27th Summer School in Social Science Methods: more than 250 participants

Rector Luisa Lambertini, professor Eugène Horber, professor Benedetto Lepori
Rector Luisa Lambertini, professor Eugène Horber, professor Benedetto Lepori

Institutional Communication Service

Increasing one's knowledge of social science methods, from using statistical software such as Stata and R to designing qualitative studies or writing grant applications or scientific articles, as well as extending one's network of academic and personal relationships: there are numerous, reasons to attend the Summer School in Social Science Methods, which this year brought more than 250 participants to Università della Svizzera italiana.

The current one is the 27th edition of this Summer School founded by Eugène Horber, professor emeritus at the University of Geneva, and for some years now managed by Università della Svizzera italiana, which, sensing its potential, has developed and strengthened it, arriving at its current numbers. As mentioned, the number of people who enrolled this year was 252, mostly doctoral students. About 40 came from USI, 100 from other Swiss universities and 102 from abroad, mainly Germany and Italy. In terms of disciplines of origin, 43 participants study sociology, 32 business and management, 29 psychology, 25 political science and 22 communication.

The programme consists of four preparatory courses followed by 18 courses of one week each, taught by both Università della Svizzera italiana faculty and guest lecturers. The intensive courses, which allow the students to focus on the topics without the distractions they have during regular university semesters, are one of the Summer School's most appreciated features, as some enrollees explained during one of the two "Networking Apéro" held at the Lugano Lido. Summer School also makes it possible to study methods or tools that are not always adequately explored in the normal course of study and that here one has the opportunity to be able to immediately apply to one's own research. This is why some students return, and many recommend the Summer School in Social Science Methods to their colleagues: "word of mouth," including from faculty, is how many of the students and participants found out about the school's existence.

The Summer School in Social Science Methods is directed by Benedetto Lepori, a professor in USI's Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society within the Institute of Communication and Public Policy, and is held in collaboration with the Swiss Center of Expertise in Social Science FORS and, a European network of methods summer schools.

As USI Rector Luisa Lambertini pointed out in her greeting to participants, often in the past researchers have had to study on their own the methodologies needed for their research; initiatives like this one allow them to profit from the knowledge of a qualified international faculty and to learn methods in small groups and in an interactive way. Therefore, the Summer School is an important project to prepare young researchers, from USI and other institutions, to conduct methodologically sound research and to publish their work in scientific journals.