00:00 0

How to bring together multiple qualitative datasets: Expanding your analytic comfort zone

The course aims to expand participants’ analytic comfort zone by exploring the potentials and pitfalls of bringing together several sets of archived data to ‘scale up’ qualitative analysis. The course is likely to benefit doctoral and early career researchers, and those with an emerging interest in secondary analytic practice. It will also appeal to those developing funding applications for the ESRC (e.g. Secondary Data Analysis Initiative). This one-day course will provide the foundations for developing a project that brings together multiple sets of qualitative data from different sources. Participants will gain hands-on experience of accessing, searching, obtaining, and organising datasets from the UK Data Archive. They will learn how to survey the main features of the data landscape to acquire a precursory understanding of the nature, quality, and ’fit’ of the available material. They will work through different approaches to bringing assemblages of qualitative data together. They will consider issues such as the ethics of re-use, the significance of context, understandings of what constitutes a ‘case’, as well as reconciling differences between the datasets. Potential ways of carrying out analysis across the datasets will be outlined, as will the various ways such analysis can be used within a research project. PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE WILL BE A COST TO ATTEND THIS COURSE.


Closing date 2018-05-02 00:00:00 0

Critical Urban Ethnography: Place, people and power

This two-day course provides advanced training in urban ethnographic research. The course is designed to develop knowledge and understanding of ethnographic research through urban field encounters, and encourages participants to be attentive to how and why ethnography makes sense of the spatial and symbolic dimensions of urban change. The course aims to develop knowledge, understanding and confidence in conducting urban ethnography. The course includes field-based training and peripatetic teaching methods focussed on a particular fieldsite — Peckham in South London — alongside classroom-based workshops, in order to explore how places and people are connected to wider urban processes including discrimination, diversification, mobility and gentrification. Course participants will explore the challenges and strengths of urban ethnography through field encounters. In this way, the course inspires experiences that focus both on ethnography as a way of finding out and a process of critical reflection, connecting the particularities of people and places to wider processes of urbanisation. PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE A COST TO ATTEND THIS COURSE.


Closing date 2018-05-17 00:00:00 0

Understanding small areas: spatial analysis of population and neighbourhood data

This two day workshop equips participants with conceptual understanding and technical skills to obtain, analyse and visualise spatial data related to populations and neighbourhoods. Using freely available data related to the UK, a series of guided practicals enable participants to: - obtain census and survey data related to geographic areas - visualise, map and explore spatial patterns within individual and neighbourhood data - apply a suite of powerful spatial analysis tools and techniques to address real-world policy relevant questions at the small area level - uncover spatial and temporal characteristics and properties of small area data - understand how to convert data between different geographic boundaries used for data dissemination and the limitations of doing so - classify small areas and individuals based on their characteristics and understand their widespread application in neighbourhood analysis - explore novel near-real time user-generated data from social media - appreciate the technical, ethical and legal challenges and opportunities for working with individual level population data.Participants also have the chance to discuss their own related research or applications with other participants and the course tutors. - Hands on training introduces participants to powerful statistical and spatial analysis software (SPSS and ArcGIS) as well as the programming language R. Practical sessions are interspersed with lecture and discussions to contextualise and consolidate learning. Examples are drawn from the UK and are applicable in an international context and in a variety of application areas at different spatial scales. Population and neighbourhood data are widely used by the academic, policy-making and commercial sectors. PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE A COST TO ATTEND THIS COURSE.


Closing date 2018-05-31 00:00:00 0

Practical use of mini and micro-Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for the Environmental Sciences- 20-24th August 2018-Oban, Scotland

This comprehensive five-day course will provide you with the knowledge and hands-on, practical skills required to undertake an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) campaign safely, legally and successfully for NERC oriented science. This course has been specifically designed for environmental scientists with an interest in the application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to their science and will take place at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) in Oban, Scotland, where you will have the chance to fly both indoor and outdoor missions (weather permitting). Practical sessions will take the form of simulated mission scenarios, where you will have the chance to take an off-the shelf instrument, integrate it into a mini/micro UAV airframe. Alongside the hands-on sessions, lectures will be presented on topics including regulatory and air traffic legislation, flight planning and checks, and the miniaturisation and integration of instruments into UAV designs. If you have any questions, please contact Mica Jones –


