Thursday, 31 March 2011

Essex University: PhD and Masters in survey methodology

The Department of Sociology at the University of Essex invites applications for fully-funded Masters and PhD studentships in quantitative sociology or survey methodology. Programmes are either for four years, including a one-year Masters, or three years, for applicants who already have research methods training at postgraduate level.

Students can choose from several Masters degrees, leading on to a PhD based in the Department of Sociology (Quantitative Sociology) or ISER (Survey Methodology). Masters degrees are available as standalone one-year degrees, but without ESRC funding.


For more information about our ESRC studentships, eligibility and available funding, please see:

A formal offer of a postgraduate place at Essex if necessary before you can be considered. You can apply online for postgraduate study at Essex at: and then apply for these studentships.

You should submit your application for postgraduate study by 28 April 2011 at the very latest, to ensure you meet our subsequent ESRC funding application deadline of 13 May 2011.

For more details about the programmes, please contact Dr Nick Allum ( or for application procedures, Michele Hall, Graduate Administrator (

Measuring National Well-being - what matters to you?

Tuesday 12 April 2011, 5.00 - 7.00pm
Alcuin Research Resource Centre (ARRC), University of York

The Office for National Statistics are developing new measures of national well-being and they want to know what matters to you. Experts from ONS, the University of York and the Equality and Human Rights Commission will be on hand to answer your questions, listen to your views and debate the issues around which facets of life are valuable to your sense of well-being and how we should try to measure them.

The panel will be:
Prof Kate Pickett - University of York, author of ‘The Spirit Level: Why more Equal Societies Almost Always do Better’
Aileen Simkins - Senior Responsible Owner of the Measuring National Well-being Programme, Office for National Statistics
Prof Jonathan Bradshaw - University of York, author of ‘Developing an Index of Children’s Subjective Well-being in England’
David Darton - Director of Foresight, Equality and Human Rights Commission
Prof Roy Sainsbury - University of York, Research Director, Welfare and Employment, Social Policy Research Unit

The debate is free and open to all, however registration is important as places are limited. Please book a place at:

Background information from ONS is available at:

English Indices of Deprivation 2010

The Department for Communities and Local Government has published the English Indices of Deprivation 2010

These statistics update previous indices, published by the Department in 2007 and 2004, using more recent data and provide a nationally consistent measure of multiple deprivation across local areas in England.

The Department would welcome comments regarding your use of the current Indices to help develop statistics that are able to best meet the needs of users.

UN World Contraceptive Use 2010

The United Nations Population Division  has announced the release of  "World Contraceptive Use 2010".

This set of tables in Excel format includes country data as of December 2010 on contraceptive prevalence for 193 countries or areas of the world, and unmet need for family planning for 107 countries or areas of the world. Detailed trend data on contraceptive prevalence (total and by type of method) are available from 1950 to 2010. Data also highlight patterns in use of long-acting and permanent methods and male methods of contraception. Unmet need for family planning data (total, spacing and limiting) are available from 1986 to 2009. Regional and sub-regional time trends in contraceptive prevalence and unmet need for family planning are also presented.

"World Contraceptive Use 2010" can be downloaded free of charge from the Population Division website,

Monday, 28 March 2011

Workplace Employment Relations Study 6 Instruments on-line

NIESR [ ] has just announced that details of the design and content of the sixth Workplace Employment Relations Study (WERS6), including copies of all five WERS6 instruments, are now available from the website of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills:

Fieldwork for WERS6 is now underway and is expected to be completed by Autumn 2011.

For more information on previous waves and data availability please see

Edubase contract renewal - RLAB members

The CEP's edubase contract is up for renewal. If you are a member of the RLAB (CEP/STICERD/CASE/SERC) and would like to access the data over the next 12 months please contact the data manager.

EduBase is a register of all educational establishments in England and Wales, maintained by the Department for Education. It allows both the general public and government officials to access up to date information.

