NCRM celebrates 20th anniversary

NCRM news
Ed Grover

The National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2024 with a series of special initiatives.

NCRM was founded at the University of Southampton in 2004 with funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Since then, it has led the advancement of research methods in the UK through an extensive array of innovative activities, from training courses to research projects.

The centre is now a partnership of three leading institutions – The University of Manchester, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Southampton – and 2024 marks a decade of this collaboration.

Celebrating alongside our partners

Professor Gabriele Durrant, Director of NCRM, said: "It is a great privilege to be able to mark this exciting milestone alongside our partners and funder, the Economic and Social Research Council, with our series of special initiatives.

"The anniversary is a fantastic opportunity to reflect on NCRM’s outstanding achievements over the past 20 years and to celebrate our long-standing success and impact.

"The deep knowledge and expertise we have built during this time has enabled us to support researchers through a huge range of unique activities – from our high-quality training and capacity-building programme to our vibrant cross-sector networks.

"Thanks to these strong foundations, we’re now delivering more events, courses and online resources than ever before, acting as a catalyst for interdisciplinary innovation and providing methodological leadership across the social sciences and beyond.

"To all of NCRM’s team, partners, users and collaborators, and to the ESRC for your ongoing support, I would like to say a huge thank you and invite you to join our celebrations in 2024."

How we’re marking our anniversary

NCRM’s anniversary activities will include a bursary programme, an impact prize, mail outs of branded items and spotlights on key contributors and online resources.

A new video also highlights some of NCRM’s most significant moments. These include the beginning of the centre’s current phase in 2020, when nine new training partners joined the NCRM network.

Together, NCRM and its partners have tripled the amount of courses being delivered to around 50 a year. The centre has also significantly expanded its online resources, with 80 tutorials now available on the NCRM website.

Stian Westlake, ESRC Executive Chair, said: "A key feature of our delivery plan is our commitment to sustaining world-class people and their careers. Supporting research methods training and capacity building is part of that strategy.

"NCRM have played a pivotal role in strengthening research methods capability in the social sciences and we congratulate them on reaching this milestone."


NCRM’s role in the research community

Over the past 10 years, NCRM’s three core partners have worked together to expand and diversify NCRM’s activities.

The partnership has helped to make training available to researchers in different regions and enabled NCRM to draw on the best methodological expertise in the UK.

The leaders of NCRM’s three core partners have described the centre’s far-reaching impact. Read their full comments.

Professor Mark E. Smith, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, said: "NCRM continues to lead the way in research methods training and innovation, and I am enormously proud of the centre’s outstanding impact over the past two decades.

"Its vital work has enabled tens of thousands of researchers to enhance their skills, forge new practices and make a difference to society with their research."

NCRM’s training, resources, networks and events are designed for researchers in various sectors and disciplines. The centre also has a large international audience, with thousands of researchers around the world accessing NCRM resources and training.

Supporting researchers across disciplines

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said: "The National Centre for Research Methods is an incredibly valuable resource for researchers at all stages in their careers, across different disciplines and sectors.

"NCRM’s focus on skills, innovation and excellence over the past 20 years has significantly helped to advance methodological practice and expertise."

With its national scope, NCRM has developed a training programme that cater to the needs of researchers at different career stages, with courses available at introductory, intermediate and advanced levels.

The centre offers bursaries to cover course fees for researchers employed in the UK. And its website hosts a growing number of resources for research methods trainers, backed by NCRM’s own pedagogic research.

Professor Sir Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said: “As we mark this anniversary, it gives me great pleasure to be able to highlight NCRM’s exceptional contributions to research methods training over two decades and its support for researchers throughout their careers.

"It is fantastic to see what NCRM has been able to achieve as a partnership – outstanding courses for researchers around the whole the country, influential research programmes, accessible online resources and innovation projects that bring together experts across disciplines."

NCRM will announce further details of its 20th anniversary initiatives throughout 2024. Find out more about NCRM