Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Social Science Research Methods Festival at AUD

Social Science Research Methods Festival

11-31 December 2010

Organized by Bharat Ratna Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD)

What are the Aims of the Festival?

Using a theoretically sound, interdisciplinary and hands-on approach, and organised in the form of blocs, this residential festival presents a unique opportunity for young social science scholars to come together to:

  • develop an understanding in epistemological concerns and philosophical foundations of social science research
  • acquire basic skills and understanding in designing and conducting research
  • gain exposure to specific qualitative and quantitative methods and applications
  • discuss and tackle, in a relaxed and supportive environment, issues of interpreting, articulating and publishing research findings

Who is the Festival for?

This Festival is of relevance for young scholars (doctoral and postdoctoral researchers and early career faculty) engaged in social science research in universities and research institutions in India and abroad. Preference will be given to those who have already had some exposure to research methods (through courses they may have taken at the master's level).

What Will the Festival Consist of?

The Festival will consist of three Blocs. Participants may opt for either Bloc I (4 credits) consisting of a general course on doing social science research (a two-week workshop is its mainstay) and preparing a research proposal, or Bloc II (2 credits) consisting of weeklong workshops running concurrently on specialized applications and methods in social science research (notably, Atlas.ti, statistics for social scientists, ethnography and participatory research methods), and/or Bloc III (4 credits) devoted to a course in scientific and research writing (involving a week-long workshop and follow up activities). As part of the festival, public lectures, field visits, film screenings and book exhibitions will also be organized on the theme of 'Exploring the Margins'. Participants may also join mentorship groups, which will help them in gaining clarity regarding their research aims and in accordingly planning their research trajectory.

Bloc I: Doing Social Science Research (11-24 December 2010)

  • Module 1: Thinking about Research Methods
  • Module 2: Methods, Instruments and Orthodoxy in the Social Sciences: Reading the Classics
  • Module 3: Designs, Methods, Data and Disciplines: Understanding Boundaries, Building Bridges
  • Module 4: Basic Processes of Social Science Research
  • Module 5: Hermeneutics of a Research Proposal: Design, Data, Methods and Theories I
  • Module 6: Hermeneutics of a Research Proposal: Design, Data, Methods and Theories II
  • Module 7: Politics of Knowledge Production and Ethical Issues in the Practice of Social Science Research

Bloc II: Applications and Methods in Social Science Research (11-31 December 2010) (Two modules may run simultaneously)

  • Module 1: Using Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software
  • Module 2: Ethnography
  • Module 3: Participatory research methods
  • Module 4: Statistics for social science researchers
Bloc III: Scientific and Research Writing (25-31 December 2010)

The focus of this bloc will be on writing to publish in peer-reviewed journals.

  • Module 1: ABC of academic writing
  • Module 2: What makes a good research article?
  • Module 3: Writing for multiple audiences: academics, policy-makers and development practitioners
  • Module 4: Reading, reflection and review of one's writing I
  • Module 5: Reading, reflection and review of one's writing II
  • Module 6: Preparing the manuscript for journal publication I
  • Module 7: Preparing the manuscript for journal publication II


This segment of the Festival will be optional for the participants.

  • Author Meets Readers
  • Copy-Editor Meets Potential Authors
  • Public Lectures
  • Re-searching Contexts: 2-3 published qualitative and quantitative studies conducted in Delhi on the theme of 'Exploring the Margins' shall be identified. On one day of the week, day-long visits will be organized, taking the participants to re-search the field sites from these studies and to take note of the continuities and changes in the field sites.

Book Displays

Leading publishers and book distributors shall be invited to display books and journals on research methods in the social sciences at the Festival. Participants and resource persons may purchase/ place order for the books and journals at discount prices.

Mentorship Groups

The aim of these groups will be to facilitate the participants in their efforts to gain clarity regarding their research aims and to accordingly plan their research trajectory or put together research projects that they may wish to pursue.

Social Activities

AUD will host special luncheons on the first and the last days of the Festival. Film screenings shall be organized. A page of suggestions for things to do in Delhi before or after the Festival will also be uploaded on the website as the Festival dates approach.

Who Will be Resource Persons at the Festival?

A dynamic team of resource persons with teaching and research experience in the social sciences, and a keen understanding of research methods will be associated with the festival. A number of artists, writers, publishers will also be invited to make brief interventions. Below is a non-exhaustive list of the resource persons.

  • Ms. Pooja Bhargava (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai); Dr. Nandita Chaudhary (Lady Irwin College, Delhi); Professor R Govinda (National University of Educational Planning and Administration, Delhi); Professor N Jayaram (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai); Dr. Jyotsna Jha (independent researcher, Bangalore); Professor Farida Khan (Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi); Professor Shyam Menon (Ambedkar University Delhi); Dr. Punya Pillai (Lady Irwin College, Delhi); Dr. Vimala Ramachandran (Education Resource Unit, Delhi); Professor TS Saraswathi (Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda); Professor Vinay Srivastava (University of Delhi)

How to Apply?

Applicants are requested to send their curriculum vitae, a brief research proposal and/or a clear statement of purpose of not more than 500 words, detailing the reasons for wanting to attend the festival and describing the research idea they wish to pursue.

They must clearly state which Bloc(s) they are interested in opting for. Those wishing to opt for Bloc 3 are required to submit along with other application materials a draft version of a full length research paper (approximately 7500 words). Papers that lend themselves to publication will be selected for submission as a special issue in a reputed peer-reviewed journal. Selection of participants will be made on the basis of the aforementioned application materials.

The course fee for a 4 credit course is Rs. 4000. The course fee for a 2 credit course is Rs. 2000. Boarding and lodging expenses are additional to this. A number of fee waivers and bursaries towards travel and boarding and lodging expenses are available. Those who want to be considered for these must mention this specifically in their applications.

Application materials should be clearly labeled 'Social Science Research Methods Festival' and sent by email to ambedkaruniversitydelhi[at]gmail.com. The last date for submission of application materials is 25 October 2010. For details regarding the festival schedule, boarding and lodging expenses and registration, please keep visiting this website for updates. For specific queries, please contact the Organising Committee at researchcentre.aud[at]gmail.com / asmita.kabra[at]gmail.com.

Further Details

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