This event is part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2017 and is aimed to assist those working in the third sector to undertake or better understand social research. It is designed for those with either little or some experience of carrying out social research, who want to develop their interest and skills for practical reasons.

The event will introduce attendees to the social research process:-

Firstly – how do we develop meaningful research questions? what kinds of things do we want to know? What is the purpose of the research? One of the key objectives of the event will be to help those working in and round the voluntary sector to learn, through planning, what the research is meant to achieve.

Secondly – the notion of design. Having produced meaningful questions, how should we go about investigating them? Attendees will be introduced to the research design process, matching up questions to the most effective design. Should the research be quantitative in nature, qualitative, or a mixture of the two?

Thirdly – to look at different research methods and how they should be used. From self-complete surveys, through interview surveys and the use of focus groups, to the use of observations. There will be an evaluative dimension to the way the event is delivered, in line with the interests of previous attendees.

Finally, the team will provide a very brief steer about how collected data might best be analysed and disseminated.