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2023 Online Conference

Workshops held Online

June 14-16, 2023

In collaboration with the Southern Political Science Association (SPSA) we are also offering several professional development workshops at the follow-up conference held online in June 2023.

Registration is now open.

In order to be eligible to register for the upcoming sessions, if you have not already done, so please make sure to first upload your SPSA conference registration confirmation to your KiND Institute profile.

Research Methods


Machine Learning in the Social Sciences: Intermediate

with Dr. Jeff Gill

June 15, 2023
2:00 p.m. - 6:20 p.m. (EST)

Whether you are taking this workshop as a standalone session or as a follow up to Machine Learning in the Social Sciences: An Accessible Introduction, this workshop is ideal for anyone interested in digging deeper into the application of machine learning techniques. In this workshop, Dr. Gill will build on the basics of machine learning, presenting the various models and exploring the various challenges that present themselves when using such models in the context of big data. Using sample data and freely accessible software, participants will work through a series of short exercises that will train them to better handle big data problems. Upon completing this session, participants will also be aware of the various resources available for further learning in this area.

Audience & Prerequisites: Participants must have some familiarity with probability, statistics, linear algebra and calculus. In this workshop, participants will work with different models to gain a better understanding of the ways in which machine learning can be practically applied. In order to get the most out of this workshop, participants are expected to have familiarized themselves with the content presented in the assigned readings.

Working with Experiments in the Social Sciences

with Dr. Donald Green

June 16, 2023
2:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (EST)

Intended as a follow-up to Introducing Experiments in the Social Sciences, this workshop will pick up where participants left off in January. They will come to the workshop with a 2-3 page draft of an experimental design, which they will present to the seminar for feedback and discussion. In this session, Dr. Green will help participants through the various obstacles that may emerge when preparing and conducting experiments. He will also work with participants during this session on best approaches for experimental data analysis and best practices for writing up research results.

Audience & Prerequisites: Participants in this workshop should have attended the January session Introducing Experiments in the Social Sciences or have some experience conducting experiments. Each participant will be expected to come to the workshop with a 2-3 page draft of an experimental design.  In some cases, participants may have already pilot tested an experimental design, in which case they should briefly summarize the preliminary results.


Elucidating Concepts: An Interpretivist Approach

with Dr. Frederic Schaffer

June 16, 2023
9:30 a.m. - 1:5
0 p.m. (EST)

This workshop builds on the previous workshop “Working with Concepts: An Introduction to Positivist Reconstruction and Interpretivist Elucidation.” It explores new ways to think about and work with concepts derived from interpretivist methodology, in contrast to the more widely-known positivist approach of concept reconstruction.

In this workshop, participants will dig deeper into two key elucidative strategies: “grounding” (examining how concepts are used in everyday language) and “exposing” (identifying how concepts are embedded in webs of power). Participants will learn how to ground using ordinary language interviewing, a tool for uncovering the meaning of words in everyday talk. By studying the meaning of words, the promise is to gain insight into the various social realities these words name, evoke, or realize. Participants will learn how to expose by means of Foucaudian genealogy. The focus will be on exposing power carried by social science concepts, a task that is especially important insofar as the language of social science contains many concepts that have become naturalized or stabilized in ways that obscure from view their histories of contingency and contestation. The promise of genealogy is to denaturalize the natural and destabilize the stable, thereby make space for new ways to conceptualize the world.

Audience & Prerequisites: Participants are encouraged to first attend the workshop “Working with Concepts: An Introduction to Positivist Reconstruction and Interpretivist Elucidation.” If they were unable to do so, they should read chapter 1 of Frederic Charles Schaffer, Elucidating Social Science Concepts: An Interpretivist Guide (Routledge, 2016). In advance of the workshop, all participants will also need to identify a concept of interest to them that they will use in the two in-class exercises. Participants should also be able to work in Google Docs.

Qualitative Data Analysis: Hands-on Practice

with Dr. Lea Sgier

June 14-15, 2023
9:30 a.m. - 1:5
0 p.m. (EST)

This workshop is a follow-up to Qualitative Data Analysis: Introduction and takes place over two days. ​The first half of this workshop will be devoted to looking into participants’ own work and discussing transversal issues and problems that everyone engaging with qualitative data analysis faces (depending on participant numbers, this session can be done in a plenary or in break-out rooms). The second part of the workshop will cover a number of points for participants who wish to push their analysis further (or who foresee a future need for tools helping with more demanding analyses, such as a PhD thesis): analytical and practical tools for how to push an analysis beyond (simple) description; the usefulness (or not) of qualitative data analysis software and the writing up of qualitative findings. Time permitting, we may very briefly discuss what other kinds of methodological approaches are available as alternatives or complements to or extensions of content-based qualitative analysis (such as narrative and discourse analysis; structural analysis; causality-oriented/explanatory qualitative analyses).


Audience & Prerequisites: This workshop is mostly intended for participants who, since January, have engaged in a real-life data analysis of their own (for example as part of their MA or PhD thesis) and are ready to discuss issues that they have faced, and who are interested in developing a deeper sense of qualitative data analysis. Participants who did not attend the introductory session, but who know the basics of qualitative data analysis, are also welcome.




Collaborative and International Grants: Managing the Team

with Dr. Thomas Bryer

June 15, 2023
9:30 a.m. - 1:50 p.m. (EST)

Once you have secured your funding, or you have chosen to pursue a collaborative project without funding, the projects' success lies next in how well you manage your team. Whether two members or ten, several factors can impact how well team members work together, their productivity, and the ultimate output of the project within the determined timeline. Key to success is setting realistic and manageable goals as well as determining and engaging each team member’s strengths and expertise. In this workshop, Dr. Bryer will work through a variety of exercises and scenarios that will help participants to build the skills and tools required to succeed in their collaborative projects. From setting realistic targets, to staying on task and dealing with difficult team members, this workshop is sure to be beneficial for any team leader.

Audience & Prerequisites: This workshop is designed for individuals interested in pursuing collaborative projects. Whether you have secured funding, are working with a team without funding, or are still in the planning stages of project development, this workshop will provide important tools for academics at all stages of their careers. This workshop can be taken alone or as a follow-up to Collaborative and International Grants: Securing the Funds.



Improving your Publishing Success

with Dr. Diana L. Gustafson

June 15, 2023
2:00 p.m. - 6:2
0 p.m. (EST)

For many of us, preparing a manuscript for publication can be one of the most difficult steps in the research process. Sometimes our best efforts are not successful. The goal of this virtual hands-on workshop is to help you address some of the common challenges to publishing success.


We’ll begin with a brief overview of the main reasons that reviewers and editors reject or recommend major revisions. Dr. Gustafson will introduce you to several strategies to address these concerns and you will work in small groups to apply these tools to your manuscript. Be prepared to share excerpts of your manuscript and give and receive respectful feedback.


The second part of the workshop will use examples that show how to respond to different types of reviewer/editorial feedback. To ensure you leave this workshop feeling more confident, we will devote time to answering your specific questions and offering practical suggestions for improving your manuscript.

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