British Library Doctoral Open Days 2020

Our Open Days are designed for first year PhD students who are new to the Library. The days explain the practicalities of using the Library and its services – including navigating our physical and online collections. Students are encouraged to choose the event which is of most interest and relevance to their studies, from the following:

Asian & African Collections Monday 20 January
Music Collections Monday 27 January
The Collections at Boston Spa … and beyond Wednesday 29 January
British & European Collections from Antiquity to 1600 Monday 03 February
British & European Collections after 1600 Monday 17 February
Contemporary Society and Culture Collections Monday 24 February
The Americas Collections Friday 28 February

For further details of the all Open Days and how to book please see the British Library website:

Overseas Institutional Visits Applications Open

Applications for ESRC DTC funded students to apply for an Overseas Institutional Visit funding are open.

The OIV fund supports student visits to overseas universities or research organisations. It is intended to provide students with the opportunity to establish research networks, to disseminate early research findings, to participate in seminars and other academic activities that are directly relevant to their research, or to undertake specialist research training that is not available within the UK.

Overseas Institutional Visits (OIV) - Applications can be submitted between 1st November and 10th December 2019.

For more information and to download the application form and guidance notes please visit the Members area of the website:

OIV to University of California Irvine (UCI)_Report by Sarah Walker

Spending 9 weeks at the University of California Irvine (UCI) for my Overseas Institutional Visit was a fascinating experience. First and foremost, it was an amazing opportunity to be hosted by Professor Susan Coutin in the department of Criminology, Law and Society, and therefore to discuss ideas from my research with a prominent US scholar whose work is central to my thesis. Additionally, it was an opportunity to compare and contrast the US academic environment with that of the UK. I was also able to attend a conference for emerging critical migration scholars and meet with other US scholars and gain more information about the US migration regime and attitude towards children, which was also extremely valuable; the intersections of childhood and migration being central themes in my research. All in all, a brilliant opportunity to deepen my research knowledge and expand my contacts globally. Highly recommended.

2019 NCRM Courses and Events

NCRM runs a number of research methods courses and events. These are highly relevant to postgraduate research students and we offer a discount for UK registered postgraduate students.

Research Methods Training & Events 2019

Using creative research methods, 29 October, Belfast

Programming with Python for social science bootcamp, 29 October – 1 November, Manchester

SQL for biomedical researchers, 5 - 6 November, London

Electronic Health Records (EHR) and EHR-based phenotyping, 8 November, Cardiff

Creative approaches to qualitative researching, 11 – 12 November, Manchester

Making and measuring impact, 27 November, Edinburgh

Drawing, multimodality and interaction analytics, 28 November, London

New courses are continuously organised and added to the database.
To find out more about our training courses and events and to register please visit:

ESRC Media training

Did you know that the ESRC offer free media training to ESRC-funded academics who are working on news-worthy research projects?

The course will be taking place in different locations throughout the year. The course dates for 2019 are:

•17 October 2019 - London
•28 November 2019 - London

The one-day training session is an opportunity for researchers, no matter what stage of their career, to develop their skills and feel comfortable handling media interviews. Whether a PhD student, postdoctoral researcher or senior fellow, the new practical media training session provides the guidance needed to engage the media with confidence – and plenty of opportunity to practice.

In small group settings run by journalists, the sessions are full of simulations providing each delegate with expert advice, allowing them to develop their interview technique, explain the findings of their research, and pitch their story. The course is tailor-made for academics with interesting research projects, worth shouting about – no matter the amount of experience you have with interacting with the media.

For further information see the Media training booking form on the website:

LSS Research Showcase- 20th September

Thanks to everyone who joined us on Thursday 20th September 2018 for the LSS DTC ESRC Student Research Showcase. The quality of the work presented by LSS funded students was outstanding. Congratulations to all who presented a poster.

We enjoyed getting to meet all the students and supervisors who came, and were told by many in attendance that they were very glad to get to meet one another and share their research in a relaxed setting. We hope to organise another Research Showcase next year.

