Researcher Development Initiative (RDI), 2005 - 2010

Building Capacity in Visual Methods

01/11/06 - 31/10/09


The purpose of this project was to build visual method capacity across the social sciences through a programme of activities delivered in several UK regions. The objectives were to provide generic methodology trainers, users of research and active researchers new to visual research with core skills and resources that will enable them to build a deep understanding of applied visual research methods; to provide an ongoing, integrated and rigorous visual methods resource for researchers with experience in visual methods at intermediate level that is stimulating, challenging and grounded in 'best practice'; and to establish a national infrastructure that is on-going, self-sufficient and developmental, that meets the ongoing needs of the research community.


There were four main forms of activity. First, an annual two-day introductory course for researchers inside and outside academia from a broad spectrum of social science disciplines who are new to or have little experience of visual methods. Second, an annual one-day expert class in visual methods for more experienced visual researchers. This programme built on the introductory course by emphasizing grounded visual methods and techniques within a rigorous visual methodology to explore substantive research questions level of visual methods training. Third, the development of electronic resource materials and interactive discussion forums for training participants (see the project website: Fourth, the final project even was to mount the very successful first international visual research methods conference, held at the University of Leeds in September 2009.


Principal Investigator: Dr Jon Prosser, University of Leeds

Co-Investigators:  Professor Macus Banks, Oxford University,

Charlotte Bates, Goldsmith’s College, London University,

Dr Caroline Dyer, University of Leeds,

Professor David Gauntlett, University of Bournemouth,

Professor Steven Higgins, Durham University,

Professor Ruth Holliday, University of Leeds,

Professor Jennifer Mason, University of Manchester,

Susan Pearson, University of Leeds,

Dr Sarah Pink, Loughborough University,

Professor G. Valentine, University of Leeds,

Dr Kate Wall, University of Newcastle,

Dr Aisha Walker, University of Leeds,

Professor Rob Walker, University of East Anglia

Contact Details

Dr Jon Prosser,
University of Leeds

Email: j.d.prosser@education.
Tel: 0113 3434653