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NatCen launches new Centre for Social Survey Transformation

26 January 2022

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) is launching a dedicated Centre for Social Survey Transformation.

Led by Peter Cornick, the new Centre will work with survey commissioners to make social research surveys more flexible, responsive and efficient, with a focus on transitioning surveys from face-to-face to web-first or mixed-mode designs.

The majority of high-quality surveys in the UK are administered face-to-face. However, falling response rates, changing societal expectations and rising costs mean that survey commissioners and methodologists are increasingly looking towards more agile and affordable data collection methods.

NatCen will officially launch the new Centre and introduce its REMoDEL approach at a webinar on Thursday 27 January. The webinar will also present the Centre’s work exploring the feasibility of transitioning the flagship British Social Attitudes survey to a mixed-mode design.

NatCen’s REMoDEL (Review, Evaluate, Model, Design, Experiment and Launch) approach to social survey transformation offers a clear, systematic process for transforming social surveys and generating robust evidence around the trade-offs and opportunities involved.

The launch of the new Centre builds on NatCen’s long track record of excellence and innovation in survey methods. NatCen was the first body in the UK to test push-to-web survey methods – in which a random sample of people are sent letters inviting them to complete a web survey questionnaire – with a prototype version of the European Social Survey in 2012.

In the years since, the organisation has transitioned several large-scale surveys into push-to-web modes, including the National Travel Attitudes Survey, the Bike Life survey series, the Public Confidence in Official Statistics survey and the British Social Attitudes survey.

Peter Cornick, Director of NatCen’s Centre for Social Survey Transformation, said: “This new Centre will position NatCen as a leader in the field of social survey transformation, continuing our tradition of excellence in survey methods. We are excited to be generating new evidence in this area, and to be supporting survey commissioners to design successful solutions for their specific research needs.”

ENDS

For more information please contact:

Oliver Paynel, Communications Manager, National Centre for Social Research
oliver.paynel@natcen.ac.uk
Direct: 0207 549 9550
Mobile: 07734 960 071

Katie Crabb, Head of Marketing and Communications, National Centre for Social Research
katie.crabb@natcen.ac.uk
Direct: 0207 549 8504

Notes to editors

1. The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), Britain’s largest independent social research organisation, aims to promote a better-informed society through high quality social research (www.natcen.ac.uk).
2. Further information on NatCen’s Centre for Social Survey Transformation is available at http://www.natcen.ac.uk/csst.
3. Registration for the webinar, ‘Remodelling social surveys – trade-offs and opportunities’, is free and can be completed via Zoom at this URL: natcen.ac.uk/events/upcoming-events/2022/january/remodelling-social-surveys-%e2%80%93-trade-offs-and-opportunities/