OIV to Harvard University_Report by Vanessa Hughes

In May and June 2018 I carried out an Overseas Institutional Visit at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University (HGSE). I was hosted by Professor Roberto Gonzales whose recent book Lives in Limbo about young undocumented migrants in the US is key to my own research on young undocumented migrants in London. Several ideas and concepts from his book influenced my own work and it was therefore an incredible privilege to discuss my work directly with him and hear his feedback.

While at the HGSE I worked on two chapters of my thesis and a presentation for the annual IMISCOE conference. Discussing my chapters with Professor Gonzales and a post-doctoral fellow, allowed me to view my own work from a different perspective and incorporate this into my writing. Attending various academic events on migration and race afforded me a different scholarly perspective on debates that I am writing about within a UK perspective and developed my thinking.

Overall the visit and environment at Harvard University proceed incredibly productive and useful in developing my own thinking and writing for my PhD.

Portraits of a life: separated young people. An art show _Report by Sarah Walker

Art as expression; art as a mirror; art as methodology; art as activism… as part of my ongoing PhD fieldwork, I set up an art exhibition in a public library event space. The exhibition was a showcase for some of the work of young migrants who migrated to Italy alone and are now trying to make a new home for themselves in the city that is hosting them. The aim was to publicly display some of the young people’s work to shed a (small) light on their experiences; to further examine art as a form of expression; and as a means to engage the public in the everyday lives of young people. It was also a way to thank the young people for participating in my research as part of my ongoing PhD on the interaction between migration regimes and separated young people. The art highlights the vulnerability and strength of these young people. Further, from a research perspective, following Sinha and Back’s (2014) sociable methods, it acted as a tool to enter into a dialogue about their life worlds through a means that was not overly framed by my questions. The exhibition opening night was really well attended, both by the young people themselves, staff of the accommodation centre that is currently their home, members of the local council and the city University as well as the general public. Young people also performed rap songs written by themselves about life as a separated young person in Italy.

Photos, texts and art (sketches and paintings) done by young people both spontaneously and in response to my request during an art workshop reveal elements of their subjectivity. Contesting the notion of the ‘vulnerable’ victim, young people reveal their pride in their capabilities as ‘back-way boys’, negotiating and navigating the increasingly restricted routes into Europe. As legal channels into Europe are ever more restricted, taking the ‘back-way’ increasingly becomes the only alternative for those seeking a better life. Thus the exhibition provided a small insight into separated young people migrating to Europe and how they resist or negotiate “spaces of nonexistence” (Coutin, 2000) to put themselves into the narrative. In doing so, they contest the subject position of ‘deportable migrant’ and seek to put themselves in the narrative and ‘document’ themselves.

Sarah Walker
PhD Candidate – Sociology
Goldsmiths, University of London

Coutin, S. B. (2000) Legalizing Moves: Salvadoran Immigrants’ Struggle for U.S. Residency. University of Michigan Press.
Sinha, S. and Back, L. (2014) ‘Making methods sociable: dialogue, ethics and authorship in qualitative research’, Qualitative Research, 14(4), pp. 473–487

Overseas Institutional Visit to The University of Melbourne - Report by Amy Corcoran

In December 2017 I carried out an Overseas Institutional Visit (OIV) to The University of Melbourne and presented at two academic events. The first, The Melbourne Doctoral Forum on Legal Theory, was an intimate and supportive three-day event primarily composed of fellow PhD candidates. The Forum’s theme, Time in Law – Law in Time, pushed me to consider aspects of my research that I had hitherto not given much attention. This afforded me the opportunity to examine my ideas from new perspectives, which I believe opened up new avenues of thought and will add depth to my thesis. Notably, on the final day, I took part in an intensive writing workshop with two academics. The academics hold similar research interests to my own, and over the course of the three-hour workshop they provided numerous insights into the ideas I was putting forth both within my paper and my thesis. This then inspired me to update the paper I gave at the following conference, which will now go on to form aspects of my thesis, for which I am very grateful.

