We would like to invite you to the launch of the AQMeN phase II research and training programme which will be followed by our inaugural annual lecture given by Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen and Professor Paul Boyle, ESRC Chief Executive.
The Applied Quantitative Methods Network (AQMeN) was established in 2009 for a period of 3 years with funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Scottish Funding Council (SFC). The main aim of AQMeN was to build capacity in quantitative methods amongst social scientists in Scotland through a programme of high quality training and knowledge exchange. During Phase I, AQMeN established a high reputation as a training and knowledge exchange provider and attracted over 1500 members with an interest in the application of quantitative methods.
AQMeN are pleased to announce that further funding has been awarded from the ESRC to establish Phase II of AQMeN. This new phase is funded for four years until December 2016 and allows us to expand into a Research Centre as well as continue to provide high quality training and knowledge exchange events in the use of intermediate and advanced quantitative methods.
The Centre aims to develop a dynamic and pioneering set of projects to improve our understanding of current social issues in the UK and provide policy makers and practitioners with the evidence to build a better future. The three main cross-cutting inter-disciplinary research areas are:
- Crime and victimisation
- Education and social stratification
- Urban segregation and inequality
AQMeN also has five additional, one-year projects that are supported by ESRC investment. Three of these projects are part of the ESRC’s Future of the UK and Scotland programme of work that aims to address issues around the future of Scotland and will aim to both inform debate in the run-up to the referendum and assist in planning across a wide range of areas which will be affected by the outcome of the cote, whether for independence or Union. Two further projects are funded through cross-investment funding, one on location dynamics, owner occupation and ethnicity in Scotland and another to promote the Scottish and UK data infrastructure through a series of workshops.
The three projects related to the referendum are:
1. Led by researchers at Edinburgh University and by ScotCen Social Research, survey questions relating to the future of Scotland are being included in the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey of 2013. The project also is running associated training events for researchers interested in using survey resources to address the questions raised by the referendum, and will publish the results of that research.
2. Led by researchers at Edinburgh University, a survey of people aged 14-17 in 2012 is being carried out, investigating questions relating to the future of Scotland. It is likely that people aged 16 and over will be eligible to vote in the referendum, and yet there are no previous systematic surveys of the views of people around that age on issues arising in connection the referendum.
3. Led by researchers at Strathclyde University, research is being conducted on the impact of widely accessed social media discussion threads on people’s sentiments and opinions relating to Scottish independence and devolution, to nations, nationality, and regions, and to political leaders and their parties.
During the event each of the research strands will introduce their programme of research from both a UK and international perspective. There will also be an introduction to the three projects that focus on the referendum on Scottish Independence.
Lunch will be followed by the inaugural Phase II Annual Lecture:
The Need for Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences
This talk given by Sir Ian Diamond and Professor Paul Boyle will first highlight why there is a need for increased social scientists skilled in quantitative methods; and second, argue that all social scientists need an appreciation of quantitative methods.