Research in the social sciences often requires substantial provision of research support if it is to be carried out effectively. The College helps to meet this in a number of ways. Students are provided with an annual research allowance against which they may claim for books, photocopying, etc. Nuffield also has a Travel and Research Grant scheme to which students can apply for help in meeting fieldwork and other research costs, such as attending conferences or research methods training courses, if they are unable to get funding for these from an external grants body, and the College will provide as much assistance as possible in the search for funding of one kind or another.
The College Library
An extremely significant source of research support is the College's generous library provision. The College Library contains around 195,000 items. The extensive collection of material in the Library is intended to meet the coursework and research needs of the College. In its composition it reflects the central and continuing interest of the College in the fields of economics, politics, sociology and modern political, economic and social history. The Library's policy is to acquire major journals in these fields, the principal British official publications, and the most significant English-language academic books as soon as they are published. Foreign language material is bought selectively. The Library holds several collections of unpublished papers, most notably those of Lord Cherwell and of G D H Cole.
Students have access to the Library at all hours and enjoy liberal borrowing rights. There is a reader workstation giving access to a range of electronic resources (including J-STOR, Hansard, Bodleian Library pre-1920 catalogue, EconLit, PAIS, SocioFile).
Nuffield College is at the forefront of using information technology in social sciences research. This ranges from data analysis to research into new, computationally-intensive, techniques. Fellows of the College are involved in the development of internationally renowned statistical and econometric software. The College also hosts a number of important web-based academic resources.
This prominent position is reflected in the provision of extensive computing facilities. The College has a dedicated IT department, consisting of the IT Officer, two Assistants and an administrator. Every student room has a link to the College network and there is college-wide wifi. New students are provided with a generous computer start-up allowance. If a computer is not purchased then these funds are rolled into the student's research allowance. The network is Windows based, providing access to printers, central file stores, and applications.
Additional computing resources are provided by the University, the Department of Economics, the Department of Politics and International Relations, and the Department of Sociology.
Nuffield maintains an on-site Data Service which is available to all social scientists in the University. Microdata holdings include many of the British, European, American and international surveys that are available for secondary analysis. The Data Library also provides access to information sources on the whole range of data that are currently available, providing assistance with searching across data providers and the international network of archives. The Data Services Officer provides support with data acquisition, licensing, management and use.
Centre for Experimental Social Sciences
The College provides further specialist research support in its interdisciplinary Centre for Experimental Social Sciences (CESS), which was established to promote and facilitate experimental research by social scientists in Oxford. The CESS offers an on-site laboratory with 25 computer stations, and maintains a large subject pool. The facilities are designed to support a wide range of experiments. The CESS also maintains an online panel of UK residents, and provides supports for fielding online survey experiments. The CESS has a regular seminar series that highlights the work of renowned scholars employing experimental methods. Periodic workshops held by the CESS provide training for researchers in experimental research design, experimental data analysis, and programming languages (including ztree and Qualtrics). More information on CESS is available at http://cess-web.nuff.ox.ac.uk.
Other research resources
The College has arrangements to facilitate the research of students working on topics related to the United States or to Western Europe. In the past exchanges have been arranged with institutions such as Yale (Political Science), Juan March Institute in Madrid, Stockholm (Sociology) and Harvard (Economics).
To read more about the resources available at Nuffield please refer to the Resources section of the College website.