Participants were welcomed by Prof. Andy Tolmie, Bloomsbury & UCL DTC Director, who introduced Prof. Jane Elliot, Chief Executive ESRC who spoke on the role of ESRC in supporting UK social science activity and the ways in which it tried to fulfil that role.
The keynote address was presented by Prof Alissa Goodman, Economist and Director of the Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL IoE. Prof. Goodman spoke about Birth Cohort Studies and how data collected in early life is being used to address some of the major social and policy questions of our time. The UK is home to some of the longest running longitudinal studies, which have been crucial in illustrating how childhood experience impacts later on in life. Birth cohort studies have been instrumental in informing on social policy in a variety of areas, including breastfeeding and obesity interventions, and thinking on children’s school starting dates.
Workshop sessions held in the afternoon of Day 1 focussed on building practical skills for research students including topics on how to beat writers block, build peer networks, and how to disseminate information to non-academic audiences. The ESRC and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology also ran a workshop on how to increase chances of research being relevant to public policy.
Building on the keynote address, students on Day 2 participated in a workshop on how to make good use of longitudinal data, while other sessions focussed on writing, the use of social media and how to make the best of conference participation.
Students were encouraged to network during breaks, and at the end of Day 1, were invited to Mary Ward House for a buffet dinner and drinks and to hear about opportunities taken by fellow student recipients of Overseas Institutional Visits from the Global Challenges Research Fund.
Students were invited to participate in the ‘Poster on a Postcard’ competition. Like the three minute thesis, ‘poster on a postcard’ invited
participants to share their research and vote for their favourites.
Exhibitors throughout the session included ESRC, the National Centre for Research Methods, CLOSER, and the Graduate Journal of Social Science.