Dr Jo Ferrie
- Senior Lecturer (Sociology)
- Lecturer (Institute of Health & Wellbeing)
- Associate (School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing)
All of my work seeks to understand better, in order to teach better.
I am an expert in social research methods and in teaching social research methods.
I also have expertise in understanding the barriers experienced by disabled people; and the value of human rights frameworks to remove barriers to being and doing. As well as researching in these fields, I am interested in how we can trigger change through research, that is, how do we, often with communities, create learning environments for those in power, to do better? How do we get duty bearers to engage? And what should they learn?
As a lecturer in undergraduate and postgraduate social research methods at the University of Glasgow, working in Sociology; across the School of Social & Political Sciences and across the College of Social Sciences:
As Founding Director of Glasgow Q-Step Centre, and
As Deputy Director for Training at Scotland's ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership, the Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences:
I am passionate about creating learning environments that teach research methods well. I have built undergraduate, postgraduate methods learning environments and contributed to those that help colleagues through the Research Development team and the MEd in Academic Practice hosted by LEADS.
The mission here is fivefold:
- to create learning environments that are accessible;
- where students are able, over the course of their studies, to produce rigorous and robust research
- to teach methods that draw from and can contribute to disciplinary research questions
- to produce research that students feel confident in
- and that is useful - either in broadening what is known by a discipline and/or having impact beyond the academy
Writing and Methods
I am particularly interested in improving data-driven research and how we use digital methodologies to help challenge the imposed dichotomy of qualitative and quantitative approaches. I have been working with Technopolis on a UKRI/ESRC project through 2020 and 2021.
I am also very interested in how we better capture emotion created through research; and represent it in our writing fully, and avoiding the mistake of removing it as a signifier of subjectivity which serves only to sterilise our work. I have taught on this and written about how to teach emotion.
Further, I'm interested in how we build confidence in all research methods and better engage students in how to approach the methods learning environments which are inherently different from substantive learning.
I have helped build training programmes at Glasgow and across Scotland.
I am the Founding Director of Glasgow Q-Step Centre, a £3 million investment from Nuffield, ESRC and the University of Glasgow in creating a step-change in data fluency and analysis skills using quantitative methods, in the social sciences. I have led a team of lecturers in the School of Social & Political Science; School of Education and School of Maths & Statistics, that has produced 6 new 'with Quantitative Method degrees' and changed the landscape of methods learning in College of Social Sciences. Programme content has been carefully crafted to, and course development included peer-review strategies to make the most of our opportunity to build this learning environment. Student performance has been exceptional including 2020 graduates, >70% have graduated with first class honours (compared to <30% more broadly in the School). Further our internship scheme has created work-based learning environments in research centres and civil society partners delivering 8+ years of research work into the Scottish economy.
I am also Deputy Director - Training for the Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences, and as such, seconded half-time to this role based at the University of Edinburgh. I lead on all training initiatives across SGSSS, partnering with 16 institutions in Scotland with a significant social science base. Over 800+ hours synchronous training is offered annually, and a growing repository of learning materials is improving access for over 5000 Scottish post-graduate students. Innovations to the programme include the Business Booster training with industry partners leading to publications; the student-led training fund; and using our online platform Social. as a training site through the pandemic.
Wider Research Interests
I have been based at the Centre for Disability Research at the University of Glasgow since 2001. I completed my PhD in 2008 and have worked on over a dozen research projects all examining the barriers faced by disabled people with a focus on barriers that are socially constructed. I have also looked critically at how a human rights approach can usefully tackle the oppression faced by disabled people and other groups.
I am a member of the Scottish Human Rights Commission's Research Advisory Group (since 2012). I have been a member of the Institute for Health and Wellbeing since 2011. I am also Chair of the Board of Trustees of Making Rights Real, a charity launched in 2020 to deliver change for communities facing human rights violations in Scotland. In my role there, and with the Social Rights Alliance and Just Fair, I am moving work forward that looks at how we use education around rights, and around violations, to trigger change in duty bearers.
I have been working with the Human Rights Budgeting Group with colleagues from the Scottish Human Rights Commission, Glasgow Caledonian University, the Centre for Economic Social Rights, NY, and Health and Social Care Alliance, Scotland. This group are gaining traction in illuminating Scotland's Budget, as a major opportunity to progress and transform. A Human Rights Approach to the budget would use PANEL principles (participation; accountability; non-discrimination; empowerment and legal structures) to reform arguably the most important policy within the control of the Scottish Government.
My PhD thesis 'The Impact of the Disability Discrimination Act Part IV on Scottish Schools' was submitted in 2008. Sponsored by the ESRC and the Disability Rights Commission, the thesis explored the relationship between rights-based and special educational needs policy. The thesis asked if the social model and the capability model of equality had sufficiently been applied in education to emancipate disabled pupils from institutional discrimination. The project had both qualitative and quantitative components.