The second event was the Law, Literature and Humanities Association of Australasia conference. Its overall theme was Dissents and Dispositions, and I participated in a stream entitled Public Art, Public Law? Due to the similarity of this theme and my own research the sessions were of significant interest and relevance. Overall, this environment proved extremely productive, in terms of providing space and time to immerse myself in ideas pertinent to my research, and meeting individuals with whom thoughts, knowledge and suggestions can be shared. It is rare to find the cross-section of law and art pursued in a thorough academic manner, so attendance at these events was of significant value.

Queen Mary International Conference of Students of Systematic Musicology (SysMus17)

The tenth annual International Conference of Students of Systematic Musicology (SysMus) took place on 13-15 September 2017 at Queen Mary University of London. The SysMus series has established itself with international, student-run conferences aimed at introducing graduate students to networking and discussing their work in an academic conference environment. The term ‘Systematic Musicology’, first coined by Guido Adler (1885), nowadays covers a wide range of systematic or empirical approaches to theoretical, psychological, neuroscientific, ethnographic and computational methodologies in music research.

Presentations for SysMus17 focussed on three central topics in relation to music: cognition and neurology, computation, and health and wellbeing. Each of these topics was the subject of workshops as well as keynotes by Prof Lauren Stewart, (Goldsmiths, University of London and Music in the Brain Centre, Aarhus University), Prof Elaine Chew and Dr Marcus Pearce (both Queen Mary UoL), Dr Daniel Müllensiefen (Goldsmiths, UoL), and Prof Aaron Williamon (Royal College of Music). Further presentations addressed issues relating to harmony and rhythm, musicians and performance, music and emotion, and sociology of music. This year’s conference brought together early-careers researchers from the fields of musicology, psychology, and medicine, allowing them to socialise, share their work, and gain insight into interdisciplinary approaches to their subjects.

SysMus17 was organised by students at Queen Mary’s Music Cognition Lab and was particularly marked by the series’ tenth anniversary, the live-streaming of all presentations via social media, and a carbon-offsetting Green Initiative.
Proceedings for SysMus17 will be available on demand from the conference website ( and all video presentations will be made available for public access.

Language Variation in the Classroom two-day workshop- 24th & 25th October 2017

Have you ever wondered why some students speak differently to others? Are you interested in spoken language and how it varies between speakers? Do you wonder how to integrate the voices of students from different backgrounds into curricula? Then this event is for you!

The Linguistics department at Queen Mary University of London is excited to invite you to Language Variation in the Classroom (LViTC), a two-day, ESRC-funded conference exploring language variation in educational contexts.

This event will be a workshop-style conference aimed at bringing together researchers, practitioners, and students in order to discuss and share ideas about language variation, i.e. accents and dialects, in the classroom. No knowledge of linguistics will be assumed beforehand. The conference is aimed at a mixed audience so will incorporate theory and practice from a wide range of researchers and practitioners.

Confirmed speakers include:
Professor Jenny Cheshire
Professor Urszula Clark
Dr Julia Snell
Dr Fiona English
Mr Ian Cushing
Mr Stewart McNicol
Representatives from AQA, Dr Ruth Johnson and Mr Ben Smith

We invite all students (secondary, undergraduate, postgraduate), researchers (academics and those in policy) and teachers to apply. Please note, although hosted by the Linguistics Department, we wish for this event to be as interdisciplinary as possible.

If you have any questions, please email event organisers Shivonne Gates ( and Christian Ilbury (

For more information, please see the event website:

Overseas Institutional Visit to North Carolina State University - Report by Nathan Young

This summer I traveled to North Carolina State University to mentor with Dr. Erik Thomas, an expert on sociophonetic variation in speech prosody. North Carolina State University is one of the best institutions in the world for dialect research, so being on-site around faculty like Dr. Thomas as well as Walt Wolfram, Robin Dodsworth, and Jeff Mielke presented a unique opportunity for networking. The office they provided me was centrally located, and I was able to speak to all of them about their work and my dissertation project.

