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Developing Social Science Research Expertise

Training Resource Booklet

This guide offers some information, suggested methods and rationales for supporting mid-career university academics in developing their full potential as social science researchers. It is the product of an ESRC Researcher Development Initiative grant (2010-14) held by the authors, at Cardiff University, UK. The project's aim was to establish how social scientists in mid-career (c.10-20 years in an academic post) could be supported in accelerating their development of the expertise - including expert thinking skills - that internationally renowned social scientists possess.

A review of expertise research literature, coupled with a small-scale empirical study establishing what such international experts know how to do and how they learned it, informed the design of a set of training materials. These materials were piloted in workshops, to find out which aspects of social science research expertise mid-career researchers identified as lacking in their own profile, and to experiment with simple interventions that might support the development of missing skills.

You can download the training resource booklet here