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Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research

Floral border outside Humanities Bridgeford Street - home of CMIST

About the Institute

The Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research (CMIST) was launched in August 2014.

The Institute provides a focal point at The University of Manchester for the application of quantitative methods in interdisciplinary social science research in order to generate a world class research environment.

We apply structures to life's challenging social questions, provide high-quality methods training and development and promote excellence in quantitative social sciences.

It combines the strengths of two previous research centres in the Social Sciences at The University of Manchester, the Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Surveys Research and the Institute for Social Change.

Today we are building on this reputation for quantitative social science and the development and application of advanced quantitative methods.

The Cathie Marsh Institute aims to be at the forefront, internationally, of quantitative social science research – encapsulating a wide range of topics and methods.

A distinctive feature of the Institute is the application of advanced and innovative methods, within an interdisciplinary framework, to address social, economic and political questions.

The Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research is directed by Rachel Gibson, who joined the University of Manchester as Professor of Politics in the Institute for Social Change December 2007. In 2016 she was appointed as Director of CMIST.

Rachel received her PhD from Texas A&M University in the U.S. and has held academic posts at the Universities of Leicester and Salford prior to arriving to Manchester. She has held a range of international research /teaching fellowships at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), the Australian National University (ANU), and the Autonomous University in Barcelona (AUB). 

Rachel has directed several projects examining the impact of the Internet on political parties, campaigns and voters funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Australian Research Council (ARC). She has been a PI/Co-I on the Australian Election Study since 2001, co-directs the Australian Candidate Study and is a member of the Planning Committee of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES).

She led the internet component of the 2015 British Election Study (iBES) which undertook to merge survey responses with social media tracking data. Rachel has served as a co-editor of the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties and is a member of the Editorial Board of several specialist and generalist journals including the Journal of Information Technology and Politics, Information Polity and the Australian Journal of Political Science.

She is a  member of the Peer Review College of the ESRC and regularly reviews for a range of funding bodies including the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Leverhulme Trust and the British Academy.

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