PhD Workshop on Methodologies in Socio-Technical Research

Published 31 March 2022

On 10–11 May 2022, the Asser Institute is organising interdisciplinary PhD workshop on methodologies in of socio-technical research, in the context of the Asser PhD programme. The workshop will be held to foster dialogue and peer-to-peer exchange on developing methodologies in the context of socio-technical research. It will provide a forum to discuss the opportunities and challenges of this sort of research.

The workshop is organised for PhD researchers from diverse fields (e.g. law, philosophy, media and communication studies, social studies, international relations and politics, computer sciences, systems engineering) that take different approaches to studying socio-technical phenomena. It will seek to promote discussion amongst researchers drawing on diverse methodologies such as socio-legal approaches, law ‘and’ approaches (e.g. law and economics), political economy, moral philosophy, science and technology studies, post-humanism, post-phenomenology, value-sensitive design, cognitive work analysis, human-centred design, human factors/ergonomics and cybernetics.

Topic of the Workshop

Approaches to socio-technical research currently attract much attention in contemporary research agendas. The varied social impacts of existing, emergent and future technologies remain highly topical and produce vast opportunities for research in a variety of fields and disciplines. This workshop will seek to provide a forum for discussion on PhD research design and methodologies for socio-technical research. Together, we will seek to find common themes, identify, and problematise methodologies in socio-technical research. We will additionally consider how disciplines we were trained in influence our perception of the socio-technical phenomena we study and methodologies we design.

Additionally, this workshop will provide an opportunity for PhDs to present an aspect of their research as a springboard for conversations around the opportunities and challenges of conducting socio-technical research, seeking to foster interdisciplinary exchange amongst peers, as well as participate in an interactive methodology problem-solving exercise.

Call for Abstracts

We invite the submission of abstracts (500-600 words) or short papers (2000-6000 words) from currently-enrolled PhD students who conduct research into socio-technical systems, broadly defined. Abstracts or short pieces can be excerpts of your work and should address at least in part the following two questions: (1) what socio-technical systems are you investigating? (what is the technology or science that you are interested in and what is the social aspect of it), and (2) what methods are you employing to study these socio-technical systems? Submitted abstracts and papers will form the basis for the discussion in the first part of the workshop in small groups.

Submitted abstracts and papers will be reviewed on the ongoing basis and decisions about participation will be made on the first come-first serve basis until the limit of participants is reached. Interested participants will be informed shortly after the submission about their participation.

Submissions should be sent by email to Klaudia Klonowska ( and Taylor Woodcock ( including: (1) abstracts (500-600 words) or short papers (2000-6000 words), and (2) a short CV or biography. The deadline for submission is 2 May 2022.

Preliminary Programme

Day 1 – Tuesday 10 May 2022
8.45-9.00: Arrival & coffee
9.00-9.45: Welcome remarks
9.45-10.00: Coffee & tea break
10.00-11.45: Parallel workshop sessions
11.45-12.00: Introduction to problem-solving exercise
12.00-12.45: Lunch break
12.45-14.30: Interactive interdisciplinary research problem-solving exercise
15.15-17.30: Invitation to join the Asser Annual Lecture

Day 2 – Wednesday 11 May 2022
9.15-9.30: Arrival & coffee
9.30-10.30: Interactive interdisciplinary research problem-solving exercise
10.30-10.45: Coffee & tea break
10.45-12.00: Plenary session & concluding remarks
12.30: Lunch (at an external location, tbd)