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May 27, 2015

Laurier will host a Summer Institute for Research Methods July 20-31, 2015 at the Waterloo campus. The event will offer short intensive training in topics from the basics of SPSS through to data visualization and community-based research. During the two weeks of courses, students, professionals and community members will be able to focus on specific topics in research methods, according to their interests.

This unique program is a collaboration of the Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy (LISPOP) and The Centre for Community Research Learning and Action (CCRLA). The summer school is result of exploiting synergies and pooling strengths of two research centres. LISPOP and CCRLA rely on different methods to do their research and therefore are natural partners for the Summer Institute. A broad spectrum and diverse set of tools to work on interdisciplinary problems from different methodological perspectives will be taught. Fees range from $200 to $500.

“We have been hearing from our community partners, students and graduate students that they would like intensive training in research methods,” said Andrea Perrella, director, LISPOP. “This Summer Institute represents a response to that need.”

The Summer Institute is designed to train participants in the methods they need to use right away and is geared towards getting individuals working on particular projects on track.

“We wanted to offer courses in 1-, 2- or 3-day segments so that students and professionals could attend all or part of the week,” said Sue Weare, associate director, CCRLA. “Participants will learn about specific methods to suit their particular situations from the lab to community based research.”

The course offerings include:

  • Basic SPSS usage.
  • Interviews and focus groups.
  • Survey design.
  • Introduction to statistical analysis.
  • Content analysis.
  • Software including ‘R’ and GEPHI.
  • Hierarchical (multi-level) modelling.
  • Regression analysis.
  • Experimental design (ANOVA).

“I’m excited to share how to use data visualization tools with participants,” said Christopher Cochrane, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto and course instructor. “As visualization becomes more popular as a way to engage with data and display results, I want students to learn how to create accurate and elegant data visuals for their own research projects.”

For more details and to register, visit or call 519-884-0710 x3494.


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