CESS in partnership with Essex Summer School hosted a summer course at Nuffield College from the 25th June – 6th July. For two weeks, 23 participants from the UK, across Europe, South Africa, India, and Brazil were introduced to experimental methods in social sciences, on topics such as causal inference, econometrics analysis, and experimental software.
Students participated in daily modules covering both experimental design and data analysis, taught by CESS Research Fellows and lecturers from Georgetown University, University of Nottingham, and University of Lausanne. In experimental design, participants practiced methods such as field experimentation, online experiments, and lab experiments. Modules on experimental approaches to data analysis and programming software introduced students to methods and tools such as R and oTree for analysis.
Outside of courses, students also engaged in social activities that allowed them to explore and immerse themselves in the College and Oxford life. The program began with a lively welcome reception in the Fellow’s Garden, welcoming students to the lovely site of Nuffield College. Students also toured the city of Oxford, learning the history of famous sites followed by formal dinner at Nuffield College. Highlights also include a group excursions to a local pub to watch an intense FIFA World Cup match between England and Belgium.
Participant Dr. Michelle van der Merwe commented, “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the CESS Essex Summer School in June/July 2018. Not only was the course presented by experts in experimental design, there were also expert guest lecturers. Students had the opportunity to present their current research, which stimulated discussions and opened the door for collaborative research. The individual consultation hours were extremely helpful, and a highlight for me was being part of an actual experiment and experiencing how the lab works. We were a very diverse group from all corners of the world and from different disciplines, which made conversations very interesting.I certainly recommend the course to anyone interested in using experimental design in their research.”
Over these two weeks, students enjoyed engaging and challenging lectures, lab work, and other activities, leaving with enriched skills in designing and executing experimental social science research.