Researcher Development Initiative (RDI), 2005 - 2010

Master Classes, Training Courses and Symposia in Microdata Methods and Practice

01/11/05 - 31/10/08


This project provided training in microdata research methods and applications suitable for professional social scientists in the public and private sectors and for early and mid-career academic social scientists. The training programme focused on quantitative model-based identification and analysis of social and economic behaviour. It involved the use of statistical methods, microeconometrics and numerical methods to analyse the actions of individuals, groups and firms based on the insights of behavioural models and disaggregate data. Training was via expert classes, short courses and symposia. The expert classes were designed to give UK social scientists access to the highest quality expositions of important new and recent theoretical results, information about their application to substantive research questions and experience of working with the methods. They were aimed at people with a strong background in the area of study, including junior and senior academics, post-doctoral students and well-qualified public and private sector researchers.


The short courses emphasised clear instruction of microdata methods and their application. They were designed to enhance methodological skills and understanding of how microdata methods can be used to inform policy making and evaluation. The courses aimed to develop understanding of methods, issues and current practice in a variety of areas while equipping participants with the relevant computational and data handling skills. They provided training for applied social science researchers in government and research institutions as well as to doctoral students. The Symposia were regular forums where microdata research methods and practice were presented and discussed.


Principal Investigator: Dr Monica Costa Dias, Institute for Fiscal Studies, University College London
Co-Investigator: Professor Andrew Chesher, Institute for Fiscal Studies, University College London

Contact Details

Dr Monica Costa Dias, Institute for Fiscal Studies,
University College London

Tel: 020 7291 4800