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2023 Annual Conference

Workshops in St. Pete Beach, Florida

January 2023

In collaboration with the Southern Political Science Association (SPSA) we are offering several professional development workshops at the SPSA's 2023 Annual Conference in St. Pete Beach, Florida.

Choose from the following three areas:

Details about upcoming SPSA 2023 workshops held in January are being posted below as they become available.

To stay up to date, join our mailing list or create a KiND Institute profile:

Research Methods


Machine Learning in the Social Sciences:

An Accessible Introduction

with Dr. Jeff Gill

January 12th, 2023
9:30 a.m. - 1:50 p.m. (EST)

In this workshop, Dr. Gill will walk participants through the foundations of machine learning and its relevant applications in the social sciences. He will outline how machine learning can be employed to handle big data and introduce you to some of the basic tools one would need to get started, including some of the many data sources from which social scientists might wish to pull data. He will explore the key ethical matters that must be considered, the regulatory frameworks currently in place that limit acquisition and use of data, and some of the ways in which data science through machine learning can help contribute to positive societal changes.

Audience & Prerequisites: This workshop is designed as an accessible introduction. Only an introductory statistics course is a necessary prerequisite. Through this workshop, participants will gain an appreciation of the data-driven approach to research in the social sciences and receive useful insights into its advantages and disadvantages, as well as the various paths available to acquire the necessary tools and the utility of such expertise.

Machine Learning

Introduction to Social Science Experiments

with Dr. Donald Green

January 12th, 2023
2:00 p.m. - 6:20 p.m. (EST)

In this workshop, Professor Green will guide participants through the logic of experimentation, its strengths and weaknesses compared to other methodologies, and the ways in which experimentation has been — and could be — used to investigate political, social, and economic phenomena. He will discuss various types of social science experiments, including lab experiments, survey experiments, field experiments and naturally occurring experiments, while attending to the ethical concerns that must be taken into account when conducting research with human subjects. The goal in this session will be to give participants the important foundational tools to be able to conduct their own experiments.

Audience & Prerequisites: This workshop serves as a broad introduction to social science experiments. Participants are expected to come to the session with some experience designing a research study and with a question or hypothesis that they wish to investigate using experimental design.


Working with Concepts:

Introduction to Positivist Reconstruction and Interpretivist Elucidation

with Dr. Frederic Schaffer

January 13th, 2023
9:30 a.m. - 1:50 p.m. (EST)

Concepts are foundational to the social-science enterprise. This workshop introduces participants to two distinct ways to think about and work with them. One is the positivist approach to what is called concept “formation” or “reconstruction” – the formulation of a technical, neutral vocabulary for measuring, comparing, and generalizing. This approach focuses attention on building concepts with a high degree of external differentiation, internal coherence, explanatory utility, and content validity. The other is an interpretivist approach that focuses on what Dr. Schaffer calls “elucidation.” Elucidation includes both an investigation into the language of daily life and a reflexive examination of social-science technical language. It is intended to illuminate both the worldviews of the people that social scientists wish to understand and the ways in which social scientists’ embeddedness in particular languages, historical eras, and power structures shapes the concepts with which they do their work.




Audience & Prerequisites: Participants should have some familiarity with the key methodological debates today in the social sciences, and especially within political science. If not, they should do the background readings listed here.


Qualitative Data Analysis: Introduction

with Dr. Lea Sgier

January 14th, 2023
9:30 a.m. - 1:50 p.m. (EST)

This workshop offers an introduction to qualitative data analysis for participants with little knowledge or practice in this field. The aim of the workshop is to “unpack” the basic analytic process through which qualitative data are typically analysed:  pre-analysis, coding scheme construction, coding, pattern finding and the building of interpretations. We will also briefly look at other steps that precede or follow the coding stage per se (such as data body construction; writing up; writing the methods section). Software assisted qualitative data analysis (CAQDAS) will briefly be mentioned, but is not the centre of this workshop.

The workshop will mostly refer to textual data (such as interview transcripts, policy documents or media articles). However, the main steps of data analysis also apply (with some adaptations) to other kinds of data (audio, visual and audio-visual data, social media data, etc.).

