Social Media Data Training Workshop (PhD Students)

Social Media Data Training Workshop

16 – 17 June 2016 (PhD Students)

MacRobert Building, University of Aberdeen

Key Contact: Dr Jennifer Holden (


The Social Media – Developing Understanding, Infrastructure & Engagement (Social Media Enhancement) grant at the University of Aberdeen is funded by ESRC. The work brings together sociologists, political scientists, management scientists and computing scientists. We are investigating social media data in a number of settings, creating new tools to aid in the use of social media data for research and investigating the ethical and provenance challenges.  Our work is organised across four strands:

• Understanding Attitudes and Impacts of Social Media

• e-Infrastructure and Tools for Social Media Data

• Training and Capacity Building

• Public Engagement, Privacy & Social Media – Festivals Tour

Case studies in the project include Twitter data gathered during the run-up to the Scottish Independence referendum, Twitter data relating to transport disruption during the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, and online discussions during the UK General Election campaign of 2015.

The Training Workshop

Building on our track record of designing and delivering training and capacity building to postgraduate researchers, early career researchers and those further on in their career we are running a 1.5 day workshop 16-17th June 2016.  This is targeted at those registered for a PhD degree currently, and is for postgraduate researchers in Social Science disciplines (i.e. those whose research would be funded by ESRC).

The workshop will cover tools, techniques and methods of social media data analysis equipping participants with a toolkit that will allow them to select, obtain, process, analyse and present a social media data set. The workshop will be grounded in case studies and practicals will use data sets from recent research at Aberdeen. Topics will include data collection and transformation, ethics, analysis and visualisation.

The workshop will start at 11am on Day 1 and conclude at 5pm on Day 2. The event will be held in the MacRobert Building at the University of Aberdeen.

Presentations during the workshop will cover case studies from the University of Aberdeen based projects, covering the challenges and successes of using social media data (including ethical issues), talks from other speakers looking at the potential and future of social media data and practical sessions.

The practical sessions will involve participants using APIs to get data from different social media platforms, a tour of tools available (including those developed at Aberdeen), processing and analysis of data. The practical sessions are designed to be ‘hands on’ and will involve active participation from attendees. We are asking participants to bring a laptop with them, if at all possible.

Funding to Attend the Workshop

We have funding to support travel to Aberdeen, accommodation costs, lunches during the event and dinner for all participants on day 1. An application for funding to attend the workshop is part of the online application form. Due to the funding source, only UK based researchers are eligible for financial support.

Applying for the Workshop

Applications will be administered online.

For this PhD students workshop, applications should be submitted by 4pm on 26th May 2016 by completing the relevant online form.

Applications will be considered as they are received and the application form may close earlier than the date above if all places are taken. Therefore, early application is encouraged. Applications will be considered by the Grant Principal Investigator (Prof Pete Edwards) and Dr Jennifer Holden (who is responsible for organising the workshop). If you have any queries relating to the event please contact Dr Jennifer Holden (, 01224 274238). Priority will be given to applicants who are not students at the University of Aberdeen.


To Aberdeen by air, rail and road

Aberdeen’s airport is served by a number of major carriers, providing an extensive network of routes throughout the UK. For more information on routes visit the Aberdeen Airport website.

Rail services connect Aberdeen both north and south. There are regular direct trains to London, and services from Edinburgh and Glasgow link with other mainline routes. Aberdeen is served by the Caledonian Sleeper as well as daytime trains. For timetable information visit National Rail Enquiries.

Aberdeen is served by coaches from Edinburgh, Glasgow and other destinations, coach travel from the rest of the UK involves connecting through Edinburgh or Glasgow. Details are available from Citylink (covers all operators in Scotland) and individual operators websites.

Locally the University is served by First Bus (routes 1,2, 19, 20, x40 amongst others) and Stagecoach buses from Union Street and Union Square bus station in the City Centre.


The workshop is funded by a grant from the United Kingdom’s Economic and Social Research Council “Social Media – Developing Understanding, Infrastructure & Engagement (Social Media Enhancement)” (ES/M001628/1).



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