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Migration and Transformations
Doctoral Research Methods Summer School


The Migration and Transformations: PhD Research Methods Summer School will take place from the 3rd – 7th September 2018 in Warsaw and will bring together young scholars and more established academics working on migration research through a week of lectures and masterclasses. The Summer School is organised by the Migration Research Group at the University of Sheffield, the Centre for Migration Research and the Centre for Research on Prejudice at the University of Warsaw, and the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

logotypy PhD summer school

The Summer School is part of the ‘Modern Poland’ project, which is a collaboration between leading scholars from the Migration Research Group at the University of Sheffield and the Centre for Migration Research at the University of Warsaw. This project is funded by the Noble Foundation’s Programme on Modern Poland. It runs from October 2017 to September 2019.

The Summer School is also supported by Interdisciplinary Doctoral School of SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities.


Day 1: Monday 3rd September (Polin)
  • 9.30 – 12pm Morning Session:  Introduction and orientation.
    Students will be given a template in advance and asked to prepare a short (3 minutes) introduction to their thesis.
  • 12pm: Lunch
  • 2 – 4pm: Guided tour of Polin Museum and discussion by Museum staff.
  • Evening: Free
Day 2: Tuesday 4th September (Polin)
  • 10 – 11.30am: Lecture by Prof Darek Stola (Director of Museum) followed by discussion
  • 12pm: Lunch
  • 2 - 4pm: Master Class – ‘Qualitative Data Analysis and Coding’
  • 4 - 5pm: Break
  • 5 - 7pm: Walking Tour to commemorate March 1968 – coordinated by Museum colleagues.
Day 3: Wednesday 5th September
(Morning: University of Warsaw Central Campus, Afternoon: SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities)
  • 9.30am – 12.30pm:  Master Class – ‘Survey Design & Survey Analysis’ (3 hour session with a break in the middle)
  • 12.30 – 1.30pm: Lunch
  • 1.30 – 3pm: Master Class – ‘Infographics and Data Visualisation’
  • 3.00 – 3.30pm: Break
  • 3.30 – 5.00pm: Master Class – ‘Modelling and Forecasting of Demographic/ Migratory Phenomena’
  • Evening: Walk in Praga district of Warsaw – led by Professor Izabela Grabowska
Day 4: Thursday 6th September (University of Warsaw Central Campus)
  • Morning: Master Class – ‘Multi-sited Ethnography’
  • Afternoon: Ethnographic field trip to Wolka with Dr Michał P. Garapich
  • Evening: Free
Day 5: Friday 7th September (University of Warsaw Central Campus)
  • Morning: Wrap up session and student presentations
  • Afternoon: Summer School Ends. Students can travel home

Master Classes

Qualitative Data Coding and Analysis
  • Professor Louise Ryan, University of Sheffield and Dr Anita Brzozowska, Center of Migration Research, University of Warsaw

While there is increasing emphasis on the use of computer technology in data analysis, it remains important for students to know how to code data manually and to understand the analytical process ‘from the bottom-up’. In this session, we will work from pre-circulated interview transcripts. Following a short lecture on the ‘Art of Coding’, students will then be asked to work in small groups to code the transcripts according to a range of different approaches including a priori and emerging themes, as well as a whole narrative approach. We will then come back together to discuss and share observations and draw up a coding frame, which could be used to design NVIVO nodes (child nodes etc.) or ATLAS.ti codes and sub-codes.

The main aims of this masterclass are:

  • To provide PhD students with hands-on experience of coding interview transcripts;
  • To equip them in practical skills of developing a coding frame;
  • To generate group discussion about the challenges and opportunities of moving from paper to computer-assisted data coding.
Survey Design (Session 1): Questionnaires as a Measurement Tool
  • Dr Michał P. Garapich, Center of Migration Research, University of Warsaw and Dr Aneta Piekut, University of Sheffield

Surveys on prejudice are commonly used by government and scientists to understand inter-ethnic relations in societies. But do they catch-up with how people express their attitudes? For example, it might be challenging to ask about prejudices in societies where forms of expression of prejudice might be changing or evolve into more indirect forms (due to growing awareness). As a consequence, a survey designer might fail in adequately measuring prejudice. This session will give a hands-on practice on how to design survey questions, so they capture what is intended to be measured. This session will discuss dos and don’ts of a questionnaire design, including questionnaire structure, pollster effects, various measurement scales and their reliability, techniques of lowering social desirability bias. We will work with examples submitted by students.

Survey Analysis (Session 2): Stats Made Simple
  • Dr Michał P. Garapich, Center of Migration Research, University of Warsaw and Dr Aneta Piekut, University of Sheffield

Migration studies, as well as studies on inter-ethnic relations use a variety of quantitative analyses. Only rarely do these analyses go beyond mere descriptive statistic and frequencies of responses to certain questions. In this workshop, we will try to show that much more information can be gathered from quantitative data. We will try to see how can we infer causality from survey data and use variables in order to explain social phenomena. Participants of this workshop will use existing survey data (e.g. European Social Survey) to analyse the causes and mechanisms of attitudes toward migrants in Europe. Participants will be introduced into easy designs of mediational and moderational analyses based on multiple regression.

