Fall Methods Workshops

PhD level courses in Qualitative interviewing, Process-tracing methods, and Multilevel modelling will be offered at this year’s Fall Methods Workshops, hosted by the Department of Political Science, Aarhus University and organised by the Methods Excellence Network (MethodsNET). The courses are designed to bring the methodological aspects of your research project to the next level.

2021 workshops course topics and short descriptions

Qualitative interviewing

Instructor: Lea Sgier, University of Geneva

This intensive (graduate) workshop aims to provide participants with a solid basis in qualitative interview for social science research purposes. It is intended for two types of participants: those who are quite new to qualitative interviewing, but have concrete intentions to use interviews in the not-to-distant future; and those who already have some experience with qualitative interviewing and would like to deepening their practical skills as well as their theoretical understanding of interviewing as a research method.

Process-tracing methods

Instructor: Derek Beach, Aarhus University

This hands-on course gives you the methodological tools to refine your use of process-tracing methods in your own substantive research. It will also enable you to embed process-tracing case studies in mixed-methods research design. The course requires that your research project has  theoretical conjectures that can be turned into process theories, and you have ideas about potential empirical observations and have collected some empirical data. Topics include discussing how to distinguish process tracing from other methods; including large-n variance-based methods, but also other small-n case-based methods such as analytical narratives and comparative case studies. This is followed by discussions of how processual theories can be developed and improved, focusing on how to capture the activities and their underlying causal linkages in order to understand how a process works and evidence it empirically. We also discuss how inferences can be made using within-case evidence, and the challenges relating to the evaluation of evidence. We also address questions of case selection, generalization and mixed/multi-methods in the final morning session.

Multi-level modelling

Instructor: Levi Littvay, Central European University

The multilevel modeling (a.k.a. hierarchical linear or mixed effects modeling) course is designed to extend regression models into the realm of multiple levels of analysis. Special attention is given to the translation of theoretical expectations into the statistical models, the interpretation and presentation of results and the general use and misuse of multilevel models in the social sciences (and how to specifically avoid the misuse part). While the course is predominantly designed to give you the knowledge of multilevel regression modeling and apply it to your research agenda, it does also arm you with the tools to run multilevel models in R. (If you prefer Stata, I do also have corresponding Stata code, but unfortunately little personal experience using it.) Applications include models with continuous and limited dependent variables in hierarchical, longitudinal and cross-classified nesting situations and other advanced topics.

More about the Fall Methods Workshops

The Fall Methods Workshops courses combine discussions of cutting-edge developments within a particular method with detailed feedback and discussion of the methodological aspects of your own research project and those of other participants.

Participation in a workshop will bring you to the next level in your understanding of how to use a method in practice in relation to your research question. The courses are aimed at PhD scholars and junior researchers (post-doc or above) whose research is at a more advanced stage. Class sizes are kept small in the workshops.

In addition to the workshops themselves, there is a cross-cutting morning session for all participants in which key methods and design issues are debated across different methodological approaches (variance-based, case-based and interpretive). The goal of the cross-cutting sessions are to enable participants to better understand research findings from different traditions, and to communicate findings to scholars working in other traditions. The topics include: foundational assumptions (ontological and epistemological) across different approaches, conceptualization and measurement issues, and making inferences.

Time & venue

Monday 15th November to Friday 19th November, 2021.

Courses are held at the main campus of Aarhus University, in downtown Aarhus, Denmark.

Courses will take place in-person over five days, Monday to Friday, from 8.30 to 16.30 every day.

Registration deadline

1st November 2021


All courses are taught in English.


  • PhD student or junior faculty in the social sciences
  • A basic user-level familiarity with the method of the course
  • Your research project is at a more advanced stage. This means that you should have at least some empirical material and engaged in some form of analysis of this material.

Course fee



Participants receive 5 ECTS for a course. This includes preparations before the course (readings and pre-course exercises), active participation during the course week, and some form of post-course written exercise.


We will be following the COVID-situation closely, and will adapt the event according to any COVID-related measures required. In the event of participants being unable to travel due to COVID restrictions, the registration fee will be refunded. 

For the current situation in Denmark, including potential travel restrictions, see https://en.coronasmitte.dk/


Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation. Aarhus can be reached by bus, train and airplane (nearest airports are Aarhus, Billund and Aalborg). There are many options for staying in Aarhus, including Airbnb and many hotels and hostels.


The Fall Methods Workshops are organised by the Methods Excellence Network (MethodsNET) and hosted by the Department of Political Science, Aarhus University, Denmark.