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Staff

 

Name & Position Further Information  

Director

Professor Brian Castellani, PhD, FAcSSDirector

Director of the Durham Research Methods Centre

Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology 

Contact Professor Brian Castellani

In addition to being Director of the DRMC, I am Co-Director of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry (Northeastern Ohio Medical University), Editor of the Routledge Complexity in Social Science series, CO-I for the Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus, and a Fellow of the National Academy of Social Sciences. I am trained as a public health sociologist, clinical psychologist, and methodologist and take a transdisciplinary approach to my work. My methodological focus is primarily on computational modelling and mixed-methods. My colleagues and I have spent the past ten years developing a new case-based, data mining approach to modelling complex social systems and social complexity – case-based computational modelling – which we have used to help researchers, policy evaluators, and public sector organisations address a variety of complex public health issues, from depression and allostatic load to air pollution and brain health to the social determinants of health inequalities. We also developed COMPLEX-IT, designed to increase non-expert access to the tools of computational social science (i.e., cluster analysis, artificial intelligence, data visualization, data forecasting, and scenario simulation) to make better sense of the complex world(s) in which they live and work. As Director of the DRMC, my goal is to facilitate across the university a transdisciplinary and mixed-methods approach to social and health science, grounded in a complex systems perspective.

Staff Profile

Headshot of Brian Castellani

Co-Directors

Dr Cristina Costa Ph.D

Co-Director (MA in Research Methods) in the Durham Research Methods Centre
 
Associate Professor in the School of Education
 

 

 

 I am a researcher invested in exploring the intersection of society, digital practices and educational inequalities. I have a strong interest in the application of social theories to research methods. This approach is inspired by an eclectic academic background. Having graduated in Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures - English and German (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal), I specialised in Translation Studies (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany) before starting a career in Education in the Portuguese Navy where I taught English as a second language while holding the rank of Lieutenant. During this time, I focused my attention on the role of digital technologies in education, leading me to further my knowledge through a PGCert in e-learning at the University of Coimbra and an MPhil in Educational Technologies at the Institution of Education – University of Lisbon. I arrived in the UK to take on the post of Research Technologies Development Officer at the University of Salford, where I ended up doing a PhD part-time on the topic of digital scholarship practices.  Along the way, I developed an interest in research methodologies, with an emphasis on participant voice (narrative), applied practice (ethnographic action research) and digital methods (and ethics). Parallel to this, I have nurtured a passion for theoretical ideas, something that has accompanied me since my graduate days. Alongside my colleague Dr Mark Murphy, from the University of Glasgow, we have edited several books and published numerous publications about the link between theory and method as two inseparable elements of critical research practice

As Co-Director of the DRMC (MA in Research Methods) I aim to collaborate with MARM Programme Directors and Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) Leads across the faculty, continuing to build on our excellent research methodology training provision. Working with MARM students and mentors will also be key to the aim of facilitating an inclusive student experience.

Head & shoulder shot of Cristina Costa

Professor Jochen Einbeck, PhD Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Co-Director (Biostatistics & Apprenticeships) in the Durham Research Methods Centre
 
I completed my PhD in Statistics at the University of Munich in 2003. Following a postdoctoral position at NUI Galway, I joined the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Durham in 2006, where I am now Associate Professor (Reader) in Statistics.
I consider myself as a methodological Statistician with main interest in the statistical modelling of discrete, non-linear, or high-dimensional data structures. I am member of the Executive Committees of the Statistical Modelling Society (SMS) as well as the Academy for Postgraduate Training in Statistics (APTS). In terms of application areas, my main interest resides in the biomedical sector, especially in biological radiation dosimetry, with active collaborations with Public Health England and international equivalents.

I have been one of the founding Co-Directors of the Durham Institute for Data Science (IDAS), and a Fellow of the DRMC since its inception. I am delighted to serve now as a Co-Director of the DRMC where I will be mainly responsible for implementing Health Data Science training and research programmes.

 
Headshot of Jochen Einbeck 

Dr Jeremy Kendal

Co-Director (Research & Professional Development) in the Durham Research Methods Centre
 
Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology
 
Director of Research, Department of Anthropology
 
With a background in evolutionary biology (BSc Hons., University of Nottingham) and biological computation (MSc, University of York), I obtained a PhD in Animal Behaviour from Cambridge University. Before joining the Department of Anthropology at Durham, I carried out post-docs at Stanford University and the University of St. Andrews in the field of cultural evolution and social learning.
Most of my research involves mathematical and simulation modelling in combination with experiments to study cultural evolution in humans and other animals. I have also collaborated on projects using qualitative and mixed methods based on grounded theory and participatory action research. I have taught courses on statistics, scientific method, the evolution of human behaviour, evolutionary anthropology and evolutionary theory. I enjoy cross-disciplinary dialogue, interrogating the value of both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Do get in touch if you're interested in becoming a DRMC Fellow or if you'd like to see the Centre put on a research- or training-orientated activity concerning a particular aspect of research methods.
 
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Programme Leads

 

Dr Jennifer Badham

Programme Lead for MDS (Health Data Science) and Core member of Durham Research Methods Centre 
 
Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology
 
 
I am a computational social scientist and much of my research concerns how the transmission of ideas, disease or behaviour is shaped by social structure.  I am also interested in the sociology of computational methods, including how models are used in policy processes. Originally trained as a mathematician, I developed an interest in complex systems methods while working for government and private health organisations in Australia. I joined the Department of Sociology as an Assistant Professor in Social Data Science in 2021 following postdoctoral positions modelling health behaviour at University of Surrey, Queen's University Belfast, and Durham University. Within the Centre, I am Programme Lead for Master of Data Science (Health) and also teach the module Health Informatics and Clinical Intelligence.
 
Headshot of Jen Badham 
Dr Juraj Medzihorsky
Programme Lead for MDS (Social Analytics) and Core Member of Durham Research Methods Centre

My methodological research interests include survey measurement, causal inference, and minimum mixture models. My substantive research centers around elections, party politics, democratization and autocratization. I am a member of the Varieties of Democracy project, serving as Project Manager for Statistical Computing. 

Staff Profile

 
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Centre Statistician

Dr Bilal Ashraf

Statistician in the Durham Research Methods Centre
 
PDRA in Statistics in the Department of Anthropology
I am a postdoctoral research associate in statistics. I am a statistical geneticist by training, my key expertise is in genomic prediction and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) of human and non-human species. I have contributed to various research projects in plant, animal, and human genetics. I have experience of analysing large scale datasets in health and social sciences. I am currently exploring application and development of statistical methods in applied and social and health sciences.      Headshot of Bilal Ashraf 

Centre Coordinator

Mrs Laura Masterman

 
I am the Administrator for the Research Methods Centre and based in the Social Sciences & Health faculty office. I joined the Centre in April 2020 and am responsible for the day to day running of the Centre and its programme activities and events. I am responsible for ensuring efficient communications internally and externally with a wide range of stakeholders; supporting meetings; and I assist in the co-ordination of the MARM.  Headshot of Laura Masterman