- research methods
- teaching research methods
- teaching emotion and resilience
- participation and accountability
- human rights
- human rights budgeting
‘Scoping the skills needs in the social sciences to support data-driven research’ funded by ESRC & UKRI. With Technopolis Group, JF is Senior Expert Lead on Work Package 3: Examination of Doctoral Interventions. (Dates 01.09.2020-30.06.2021 Value £98,475 percentage 8.5% = £8,400
Glasgow QStep Centre Transitional Funding 2019-21 by Nuffield Foundation and ESRC PI Jo Ferrie (Dates 01/102019-30/09/2021 Value £123,939.86 percentage 80% = £99,151.89)
Glasgow QStep Centre by Nuffield Foundation, ESRC & HEFCE PI: Jo Ferrie (Dates: 01/10/2013-30/09/2019 Value: £1,440,683.80 percentage 60% =£864,410.28)
2 ESRC Collaborative Studentships as first supervisor (2016/17; 2018/19 = £179,408)
1 ESRC Advanced Quantitative Methods as first supervisor (2019/20 = £89,704)
Exploring the Impact of the Pandemic on Internally Displaced People with Disabilities in Ukraine GCRF/UKRI with AHRC PI: Kiril Sharapov University of Napier, Edinburgh (Dates 01.02.21-01.08.21 value £91,861)
Building a Future for MND by MND Scotland PI: Suvankar Pal, University of Edinburgh (Dates: 01/10/15 – 30/12/18 value £300,000 percentage 7% = £20,000)
Speak Unique by Chief Scientist Office PI: Phillipa Rewaj, University of Edinburgh (Dates 01/04/16 – 31/03/18 value £100,000 percentage 15% = £15,000)
Evaluation of Scotland’s National Action Plan by Scottish Human Rights Commission. PI: Jo Ferrie (Dates 01.10.17-31.10.18 value £30,000 percentage 100%).
Living with Motor Neurone Disease by MND Scotland PI: Nick Watson (Dates: 01/10/2010-30/04/2013 Value: £110,926 Percentage: 50.0% = £55,463)
Applied Quantitative Methods Network: Phase II (AQMeN 2) by ESRC (Dates: 01/01/2013-31/12/2016 Value: £603,250 Percentage: 0.0%)
3rd Sector Approaches to Bridging the Distance from Employment Market for People with Multiple and Complex needs. (Dates: 01/08/2010-30/06/2011 Value: £7,978 Percentage: 0.0%)
Attrition, Retention and Access: An Examination of the University of Glasgow’s Access Programme for Non-Traditional Students and Factors that Enhance Retention. Learning and Teaching Development Fund. PI: Ferrie, J. (Dates 01/02/2010-31/07/2010) Value: £27, 773 Percentage 100%
Current PhD student
- Aidan Flegg
- Paul Pearson
- Alejandro Arnal
- Sam Lawton
- Kirstie English
- Karim Mitha
- Michelle Jamieson
- Challinor, Jennifer
Innovative models of community housing with care: a cross-cultural study into loneliness technology and intergenerational living
- English, Kirstie
How should survey measurements represent differences of sex, gender, and sexuality in the UK?
- Jamieson, Michelle
Health barriers and educational enablers for the return to employment
- Mitha, Karim
Identity, resilience, and mental health amongst Muslims in Scotland
- Pearson, Paul
Biographical Recovery: Recognising Multiple Barriers for Adults with an Acquired Brain Injury
- Young, Colin Ian
How do health and therapeutic interventions for children with Cerebral Palsy effect their identity as young disabled people
Completed PhD students
- Yuanyuan Qu
- Nicole Sweeney
- Fatima Alansar
- Karen Young
- Simona J Simona
- Contribution to Sociology Level 1 - Methods 101
- From 2021 Contribution to Sociology Level 2 - Social Data
- Contribution to Honours Quauitative Research Methods
- Contribution to Research Design PGT
- Contribution to Qualitative Methods PGT and PGR
- Advanced Qualitative Methods
- Contribution to Introduction to Social Research Methods for Researchers
- Masters: Social Research Methods 2009-13 - Masters level
- Social Theory for Researchers - Postgraduate
- Social Science Statistics 1 - Postgraduate
- Undergraduate Quantitative Methods
- Founding Director Q-Step University of Glasgow
- Deputy Director - Training: Scottish Graduate School of Social Science
- Co-Convenor Equalities and Diversity Cluster, Glasgow Human Rights Network
- Senior Advisor of Studies College of Social Science