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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Jillian Hart

Jillian Hart
Jillian Hart
Sociology School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
CRFR, Buccleuch Pl, Edinburgh EH8 9LN
Research Interests
Methodological innovations, virtual/online methods, embodiment, Networking and Mapping, Biographical narrative, Research methods, Research Ethics, Sociology of the family and kinship

PhD Title

Is methodological innovation superficially attractive but challenging in practice? A case study combining network analysis with biographical narrative

As social scientists we have a variety of methods in our social science 'toolbox’. But, are we using the same methods over and over again?  We have so many methods and applications of methods at our disposal; why are we sticking to primarily interviews, SPSS, questionnaires, ethnography, focus groups (or a combination of them). The NCRM typology of research methods lists literally dozens of methods, and even with only 12 methods considered, there are 132 possible pairings of methods, so why are we limiting our data collection methods? Is mixing methods superficially attractive but challenging in practice? This thesis therefore questions, are we stuck in a rut with our data collection methods?   This project will examine and explore the potential, and also the pitfalls, of bringing biographical research and social network analysis together by way of a case study which examines the life and networks of Ann Oakley.

Education and awards

  • PhD in Sociology (current) 
    Title: Combining biographical research with social network analysis. 
    National Centre for Research Methods
  • MSc Degree in Social Research Methods, University of Dundee, 2012.
    ESRC-Population Investigation Committee funded
  • MA Degree in Geography and the Environment, University of Dundee, 2009

Research Roles/Posts

  • R A, Teenage Cancer Trust. Project: Evaluation of Teenage Cancer Trust Way Forward, 2015
  • R A, University of Stirling, School of Health Sciences.  Project: The use of cardiac rehabilitation services to aid the recovery of colorectal cancer, 2014 - 2015
  • R A, University of Stirling and University of Dundee, School of Medicine. Project: Mobile phone intervention to reduce binge drinking among disadvantaged men: A randomised controlled trial, 2013

Recent publications

  • Hart, J, 2015. Merry Thesis and a Happy Research Project. BioMed Central Open Access Publisher. BioMed Central Blog
  • Hart, J, 2015. How do you feel now you've started your PhD. BioMed Central Open Access Publisher - BioMed Central Blog
  • Hart, J, 2015. Starting your PhD and finding your feet. BioMed Central Open Access Publisher - BioMed Central Blog
  • Hart, J, 2014. The nuts and bolts of peer review: what are the benefits for an early career researcher?  In BioMed Central Open Access Publisher - BioMed Central Blog and LSE Impact of Social Sciences:

Memberships & Other Activity

  •  Member of the British Sociological Association (BSA)
  •  Part of the Social Network Analysis Scotland group (SNAS)
  •  Guest blogger for Open Access Publisher BioMed