If you are not a member of the RLAB, but are interested in accessing the data please see the website where data for small queries can be downloaded, and details of contracts for the full database can be found.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Quarterly Labour Force Survey updates

The quarterly labour force survey data in the RLAB data library has been updated to include

Autumn 2009 (q3, July-Sept)
Winter 2009 (q4, Oct-Dec)
Spring 2010 (q1, Jan-Mar)
Summer 2010 (q2, Apr-Jun)
Autumn 2010 (q3, July-Sept)

Winter 2010 (q4, Oct-Dec)

If you are a member of the RLAB and wish to access these data please contact the RLAB data manager.
If you are not a member of the RLAB these data are available to academics internationally via ESDS

Debate on the validity of subjective measures of well-being

Are national statistics on subjective well-being valid and reliable?

Monday 4 April 2011, 5.00 - 6.30pm with drinks reception to follow 6.30-7.30pm

Venue: Alexander Theatre, Samuel Alexander Building, University of Manchester, Lime Grove (off Oxford Road), Manchester, M13 9PL (Building number 67 on the campus map)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and methods@manchester are holding a debate on “Are national statistics on subjective well-being valid and reliable?” at the University of Manchester. This supports the national debate on measuring national well-being.

The panel members will be asked questions from the chair and members of the audience. Please register in advance of the event and submit your questions on the registration form. Background material on the issues of well-being and related documents can be found on the ONS website.

Chair: Mark Easton

Panel members include:  
Richard Wilkinson (author of The Spirit Level)
Andrew Oswald (member of the advisory committee on well-being to the ONS)
Stephen Hicks (Assistant Deputy Director of Measuring National Well-being, ONS)
David Hulme (Executive Director of the Brooks World Poverty Institute)

This event is free and open to all, however registration is important as places are limited. Please book a place at

New Stata Journal 2011_1

The most recent Stata Journal Volume 11, Number 1 is now available for RLAB members in the library under M:\STATA JOURNAL.

Of interest to SERC staff in particular might be the article on Stata utilities for geocoding and generating travel time and travel distance information (A. Ozimek and D. Miles)

The full Journal contents includes:

Articles and Columns
A procedure to tabulate and plot results after flexible modeling of a quantitative Covariate (N. Orsini and S. Greenland)
Nonparametric item response theory using Stata. (J.-B. Hardouin, A. Bonnaud-Antignac, and V. S´ebille)
Visualization of social networks in Stata using multidimensional scaling (R. Corten)
Pointwise confidence intervals for the covariate-adjusted survivor function in the Cox model (M. Cefalu)
Estimation of hurdle models for overdispersed count data (H. Farbmacher)
Right-censored Poisson regression model (R. Raciborski)
Stata utilities for geocoding and generating travel time and travel distance information (A. Ozimek and D. Miles)
eq5d: A command to calculate index values for the EQ-5D quality-of-life instrument. (J. M. Ramos-Go˜ni and O. Rivero-Arias)
Speaking Stata: MMXI and all that: Handling Roman numerals within Stata (N. J. Cox)
Notes and Comments
Stata tip 94: Manipulation of prediction parameters for parametric survival regression models (T. Boswell and R. G. Gutierrez)
Stata tip 95: Estimation of error covariances in a linear model (N. J. Horton)
Stata tip 96: Cube roots (N. J. Cox)
Software Updates

For RLAB staff who do not have access to the library please contact the RLAB data manager.
For staff outside RLAB who wish to access the stata journal please go to

Thursday, 10 March 2011

RSS Workshop on Measuring Wellbeing

Thursday 17th March: 11.00-17.00
Royal Statistical Society, 12 Errol Street, London EC1Y 8LX

The RSS is hosting a one-day workshop as part of tha national debate on measuring wellbeing.

Thanks to support from the Office for National Statistics there is no charge for attendance but places are strictly limited.

To book your place please email


11:00 - 11:30 Registration
11:30 – 12:40 Session 1 – National Wellbeing Key note speakers and panel session
- Jil Matheson (National Statistician)
- Walter Radermacher (EuroStat)
- Adrian Allsop (ESRC)
12.40 – 13:00 Keynote speech: David Willetts MP
13:00 – 13:45 Lunch
13:45 – 15:00 Session 2 – Data gaps and availability
(series of short presentations followed by table discussion)
- Paul Allin (ONS)
- Andrew Rzepa (Gallup)
- David Caplan (Audit Commission)
15:00 – 15:30 Refreshments
15:30 – 16:30 Session 3 - National wellbeing measures – empowering the citizen
(series of presentations on disseminating the data to the wider audience)
- Juliet Michaelson (New Economics Foundation)
- Andrew Collinge (GLA)
- Andrew Walkingshaw (Timetric)
16:30 – 17:00 Next steps and close

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The World's Women and Girls: 2011 data sheet

The Population Reference Bureau has just published the 2011 edition of the World's Women and Girls Data Sheet. The publication contains tables of internationally comparative data for demography, reproductive health, education, work and public life, as well as presenting data on 'overcoming barriers to gender equality'.

