The National Centre for Research Methods is a major Initiative of the UK Economic and Social Research Council.
The Centre forms part of ESRC's strategy to improve the standards of research methods across the UK social science community. It is organised as a co-ordinating "hub" (physically located at the University of Southampton) and six "nodes", each node having a specific programme of methodological research, training and capacity-building activity.
The Lancaster-Warwick Node of NCRM is a large-scale collaboration between researchers in Statistics, Criminology, Psychology and Sociology based mainly at Lancaster and Warwick universities.
The methodological theme for the Lancaster-Warwick Node is "Developing Statistical Modelling in the Social Sciences". The Node's research programme aims to develop and extend statistical methodology and models, concentrating on substantive problems in the social sciences related to social and developmental change. Specific areas of work include the development of pseudo-likelihood methods for mixed-effects statistical models, local likelihood methods for the analysis of event-history data, new models and methods for longitudinal ranked-comparison data, and joint modelling of repeated-measurement and time-to-event data. The methodological programme involves the development of new algorithms and their implementation as packages in R, as well as conventional dissemination through scientific journals, conferences, etc. The Node also organises training events and joint meetings where interaction takes place between the statistics and social-science communities.
The Warwick arm of the Lancaster-Warwick NCRM Node began work in the summer of 2005 and is part of CRiSM, a major methodological research centre within the Department of Statistics at Warwick. There are three NCRM Node staff working at Warwick: Professor David Firth (Director), Professor John Copas and Dr Heather Turner.