Over the five-week period I was there, I consulted with Dr Thomas while building a series of processing templates for extracting the following three prosodic features: speech rhythm, intonational declination, and energy-frequency-integral. My dissertation work is nearing the end of its second year, and I am investigating the phonetic features of new sociolects in Stockholm, Sweden, including working-class multiethnolect and elite styles in media and finance. I reached an important milestone in my analysis on this overseas institutional visit. I applied the templates I built to eight speakers of Stockholm Swedish from my 40-speaker corpus, and I am seeing trends that show that Swedish multiethnolect may be different in all three of these prosodic domains. It will be exciting to see in my third year how things unfold as I continue to add more speakers to the analysis!

Overseas Institutional Visit to the University of Stockholm - Report by Sarah Howard

I have recently spent three months in the Anthropology Department at the University of Stockholm with the generous help of the ESRC's overseas institutional visit scheme. The visit was a great experience, and enabled me to make a lot of progress with my own work in a supportive, stimulating and well-resourced environment. I made many contacts with whom I intend to keep in touch and hope to collaborate in the future, and I particularly benefitted from the longterm engagement with Ethiopia of several emeritus Swedish scholars in the department, who provided a valuable historical perspective that is not available in my own department. I was able to participate in regular guest seminars, workshops and other events, including presenting a paper at the Swedish Anthropological Society national conference. A side benefit was that my two year old son was able to attend a Swedish nursery, which was a fantastic experience for him.

I would highly recommend any eligible student to apply for an OIV: it is a great opportunity to experience academic life in another context; to build relationships with scholars in the same field, including PhD-level peers; and to access resources not available in the student's home institution.

Joint ESRC and Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology Fellowship

Caroline Spence (DTC Student) from the Department of Experimental Psychology at Queen Mary University of London was awarded a three-month ESRC internship at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology from February to May 2017 as part of the RCUK internship scheme.

“As part of the fellowship, I was seconded to the House of Lords Committee Office to take the lead in running a short inquiry by the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee into the consequences of Brexit for farm animal welfare. The inquiry arose from issues identified during the course of the Committees related inquiry into Brexit: Agriculture, which found that farm animal welfare standards are likely to come under pressure following our withdrawal from the EU. As part of the fellowship, I got to be involved in a range of inquiry tasks, including producing research proposals and briefing documents for Members of Sub-Committee D, attending Committee meetings in the House of Lords, scoping and arranging attendance of inquiry witnesses and helping to draft the final inquiry report.”

The report from this inquiry 'Brexit: farm animal welfare' - has now been published. Please see:

Overseas Institutional Visit at the University of Maryland - Report by Luke McGuire

Thanks to the generous support of the ESRC's OIV program, I recently spent a month working at the Social and Moral Development Lab at the University of Maryland, just outside of Washington DC. This was a fantastic opportunity that allowed me to work on reevaluating data from my PhD, developing new ideas and attending international conferences.

During the visit I cemented existing collaborations with members of the lab by working on papers to disseminate findings, as well as developing ideas for new collaborative studies. The opportunity to work on these collaborative projects face to face with people I am used to skyping with was a massively helpful experience.

I was also able to attend the biennial SRCD conference in Austin, Texas, during my stay. Co-chairing a symposium at the conference with my supervisor, and members of the Maryland lab presenting as part of it, was a brilliant way to end the OIV.

I would strongly recommend applying to conduct your own OIV if you are interested in gaining new perspective on your own work, and learning more about the processes of academia elsewhere in the world.

Luke McGuire

Overseas Institutional Visit at the University of British Columbia - Report by Amy Horton

Thanks to support from the ESRC’s Overseas Institutional Visit scheme, I was able to spend two months as a Visiting International Research Student in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia. This was a very valuable opportunity, offering several ways to build relationships with other scholars, to develop my doctoral research, and to deepen my knowledge of the subject.

