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March 2015
WISERD E-newsletter

- WISERD Civil Society Launch

- WISERD Conference 2015
- John Hills Book Launch
- NCRM Courses
- Opportunities at WISERD
- Latest Blogs and Podcasts
- Delivering the Foundation Phase Conference

WISERD Civil Society Launch
5th February 2015

WISERD celebrated the launch of its flagship Civil Society Research Centre on Thursday 5th February at The Gate Arts Centre in Roath, Cardiff.

It was attended by some of the world’s foremost academics, public and policy stakeholders, and civil society organisations. Speakers including: Ruth Marks (MBE), Chief Executive of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA); Rhodri Morgan, former First Minister for Wales; and Saskia Sassen, the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and Co-Chair of The Committee on Global Thought.

The event was a great success, and provided an opportunity for excellent debate and discussion. WISERD's Director, Professor Ian Rees Jones, has written a blog reflecting on the event, and photo blog is available here. Professor Sassen's talk slides are available here

The Centre’s programme will explore a series of policy and practice relevant themes which impact upon civil society at local, regional and national levels. These will include: education, volunteering, well-being, ageing, governance and diversity. 

The Centre is committed to undertaking research on civil society in order to benefit civil society and will be working closely with a range of organisations including: the National Museum of Wales, Age Cymru, the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, and Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services.  

NCRM Courses 

Course: Mixed-mode survey design and implementation
Date and location: 23-25 March 2015, London
Presenters: Mick Couper (Survey Research Center, University of Michigan) and Annetter Jackle (ISER, University of Essex)
Fee: £90
Further info and registration: 

This course focuses on the design and deployment of mixed-mode surveys (e.g., combining Web surveys with postal or interviewer-administered surveys, or telephone and face-to-face surveys). The course provides an overview of the different approaches to mixed-mode survey design, presents a summary of what is known and not known about mixing survey modes, and offers a set of guidelines to help researchers make decisions about mixing modes of data collection, design survey instruments for mixed-mode surveys, and analyse data from mixed-mode surveys.

Course: Designing and Implementing Mobile Web Surveys
Date and location: 16 April 2015, Cardiff
Presenter: Mick Couper (Survey Research Center, University of Michigan)
Fees: £30 for UK registered students; £60 for staff at UK academic institutions, UK Research Councils researchers, UK public sector staff and staff at UK registered charity organisations and recognised UK research institutions; £220 for all other participants.
Further info and registration: 

Mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) are increasingly being used by respondents to complete Web surveys. This presents a number of design challenges for survey researchers. Smartphones also offer a number of added possibilities for survey designers, such as the use of GPS to track movement, apps to trigger measurement at set times (ecological momentary assessment), the possibility of capturing images, and other features. This course will focus on the design implications of the rise on mobile device use. The research evidence will be reviewed, and the various options for accommodating mobile Web users will be discussed. The challenges of using the enhanced features of mobile phones for general population surveys will also be reviewed. The course is focused on situations where respondents are using their own devices, i.e., the designer has little control over the device used.

Course: Questionnaire Design and Implementation for Web Surveys
Date and location: 29-30 April 2015, Belfast
Presenter: Pamela Campanelli (Survey Methods Consultant, UK Chartered Statistician, Chartered Scientist)
Fees: £60 for UK registered students; £120 for staff at UK academic institutions, UK Research Councils researchers, UK public sector staff and staff at UK registered charity organisations and recognised UK research institutions; £440 for all other participants.
Further info and registration: 

This course is about questionnaire design as it relates specifically to web surveys.  This course explores the pitfalls and good practice in writing individual web questions and the questionnaire as a whole. In addition this course looks at wider implementation issues around the questionnaire (e.g., types of invitations to potential respondents, how these should be worded, how and when they should be sent, reminders, incentives, software, etc.) 

For further information on NCRM courses, please read this document

Latest Blogs and Podcasts

Civil Society:
High Class Discontent: Economic Insecurity and UKIP Support

Exposing the Welfare Myth of Them and Us

WISERD Civil Society Research Centre Launch – In Pictures

WISERD’s Civil Society Research Centre: Reflections on the official launch

The Foundation Phase Evaluation – an update.

Is Education Wasted on the Young?

What I learnt at WISERD: A Farewell Blog from Dr Mirain Rhys

New Staff 

WISERD New Starters – Part 1

WISERD New Starters – Part 2

WISERD New Starters - Part 3

Podcast #6 - Saskia Sassen gives keynote speech at the official opening of WISERD's flagship Civil Society Centre

Podcast #7 - John Hills discusses his new book "Good Times, Bad Times. The Welfare Myth of Them and Us"

Listen to them both here.

