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Social science quantitative methods capacity building in Wales: ESRC/HEFCW scoping study

Moore, Laurence, Lynch, Rebecca, Maio, Gregory ORCID:, Moore, Graham ORCID:, Orford, Scott ORCID:, Robinson, Amanda ORCID:, Taylor, Chris and Whitfield, Keith ORCID: 2007. Social science quantitative methods capacity building in Wales: ESRC/HEFCW scoping study. [Working Paper]. School of Social Sciences Working Papers Series, vol. 91. Cardiff: Cardiff University.

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Previous research undertaken by the ESRC has revealed a “deficit” of quantitative social science researchers and identified that this should be tackled early in the academic life course. However, there is substantial heterogeneity across disciplines with previous studies indicating what while some subjects suffer serious deficits in quantitative methods research capacity, other disciplines such as economics and psychology are perceived to have strengths in quantitative methods training and research. There may be a particular problem in quantitative social science in Wales (possibly relating to the visible “Welsh deficit” in social science funding); however it is difficult to identify the configuration, strengths and weaknesses of quantitative social science in Wales from routine data. To provide more data on the current position of quantitative social science in Wales, and to identify potential ways forward to improve the situation in Wales, ESRC and HEFCW jointly funded this scoping study. The study mapped quantitative social science research (and training) expertise in Wales by undertaking an all-Wales questionnaire survey of social scientists in Higher Education Institutions in Wales. This was complemented by a number of semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders with an interest or expertise in quantitative social science research methods. A workshop including key stakeholders was then held to discuss the outcomes of the survey and interviews and recommendations for future action. This report presents the main findings of the study, which include the need for future actions to recognise the differences between disciplines, to not solely focus on advanced quantitative methods, and to be linked with wider initiatives to improve social science research methods training and capacity more generally. Many issues identified were not Wales specific and optimal solutions include increasing access to and participation in wider UK initiatives rather than solely Wales based actions. The report recommends the creation of a Centre in Wales to co-ordinate and deliver Wales-based solutions, link with UK initiatives and break down disciplinary and methodological barriers. Other recommendations address the deficit at different stages in the academic life course; undergraduate, postgraduate, post-doctoral and continued professional development, as well as suggestions for building wider quantitative capacity in Wales, monitoring and further research.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: Cardiff University
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2023 01:49

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