During the visit, I took part in graduate seminars on the History of Geography, taught by Professor Trevor Barnes. Through the readings and discussions, I gained a much better understanding of the history of the discipline. All of this will inform my future research and teaching, as will the reading groups that I attended. Across the university, there was a series of stimulating events addressing broader questions connected to my research. For instance, I took part in a roundtable discussion with the former US Labor Secretary, Robert Reich, about the Trump administration, work and politics in the US.

Less structured but equally valuable was the opportunity to get to know other graduate students and faculty informally. We will remain in contact about our research and future opportunities, and be part of a supportive community.

If ways of getting involved in the host department can be identified, an Overseas Institutional Visit can be a very useful way of improving your knowledge, building relationships and experiencing a different academic culture.

Amy Horton

DTC Student Shortlisted in ESRC Writing Competition

Congratulations to LSS DTC student, Vanessa Hughes, from the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths, on being shortlisted for the ESRC writing competition 'Making Sense of Society'. Vanessa’s shortlisted essay, ‘What future while living in uncertainty?’ explores how for some in our society uncertainty has been a familiar companion for some time.

From nearly 300 entries, 12 students were shortlisted as finalists. The shortlisted writers impressed the judges by communicating their research in an engaging, original, powerful and thought-provoking way. All shortlisted entrants will receive a SAGE master class on 'how to get published' and their articles will be published in print and online.

You can read the shortlisted entries here:

Sharing real-world data with students

Want to use real-world data in teaching? Our extensive collection of social, economic and population data provides an essential resource for teaching.

Open data
For getting students hands-on with data, our growing collection of open data is the most accessible. These data can be downloaded from the website without registration and with no restrictions on how to share them with students.
The open access collection includes most UK Census data and data from the World Bank, IMF and OECD. We also have open teaching datasets based on major UK surveys, including the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, January - March, 2015, Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, Well-Being Module, April-May 2015 and the Crime Survey for England and Wales, 2013-2014.

Access Agreement for Teaching enables teachers to use data under the End User Licence
Some of our data are only available to registered users and the End User Licence restricts the sharing of data.
Students may register with the UK Data Service (using their institutional log-in) and access data under the End User License individually. This process may help students appreciate the ethical responsibilities that come with using data from real people.
Teachers can also decide to use the Access Agreement for Teaching to share data collections available under the End User Licence with students. Instead of getting all students to register with the UK Data Service, teachers can register, access the data for use in teaching and take responsibility for registering student use of data. More information can be found here.

Data Access through Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs)
We recognise it may be difficult to gather signatures of the Access Agreement for Teaching, especially if there is a large number of students in a class. In response to such challenge, the UK Data Service has been exploring how Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) - such as Blackboard and Moodle - can help with data management.
We have created a Data Access ‘test’ that can be imported to a course Blackboard site. The test includes the conditions of access as a question where students either ‘agree’ or ‘disagree’. Students who agree can then access the data. More information about the Data Access test for Blackboard is available here.
In addition to this test, we support teachers to set up their own Data Access test for a VLE. Instructions for setting up a Data Access quiz, including the necessary wording, can be found here. Linking data access to the conditions of use using VLEs enables teachers to reduce the administrative challenge but also to reinforce learning about research ethics and data management.

We welcome any queries and suggestions about data access as well as offers to collaborate in developing other VLE tools, please get in touch:

For more information, click here:

New ESRC Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs)

Queen Mary and Goldsmiths have both been successful in their bids for two new Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs). The DTPs are the new ESRC structures for providing doctoral studentships and training and they will replace the current Doctoral Training Centres.

Queen Mary will be participating in the London Interdisciplinary Social Science DTP with King’s College London and Imperial College London while Goldsmiths will be a part of the South East Network for Social Sciences led by the University of Essex and including seven other universities in the south-east of the country. More detailed information on the 2017 studentship application process will be added soon.

Students who have started their doctorate under the current London Social Science DTC structure will continue to be funded and supported in exactly the same way throughout the duration of their PhD.

