BetterEvaluation lists events as a service to the evaluation community.
We do not officially endorse these events unless they are noted as a BetterEvaluation event.
This event has concluded. Click here here to view upcoming events.

6th Annual CARES Summer School for Realist Methodology Training

The CARES Summer School is designed to train researchers, evaluators, commissioners, students and others in the principles and practice of realist inquiry. The application of realist methodology to research and evaluation requires capacity development. For many, collective effort and co-learning is fundamental to developing an inspired capacity for undertaking this approach.

United Kingdom
5th August, 2019 to 8th August, 2019
Event City: 
Event State/Province: 
Event cost: 
Event type: 

Through active engagement during the summer school, participants will:

  • learn about realist methodology (realist evaluation and synthesis) and clarify fundamental principles;
  • explore if realist methodology is a right fit given scope and nature of inquiry;
  • identify/address/overcome research design challenges;
  • develop programme/middle range theories and context-mechanism-outcome (CMO) configurations;
  • receive individualized consultations with facilitators;
  • have the opportunity to present work-in-progress;
  • gain exposure to a diversity of projects and share knowledge;
  • have available quiet space for data immersion and writing;
  • network, collaborate and join in a growing community of practice for realist inquiry.

The learning structure for the course includes a mix of didactic teaching, one-on-one consultations, and informal discussion. Over the course of the four days, participants will have the opportunity to receive individualized attention on their projects in which they talk through research design issues, show work-in-progress analyses and receive feedback.

Based on insights and direction gained from conversation with facilitators and co-participants, participants may choose to work on their respective projects in quiet space, attend the consultation of peers or network with other participants in informal discussion. Participants can return to consultation after working on their project for further feedback.

The one-on-one sessions are open to all so others may join in, listen and participate in the consultation discussion. In past events this has proven to be advantageous for gleaning realist methodology principles from practical and conceptual challenges in application and finding common points of connection for peer support.


Dr. Justin Jagosh is an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Liverpool and Director of the Centre for Advancement in Realist Evaluation and Synthesis (CARES). He runs a full-time consultancy for realist methodology training and support. Previously he served as a co-investigator on the NIHR funded RAMESES II project to develop quality guidelines and reporting standards for Realist Evaluation and has worked with many research teams on a variety of projects using realist methodology.

Dr Sonia Dalkin is a Lecturer in Public Health and Wellbeing at Northumbria University. She has significant experience in realist approaches, providing training in the approach throughout the UK and internationally. Her work portfolio reflects her realist experience with projects in palliative care, health inequalities and Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs).

Dr. Kevin Harris is an academic staff member at Solent University with a focus on realist evaluation in public health and social change interventions. He is passionate about building capacity for realist methodology with practitioners in programme settings and to that end is involved in a number of commissioned evaluations utilizing realist methodology in conjunction with additional approaches, namely Q sort.

Daily schedule:

  • 09:45-11:00: Didactic Session I
  • 11:00-11:15: Break
  • 11:15-13:00: Group Consultation Sessions I
  • 13:00-13:45: Lunch
  • 13:45-15:00: Group Consultation Sessions II
  • 15:00-15:15: Break
  • 15:15-16:30: Didactic Session II