-- RobAllan - 03 Dec 2004

NCeSS: the National Centre for e-Social Science

The aim of the centre is to stimulate the uptake and use by social scientists of new and emerging Grid-enabled computing and data infrastructure, and to provide training, advice, support and online resources to the social science community. It will also advise on the future strategic direction of e-social science.

The centre is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and was formally established in April 2004.

NCeSS will consist of a co-ordinating Hub and a set of research-based Nodes distributed across the UK. The Hub is based at the University of Manchester, with support from the UK Data Archive at the University of Essex. The role of the Hub is to act as the central resource base for e-social science issues and activities in the UK, integrating them with ESRC research methods initiatives and the existing e-science core programme. The Hub will provide a one-stop shop for awareness raising, expertise, training, technical infrastructure, data resources, computer facilities and user-support for e-social science research.

ESRC commissioned several consultancy reports before NCeSS was set up:

  • Human Centred Design and Grid Technologies (Anne Anderson)
  • Grid Enabling Quantitative Social Science Datasets (Keith Cole, Kevin Schurer, Hilary Beedham, Terry Hewitt)
  • Qualitative Research and e-Social Science (Nigel Fielding)
  • Social Shaping Perspectives on e-Science and e-Social Science (Steve Woolgar)

NCeSS is part of the ESRC's e-social science strategy which aims to realise the potential of grid technologies in social science research. The strategy is made up of three components:

  • National Centre for e-Social Science
  • Training and awareness programme
  • Pilot demonstrator projects

See NCeSS Web site at http://www.ncess.ac.uk

Topic revision: r1 - 03 Dec 2004 - RobAllan
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