Information for prospective applicants for social science doctoral funding via the DTPs for registration in 2017 can be found on the ESRC website:

'Wiki edit-a-thon': Workshop with Gretchen McCulloch

On Monday 23rd May, the Linguistics department at Queen Mary University of London welcomed linguist and public-outreach expert, Gretchen McCulloch to deliver a workshop on public outreach through Wikipedia.

Specifically, the purpose of the workshop was to help improve social science articles on Wikipedia and to learn more about how linguists can engage with the wider public.
11 participants attended from Queen Mary, SOAS and UCL, editing 72 articles in 5 different languages. Small edits were made to 63 articles, including updating citations and adding links, such as improving the information in the Endangered Languages Archive. Substantive edits were made for 9 articles. In addition, participants used the MediaWiki Content Translation tool to translate articles into Turkish, Arabic, Persian, and Chinese.

Through an attendee at the event, we are now collaboratively working with SOAS to organise Wiki edit-a-thons across the two institutions and hope to work with others in the near future.

Some of the edited Wikipedia pages can be found below:
Multicultural London English
Audience design
Linguistic marketplace
(Sociolinguistics on the Chinese Wikipedia)
Devyani Sharma
Jenny Cheshire

Overseas Institutional Visit to the Ohio State University - Report by Hui Zhao

For my Overseas Institutional Visit, I spent eight weeks in the Linguistics Department at The Ohio State University in the US. There were two main purposes for this visit: to access trainings not available at Queen Mary and to develop my professional network in America.

My PhD project is funded by an ESRC Advanced Quantitative Methods studentship and I use quantitative methods to examine the social meaning of Beijing Mandarin. Since my work focuses on experimental/quantitative methods and the linguistic anthropology/sociology of China which are very well-studied in the US but not so in the UK, going to OSU has enabled me to audit classes in quantitative and experimental methods in sociolinguistics as well as Chinese linguistics. I also had many valuable discussions with linguists and scholars specialising in China Studies to further my understanding of both the linguistic and social theories relevant to my research.

When I was in the US, I went to the Annual meeting of the Linguistics Society of America in Washington, DC and presented at Sociolinguistic Variation and Language Processing in Blacksburg, VA. At OSU, I attended the Institute for Chinese Studies Graduate Forum and gave a talk at the Institute for Chinese Studies. These experiences are very beneficial to my project, especially since I am at the final stage of my PhD and the comments and suggestions are extremely helpful.

During my visit at OSU, I got to know colleagues in the department, including well-established scholars and current PhD students who work on very interesting and relevant projects. Additionally, I met many linguists who are based outside of Europe at the conferences I went to. The visit has been an excellent opportunity to build my professional network and find future research collaborators.

I would definitely recommend the OIV scheme to my fellow PhD students since it is a great opportunity to develop research ideas, get feedback from another research community and establish academic networks. I have no doubt that this experience will benefit PhD students in the long run.

Hui Zhao

Big Data with Hadoop

Big Data with Hadoop
Big data represent a significant resource for society and provide a powerful discovery tool for researchers, enabling them to gain valuable insight. However, to be able to process, interpret and analyse these data researchers benefit from learning how to use big data platforms such as Hadoop. Hadoop is an open-source software framework which facilitates the storing and processing of huge amounts of structured and unstructured data. It is widely used to process and analyse big datasets, especially from sources such as social media and the Internet of Things (IoT), where the volume and variety of data are constantly increasing.

The UK Data Service supports researchers in making the most of big data and has produced three user guides to learn how to explore and analyse large datasets using Hadoop:

1. Obtaining and installing the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) Sandbox
To explore and learn how to use Hadoop on your local machine, you can use the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) Sandbox which is open source and can be downloaded from the Hortonworks website.
This guide explains how to obtain the Hortonworks Sandbox and how to install it on your PC step-by-step. You can find the guide here:
2. Loading data into Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS)
Having installed the HDP Sandbox, the next step is to upload the data into the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). The datasets used in this guide are the Energy Demand Research Project: Early Smart Meter Trials, 2007 - 2010, a set of trials on smart meter data available for download from the UK Data Service. You can find the guide here:
3. HiveQL example queries
Once you have loaded data into HDFS, you are ready to start analysing large datasets. This short workbook contains some HiveQL example queries you can run using data from the Energy Demand Research Project: Early Smart Meter Trials, 2007 - 2010. The queries are also the ones used in the ‘What is Hive?’ webinar and they will allow you re-create the tables and much of the analysis demonstrated in the webinar. You can find the guide here:

Once you've followed this guidance you will be able to perform some basic data analysis using Hive and you can start further exploring data processing and analysis within Hadoop.

