Institute for Social Science

Methods Hub

Methods Hub

Learn more about the Newcastle Universtiy Methods Hub

About the Methods Hub

The Newcastle University Methods Hub is a multidisciplinary initiative funded by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Institutes: the Institute for Social Science, the Humanities Research Institute and Institute for Creative Arts Practice. The Hub will highlight the broad scope of research methods being developed and applied across the university and create a forum for critical interdisciplinary methodological debate and discussion.

The Hub aims to:

  • Promote understanding of social science, humanities and  creative arts practice research methods and methodologies
  • Foster partnership and interdisciplinary research that can address global challenges, have societal, cultural and economic impacts and engage with non-academic partners
  • Increase expertise in and capacity to use different methods
  • Examine the philosophies that underpin research methods and ask critical questions about their use and application within research
  • Foster the development of new methods

The above aims will be achieved by:

  • Developing a central online inventory to foreground methodological expertise  
  • Organising and hosting methods workshops to offer training and insights into both innovative and traditional research methods and the philosophical and ethical questions they raise

Contact Us

The Methods Hub is led by Professor Natasha Mauthner, Director of Research and Professor of Social Science Philosophy and Method at the Business School.

Dr Clare Vaughan is Research Associate at the Hub, supported by the Social Sciences Institutes Officer Alex Robson,  Directors for the Institute for Social Science, Professor Liz Todd, Humanities Institute, Professor Jennifer Richards, and Institute for Creative Arts Practice, Professor Richard Talbot.  

If you have any questions, or would like to participate in the Methods Hub, you can get in touch with us at


Find more information about our events below. If you have any suggestions or would like to host an event through the Methods Hub, please contact Clare Vaughan at

Our current focus for events falls within the theme of Research under Lockdown. This events series aims to explore the challenges and opportunities presented by conducting research during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Our first event on June 4th 2020, Digital Research Methods, highlighted the challenges, motivations and solutions to moving research and data collection online.

100 Colleagues from universities across the UK and Europe were joined by Professor Christine Hine from the University of Surrey, a sociologist of science and technology with expertise in new technologies in the knowledge construction process.

Please see below for links to recordings of the event: 

[Pt 1] 

[Pt 2] 

Speaker Timings for Pt.2: 

Dr Jen Tarr 15:18 – 28:48 

Dr Gonul Bozoglu 31:20 – 43:27 

Professor Liz Todd 44:38 – 56:45

Digital Research Ethics – 2-4pm, Thursday 16th July

This event on Digital Research Ethics drew upon the debates and questions raised in our previous event, Digital Research Methods. It explored themes around data privacy, inclusion and the ‘digital divide’ and researching vulnerable groups and gatekeeping. 

At this event, colleagues from Newcastle University were joined by Professor Shakuntala Banaji, Professor of Media, Culture and Social Change from The London School of Economics who has published extensively on young people, children and media as well as gender, ethnicity and new media and cinema. 

We also heard from Dr Carl Bonner-Thompson, Lecturer at the University of Brighton, a social and cultural geographer whose work uses feminist and queer frameworks to explore power, inequality and the digital. 

Following this, speakers from across the Institutes for Social Sciences, Humanities and Creative Arts practice examined these themes and offered the space for discussion and debate. 

You can find a recording of the session here

Speaker timings: 

Dr Carl Bonner-Thompson 00-24:44 

Dr Gabi Arrigoni 24:49-41:14 

Dr Lauren Ackerman 41:32-57:37 

Dr Mhairi Aitken 58:16-01:19:38

Archives in Question – 1-3pm, Thursday 23rd July

As we move towards remote and online approaches to research, the use of archival and secondary data is set to increase. This event explored critical philosophical and methodological approaches to the creation and use of digital research archives. In particular, it examined the ethical complexities and philosophies that underpin the creation of archives, calling into question the uncritical use of secondary data and asking how such data came to be.

The recoding of the event can be found here.

Speaker timings:

Ian Johnson 3:32 - 15:51

Megan Quinn Clark and Sam Bailey 16:31 - 23:00

Dr Areti Galani 24:25 - 40:52

Professor Graham Smith 42:28 - 53:00

Professor Sinead Morrissey 53:39 - 1:06:36


The Methods Hub is currently undertaking empirical research to better understand the huge range of methodological expertise, research interests and innovation being employed across the University. This ongoing research has shaped our vision for Methods Hub, influenced our priorities and enabled us to gather a large qualitative dataset. So far, we have conducted 45 interviews with individuals from Newcastle University and beyond. This has included interviews with research consultants, freelance researchers and Newcastle University alumni. If you’d like to take part in a Methods Journey interview, please get in touch at – we’d love to hear from you! 

Steering Group

The Methods Hub is advised by an interdisciplinary steering group. The full steering group can be found below.

  • Dr Jane Midgley, Director of Research, Reader in Urban Social and Economic Practice
  • Dr Jill Clark, Executive Director of the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching
  • Dr Jen Tarr, Faculty of the Humanities and Social Sciences