After completing the second year of my Biological Sciences course I wished to gain some formal research experience so I applied to be a Student Research Assistant with the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre at Bournemouth University. Understanding the significance of dementia related problems, I was excited and proud to get involved with research on such a problematic and widespread condition, and to work alongside Professor Jane Murphy.
The project aim was to evaluate the impact and use of a learning resource and training video produced by the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre. I was provided with a well-structured plan for my 4-week project. Principally, this involved collating data from a questionnaire regarding the resource’s usefulness, analysing the results using qualitative methods, and producing a report of the results.
I got stuck in quickly and within hours I had already mastered aspects of Excel and Word I had never used previously. As the work began to develop momentum, data analysis became the next task to be executed. My course has always prioritised quantitative data analysis due to the nature of data usually obtained, and I had no prior experience working with qualitative data. By the end of the third week I had delved into various approaches in the field of qualitative research, and had conducted a thematic analysis of over 400 questionnaire answers.
Prior to this experience, the research process was alien to me. However now I have knowledge of the different stages involved and the fundamental organisational skills required, which has really helped me plan and develop ideas for the independent research project in my final year. I have really enjoyed the project and have developed incredibly useful skills as well as learning about nutritional care for people who have dementia.
FHSS’ Prof Lee-Ann Fenge & Dr. Kip Jones
FHSS’ Kip Jones and Lee-Ann Fenge are pleased to announce that their article , “Gift Stories How Do We Retell the Stories that Research Participants Give Us?” is now available across several platforms. Along with the open-access version from Creative Approaches to Research now being available, it can be downloaded on Academia.edu and BRIAN.
Jones and Fenge comment: “We can no longer afford to ignore the great advances made in representation of qualitative data. These have been overwhelmingly demonstrated by the successes achieved in auto-ethnography, poetic enquiry, ethno-drama, film, Performative Social Science and/or other arts-based efforts in research and dissemination”.
Narrative methods contribute greatly to the advances made in qualitative research. A narrative style should also be promoted in publications and presentations. This study on older LGBT citizens in rural Britain highlights this by means of a report on one part of that study—a Focus Group.
Narrative researchers are natural storytellers and need to foreground this when reporting studies for publication. Qualitative research is always about story reporting and story making, and narrative research (listening to and retelling stories) is a key democratising factor in qualitative social science research.
Last Summer the Centre for Qualitative Research organised a series of short (half hour) surgery sessions where participants could ask us any questions that they might have about qualitative methods and their research. If we didn’t have the answer, we have a list of CQR Members who often do!
Dr Kip Jones, Centre Director and Deputy Director, Caroline Ellis-Hill will offer sessions this Summer!
To book a half hour (in person) with Kip at Royal London House on a Tuesday morning or Thursday afternoon, just email firstname.lastname@example.org with your possible date. Kip will get back to you with a time.
To book a a half hour (via Skype only) with Caroline on a Wednesday morning, email email@example.com with our possible date. Caroline will get back to you with a time and Skype arrangements. (We particularly hope that colleagues and students at Yeovil and Portsmouth will take advantage of this particular distance resource.)
CQR members have expertise in a wide range of methods. If necessary, through the surgery process we can connect you up with a particular resourceful person.
- Research as Film/Film as Research
- Grounded Theory
- Performance Poetry
- Focus Groups
- Participatory Action Research
- Biographic Narrative Interpretive Method
- Appreciative Inquiry
- Arts-based methods
- Telephone interviews
- Questionnaire design
- Performance Poetry
- Performative Social Science
Sessions will generally run through July and the first half of August.
These sessions seemed to work quite well last Summer. We hope that you will find them a valuable assistance. No need to be a CQR member (but you may want to become one!)
Kip and Caroline