Domain A: Knowledge and intellectual abilities

The knowledge and intellectual abilities needed to be able to carry out excellent research.

Information management

It is vital for researchers to be able to identify good quality research although this has been made increasingly difficult by the sheer quantity of new research being published annually. As a researcher, how can you evaluate the reliability and validity of the research you identify?

Audience

This course should prove to be of particular interest to researchers who:

  • work in health and social care.

Content

  • What is critical appraisal, and why is it important.
  • Overview of methods.
  • Appraising different study designs - Systematic reviews.
  • Randomised controlled trials.
  • Observational studies.
  • Review of online useful resources.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand what is meant by critical appraisal and why it is necessary.
  • Understand the different types of quantitative evidence (randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials, systematic reviews, observational research – including longitudinal and cross-sectional analyses).
  • Understand the hierarchy of evidence.
  • Assess a range of quantitative research papers for validity, reliability, and applicability.
  • Locate checklists and guides for critically appraising quantitative studies.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
24 March 201709:30-16:3011th Floor, McKenzie House

The aim of this course is to introduce you to the techniques that will help researchers to develop a more systematic search strategy for literature and systematic reviews. This workshop will be most useful to those undertaking research in biomedical and health sciences or the social sciences.

Audience

  • Staff employed on healthcare research projects.
  • Staff involved in applying for grant applications.
  • Staff Supervising doctoral candidates.

Content

  • Formulating a focused question.
  • Identifying important concepts within the question.
  • Identifying search terms to describe those concepts.
  • 'Sensitivity' and 'specificity'.
  • Preparation of the search strategy using Boolean operators, truncation, and other key features of strategy development.
  • Literature search methodology.
  • Approaches to verifying the performance of the strategy.

The learners will be encouraged to relate the techniques explored directly to their research topic and there will be opportunities to discuss specific issues encountered.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the difference between background versus foreground questions.
  • Convert the need for information into an answerable question.
  • Identify important concepts within a research question and capture search terms to describe those concepts.
  • Identify appropriate information resources to search.
  • Search effectively applying advance search techniques.
  • Document the search process.

Entry requirements

It would be helpful if you had some experience of searching bibliographic databases, but this not essential.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
30 January 201709:30-12:30Training Room 1, Julian Hodge Building

This workshop is an introduction to EndNote Desktop, the networked version of EndNote, the electronic reference manager which is available on campus to all members of the University. During this workshop, amongst other things, you will have the opportunity to:

  • create an Endnote library of references
  • import references from bibliographic databases relevant to your research
  • insert those references into a Word document
  • use Word to create citations and a bibliography in the style of your choice using EndNote
  • save attachments to references in your EndNote library.

Audience

  • would like to manage their references and related files in a private reference library
  • would like to easily insert their refences into Word in the citation style of their choice
  • would like to share references with colleagues

Content

The session will include a demonstration of the main features of EndNote and information on where to go for further help and assistance with the database at Cardiff University.

For the most part the session will involve attendees undertaking exercises in the main uses of the database in storing references and using it in conjunction with Word. These exercises include:

  • EndNote Library - adding references manually and changing the output style
  • EndNote and Word
    • Inserting citations and references into a Microsoft Word document
    • Changing the output style of a Word document and the layout of a bibliography
    • Modifying citations
    • How to remove EndNote citations and references from a Word document
  • How to import references from databases into EndNote
  • Creating EndNote library groups and group sets
  • Adding and annotating files (including PDFs) to an EndNote library
  • How to take a word count of a Word document which does not count citations, footnotes and bibliography references

Learning outcomes

  • Store references and files in your own EndNote Library.
  • Import references and files from other databases into EndNote.
  • Use Endnote with Word to create citations, footonotes and bibliography references in the style of your choice.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
25 January 201710:00-12:00Training Room 1, Julian Hodge Building

An introduction to patent searching on the internet and how this can be used to inform your research and innovation activities. 80% of technological disclosures in patents are not published elsewhere meaning they are a valuable source of information. Even if a patent is in-force they can be used for free for non-commercial purposes.

The course will introduce the participants to the world of patents and relevant tools required for searching patents. The course is supported by plenty of practical sessions to ensure that the participants are confident in patent searching. Completion of the course will provide the participants with a basic understanding of patents, how to search them and apply them to build their research and innovation activities.