The publication can be found here

On-Farm Renewable Energy Production Survey

The US Department of Agriculture has released the first-ever nationwide survey that looked at renewable energy practices on America's farms and ranches.

The results are published in tabular form (no microdata) and are available along with the 2007 Census of Agriculture Volume 1 Geographic Area Series and related reports on the NASS website at

Custom-designed tabulations may be developed when data are not published elsewhere. These tabulations are developed to individual user specifications on a cost-reimbursable basis and shared with the public.

Update to EDUBASE data

The Edubase data in the RLAB data library has been updated.

The database no longer includes information about 'British Overseas Establishments'. The old version of the database has been preserved for consistency, the new version is saved as EDUBASE10_update2.

If you are a member of the RLAB and would like access to the data or have any questions please contact the data manager.

If you are not a member of the RLAB and are interested in getting access to the data please go directly to the provider;jsessionid=71BC9BF1AB5E86B0F48D52EAAE9F4F20

Census Resources for Research

On 12 April 2011, 10.00-4.30
British Library

The event will be an introduction to using census data for UK researchers. Organised in conjunction with the ESRC Census Programme and the UK Data Archive, it will feature presentations on interaction data, samples of anonymised records, aggregate data, boundary data and the ONS Longitudinal Study.

Although the event is open to all, those who are planning to carry out academic research using census data will benefit most. It is not suitable for those interested in genealogy.

This event is free of charge. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

To find out more and to book a place, please go to:

Managing and sharing social science research data: legal and ethical issues

8 April 2011, 10.00-2.30
British Library, London

As part of its current Researcher Development Initiative (RDI) grant, the UK Data Archive will host a workshop on managing and sharing research data for quantitative and qualitative social science research. The workshop is aimed at social researchers at all stages of their career - from new to experienced - and will cover key legal and ethical issues surrounding the managing and sharing of data in research with people (surveys, interviews, focus groups, observations and ethnography). The workshop will provide guidance and practical exercises and discussions focusing on:

• ethical and legal issues in data sharing and re-use
• handling and sharing confidential information and personal data
• informed consent and data sharing
• anonymising data

Content is based on advice and guidance provided by the UK Data Archive to researchers and aims to help researchers plan data management strategies for projects and consider data sharing and archiving as part of ethical review procedures.

Travel bursaries are available for postgraduate students. Contact for further information.

Organisers: UK Data Archive, Research Data Management Support Services, University

What Makes You Happy? Office for National Statistics: Consultation on National Well Being Survey

Tuesday 29th March, 2.00 - 4.00pm,
SRA, 24 – 32 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HX

Booking by email to

The purpose of this event is to gather together practicing social researchers to explore in some depth the methodological issues facing ONS

For more information

Monday, 7 March 2011

Introduction to the ESRC Secure Data Service

For people who missed these events the first time, two more introductions to the ESRC's new Secure Data Service have been scheduled for LSE.

Secure Data Service information event

Dates: 13 April 2011, 14.30-15.30 / 11th May 2011, 14.30-15.30

Place: CEP conference room LRB405, London School of Economics and Political Science

The Secure Data Service is an ESRC-funded service designed to allow approved researchers with safe and secure access, from any UK higher education or research institution, to confidential/sensitive data free of charge.

The Service currently provides access to detailed social and health data, including versions of the British Household Panel Survey and Understanding Society, with grid-references for each respondent.

We anticipate that the Service will also provide access to the business and economic microdata collections currently available only from the ONS Virtual Microdata Laboratory.

This information event is designed to inform you about the Service and the datasets that will be available to you.

To book a place at either event email or telephone: +44 (0)1206 874968.

13th April:
11th May:

Understanding Society/BHPS conference 2011 - submission deadline

The call for papers for the Understanding Society conference 2011 is now open. The deadline for abstracts is March 15th 2011. For more information see the website