North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership

Want to release the causal inference genie? Attend the Summer (/Winter) School in Causal Inference with Observational data!

Emma Thornton, Psychology, University of Liverpool (2017 Cohort)

After 18 long months of working from home with only my dog for company, at the beginning of September I was lucky to attend The Alan Turing Institute Summer School in Causal Inference with Observational Data at the University of Leeds. In person! Now I know some of you may be wary about attending your first events in person (and having to socialise) but hopefully I can put your mind at ease. By attending this course in person, I had the opportunity to meet new people for the first time, and also meet friendly faces that I had only ever seen over Zoom (and what better way to do this than eating different cuisines every night such as Thai, Japanese and Indian). Although going out for dinner used to be the norm – this felt like such a treat and socialising in person really made this experience great.

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Chile in/en Liverpool: Music & Memories – Música & Memorias

Richard Smith, Language Based Area Studies, University of Liverpool (2018 Cohort)

Some readers may be familiar with BBC Radio 4’s feature Inheritance Tracks, in which the great and the good talk about music they have inherited, and music they cherish. For example, Liverpool-born Alexei Sayle talked about a Bertolt Brecht song that reminded him of his autodidactic parents and their involvement in the city’s left-wing Unity Theatre, and Elvis Costello’s Shipbuilding as a supremely political song. This approach is being used by a cross-disciplinary project at the University of Liverpool that aims to explore the power of musical reminiscences to promote well-being.

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‘Things are swell’, I think to myself,

Joe Pearson, Psychology, Lancaster University (2019 Cohort)

‘Things are swell’, I think to myself, ‘I’m going into the final year of my PhD, I’ve a paper submitted for publication, and I’ve presented work at a couple of conferences. I’ve even tackled an entire set of cross-sectional analyses with what feels like dignity and all I have to do now is extend that longitudinally.’

Things were not swell.

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Researching the nature, organisation and control of tax abuse in professional football

Peter Duncan, Criminology, Social Policy and Social Work, University of Manchester (2020 Cohort)

My PhD research aims to understand how tax abuse in English men’s professional football is organised with a view to informing more effective and efficient control. By ‘tax abuse’ I mean any activity in which financial advantage is achieved by illicitly withholding taxes from the state. Tax abuse may be perpetrated by individual or corporate taxpayers and may come in various forms, including activities which are frequently referred to as ‘tax evasion’, ‘tax avoidance’ or ‘aggressive tax planning’. Tax abuse is therefore only sometimes a crime. At other times tax abuse might only constitute a civil infraction – such as tax avoidance schemes that can be counteracted and sanctioned via the UK’s General Anti-Abuse Rule – whilst others might not represent any formalised wrongdoing despite being socially harmful and morally questionable.

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