Research Training: Knowledge & intellectual abilities

1. Knowledge base 

Knowledge of: 
  • The area of research, the advances within it and its relationships with other research areas. 
  • The methods and experimental techniques appropriate for research design. 
  • Sources of information, bibliographic software and other information technologies. 
  • Literacy and numeracy skills and language abilities appropriate for research. 
Behaviour: 
  • Makes original contributions to knowledge.
  • Identifies, applies and develops methods and experimental techniques appropriate for research projects. 
  • Conducts effective and comprehensive information searches. 
  • Records, manages and handles information/data using appropriate bibliographic software and other information technologies. 

2. Cognitive abilities  

Behaviour: 
  • Analyses and evaluates findings using appropriate methods. 
  • Thinks originally, independently and critically; develops theoretical concepts. 
  • Critically synthesises information from diverse sources. 
  • Evaluates progress, impact and outcomes of research. 
  • Recognises and validates problems; formulates and applies solutions to a range of research problems. 
Attitude: 
  • Willing to give and receive constructive criticism.

3. Creativity

Behaviour:

  • Develops new ways of working; has novel ideas and realises their potential.
  • Identifies new trends; creates new opportunities.
  • Develops convincing and persuasive arguments to defend research.
  • Takes intellectual risks; challenges the status quo.
Attitude:
  • Takes a creative, imaginative and inquiring approach to research.
  • Is open to new sources of ideas.

SPSS

This session will use the SPSS software to enhance your knowledge of the applied statistics and of the package. We will consider data structure as well as the differences between samples and populations.

Intended learning outcomes:

  • Common statistical distributions will be introduced.
  • Useful methods for graphical, tabular and statistical summaries will be explored, along with various calculations, sorting, selection and transformation.
  • Finally, there will be both an introduction to hypothesis testing and Confidence Intervals using both parametic and non-parametic methods.

Facilitator: Dr Yinghui Wei
Applicability: Suitable for most research students and research staff.

Course dates and times: 

  • 1 December 2020, 1400-1600 UK time via Zoom
  • 15 June 2021, 1000-1200 UK time via Zoom

Bookings and enquiries: researchskills@plymouth.ac.uk


NVivo for beginners

This session will use the latest NVivo qualitative software package to enhance your knowledge of the application.

Intended learning outcomes:

At the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Navigate easily around the NVivo interface.
  • Import text, audio, video, pdf and image files into NVivo.
  • Be able to title and provide descriptions of the different media content.
  • Create nodes and coding across a variety of media.
  • Add titles and descriptions to different media sources and nodes.
  • Be able to organise your data in a hierarchical structure, and be able to add memos.
  • Create a Framework Matrix.
  • Apply NVivo's basic analytical functions, including text searches and word frequency queries.
  • Be able to create models and export them to Word and PowerPoint.

Facilitator:
Andy Edwards-Jones
Applicability: Suitable for most research students and research staff.

Course dates and times: 

  • 23 November 2020, 1400-1600 (UK time) via Zoom
  • 25 February 2021, 1400-1600 (UK time) via Zoom
  • 19 May 2021, 1400-1600 (UK time) via Zoom

Bookings and enquiries: researchskills@plymouth.ac.uk


NVivo users workshop (intermediate)

This workshop style session is intended to provide you with some dedicated time to start, or continue working with your own research data in NVivo, with facilitator support on hand.

Intended learning outcomes:

At the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Use your learning outcomes from previous introductory NVivo training and put them into practice using your own data.
  • Import and organise your own data.
  • Establish a coding framework for your own data.
  • Code your own data.
  • Use NVivo's basic analytical functions.
  • The workshop will be delivered in two parts. Part 1 will involve learning about specific functions of the application such as framework matrices, classifications, queries, auto coding, importing bibliographic databases, and visualisation with models. Part 2 will allow attendees to progress their own NVivo projects using their own data, and address specific areas of interest.

Facilitator: Andy Edwards-Jones


Applicability: This session is not an introduction to NVivo. It is aimed t research students and staff that have completed the NVivo introductory training workshops or have some working experience of the application, but would benefit from further guidance while progressing their own research work.Participants are encouraged to bring their own research data ready to import into NVivo, or a copy of an existing NVivo project or a laptop with an NVivo project already loaded.

