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Interviews in social research – Methods school


The second part of the GURN Methods School revolved around conducting interviews in the context of qualitative research approaches. In addition to perfect planning, the participants learned about different questioning and evaluation techniques as well as digital tools.

After the successful start of the first part of the Methods School at the end of September/beginning of October, the online classes continued on October 20, 22 and 23, 2020. The seminars took place online in English and were led by the experts Anna Mayer (Austrian Exchange Service) and Sophie Schmäing (University of Giessen).

On the first day of the workshop series, the two trainers gave a general introduction: When is it useful to use interviews as a method? What types of interviews exist and what are their advantages and disadvantages? After these questions were clarified, a practical exercise followed. The participants not only learned how to select interview partners and to deal with consent forms, but also how to draft a guideline for a structured interview. In addition to practicing various questioning techniques, strategies of note-taking and sound recording, ethical questions and how the role that the interviewer takes on can affect the interview, were discussed as well. On the last day, the group dealt with the evaluation of the interviews. Meyer and Schmäing explained how to transcribe interviews, which digital tools are suitable for this purpose and how collaborative projects can be implemented efficiently. At the end, there was an open space for the exchange and discussion of ideas around individual research projects of the participants.

The Methods School took place within the framework of the project "German Ukrainian Researchers Network" (GURN 1, 2019-2020) and was funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

About the GURN – German Ukrainian Researchers Network project: The cooperation between think tanks and politics are strengthened. GURN focuses on knowledge transfer, capacity building and bilateral dialogue. Current developments and German-Ukrainian relations are discussed in a variety of formats.

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