Quantitative Methods Initiative
A key part of our research methods strategy is to combat the skills deficit in quantitative research methods across the social science research base. We have been working in collaboration to develop a strategy to address the current shortages.
More recently these efforts have been given added momentum through co-funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the British Academy, and the Nuffield Foundation.
Through the Quantitative Methods Initiative we aim to:
- create a comprehensive and co-ordinated training framework in quantitative methods at each level of the educational lifecourse
- integrate training to create a national training infrastructure which builds quantitative skills development at each stage of the educational lifecourse
- create a framework which is flexible enough to meet the particular skill requirements of individual researchers.
The following pages highlight our work in specific areas:
- Undergraduate activities
- Undergraduate pilot projects
- Postgraduate activities
- Links with other research resources
- Consultancy reports
We have developed a mailing list for the QM teaching community (to join the list send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org) and with a contribution from the Higher Education Academy (HEA), have set up a dedicated website for quantitative methods teaching, sharing teaching resources and providing details of relevant events, training courses and software.
We are also delighted to introduce a new guide signalling the value of data-handling skills to undergraduate students. Produced in partnership with the British Academy and Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and aimed at students in the social sciences and humanities, the guide seeks to challenge many of the myths that surround quantitative skills.
Stand Out and Be Counted (PDF, 533Kb) illustrates the concrete steps that can be taken to become adept at handling numbers and statistics. The booklet contains personal stories from journalists, entrepreneurs, charity workers, lecturers, PhD candidates and civil servants. Case study contributions include:
- the CEO of Waterstones
- the UK's National Statistician
- Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Statistics
- Director of the Nuffield Foundation
- Director of YouGov, and
- Editor of the Guardian's DataBlog.
Each one describes the steps taken to learn QS, and the careers that being statistically literate have led them to.
- Rachel Tyrrell, ESRC
Telephone: 01793 444518