For more information on Hadoop, see our webinar: 'What is Hadoop?'

Intra DTC Socio-legal masterclass

In early May, socio-legal students from ESRC Doctoral Training Centres around the country participated in a masterclass at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park. The event was organised jointly by the LSS and the LSE DTC. Over two days 16 students and six senior academics discussed key theoretical questions in socio-legal research as well as some of the nuts and bolts issues which confront researchers embarking on empirical projects.

This first masterclass was intended as a pilot to see whether there was an appetite for an intra-DTC event of this kind. The enthusiasm amongst the students for running another masterclass next year was such that we are already planning a similar event to be held in Wales in 2017.

The feedback we received indicated that the masterclass was not only valuable for the socio-legal community in nurturing and supporting the next generation of socio-legal researchers, but also offers a potentially valuable model for other sub-disciplines as a way of gathering together cohorts of students across DTCs/DTPs, particularly those who may have relatively few peers working in the same area in their institution. As one student put it to us: ‘I feel as though I’ve found my tribe!’

Hegemony and Socialist Strategy Today: Master Class Report

On 19 March 2016, we held a Master Class with Prof Chantal Mouffe among others. The Master Class was a joint event between the Goldsmiths/Queen Mary London Social Sciences Doctoral Centre and the TheoryLab in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary. The topic of the Master Class was the book Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. The book was first published in 1985 and has had a wide ranging and lasting influence in the social sciences and humanities; among other things, the so-called ‘Essex School’ discourse theory is based on the theory of hegemony and discourse developed in the book. We were joined by Prof Chantal Mouffe from the University of Westminster for a discussion of the relevance of the book and of the theory of hegemony today.

The speakers and participants discussed in detail the theory of hegemony, the method of discourse theory and how to apply it, and Laclau’s and Mouffe’s works on populism. Dr Iñigo Errejón from Universidad Complutense de Madrid and the current number two in Podemos contributed, and so much of the discussion turned around the way in which Podemos have been influenced by the theory of hegemony – as well as how one might use the theory of hegemony to analyse the indignados, Podemos and the situation in Spain. We were also joined by Prof Oliver Marchart from the University of Vienna, Dr Luciana Cadahia from FLACSO in Quito, and Dr Javier Franzé from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, who contributed to the discussion of the ontological foundations of the theory of hegemony and of how to analyse populism in Latin America and Spain through the lens of the theory of hegemony.

You can find photos from the event here:

ESRC Internship at the Department for Communities and Local Government: Jenny McCurry

Jenny McCurry, 3rd year PhD student in the School of Geography at Queen Mary, has been awarded a three month ESRC internship with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) from January to March 2016 as part of the RCUK internship scheme. Jenny will be working within a team which designs and delivers research to inform policy-making on integration and community cohesion.

Jenny says: "The internship provides an excellent opportunity to develop my research and team-working skills, deepen my understanding of the impact that research can have on policy and discover new ways of communicating research findings to a variety of audiences. It will also allow me to gain a greater insight into the career opportunities available to me upon completing my PhD."

How can psychology improve policing?

A Goldsmiths, University of London PhD student’s essay on the role psychology can play in maximising efficiency in policing is now available to read, after being selected by the ESRC as one of the best entries to their annual writing showcase.

“In times of financial austerity, what role can psychology play in maximising police efficiency?” asked - and answered - Department of Psychology PhD candidate Rebecca Wheeler in an essay that made the top 10 in the ESRC’s ‘The World in 2065’ competition out of more than 70 essays submitted.
Held in partnership with SAGE, this year’s competition took a creative looked at what impact current research will have in 2065, inviting submissions that addressed the question of “what will the social sciences of the future look like?”.