Closing date 2018-07-20 00:00:00 0

BBSRC Innovator of the Year 2018 competition

Do you know of any exciting BBSRC funded research going on? If so, please recommend a research colleague or strongly encourage them to apply! Now celebrating its 10th year, this competition recognises and rewards individuals and small teams who have harnessed the potential of their excellent research. The competition has four award categories: - Commercial Impact - Social Impact - International Impact - Early Career Impact It is designed to recognise the full breadth of impacts that BBSRC investments in research have, from creation of spinout companies or social enterprises, to working in collaboration with business and NGOs, to working with policy makers, both in the UK and abroad. Winners in each category will receive a £10,000 award, with a further £10,000 for the overall winner, the BBSRC Innovator of the Year.The awards will be presented at a high-profile event in London on 16 May 2018 in front of an invited audience of leading figures from the worlds of investment, industry, government, charity and academia.


Closing date 2018-02-07 00:00:00 0

Communicating natural hazard risk

Call for applicants for a 24-hour ‘pressure cooker’ at the Understanding Risk Forum, 14-18 May 2018, Mexico City Are you interested in the challenge of harnessing scientific information to reduce and manage natural hazard risk? This one-day event (24 hours) will host up to 20 young (under 35) professionals, researchers and students divided into interdisciplinary teams to test their innovative, creative, scientific and technological skills to co-develop risk communication solutions to real world challenges facing local decision makers. The winning solution will be showcased as part of the World Bank’s Understanding Risk Forum 2018 to which all participants will be invited to attend from 14-18 May, Mexico City. Financial support is available from NERC and FM Global for a limited number of applicants, covering costs associated with travel, accommodation and subsistence. The organizers are also seeking more experienced risk communication practitioners and researchers to act as mentors. Deadline for applications: 26 Jan 2018.


Closing date 2018-01-26 00:00:00 0

BBSRC/Defra/NERC Workshop on sustainable intensification – Building on our research foundations

BBSRC, Defra and NERC, in partnership with the Sustainable Intensification Research Network (SIRN), are holding a workshop for researchers with interests in or expertise relevant to the sustainable intensification (SI) of agriculture. This workshop aims to build on the legacy of Defra’s Sustainable Intensification and provide opportunities to link with other current sustainable intensification activities. The aims of the workshop are: - To bring together the wider UK SI community with researchers involved in SIP to facilitate networking and the identification of opportunities for collaboration, building on the legacy of SIP. - To stimulate the development of high quality research proposals related to SI that address relevant research challenges and explore new ways of approaching SI. - To raise awareness of relevant Government and Research Council interests and potential funding opportunities. There is no cost to attend the workshop, overnight accommodation (on 28 February 2018) and meals will be provided free of charge. Attendees will be expected to cover their own travel costs.


Closing date 2018-02-28 00:00:00 0

Digital field mapping and modelling: using emerging technologies to reduce uncertainty in geological models

The aim of this course is to enable geosciences graduates to adapt their skills to emerging technologies in electronic/digital field data collection and model building. The focus of the training is on the building, iteration and validation of a subsurface geological model with an emphasis on the use of an accessible and dynamic professional software suite; Fieldmove app for tablets, Fieldmove Clino for smartphones and the Move software suite, the principal product of training partner Midland Valley Exploration Ltd. The training and resultant skills will be transferrable to a variety of industry software packages such as Petrel, Decision Space, Kingdom Suite, Gocad, Minesight, Leapfrog, Geomodeller3D, SGS Genesis, Rockworks and others. Training will appeal to doctoral and early career researchers across a range of geosciences as advanced modelling of the subsurface is fundamental in exploring for mineral and energy resources as well as identifying suitable carbon capture and storage sites, potential geothermal reservoirs and systems, underground storage and waste repositories, groundwater, and tunnelling and infrastructure projects. Participants will receive advanced field and lab training focused on 3D structural modelling of the subsurface using a cutting edge professional software package developed for the energy and resource exploration industry. The course is 5 days long and there are 20 funded places. Funding includes field and lab training by Midland Valley and a contribution of up to £300 to travel and subsistence. Preference is given to NERC funded students for these places. However Post Docs and Non-NERC funded students are also encouraged to apply.


Closing date 2018-01-31 00:00:00 0