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Research Urban and Regional Studies Institute PRC

Workshop descriptions


Clara Mulder: Using register data in demographic research

In this masterclass we discuss the advantages and pitfalls of using register data (administrative data) for demographic research. Participants can bring research questions, or design them during the session, so that we can discuss what can and cannot be done with register data.

Nikola Sander: The Power of Data Visualisation

Data visualisations are becoming increasingly popular in demography. But creating good visualisations of demographic data is not only about knowing how to code in R, Python or HTML. It is also about knowing how to design a visualisation in a clean and engaging way. I argue that good design is crucial for visualising demographic data effectively, and that there’s an increasing need for demographers to cultivate their design eye. By drawing on my own experience with designing the circular migration plot ( and the work of others in the demographic community, I highlight the power of data visualization and illustrate how dense and complex datasets can be designed in a clean and engaging way to communicate demographic research effectively. The masterclass is a perfect foundation for the more hands-on masterclass by Ilya Kashnitsky.

Hinke Haisma and Louise Meijering: Applying a capability lens to public health

This workshop enables participants to practice working with the capability approach. The capability approach helps to shed light on the "why" and "how" of inequalities. It has been criticised for being difficult to operationalise.  In this workshop, participants will develop a decision model applied to a public health problem using a capability lens, and reflect on the benefits and disadvantages of applying such an approach. After a short introduction, participants will apply the capability approach to an assigned or chosen public health problem in small groups. The workshop ends with a joint reflection on the outcomes of the group work.

Ilya Kashnitsky: Annoyingly simple rules nobody cares about: How to produce powerful plots for conference talks

I plan to show the most common (subjectively) and simple to fix (objectively) mistakes in scientific dataviz. The specific topics will cover:

  • legacy driven dataviz choices
  • representing ratios in dataviz
  • responsible and efficient use of colors

Gerd Weitkamp and Tess Osborne: Opportunities for Virtual Reality in Population Studies

Virtual Reality is becoming more popular in various disciplines. At our own Faculty we successfully developed applications for Spatial Planning programmes, but how could VR be used in Population Studies? For example to introduce and discuss concepts such as forced migration, or getting to know VR applications that are used in the context of Healthy Aging.

In this master class we present a number of VR applications, and of course, you can experience some existing VR applications yourself. We are happy to discuss your view on the possibilities of VR for the future of Population Studies.

Jodi Sturge, Rik Huizinga and Tom Lowe: Conducting qualitative research with vulnerable populations: tips and considerations

When qualitative researchers capture the voices and experiences of vulnerable populations, they need to acknowledge their influence and position in the research process. This masterclass is for an audience with some qualitative research experience who are looking to explore innovative ways to respectfully engage, and further research, vulnerable people. Three PhD students will share their experiences conducting qualitative research with populations such as older adults, people who are homeless, refugees and domestic workers. They will reflect on their experiences, challenges faced and lessons learned. This is a practical session so bring along research experiences and questions, as there will be opportunities for discussion throughout.


The lecturers will showcase their projects:

Clara Mulder: Family ties that bind: A new view of internal migration, immobility and labour-market outcomes

Helga de Valk: Migrant youth mobility in Europe: Patterns, processes and consequences

Louise Meijering: Meaningful Mobility: A novel approach to movement within and between places in later life

Hinke Haisma: Normative indicators of child growth and development. One size fits all?

Official profiles of the authors

Clara Mulder

Nikola Sander

Hinke Haisma

Louise Meijering

Ilya Kashnitsky

Gerd Weitkamp

Tess Osborne

Jodi Sturge

Tom Lowe

Rik Huizinga

Helga de Valk

Last modified:10 May 2021 3.20 p.m.