Quantitative Collaborative Hosts University-wide Retreat Sept. 27

September 20, 2013

A University of Virginia-wide research retreat on quantitative methods and their uses in the social, behavioral, economic and policy sciences will be held Sept. 27 at the Boar’s Head Inn. The conference will feature plenary speaker Peter Miller of the United States Census Bureau’s Center for Adaptive Design; a lunch panel on federal funding opportunities in the social and behavioral sciences; and panel discussions on the latest issues and developments in social and behavioral science research at U.Va.

The goal is to expand the Quantitative Collaborative beyond the College of Arts & Sciences to the University at large. The conference is organized to demonstrate how quantitative methods and concepts from social science areas are used in diverse fields in every school at the University.

The retreat will bring together researchers from a variety of disciplines in the College, as well as those examining health behavior, policy analysis, systems engineering, human factors, planning, nursing, education, marketing, law, business, commerce and “big data,” with officials from major funding agencies.

“Some of our researchers already work together across disciplines, and others would do so if they became aware of compatible research by their colleagues,” said sociologist Tom Guterbock, director of U.Va.’s Center for Survey Research and a member of the Quantitative Collaborative steering committee. “The point of the retreat is to showcase our quantitative social research strengths and to bring people together who might otherwise not know about each other’s work. This is a key strategy for individuals and the University to secure future external funding support for interdisciplinary work.”

In the evening plenary session, Miller will discuss the growing movement toward “adaptive design” in social research. Guterbock noted that under Miller’s leadership, social scientists at the Census Bureau are deploying real-time analysis of “big data” to modify the protocols of ongoing survey projects in ways that increase efficiency and lower cost while still maintaining accuracy of the results. Miller’s team, Guterbock said, draws on lessons from clinical trials and survey methodology research to meet the socio-technical challenges of continuous adjustment of the research process.

“U.Va. is fortunate to be able to host three distinguished guests who will discuss federal funding of social research,” said political scientist Carol Mershon, also a member of the Quantitative Collaborative steering committee. “The executive director of the Consortium of Social Science Associations will join us, as will the director of NIH’s Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research and a program director with responsibility for several programs in NSF’s Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate. Our guests’ presentations at the lunchtime plenary will offer valuable guidance to researchers seeking external funding. Moreover, our guests will facilitate follow-up breakout sessions after lunch.”

The Quantitative Collaborative was established at the College more than two years ago to provide instruction in quantitative methods, foster research, increase grant dollars, shape public policy issues and bring visibility and recognition to the University as a national leader in the fields of social science. It aims to merge quantitative research and the social sciences and use the new data to shape public policy at the highest levels.

For information on the program and to register for the event, click here.

# # #

The Quantitative Collaborative CAFÉ: A Research Retreat
Sept. 27, Boar’s Head Inn

8:30-9 a.m. – Registration and continental breakfast

9-9:30 a.m. – Opening plenary

Greetings from Meredith Woo, dean, College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Introduction to the Quantitative Collaborative – Len Schoppa, associate dean for social sciences, Department of Politics

Purpose of the Research Retreat – Tom Guterbock, director of U.Va.’s Center for Survey Research

9:45 -11 a.m. – Session I: Communicate Research

Concurrent sessions:

- Managing Team Research and Collaborating Across Disciplines

- Multi-method Research

- Communicating Research to Decision-Makers

- Causal Inference in Experimental and Non-Experimental Social Science Research

11-11:15 a.m. – Break

11:15-12:30 p.m. – Session II: Advance Research

Concurrent sessions:

- Replication, Transparency and Sharing Data

- Teaching Statistics to Graduates and Undergraduates

- Advancing Diversity through SBE Quantitative Research

- The Water and Health in Limpopo Project

12:45-2:15 p.m. – Lunch Plenary: “Federal Funding for Social and Behavioral Sciences”

- Howard Silver, executive director, Consortium of Social Science Associations

- Erik Herron, program director, National Science Foundation, social and political science programs

- Robert Kaplan, director, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, National Institutes of Health

2:15-2:30 p.m. – Break

2:30-4 p.m. – Session III: Finance Research

Breakout groups

- Coalitions Across Discipline, with Howard Silver

- Funding from NSF, with Erik Herron

- Funding from NIH, with Robert Kaplan

- Preparing Grant Proposals at U.Va., with Neal Grandy, Arts & Sciences grants administrator and Angela Sherman, manager of Sponsored Projects Administration, School of Medicine

4-4:15 p.m. – Break

4:15-5:45 pm – Session IV: Enhance Research

Concurrent sessions:

- The Monkey and the Turk: “Do It Yourself” Surveys and Non-Probability Samples

- Big Data, Restricted Data, Patient Data

- Data Access – Issues in Linking, Storing, and Sharing

5:45-6:45 p.m. – Poster Session and Services Fair (wine and cheese reception)

  • 2012 & 2013 Quantitative Collaborative Fellows
    • View research posters from graduate students who received QC fellowships
  • U.Va. services and programs
    • Meet and mingle with representatives from U.Va. centers, research groups, services and instructional programs that deal with quantitative social and behavioral research

6:45-8:15 p.m. – Dinner and plenary speaker Peter Miller, chief of the Center for Survey Measurement, and chief scientist in the bureau’s Center for Adaptive Design on “Adapting in Hard Times: Preserving the Quality of Federal Statistical Data”

  • Closing remarks - Len Schoppa

Media Contact

Fariss Samarrai

University News Associate Office of University Communications