Audience

This course should prove to be of particular interest to those who:

  • Are interested in learning about patents
  • Are interested in learning the process of applying for patents
  • Are interested in learning how to search patents relevant to their research or innovation activities
  • Are applying for funding which requires knowledge of patents or intellectual property rights

Content

The course can be divide in 4 sections

  1. Introduction to patents: an introduction to intellectual property rights and patents, determining what is patentable and how to apply for patents.
  2. Patent Searching: strategies and tools for searching patents, introduction to patent classification, introduction to patent databases.
  3. Practical session: Introduction to Espacenet, practical session on searching patents through Espacenet.
  4. Useful links: Information on how to obtain more details about patents and patent searching

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, it is expected that learners will be able to:

  • Understand what constitutes an invention and how patents protect them
  • Understand the ins and outs of patenting
  • Understand how to search for patents
  • Understand how patents are classified and how this can be used to effectively search for patents
  • Understand how to search patents relevant to their research and innovation activities

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
25 April 201710:00-12:00Training Room 1, Julian Hodge Building

Have you spotted the key new journal article or pre-print on your topic? Would you like to be alerted to the latest contents from your favourite journals? This information literacy workshop will highlight the range of current awareness services available, including ZETOC, pre-print repositories, automatic re-running of database searches and subject-specific services. Strategies for managing services to reduce information overload will also be discussed.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
To be confirmedTo be confirmedTo be confirmed

Technical and research skills: Advanced Research Computing

Advanced Research Computing is a hugely powerful technique which is already enabling and transforming research in more than half of the schools across the University. These techniques use leading-edge IT resources and tools to pursue research, including computer simulation and modelling, manipulating and storing large amounts of data, and many other methods to solve research problems that would otherwise be extremely difficult, if not impossible.

If your research has the potential to use these techniques, or even if you are curious to just find out more, this workshop will give a quick insight into what research computing means and how you can use it.

It will also explain how Advanced Research Computing @ Cardiff (ARCCA) could help you to do your computer-processing based research much more effectively.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
12 October 201613:30-16:30Training Room 2, Julian Hodge Building
1 February 201709:30-12:30Training Room 2, Julian Hodge Building

The Raven supercomputer is a complex service – this course aims to review some of the techniques that should help users get the best out of the cluster for their own research.

This course will cover a number of features of the system that should help improve the performance of jobs submitted to the cluster, including:

  • Using advanced features in the PBS Pro Job scheduler (including array jobs);
  • Learn how to profile and debug your job, and set the correct resource requirements to enable faster turnaround on the supercomputer;
  • Develop more efficient job scripts to run your software;
  • Provide an overview of the high performance Lustre filesystem and associated best practices when using this partition;
  • Optional (For Code Developers) – overview of revision control software such as Git and importance of documentation and comments.

How to make the most out of a system such as Raven?

Raven is designed for high-performance computing which can lead to performing common tasks slightly differently than on your desktop. For example, file systems are especially important to use correctly. This section will cover some of the important aspects to ensure the optimal running of your software.

Prerequisites

You should attend Advanced Research Computing: Supercomputing for Beginners or actively be using the Raven supercomputer prior to this workshop.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
17 November 201613:30-16:30Training Room 2, Julian Hodge Building
5 April 201710:00-13:00Training Room 2, Julian Hodge Building

The Linux command line interface is used to copy files, run programs, and perform many interactive functions, but it also supplies many of the features of more sophisticated general-purpose programming languages, such as flow control, variables, and subroutines. Making use of this expanded functionality allows the user to automate repetitive tasks, chain operations together in job submission scripts, and interact with a variety of command line tools.

This course will show how to create and run a script, detail the syntax and structure, and demonstrate how to use common text processing tools such as ‘sed’ and ‘awk’ to expand text processing functionality, with the overall goal of increasing productivity in a research environment by reducing the amount of time taken on regular housekeeping operations.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
27 October 201613:30-16:30Training Room 2, Julian Hodge Building
7 March 201710:00-13:00Training Room 2, Julian Hodge Building

Linux, and in particular the use of the command-line, has always been a training need when users have come from a Windows background in order to use Raven, Cardiff University’s Supercomputer. This practical course will concentrate on the use of techniques to improve researchers’ understanding of the command line, use of common editing tools, and will answer any queries users may have in using the Linux interface.

This course will also include how to interact with 'Raven' from a Windows environment. This will include getting the best out of PuTTy, how to use WinSCP to copy files to and from Raven and how to bring graphical interfaces back from the supercomputer using Xming. Whilst this course is tailored to help users quickly and easily run jobs on the supercomputer, many of these linux commands are useful for general linux systems.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
19 October 201613:30-16:30Training Room 2, Julian Hodge Building
15 February 201709:30-12:30Training Room 2, Julian Hodge Building

A modern supercomputer can be considered at its simplest to be a collection of individual computers (known as ‘nodes’), each with their own pool of memory, connected to each other via a very fast and sophisticated network. Conventional programs are limited by the fact they can only scale up to the size of a single node, whereas there may be hundreds or even thousands of nodes available. Taking full advantage of the power of modern supercomputers requires the ability to efficiently distribute work across multiple nodes via a communications protocol known as the Message Passing Interface (MPI).

This course describes the fundamentals of MPI programming, demonstrates how to break up a single piece of work into node-sized blocks, and allows the user to create and run simple MPI programs using a common set of communication functions.

