Training courses

Social science methods for natural scientists

Course postponed. New dates to be confirmed as soon as possible.

​​​​​​​​​​​​As the saying goes, ‘It is not the fish that need managing but the people that make up the fishery’. It’s a crucial point that reflects both the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of marine science and the focus of the ICES training course ‘Social scientists methods for natural scientists.’

Research projects are increasingly interdisciplinary enterprises, with stakeholder processes and engagement with SMEs considered a priority. In this changing professional context, gaining relevant research skills is becoming a necessity.

Increasingly, natural scientists work with others, in our case, fishers; collaborating, communicating, and participating together to increase the knowledge base and policy relevance of our work. A consequence of this is a need for more targeted training in social science research methods, such as interviewing, observing, and mapping.

This course will have a “learning by doing" set up. The facilitators provide guidance on the basics of the methods while participants develop their confidence in using them. Background information (such as the epistemology and ontology of the social sciences) and the underpinning social science theory will also be discussed for participants to learn more.


Through gaining new skills, participants will be better at working effectively with stakeholders in (cooperative) research projects, as well as having a better appreciation of the strengths of social sciences in fisheries research.


It is assumed that scientists have a natural science background, have or will have experience with working in cooperative research projects, working with stakeholders or are otherwise interested in learning more about social science methods in fisheries science. No previous knowledge of social sciences is required.

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Marloes Kraan, Wageningen Marine Research & Wageningen University, The Netherlands
Maiken Bjørkan, Nordland Research Institute, Norway

Tuition fees:​
450 EUR for participants from ICES member countries
750 EUR for participants from non-ICES member countries

Following application submission, please await notification from the course coordinator prior to making travel arrangements.
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Social science methods for natural scientists

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) · Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (CIEM)
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