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Centre for Methodological Research in the Social Sciences

Centre for Methodological Research in the Social Sciences

The mission of the Centre for Methodological Research in the Social Sciences (CMRiSS) is to conduct excellent research and scholarship on the development, implementation, and public role of social research methods. Institutionally based at the School of Applied Social Sciences and affiliated with Josephine Butler College, the Centre is a cross-faculty initiative that builds upon Durham University’s leading reputation in research and teaching in the social sciences.

The Centre for Methodological Research has four key aims:

1. To enhance the understanding of social science methodology through research and scholarship. 

2. To support academic and public engagement with methodological research through conferences, seminars, summer schools, short courses and public engagement events.

3. To act as a hub for ideas and project development for methodological research and research led teaching within SASS and the Faculty of Social Science and Health.

4. To build research capacity in methodological research by supporting PGT and PGR research on social research methods.

These aims will be implemented via an integrated focus on four mains areas of research (see figure):

  • Methodological innovation: Developing original methodological approaches as well as enhancing existing methodologies in the social sciences.
  • Methodological interfaces: Exploring the boundary relations between methodological approaches to better understand and use combined or mixed methods in substantive research.
  • Understanding method- in-action: Research which brings to the foreground how social, economic and political contexts shape - and are shaped by - social research methodologies.
  • Ethics in methodological practice: Investigating the ethical questions associated with conducting research in concrete social contexts. 


Contact Details

School of Applied Social Sciences
Durham University,
DH1 3HN,
Telephone: +44 (0)191 334 6843