Modelling and Forecasting of Demographic / Migratory Phenomena
  • Professor Paweł Kaczmarczyk  and Marta Anacka, Center of Migration Research, University of Warsaw

The last financial crisis in 2008 undermined general trust in any kind of forecasts. The common truth that the future is uncertain became evident again. Does it imply that predicting future social and economic phenomena became worthless? What is specific about population projection that make them difficult to produce and at the same time easy to misunderstand? Is there any way to cope with uncertainty of demographic processes? How can we apply demographic theory and methodology to make reliable population projection?

Against this background the objectives of this class are:

  • To gain understanding of challenges of demographic and migration forecasting;
  • To get knowledge on basic forecasting methods and their potential, their advantages, and drawbacks;
  • To get the ability to assess quality of different demographic forecasts and projections (including underlying methodologies and outcomes);
  • To understand the source of uncertainty in population projections and forecasts;
  • To understand challenges in communicating demographic/migratory forecasting results.
Infographics and Data Visualisation
  • Dr Paula Pustułka, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities and Professor Izabela Grabowska, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities and Center of Migration Research

This predominantly hands-on class is broadly dedicated to the so-called “visual turn” (Harper 1988, 2012, Pauwels, 2000) in social sciences, as well as a practical aspect of using visualizations to improve research outputs. We will look at how the visual components can be incorporated to the different stages of the research process – from integrated visual methodologies, to the more practical and focused topics of using illustrations as analytical tools and for data representations. The main focus of the master class is clearly on skills and capabilities of working with data and transforming research messages into visualizations. Therefore students will learn about up-to-date guidelines on data visualizations (Kirk 2016) and will create their own visuals with different software and online tools (e.g. MS Office Excel and PowerPoint, Tableau, PowerBi. Canva).

The masterclass has three general aims:

  • To equip PhD candidates with basic theoretical knowledge pertaining to visual social research and its corresponding methods (a broad view on visual research);
  • To develop a broad understanding of working with data visualizations in the research (with special focus on migration) context (selection of visuals, different types of charts, issues around interactivity, annotation and general design flow);
  • To provide participants with practical skills regarding designing data visualizations and infographics that can be used in their research practice (especially migration studies), as well as for the purpose of dissemination and sharing findings with broader academic and general audiences.
‘Multi-sited Ethnography’
  • Dr Michał P. Garapich, Center of Migration Research, University of Warsaw and Professor Izabela Grabowska SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities and Center of Migration Research

In order to accomplish the multi-optic one can go for multisited research with multisited ethnographic components (Marcus 1995). Our suggestion of “multisitedness” is combined with the transnational approach (cf. Mazzucato 2008). Amelina (2010: 8) claims that the multisited technique of data collection widens the social science methodology “by considering complex transnational linkages.” We also follow Mazzucato (2008) who says that different lines of actions of individuals, families, communities, diasporas and organisations can be especially highlighted by the study of social practices in different locations. In Amelina’s approach the main aims of transnational multisited research are to analyse social trajectories of transnational flows of people, ideas and objects as a consequence of actors’ dealings with “meetings other cultures” (she called it “cultural interferences”).

The main aims of this masterclass are:

  • To equip PhD students with the methodological knowledge on translational multi-sited ethnography;
  • To illustrate the research practice with the concrete examples of selected studies, e.g. social remittances between UK and Poland;
  • To present pros and cons of multi-sided ethnography in social sciences.
Walk in Praga district of Warsaw
  • led by Professor Izabela Grabowska SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities and Center of Migration Research

Through the centuries, Warsaw's right-bank – the area called Praga – was an independent town, and it became formally attached to Warsaw only in the late 18th century. For years it was a secondary part of the city that survived the devastation of war, with three different religions (Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Judaism) peacefully co-existing. Today it is a fascinating district, overflowing with artistic studios, galleries, alternative theatres and underground clubs. Thanks to this infusion of cool culture, many of the surviving post-industrial buildings have been turned into cultural centres, cinemas, galleries and pubs. But it is also in Praga that we can find many streets which were undamaged during World War II, and so there are some beautiful pre-war lamp-posts, sidewalks and apartment blocks (http://warsawtour.pl/en/warsaw-for-everyone/praga-district-2993.html).

This evening we are going to visit: (1) local Museum of Praga District; (2) Soho factory with Neon (Communist Neon) Museum and old part the porcelain factory and (3) end up either at Soho factory restaurant or Praska Beach pending on the weather conditions.


Aplications are now closed.

Office of the Interdisciplinary Doctoral School

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  • As of March 13, 2020, due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the suspension of all classes at SWPS University, the IDS Office will provide its services exclusively online until futher notice. Thank you for your understanding.
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