School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

Research Training

Research Training

The Doctoral Centre provides training and support which complements and adds to that on offer through the main Queen’s Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme.  We focus on providing high quality support and training for our doctoral students through:

Doctoral training workshops are given by staff and visiting scholars across a range of expertise in research methodologies.  Past training workshops include:

  •     Using MaxADA for the analysis of qualitative data - Dr Andy Biggart
  •     Arts-based methods – Professor Ruth Leitch
  •     Prof Charles Russo
  •     Prof Alison Cook-Sather

Other sources of training that you can engage in include:

  •     auditing EdD modules (both research methods and specialist modules)
  •     attending School Research Seminars led by staff and visiting academics
  •     attendance at conferences and outside training programmes

Student-led Seminars

2015-16 Student-led Seminars

"Corporal Punishment in Nigerian Secondary Schools: A Children's Rights Perspective"

"Affording Palestinian Young People a Voice in Research: A Children's Rights Based Approach"

"How do I manage my digital academic workflow?"

"Assessment and Children's Rights: An exploration of post-primary school admissions through documentary and statistical analysis"

"The right to education for young people excluded from mainstream schooling: loudly proclaimed yet quietly betrayed"

"Investigating the pre-task phase activities of tasks in ESOL teaching and learning materials used by adult ESOL learners in Northern Ireland"

"Auditing ELT Publisher's Claims of Proficiency Progression via Complexity and Frequency (Vocabulary Size) Measurements"

"Exploration into the research Mountain" 

"Self-Adapting Program for Children Visually Impaired"

"Direct participant observation in a cross-national study"

"From Jerusalem to Belfast: Exploring Citizenship and Identity through Citizenship Education"

Training Events

To register for any events please email the PhD Programme Secretary.

2015-16 Training Events

Introduction to Meta-Analysis
Facilitator: Prof Paul Connolly

This session provides an introductory overview of the key issues and methods associated with undertaking a meta-analysis. Meta-analysis is a specialist statistical technique for pooling together and synthesising the findings of a number of separate evaluations (usually randomised controlled trials) on a particular topic or type of intervention. This session will work through the basic issues that need to be considered and decisions to be made when conducting a meta-analysis (when meta-analysis is and is not appropriate; fixed effect vs random effects models; use and interpretation of the findings of meta-analysis and the various summary statistics it produces). The session will also introduce the notion of moderator analysis and meta-regression within this. The session will be of interest to those involved in undertaking randomised controlled trials and also systematic reviews. It assumes a competent grasp of: routine quantitative methods and statistics; effect sizes and associated confidence intervals; and linear regression. Examples will be demonstrated using Stata, although prior knowledge of Stata is not essential.

An introduction to logic modelling for prevention and early intervention programmes
Facilitator: Dr Liam O'Hare

This session provides an introductory overview of the key issues associated with producing and using logic models. Logic models are a graphical representation of an educational programme or intervention showing how resources are translated into improved outcomes for children and young people. They are particularly useful for programme/intervention design, implementation and evaluation. This session will work through the basic features of a logic model (i.e., inputs, outputs, outcomes) as well as look at contextual issues that influence logic models such as the external factors (e.g. social policy) and internal assumptions (e.g. participant engagement). The session will also provide examples of logic models being used in prevention and early intervention research and practice. The session will be of interest to those involved in undertaking educational programme design, implementation and evaluation or related activity. The session assumes no prior knowledge beyond a post-graduate level awareness of educational or social science research.

An Introduction to Systematic Review
Facilitator: Dr Laura Dunne

Systematic reviews provide a thorough synthesis of research in a particular area and, as such, are crucial in evidence informed decision making.  This session will provide an overview of the Systematic Review process and provide examples of research questions and literature search strategies.

Single Subject Research (SSR) Designs
Facilitators: Prof Karola Dillenburger & Dr Katerina Dounavi

Single Subject Research Designs are experimental research designs widely used in behaviour analysis with the aim to identify functional relations between environmental independent variables and behaviour (the dependent variable in question).

An Introduction to Thematic Analysis
Facilitator: Dr Rebecca Loader

This course will introduce students to qualitative analysis, focusing on one of the most common approaches, thematic analysis. Drawing on a previous doctoral project, the session will walk students through the process of conducting thematic analysis - preparing the data, undertaking coding and categorising, and writing up the research. The session will also provide an overview of key literature and outline the pros and cons of using qualitative analysis software.

Using Secondary Data in Educational Research
Facilitator: Dr Katrina Lloyd

This session is aimed at students who are interested in the potential of using secondary data analysis in their own research, whether as the primary method or in combined approaches. The session will consider the role of secondary data analysis in educational research and examine some of the vast range of sources that are available to researchers both nationally and internationally. 

Making your survey work: Using factor analysis and other tests of reliability and validity
Facilitators: Dr Stephanie Burns & Dr Karen Orr

The aims of this session are to highlight key measures of reliability and to summarise the main forms of validity checks when conducting survey research. The session will also cover the concepts and processes involved in conducting an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA), a technique for identifying the relationships between question items and measures in a survey.  In terms of prior requirements needed, a basic understanding of survey methods would be useful and/or an interest in administering a survey as part of a PhD or EdD study.

Guest Lectures

Previous Guest Lectures

Prof Becky Francis - 'Gender & Education Research: successes, challenges, and priorities'.

Prof Dave Gillborn - 'Race, Lies & Education:  the myth of White victims and the reality of racist policy'.

Prof Charles J Russo - writing and preparing for publication.


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