Prerequisites

Experience of a programming language is required; knowledge of Fortran, Python or C is desirable.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
6 December 201613:30-16:30Training Room 2, Julian Hodge Building
3 May 201710:00-13:00Training Room 2, Julian Hodge Building

This session introduces programmers to the basics of parallel programming. OpenMP is a standard method of sharing work amongst threads within the same computer; this has become common recently due to its ease of use and support amongst the most common compilers. OpenMP uses shared memory within the computer to communicate between threads and there are many methods available to distribute the work. OpenMP is written using compiler directives/pragmas to tell the compiler how to distribute pieces of code across the multiple threads.

Prerequisites

Experience of Fortran and/or C is required.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
1 December 201613:30-16:30Training Room 2, Julian Hodge Building
27 April 201710:00-13:00Training Room 2, Julian Hodge Building

Raven is Cardiff University’s supercomputer - hosted, maintained and developed by ARCCA. This half-day course provides an overview of the cluster and explains how to use the system. It is a mix of presentation material and worked examples, which give users the chance to ask questions and run jobs in a controlled, friendly environment. By the end of the course, you should be able to access Raven from a Windows PC, have a better understanding of the software environment (compilers, profilers and debugging tools available on the cluster), understand how to use the module environment (to load software) and be able to submit jobs to the system (through the PBS Pro job scheduler). This course will also provide an overview of some of the other courses and services provided which will enable users to improve their usage of advanced research computing facilities (both ARCCA facilities but also applicable to Linux clusters in general).

This course is open to all Cardiff University staff and students with an interest in using the University’s supercomputer system.

Prerequisites

You should attend the Introduction to Linux or have knowledge of basic linux commands prior to this workshop in order to run some of the course examples (although full instructions are provided in the worked examples).

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
2 November 201613:30-16:30Training Room 2, Julian Hodge Building
22 March 201710:00-13:00Training Room 2, Julian Hodge Building

Technical and research skills: IT skills

This workshop, intended for scientists and engineers, will provide an introduction to the C programming language and its usage. After attending this course you will have acquired the basic skills in programming. The course will comprise a mixture of lectures and practical work. No prior programming knowledge is required.

Content will include:

  • differences between the English language and the C language
  • C reserved words and variable names
  • arithmetic operators
  • simple input and output
  • comparison operators and the use of conditional and iterative control statements
  • use of logical operators to test for more than one condition
  • formatting output.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
To be confirmedTo be confirmedTo be confirmed

This three-day course (comprising lectures and practical work) will provide an introduction to the C++ programming language and its use. After attending you will have acquired basic skills in programming in C++ and an understanding of the ideas of object oriented programming.

Attendees will be introduced to the:

  • difference between objects and classes
  • the elements of a class, namely object variables, constructors, destructors and functions, will be discussed in detail
  • the string class and both static functions and static variables.

This is a multi part workshop compromising 3 parts.

Prerequisites

You should have a basic understanding of the C programming language before attending.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
27 March 2017
29 March 2017
31 March 2017
09:00-17:00Training Room 2, Julian Hodge Building

This three-day course builds on the knowledge gained in the ‘C++ for Beginners’ course. After attending this course, you will be able to write C++ programs for your own work.

Topics covered include:

  • a detailed discussion of inheritance including inheriting and overriding functions in the base class
  • use of numeric arrays
  • dynamic memory allocation
  • text file processing
  • random access file processing
  • exception handling
  • use of the vector class

The course will have a mixture of taught and practical work. A prerequisite is a good knowledge of the topics covered in the C++ for Beginners course.

This is a multi part workshop comprising 3 parts. You are required to attend all three parts.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
To be confirmedTo be confirmedTo be confirmed

This full-day course will provide an introduction to the Java programming language and its usage. After attending this course you will have acquired the basic skills in programming in Java and an understanding of the ideas of object oriented programming. Topics covered in this course for beginners include:

  • an introduction to classes and objects
  • discussion of the basic elements of a class (i.e. constructors, methods and instance variables)
  • arithmetic operators and mathematical methods
  • comparison operators and the use of conditional statements
  • use of selection operator and De Morgan’s Law
  • iterative control using for, while and do statements
  • formatting of output.

The course will be run with a mixture of both taught and practical work. Prior programming experience is not necessary but would be advantageous. You should have some knowledge of UNIX/LINUX before attending, or have attended the UNIX/LINUX: An Introduction course.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
To be confirmedTo be confirmedTo be confirmed

This session will introduce the UNIX/LINUX operating system. Topics covered include the file hierarchy, UNIX commands, file and directory protection, redirection of input and output, modifying environment variables, setting terminal characteristics, Bourne shell login scripts, phases of shell interpretation, using grep to select records, the sed editor and the sort command.

