Celebrating non-traditional research methods

Date 14.04.2022

Breaking the ‘research methods mould’ is the guiding light for one group of academics determined to showcase and develop different ways of doing research.

The Non-traditional Research Methods (NTRM) Network launched in 2021 following the observations of three colleagues at the University of Northampton, Dr Angela Rushton, Dr Jacquie Ridge, and Dr Harriet Richmond, now at the University of Warwick.

They noted that despite the sheer range of research methods available, in practice decisions in this area are often bound by the conventions of different disciplines.

Faculty of Business and Law Associate Dean Dr Rushton said: “Not all research methods suit all contexts, so we decided to increase exposure to different research methods, especially those that are not traditional in the areas in which we work.

“We have an energy and enthusiasm for research methods that are not typical for the environments we work in. We know there are many others out there who feel the same.

“The purpose of the Network is to bring these people together and provide a space for meaningful cross-disciplinary research debate to encourage more creativity in this aspect of research design.”

The response to the Network has been overwhelmingly positive, with feedback highlighting the value of a forum for innovation in interdisciplinary research, the expertise and practical advice given by the presenters, with the opportunity to think differently about research.

So far, the Network has hosted three events with new and established national and international researchers presenting their research approaches and thinking.

The next event is free and takes place online on 6 May between 9.30 am – 11.30 am and will welcome notable researchers engaging in novel approaches to research and ideas about the researcher. The team is also planning a symposium in June and a September conference.

Dr Ridge added: “We have had inspiring people speak who are leading discussion worldwide about this research and the momentum it is building. Most importantly, they are discovering new approaches and how breaking from tradition can help them uncover more about the disciplines they are passionate about.”

For more about the Network and to join, please email: ntrm@northampton.ac.uk