METHOD 2022 – Programme now available

The METHOD conference programme is now available – find the itinerary and abstracts online here.

Key dates:

Conference: 21 and 22 September 2022 , remotely via Zoom.

Pre-conference METHOD abstract training: 08 June 10am-12pm, remotely via Zoom: (passcode 8022)

Abstract submission deadline: 04 July 2022 send here.

 Below you will find three sections:

  1. Introduction to the conference theme.
  2. Submission and abstract details.
  3. A training session for METHOD 2022 to assist with producing the abstract and a Special Edition of The Block


1.Introduction to the conference


Following on from the success of our previous research institute conferences, METHOD 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019 and IMPACT 2018 and 2021, we are delighted to open the call for abstracts for METHOD 2022.

Our conferences are warm and enjoyable, offering a supportive environment to practice conference presentation and try out new ideas. At the same time, METHOD takes on important aspects of research practice, increases learning, builds a complex multi-disciplinary conversation and offers a research event that centres on the process of inquiry rather than results. Usually at conferences we are tasked to articulate our findings and how they contribute to our discipline, to colleagues in the same field. In METHOD, we create a context where the critical thinking and creativity embedded in research methods and research process is made tangible and accessible to a wider community of researchers.

METHOD is an intense focus on how we plan, scrutinise and articulate our research methods. Every research student must use a method to find something out, or gain new insights, and must be able to articulate their process in a way that others inside and outside of their field can understand. This learning feeds directly into the preparation needed for Confirmation (RF2) and for submission and viva. At the same time, participating at METHOD is also of use for new post-doc researchers, where thinking critically about method and its communication is an important part of planning new research and funding.

Across University disciplines there are enormous differences of research practice and culture that can be seen in many ways: how we understand and collect data; our differing relationships to objectivity and subjectivity; the ways we use text and written voice; the way we work with participants and the ways we frame the researcher- amongst many, many other differences. These sit within the often unsaid and unacknowledged histories, codes, and styles of our specific disciplines.

When we try to find something out using a planned method, sometimes the process isn’t simple. Tried and tested methods initially thought useful, can become redundant, disregarded, or even disapproved of. A carefully made plan may get revised due to challenges or new opportunities.  Sometimes we innovate, borrowing some part from one method and combining it with another, or we allow ourselves to reflect on ‘problematic’ data, just in case there’s something unexpected to be discovered. Sometimes we reinstate an overlooked old method. At another point we may identify something we need that comes from a different academic world altogether. In theory, problems and challenges should be identified before research begins, but sometimes the unexpected happens and we must think on our feet, wondering how we might get round the problem whilst maintaining the integrity of our research. These decisions demand ingenuity and criticality and occur in research across all fields.

All CCRI researcher students must have presented in METHOD at one point in their PhD lifetime as it is an essential part of training. All doctoral researchers are welcome to participate more than once. All doctoral researchers and ECRs at SHU are invited to participate. 

We intend to accept all submitted abstracts so make sure the date is in your diary and you book to attend, details below.

The audience for the conference is SHU research students and staff. Tickets for attendance are bookable via Eventbrite: Details to follow


2.Abstract guidance for research students

If you would like to present at METHOD please submit an abstract- see details below.

Submission deadline: 04 July 5pm.

Send here.

The abstract should be a maximum of 300 words, summarising a fifteen-minute presentation. It should be in English that is intelligible to others outside of your discipline. If you need to use subject-specific terminology, then definitions should be included in the body of the text.

The abstract must address the theme of the conference: we are inviting you to critically reflect on and explain your research process and methods.

This might include (for example)

  • The philosophical problems of inquiry in your discipline.
  • Why your chosen methods are valuable to your inquiry- where are the strengths and weaknesses of these and do you have to adapt them?
  • Methods borrowed from other disciplines or known methods used in novel ways.
  • The challenges of practice-based enquiry.

The blurry terrain of researcher and researched.

  • Planning and contingency planning in your research.
  • Methods that haven’t worked as you wanted or expected and how you have tackled this issue.
  • The problems of understanding what your ‘data’ or source material is or should be, and how to analyse it.
  • Distinctive and ‘experimental’ aspects of your data production or analysis, such as re-making, involving others, re-writing etc.
  • Complex researcher-subject relationships.
  • Researching in difficult environments.
  • The impact of the pandemic on the research site or process.
  • The relationship or differences between the face to face ‘space’ and the digital ‘space’ for research.
  • Ethical challenges of research.

In the last three METHOD conferences we have built the conference programme around themes developed in response to the abstracts supplied. We avoid grouping researchers according to disciplinary difference; rather we look for themes where researchers from different backgrounds can present together, to generate a challenging multi-disciplinary environment.

The types of territory we have explored are listed here but these do not predict the scope of 2022:

  • ‘Insiders turned Researchers’ as part of a general theme on reflexivity in research
  • Managing research encounters and researcher identities
  • Researching with, and about, others
  • Gaining access to research environments
  • Gaining trust, co-research, working with, or about others
  • Ethical dilemmas in research practice
  • Data construction and problems in ‘cleaning’ dirty data
  • Building models
  • Using design as research method v product to test
  • Objects in research
  • Assessing measurement tools.

3.Training Sessions


Training on abstract writing, with a METHOD focus.

Pre-conference METHOD abstract training: 08 June 10am-12pm, remotely via zoom: (passcode 8022)

A training session to help you prepare for your presentation for METHOD 2022. This will help you focus and will give you direct feedback on a draft abstract.

Led by Kathy Doherty, Head of Research Degrees CCRI and Postgraduate Research Tutors from CCRI.

Please bring with you a draft of your abstract, or some ideas, so we can help you shape your individual submission.

We intend that ALL abstracts proposed will be accepted, so begin to prepare your presentation as soon as your abstract is submitted. We may also send feedback and ask for the abstract to be rewritten or corrected so it is of conference standard. If this is the case for you, please discuss with a member of your supervision team and use it as the basis of a supervision session.

Register on Eventbrite (enter following password to access: CCRIPGR2209)

Further information can be found here: METHOD Abstract Writing Workshop_

The Block Special Edition, Monday 20 June 11.00-12.30

Kerry McSeveny will also host a special edition of The Block which will focus on completing abstracts for METHOD.  This is to be held as a hybrid session and will be hosted from Harmer 2418.  The session will give you the opportunity to ask tutors for feedback on your draft abstract so please do bring it along, refreshments will be available from Campus.  Zoom link will be advertised soon, you are not required to register in advance for this.