Course dates and times:

  • 14 December 2020, 1400-1600 UK time via Zoom
  • 17 March 2021, 1400-1600 UK time via Zoom
  • 7 June 2021, 1400-1600 UK time via Zoom


Bookings and enquiries: researchskills@plymouth.ac.uk


Understanding and working with quantitative data

This session will explain the principle methods involved in the analysis of data collected and the basic ideas behind each. The aim of the session is to increase your understanding of the use of statistics and how they are used in scientific and medical research.

Intended learning outcomes

  • highlight common errors made and how to avoid them.
  • demonstrating how to run each test using common software will be given without the use of over-complicated mathematical formulas.

Facilitator:
Daniela Oehring
Applicability: Suitable for most research students

Course dates and times: 

  • 20 November 2020, 1030-1200 (UK time) via Zoom
  • 18 May 2021, 1400-1530 UK time via Zoom

Bookings and enquiries: researchskills@plymouth.ac.uk


What is LaTeX – An introduction 

This first session on the LaTeX typesetting software is for everyone, particularly if you have never heard of LaTeX. Even if you are already a LaTeX user come along and join the debate. The time will be split between demonstrations and detailed answers to students questions.

All academics have to write reports and papers of one sort or another. Of most immediate concern to most graduate students is the thesis or dissertation which represents the culmination of an intense and demanding period of study and research.

For almost 30 years there has been debate between those who support general purpose word-processors (such as Microsoft Word) and those who argue that academic writing requires a specialist tool. LaTeX is such a tool and represents the alternative to word-processing. LaTeX is free, designed specifically to handle large complicated cross-referenced academic documents, and has been used successfully for nearly 30 years in all academic fields.

Intended learning outcomes:

  • The aim of this introductory session is to allow graduates to discover what it is and to make an informed choice about whether or not to consider using it.

Facilitator: Dr Martin Coath
Applicability: Everyone. If you have heard of LaTeX and are not sure what it is then this is your chance to find out. If you have never heard of LaTeX then it could be what you are looking for. Please come along even if you are a LaTeX user and join in the discussion.
Prerequisites: none.

Course dates and times: 

  • 10 December 2020, 1100-1200 UK time via Zoom
  • 28 April 2021, 1100-1200 UK time via Zoom

Bookings and enquiries: researchskills@plymouth.ac.uk


LaTeX – Getting started

The second session is aimed at those who are curious to find out more about LaTeX and those who are seriously considering using it. The previous LaTeX session is not a prerequisite but there will only be very limited time for debate and explanation so please do come to ‘What is LaTeX’ so you know what you are getting yourself in to! We aim to achieve three things in this session.

Intended learning outcomes:

  • to get LaTeX installed and running on every computer. You will need to bring a laptop running Windows 7 and on which you have full administrative rights. If you have a University issue laptop you will have to contact IT support to be sure you have been made an administrator (there will not be time in this session to cover installation for Mac and Linux users - if you want to take part install Windows in a virtual machine).
  • to create and edit some simple documents to illustrate as many of the general principles as possible in the time available. This should be enough for you to go away and start experimenting with your newly installed software.
  • to make everyone aware of the vast array of free LaTeX support material on the internet. After you have mastered the basics you will be able to find books and tutorials that are available to anyone who wants to go further.

Facilitator: Dr Martin Coath
Applicability: Everyone. If you have heard of LaTeX and are not sure what it is then this is your chance to find out. If you have never heard of LaTeX then it could be what you are looking for. Please come along even if you are a LaTeX user and join in the discussion.


Prerequisites: none

Course dates and times: 

  • 15 January 2021, 1030-1200 UK time via Zoom
  • 24 May 2021, 1030-1200 UK time via Zoom

Bookings andenquiries: researchskills@plymouth.ac.uk


LaTeX - Pictures, bibliographies, tables and other assorted problems

You will need to be familiar with the basics of LaTeX to get the most out of this session. For absolute beginners this means a) coming to both previous sessions and b) having done some practice and research in the time since session 2. Experienced users are very welcome to come along – there are always tips and tricks to be shared.

Intended learning outcomes:
If you have made it this far you will be starting to appreciate that despite the fact that LaTeX offers huge advantages it also has its share of frustrations. Many of these can be dealt easily with help from experienced users. We will deal with the most common problems first, but this session also has time to address any particular issue that you want to bring along.