Audience & Prerequisites: The workshop is aimed mainly at participants who have a specific data analysis task to perform in the near future (such as analysing interview data for a dissertation, thesis or project). Participants with a general interest in qualitative data analysis are also welcome. Participants who have a concrete data analysis task at hand are invited to bring it along, so that they can begin to think it through during the workshop.

Note: This workshop is being offered in person, however, Dr. Sgier will be joining workshop participants remotely via Zoom.

Qualitative Data



Collaborative and International Grants:

Securing the Funds

with Dr. Thomas Bryer

January 11th, 2023
2:00 p.m. - 6:20 p.m. (EST)

Great ideas and solid research are just part of a winning project; one of the biggest obstacles to success is securing the funds necessary to carry it out. Often the pursuit is further complicated by involving other team members in this task. The rewards of including collaborators, both close to home and abroad, however, can garner great rewards. Having successfully led and secured several collaborations, both nationally and internationally, Dr. Bryer will take participants through some of the many considerations and strategies that may be employed. From determining what grants to apply for to assembling the team and writing the application, this workshop will give participants the tools to take their first steps in drawing up a successful project application, to revise successful individual projects to include multi-member collaboration, or to broaden their scope and impact through the creation of multi-national or multi-team ventures.

Audience & Prerequisites: This workshop is designed for individuals interested in pursuing collaborative projects. Whether you have secured such projects in the past and are looking for tools for repeated success or you are just starting out, this workshop will provide important tools for academics at all stages of their careers.


Leadership in 3D

with Dr. Kirk Randazzo

January 13th, 2023
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (EST)

In this workshop, Dr. Randazzo introduces participants to his unique take on the continuum of leadership and the fundamental leadership development skills that everyone can use to become effective change agents in their own teams, departments, or organizations. The session will begin with a discussion of leadership as a continuum, focusing on the various ways that individuals can contribute positive change and improvements within each of their own spheres of influence. He will then work with participants through the 3-D’s of leadership – Different, Dependable, and Dynamic – and discuss how each individual can develop these skills within themselves. Finally, Dr. Randazzo will take participants through many of the other important considerations involved when leading a team and seeking to make effective, impactful, and positive change.




Converting Research into Real Policy Change

with Dr. Shannon Sampert

January 11th, 2023
9:30 a.m. - 1:50 p.m. (EST)

Getting your research ideas out into the policy realm of government, non-government and business leaders requires more than just publishing in academic journals. This session provides you with hands-on experience to extend your academic reach so your ideas have an effect outside the ivory towers. Work with Shannon Sampert, an award-winning journalist and academic, who has over 30- years experience working in and with media and policy experts, as she guides you through the art of public affairs for academics. Learn how and when to write opinion pieces on your research, who to pitch your ideas to, how to shine in a media interview, and what to do when your complicated research needs more than 800 words. Increasingly, funding agencies are looking for more external engagement from academic researchers and this seminar will point you in the right direction. Come prepared to write, learn and laugh in this high energy session.

Revising and Submitting for Publication

with Dr. Diana L. Gustafson

January 14th, 2023
2:00 p.m. - 6:20 p.m. (EST)

For many of us, drafting a manuscript can be one of the most difficult steps in the research process. And sometimes our best efforts to revise and submit for publication are not successful. Why is that?

This workshop will begin with an overview of the main reasons that manuscripts are rejected and offer tips for addressing those shortcomings and producing a publishable paper. Participants will apply the principles of academic storytelling to address the goals of the author-researcher and the demands of the editor/reviewer and the reading audience. That means identifying the key message and how to shape that message for the intended audience in a peer-reviewed outlet. Participants will dig into important but sometimes overlooked elements of a manuscript such as crafting a strong title, choosing appropriate keywords, and writing a solid abstract. Software tools and strategies for editing, proofreading, and polishing a final draft will also be discussed.

Audience & Prerequisites: You will be able to engage more actively if you bring along a manuscript that you’re drafting or revising on a Wi-Fi enabled laptop equipped with MS Word and Adobe Acrobat.

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