Researcher Development Initiative (RDI), 2005 - 2010

Building Capacity in Complex Systems and Complexity Theory

1/1/07 - 31/12/09


The terms complex systems and complexity are used very broadly across an
ever expanding set of social sciences, ranging from economics, management,
sociology and education. In the last few years, robust and well-proven
quantitative methods and models have been developed to describe and analyse
complex systems. However, these methods are often not known in any depth to
social scientists intending to study complex systems. This is a serious
limitation, which may prevent the researcher from reaching beyond a purely
quantitative description and analysis. We therefore proposed, as part of a
two year project, a two-level course aimed at building capacity in complex
systems and complexity theory within the social science community. This
course was built upon York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis' (YCCSA)
established research, consultancy and teaching.


The level-one course targeted researchers inside and outside academia from a
broad spectrum of social science disciplines who were new to the area of
complexity. As part of a 7 day course (offered in two sessions) attendees
were introduced to the principles of complexity science, the tools and
methods associated with it, case examples of it and the basic mathematical
concepts of general relevance to complex systems. The level-two course took
the form of a Masterclass (train-the-trainers), and was targeted at
experienced researchers in need of intermediate level complex systems
methods training. Level-two training was built on level-one in the form of a
two-day intensive course.


Principal Investigator: Dr. Kiran Fernandes, University of York
Co-Investigators: Professor Susan Stepney, University of York,

Professor Jon Timmis, University of York

Contact Details

Dr. Kiran Fernandes,
University of York

Tel: 01904432693