In particular: the placement of figures, the handling of bibliographies, and the design of tables in LaTeX are frequently raised as ‘problems’, although in fact in most cases the ‘solutions’ are trivial but merely difficult to find. If you are convinced that LaTeX is for you then you should find this session very helpful. If you are still not sure then seeing some of the potential problem dealt with might help you to make up your mind.

Facilitator: Dr Martin Coath
Applicability: Everyone. Please come along even if you are a LaTeX user and join in the discussion.
Prerequisites: You must have attended both previous sessions and have done some practice and research.

Course dates and times:

  • 22 June 2021, 1400-1600 UK time via Zoom

Bookings and enquiries: researchskills@plymouth.ac.uk


Introduction to Python

This is an introductory course for absolute beginners in Python who are interested in discovering and learning Python programming language. This course will make the participant understand different variable, functions types and performing basic maths operations. You will also learn how to import a local file and read its data.

Intended learning outcomes:

You will become familiar with the basic functions and syntax, in particular, the following topics:-

  • variables, data types, comments and math operators
  • strings and print
  • conditionals and flow control
  • functions and importing modules
  • lists, for loops, tuples and sictionaries
  • functions.

Facilitator: Martin Coath
Applicability: Suitable for most research students and research staff.

Course dates and times: 

  • 15 December 2020, 1000-1130 UK time via Zoom
  • 25 March 2021, 1000-1130 UK time via Zoom

Bookings and enquiries: researchskills@plymouth.ac.uk


Introduction to R

R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics, which can be easily downloaded from the web. It is now widely used for all types of statistical applications, from official and social statistics to modern methods for computationally based inference.

Intended learning outcomes:
After this short course the participant will have a basic knowledge of R. In particular, the following topics will be covered (some in limited detail):

·        using an editor

·        arithmetic

·        data in R

·        R Objects

·        summary statistics

·        graphics including gplot2

·        linear models and correlation

·        treading in data from files

·        data manipulation using dplyr.

Facilitator: Matthew Craven

Applicability: Suitable for most research students and research staff.

Coursedates and times:

  • 26 January 2021, 1030-1230 UK time via Zoom
  • 8 March 2021, 1030-1230 UK time via Zoom
  • 14 June 2021, 1030-1230 UK time via Zoom

Bookings and enquiries: researchskills@plymouth.ac.uk

Introduction to Matlab environment and scripts

Matlab is a powerfulpiece of software that is a programming language, but which also has somefeatures in common with statistical packages like SPSS, and other features thatmake it more like a spreadsheet or database. As a result it can seembewildering and complex. However, at its simplest it is just a verysophisticated calculator with great graph drawing facilities which make manyroutine data analysis and presentation tasks a breeze. Give it a try before youdecide.

Intended learningoutcomes:

  • To introduce new and inexperienced users to the Matlab programming environment, basic mathematical and statistical operations on small data sets, using the GUI to draw simple graphs, exporting results to document preparation software, and an introduction to scripting.

Facilitator: Dr Martin Coath
Applicability: Suitable for most research students and research staff.

Course dates andtimes:

  • 22 February 2021, 1400-1530 UK time via Zoom
  • 22 March 2021, 1000-1130 UK time via Zoom

Bookings andenquiries: researchskills@plymouth.ac.uk


Matlab environment and scripts - intermediate

Suitable for those that have attended the introductory session or have a little experience with other programming IDE’s.

If you have grasped the basics of Matlab or if you are happy with the idea of programming languages this session will let you explore how to get exactly what you want, in ways that should save you time and effort. We will be exploring how Matlab goes way beyond a simple calculator or spreadsheet and find how new facilities can be added by programming, and how data is stored, retrieved, and presented in a multitude of ways decided by the user.

Intended learning outcomes:

  • To explore all aspects of the Matlab programming environment, mathematical and statistical operations using matrices, creating and editing graphs, use of scripts and functions, introduction data structures, introductory program debugging.

Facilitator: Dr Martin Coath
Applicability: Suitable for most research students and research staff.

Course dates and times:

  • 28 May 2021, 1030-1200 UK time via Zoom

Bookings and enquiries: researchskills@plymouth.ac.uk