Experts connect with youngsters to inspire future social science researchers

Young people from around Swansea were invited to learn more about social science research by directly connecting with world-leading researchers working in the cutting-edge field of social science.

Dr. Michelle Jones, Associate Professor and Deputy Head, School of Education, Sw

Pictured: Dr. Michelle Jones, Associate Professor and Deputy Head, School of Education, Swansea University, Joanne Starkey, Head of Schools Research, Welsh Government.

At an ESRC Festival of Social Science event hosted by Swansea University’s School of Education at the Waterfront Museum, the youngsters were presented with a showcase of contemporary research projects, which looked at developing digital skills in schools, creating learning communities, and learning Welsh to generate research skills.

Supported by regional consortia, the conference intended to spark interest in social science research by illustrating the process and practice of undertaking social science research.

The event also targeted teachers, who increasingly are being asked to engage in research and enquiry as part of their professional learning and development.

Interactive workshops, masterclasses, and poster sessions focusing primarily on research design, data collection and analysis were also featured – which helped to highlight research of direct relevance to schools and encouraged participants undertake their own small-scale investigation.

The conference also hosted a Twitter debate and student presentations, to help build research and knowledge skills.

Dr. Michelle Jones, Associate Professor and Deputy Head of Swansea University’s School of Education, commented: “The School of Education at Swansea University is pleased to work with the ESRC on this event to bring social science to the young people of Wales. We are grateful to the ESRC for sponsoring this brilliant all day event at The Waterfront Museum.”

Joanne Starkey, Head of Schools Research, Welsh Government, said: “It’s fantastic to see young people, teachers and researchers come together in one room to engage with research through these interactive sessions. To see teachers being involved with the same research content and methods as young people is really great.”

Kathryn Wall, Learning Manager for Humanities and Research Team Leader, Olchfa Comprehensive School, said: “This event provided a good chance to network with fellow social scientists, whilst also being a great experience for our pupils.”

Caitlin Thomas and Alicia Lovell, Bishop Vaughn School pupils, said: “We’ve really enjoyed this event, it was really well organised. We’ve learned so much that we can use in our A-Level studies.”

For more information about the event, please contact Dr Michelle Jones on