WISERD Annual Conference 2015
30th June - 2nd July 2015
The sixth annual WISERD Conference will take place from 30th June to 2nd July 2015 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
We are delighted to be able to confirm that Karl Wilding, Director of Public Policy at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and writer and political economist Will Hutton have agreed to deliver two of our keynote addresses at the 2015 event.

Conference Themes
We are inviting proposals which address the following research themes:
  • Education
  • Social Care, Health & Well-being
  • Civil Society
  • Economic & Social Inequalities
  • Data & Methods
  • Devolution
Open Strands
As in previous years, there will also a be a series of Open Sessions reflecting the broader research interests and priorities of the social science and policy sectors within Wales, the UK and internationally.
Open sessions will consist of collections of papers in the same thematic or methodological area. Session convenors for open sessions are encouraged to collate abstracts for proposed sessions prior to submission for consideration. We would then consider this group of abstracts as an entirety.

  • WISERD/WCVA Collaborative Paper Competition
  • ESRC Wales DTC/Learned Society for Wales – Student Poster Competition.
  • ESRC Wales DTC/WISERD – Student Innovative Communication of Research Prize
  • ESRC Wales DTC – "3MEI": Three-minute engagement/impact session and prize

The deadline for submission of abstracts has expired. For further information about how to register for the event, please follow this link

WISERD Research Development Funding Scheme 2014-15

WISERD has allocated £20k of funding to support research grant bid development during 2014-15. This funding is intended to support activities which lead to the development and submission of research grant funding proposals for external funders. Researchers can apply for funding of up to £3k per project.

Funding is available to WISERD researchers, fellows and associates. Applications on any topic are welcomed but we are keen to receive proposals which relate to one or more of WISERD’s research themes. 
Examples of activities eligible for funding include:
  • Organisation of, or attendance at, research grant bid development focused events (i.e. meetings focused on particular funding opportunities; research grant bid development workshops)
  • Initial pilot studies in preparation for a larger funding proposal
  • Recruitment of PhD students to carry out literature reviews and other preparatory work for funding proposals

Application Process
The deadline for applications is 31 May 2015, with all monies to be spent by 31 July 2015. The first step in applying for funding is to approach a member of the WISERD academic team to request they act as a sponsor for the application. Following agreement, please fill in the proforma and send to the WISERD Hub via email ( The hub team will check the proforma and approach the sponsor for comment before forwarding the completed proforma to the WISERD Executive Team for approval. 

John Hills Book Launch
9th February 2015, The Pierhead, Cardiff Bay

This month we were honoured to co-host the launch of Professor John Hills' new book 'Good Times, Bad Times: The Welfare Myth of Them and Us', alongside The Bevan Foundation.

Professor Hills was joined by a panel of Professor Ian Rees Jones, Director of WISERD and Liz Withers, Head of Policy at Citizen’s Advice Cymru. The event was kindly sponsored by Mick Antoniw AM.

Professor Hills' book explores key issues in the current debate about ‘welfare’ and the welfare state. The debate contrasts a stagnant group of people benefiting from it all, with the rest who pay in and get nothing back – ‘skivers’ against ‘strivers'. He explains how reality is far removed from the simple dichotomies portrayed in the media.

You can learn more about this event by reading our blog

Opportunities at WISERD


WISERD Social Theory Research Fellow
Closes 2nd April 
WISERD is seeking to appoint a researcher to its Cardiff hub team with experience of, and an interest in, undertaking theoretical research to its civil society research programme. The ideal candidate will combine knowledge of and an interest in multi-leval governance, neo-institutional theory and sub-national public policy-making to examine devolution and the changing relations between individuals, institutions in civil society and the state.
Follow this link for more information.

PhD Studentship: Small Town Global Engagement, 1860-1960
Closes 30th April 

Applications are invited for a fully-funded PhD studentship on ‘Small Town Global Engagement, 1860-1960’ in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University, supervised by Professor Michael Woods and Dr Jesse Heley.
Follow this link for more information. 

Keep an eye on our opportunities page for the latest updates, which includes:

Research Associate/Fellow - Quantitative

Research Associate - Impact

Research Associate - Social Media

Delivering the Foundation Phase Conference
26th March, Cardiff

Capita’s 2nd Delivering the Foundation Phase Conference brings together leading academia and education representatives highlighting innovative approaches to measure and evidence progress in literacy and numeracy, strengthen the development of the Welsh language, maximise the use of ICT resources and deliver successful play-based approaches across all areas of learning.
The event provides critical insight from sector-leading schools to enhance and refine your Foundation Phase Provision. Spotlighting key areas of focus for Estyn inspections, do not miss this opportunity to take away practical guidance and new ideas from 'excellent' schools to ensure you are providing a consistent learning experience for all your learners.

For Further details:

Contact: Alex Esson on 020 7202 0557 or

Follow us on Twitter @capitaconf #capitaconf

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