2015 marks the 50th anniversary year for both the ESRC and SAGE. Since being founded in 1965, they have both been instrumental in supporting and developing academic research and social sciences.

You can download Rebecca’s essay in a PDF booklet alongside nine other shortlisted entries from the ESRC website

The ESRC's New Framework for Research Ethics

Our framework for research ethics helps you to consider ethics issues during the complete lifecycle of a project and includes information and guidelines on good research conduct and governance.

This ESRC framework for research ethics sets out good practice for social science research, detailing our principles and expectations from researchers, research organisations (ROs) and research ethics committees (RECs).


ESRC Internship at The College of Policing: Rebecca Wheeler

Rebecca Wheeler from the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths has been awarded a three month ESRC internship at The College of Policing from January to March 2016 as part of the RCUK internship scheme.

Rebecca will be involved in developing a methodology with Essex Police that could be widened to other forces in time, with the aim of understanding the nature and scale of demand on the police from crimes that are cyber facilitated, enabled or dependent. The ultimate aim of the project (after the duration of the internship) is to develop and trial interventions to reduce this type of crime, and the burden it is for the police.

UK DATA SERVICE: Student Forum

The UK Data Service has launched a new Student Forum which will be of interest to students studying or using quantitative methods and survey data in their research or degree programmes. The ‘UK Data Service Student Forum’ is a discussion forum on how to source and use data from the UK Data Service. The forum also provides peer-to-peer support for students using data in their research. We welcome all students; UG, PGT and PGR to join the forum and share examples and advice on quantitative related issues.

Joining the UK Data Service Student Forum is easy! Anyone with a Facebook account can join the group. The following link will bring you directly to the group:!/groups/1500417873616742/?fref=ts
Or you can search for ‘UK Data Service Student forum’ in the search bar on the top left of your Facebook page. The forum is moderated by Dr Kathryn Simpson, a Research Associate at the UK Data Service.

The UK Data Service has also developed a new ‘Using Survey Data Guide’. The Using survey data guide and its suite of related web pages aim to cover the key stages of research and include sections on developing research questions and designs, finding and accessing relevant survey data, data analysis and reporting results. It also includes materials for further reading, as well as worksheets - some of which examine topics using an example research project, looking at what determines fear of crime using data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales 2013-2014 and SPSS.

The Using Survey Data Guide can be found here:

Please also see our new and improved Student Resources pages which hold a wealth of information on UK surveys, census data, international data and qualitative data.
The Student Resources page can be found here:

DTC Students' Finalists in ESRC Writing Competition

Congratulations to Rebecca Wheeler from the Psychology Department at Goldsmiths and Sam Miles from the Geography Department at Queen Mary who were included amongst 10 shortlisted finalists in The World in 2065 – ESRC writing competition. They were selected from amongst 77 entries and were invited to the awards ceremony at the House of Commons.

You can read the shortlisted entries here:

ESS8 Round 8 Data Available

The first edition of data and documentation for European Social Survey (ESS) Round 8 (2016) was published on 31Oct 2017.

It means that data from the eighth iteration of the survey is now available from 18 countries who undertook fieldwork in 2016.

The 18 countries included in this initial release are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

Data from the remaining countries who took part in Round 8 is expected to be included in the second data release, scheduled for publication in May 2018. Post stratification weights for all countries will be made available at that time.

Round 8 of the ESS included questions asked in every round since 2002 on topics including crime, democracy and politics, human values, immigration, media consumption, national and ethnic identity, perceived discrimination, religion, social exclusion, social trust/trust in institutions, subjective wellbeing and socio-demographics.

Welfare attitudes were explored during Round 8 (2016) of the survey in a module that was originally fielded in Round 4 (2008). The new data offers an insight into public attitudes towards welfare either side of the economic crisis, allowing academics to study the consequences on welfare attitudes of a deep economic downturn.