About Hazel Hall

Professor Hazel Hall is Professor of Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, UK, Docent of Information Studies a Åbo Akademi, Finland.

Congratulations to Marina Milosheva: awarded a distinction for her MSc(R)

Marina Milosheva

Marina Milosheva

Many congratulations to Centre for Social Informatics PhD student Marina Milosheva. Marina has achieved a distinction in the Masters degree that she undertook in 2019/20 in first year of her four year 1+3 doctoral programme.

Marina is the fourth of our six Skills Development Scotland (SDS)/ESRC funded PhD students, and the second to be awarded the MSc by Research (MScR) in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Edinburgh. This Masters year is offered to all students who win an Edinburgh Napier SDS/ESRC doctoral studentship to study with us for a PhD at Napier, but who do not already hold a Masters degree that incorporates 60 credits of research methods training.

Over the course of her Masters year in 2019/20, Marina took a number of modules on research methods:

  • Research skills in the social sciences outlined the principal methods of data collection used by social scientists (e.g. interviews, focus groups), and methods for qualitative data analysis (e.g. textual, discourse and narrative, thematic/ethnographic)
  • Core quantitative data analysis 1 and 2 provided statistical training for the social sciences, covering key statistical concepts and quantitative data analysis
  • Research design considered the evaluation of research design as appropriate to the aims, objectives, and theoretical underpinnings of research projects

Marina also took courses in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS) to cover STIS theory and philosophy:

  • Explanation and understanding in social and political research examined key ontological and epistemological debates within the social sciences
  • Internet, society and economy focused on theoretical and methodological approaches for studying the role of digital technologies in society
  • Understanding technology introduced theoretical approaches, conceptual tools, and methodologies for studying the relationship between technology, innovation and society

Marina particularly enjoyed the interactivity in lectures, and the the way that students were encourage to debate and showcase their work as part of the degree. She presented to her peers on two occasions: first on information infrastructures during the Understanding technology course, and then on dataveillance on the Internet, society and economy course.

At the end of the academic year Marina focused on the completion of her dissertation entitled The socio-material nature of careers work: how career practitioners co-create career knowledge and enact their roles in practice. The main finding of this work is that careers practitioners co-create careers knowledge through an assemblage of information and socialisation practices in both physical and online environments.

Alongside studying the modules and writing her dissertation, Marina benefited from participation in a number of other activities offered to Masters students on the MScR course: weekly STIS seminars delivered by external speakers; training events offered by the Institute for Academic Development; dissertation workshops; and an STIS PhD day. Marina was also funded to attend the 2020 EASST/4S conference, which she recently reviewed  on her own blog.

Marina says that the MScR has been an excellent prelude to her PhD studies, both in terms of the relevance of the MScR course content studied to her PhD topic of career information literacy and career decision-making skills of young people, and for equipping her with the appropriate methodological training to underpin the completion of a PhD. The Masters year also gave Marina some extra time to think about her PhD research, and to conduct the small scale project related to it (i.e. the work that she wrote up for her dissertation).

The full list of Edinburgh Napier PhD students funded by Skills Development Scotland(SDS)/ESRC studentships administered through the Doctoral Training Partnership of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS), and their PhD topics, is as follows:

  1. Dr John Mowbray – Social networking and career management skills (graduated 2018; thesis available from the Edinburgh Napier repository). John is currently a researcher in the School of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow
  2. Dr Lyndsey Middleton – Innovative work behaviour (graduated 2020; thesis available from the Edinburgh Napier repository). Lyndsey is now an Assistant Statistician at the Scottish Government.
  3. Katherine Stephen – Metaskills development in the workplace. Katherine is in the second PhD year of her 1+3 PhD programme.
  4. Marina Milosheva – Career information literacy and career decision-making skills of young people. Marina is in the first PhD year of her 1+3 PhD programme.
  5. John Marshall – Work-based learning environments for fostering industry-relevant skills and optimal economic performance. John is completing the MSc by Research (MScR) in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Edinburgh this academic year and will join us for the +3 element of his doctoral study in October 2021.
  6. Marianne Wilson – Ethical and effective application of artificial intelligence dialogue systems to support the delivery of careers guidance in Scotland. Marianne is completing the MSc by Research (MScR) in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Edinburgh this academic year and will join us for the +3 element of her doctoral study in October 2021.

RIVAL network event 3: preview

RIVAL logoAfter two postponements and a decision to move to virtual delivery, we (myself, Dr Bruce Ryan and our Edinburgh Napier PhD student helpers Rachel Salzano and Katherine Stephen) will (finally) be hosting the third RIVAL network event next week on Thursday 19th November 2020. Continue reading

Newly published: version 11.2 of the Centre for Social Informatics flyer (autumn 2020)

Centre for Social Informatics bannerThe Centre for Social Informatics flyer (version 11.2) has just been updated for the new academic year. Follow the link to read about the work of our group, including details of research expertise, funders, recent PhD completions, and recent publications. The flyer includes profiles of the group’s academic and research staff: Continue reading

Nominations announced for the ENSA Excellence Awards 2020

ENSA student-nominated excellence awards 2020 logo Congratulations to all Edinburgh Napier University colleagues who have been nominated for the Edinburgh Napier University Students’ Association (ENSA) 2020 Excellence Awards, and especially to the 18 members of staff from the School of Computing. Continue reading

Congratulations Dr Iris Buunk!

Congratulations to our Centre for Social Informatics colleague Dr Iris Buunk on the award of her PhD yesterday. Normally we would have celebrated with Iris at the Edinburgh Napier University graduation ceremony at the Usher Hall. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, we had to find an alternative way to mark Iris’s achievement: a jolly drinks party on Zoom. Continue reading

Introducing new research students Thokozani Kachale, Marina Milosheva and Natalie Wangler

Welcome to Thokozani Kachale, Marina Milosheva and Natalie Wangler, who have just joined us this month as new research students within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University. Continue reading

Catching up with conferences in autumn 2020

autumn, trees, bruntsfieldIt currently feels like we have reached the peak of the autumn conference season. An array of events of interest to those of us working in Social Informatics and related areas are taking place this week. These include: Continue reading

All set for #asist20

ASIST2020 logoFollowing three days of virtual pre-conference workshops and the annual doctoral colloquium, the annual meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology 2020 ‘proper’ opens today.  The opening keynote speaker is Houman Haddad, Head of Emerging Technologies, United Nations World Food Programme (Nobel Peace Prize winner). He will present to the online audience on blockchain technology for humanitarian assistance at 09:00 EDT (13:00 GMT in the UK).

Several members of the Centre for Social Informatics are making co-authored contributions to ASIST 2020: Continue reading

Dr Gemma Webster appointed to EPSRC Peer Review College

Congratulations to Centre for Social Informatics member Dr Gemma Webster on her promotion from associate to full member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Peer Review College.

In this role, Gemma will be taking part in the assessment process of grant applications received by the EPSRC. Her expert knowledge will feed into the investment decisions made by EPSRC review panels, and help ensure that the EPSRC funding is directed to support only the highest quality UK research in engineering and physical sciences.

SFC COVID-19 funding for two new projects in the Centre for Social Informatics

Scottish Funding Council logoOn 6th May 2020, the Scottish Government announced a ‘£75 million boost for Scottish university research’ to contribute to the mitigation of effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Scottish university research base. This recognised the wide range of impacts to both the income and activity of university research in the short, medium and longer term. The Scottish Funding Council then announced the allocation of this funding to the Scottish universities  on 12th June, and in recent months each institution has considered the best use this investment to meet the objectives of: Continue reading