Students with no prior UNIX/LINUX knowledge should attend this course prior to attending either 'Java: An Introduction’.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
12 April 201710:00-17:00Room C/2.08, Queen's Building

Technical and research skills: Packages

SPSS is a powerful statistical application package that is particularly useful for the analysis of questionnaire data. It can be used in the analysis of data from various disciplines and this introductory level course will cover the basic analysis functions provided by the Windows version of SPSS.

Learning outcomes

  • be able to prepare and enter data into SPSS
  • understand how SPSS uses statistical procedures such as Frequencies, Crosstabulation, Pearson ChiSquare, Compare Means, Independent Samples T-test, OneWay Anova and Correlation
  • be able to transform and recode data
  • understand how to create and edit pivot tables
  • know how to use SPPS to work with graphs
  • understand how to import data from external sources, eg Excel worksheets and Access database tables.

Entry requirements

A basic knowledge of statistics is essential to understand the functionality of the SPSS application.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
27 April 201710:00-17:00Training Room 1, Julian Hodge Building

This is a full-day workshop on the Stata statistical package, providing training to researchers undertaking quantitative empirical social science research. Stata offers a great deal more than standard packages (such as SPSS) in the variety of statistical tests it can perform and in data management capabilities; it is also easily programmable, providing highly efficient ways to perform repetitive tasks. It is used by many leading researchers in the social sciences and there is excellent technical support available from web-based user groups and from Stata technical support staff.

The session will assume no prior knowledge of STATA.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
17 May 201709:00-16:30To be confirmed

Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) represents an integrative statistical technique that combines factor analytic and path analytic traditions into a single data analytic framework. SEM confers a number of advantages over more traditional approaches to data analysis. Principal among these are the simultaneous estimation of all pathways in a given ‘model’, the ability to take account of measurement error, the provision of an estimate of model ‘fit’, and the ease with which reciprocal influences between mutually dependent variables may be determined.

This two day course represents an introductory level overview of SEM for the applied researcher. Through attendance, you will:

  • be familiar with the statistical and theoretical underpinnings of structural equation modelling
  • be familiar with factor analytic and path analytic traditions of SEM
  • understand the principles of 'model' specification, estimation and identification
  • be introduced to software applications that permit SEM analysis (specifically AMOS).

This is a multi-part workshop comprising of two parts. Participants are expected to attend both parts.

This is a multi part workshop comprising of 2 parts.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
11 May 2017
12 May 2017
09:30-16:30

To be confirmed

Technical and research skills: Techniques

GIS is concerned with the collection, storage, analysis and representation of various spatial data (ie data that can be linked to points on the earth's surface). Those interested in Qualitative GIS have sought to incorporate alternative, more qualitative characteristics of place than have traditionally been included. Qualitative GIS has the potential to help researchers explore the social processes that help create places. It may be be of interest to those working in a broad range of fields, where it is important to understand how people feel about the places in which they live and work. This half-day session will provide an overview of Qualitative GIS to those who have not necessarily had any experience of GIS and will assume no prior knowledge.

This workshop is not a practical session on using GIS. You may wish to attend the associated practical sessions that are held in November/December: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) - Practical Sessions.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
To be confirmedTo be confirmedTo be confirmed

Many disciplines in the biomedical sciences, physical sciences and social sciences seek increasingly to examine patterns in spatial data that can be mapped. In addition to their intrinsic value in developing and testing hypotheses, spatial patterns help to reveal key social, economic and environmental processes. A wide array of tools are available to collect, store, transform and analyse spatial data – but ArcGIS and QGIS are among the most powerful and transferable. Whether your interest is in planning, biodiversity, landscape genetics, earth sciences, epidemiology, population, risk assessment, social analysis, transport etc. if you need to examine spatial pattern, this introduction is for you. This course consists of an introductory lecture followed by a practical workshop on either ArcGIS or QGIS. You must attend the introductory lecture but can choose to attend one or both practical workshops.

NB: For training in the use of ArcGIS for qualitative analysis, please refer to the separate workshop ‘Qualitative GIS: An Introduction’.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
To be confirmedTo be confirmedTo be confirmed

The aim is examine the myths and misconceptions behind systematic reviews and teach participants how to plan, conduct and communicate the results of a systematic review.

Audience

  • work on health and social care research
  • are involved in applying for grant applications
  • supervise doctoral candidates.

Content

  • Background to systematic reviews.
  • Examine myths and misconceptions.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of conducting systematic reviews.
  • The steps of conducting a systematic review.

Learning outcomes

  • understand what is meant by a systematic review and its significance
  • understand the stages of a systematic review
  • comprehend the importance of a protocol a systematic review in understanding how to develop a research question; search strategy; inclusion and exclusion criteria; critical appraisal, data extraction; and dissemination.

Course dates

DateTimeVenue
14 December 201609:30-12:3011th Floor, McKenzie House