Hello world!

Welcome to the Realist Hive blog.  Over the coming months Mark Pearson and Becky Hardwick will be inviting you to join them on their journey into understanding more about realistic evaluation and synthesis, methodologies for understanding and explaining the social world.

Who are we? 

Mark Pearson is a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter Medical School.  He has worked for PenTAG (Peninsula Technology Appraisal Group, see PenTAG for more info) since 2008, producing systematic reviews of both quantitative and qualitative research to inform decision-making in public health and health services. More recently, he has been contributing to the development of integrative systematic review methods through NIHR-funded projects on models of care (intermediate care and shared care) and implementation (health promotion in schools). He is also co-investigator on the GUIDE project, which is exploring the impact and use of the TREND reporting guideline in public health. He has a background in qualitative research, using an ethnographic approach in his PhD (awarded 2008) to critically examine the process of conducting a systematic review to inform the development of national guidelines on preventing substance use.

Rebecca Hardwick (Becky), has worked as an Associate Research Fellow for the Medical School since April 2012, coming to the role with extensive experience in service improvement and policy implementation in the NHS and voluntary and community sector.  She is working with Dr Rob Anderson, Dr Richard Byng and Mark on a realist review into the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of shared care.  Her Public Health Masters dissertation used Realist Review methods in order to better explain why ‘One Stop Shops’ for women in the criminal justice system have the mixed fortunes they do in improving outcomes.  She is a budding methodologist, and enjoys nothing more than a conversation about epistemology and ontology.  One day she even hopes to be able to tell the difference without having to look it up.

Together, Mark and Becky were successful in bidding for an award from the Researcher-Led initiative grant that seeks to support early career researchers and build skills and confidence across the University.  It is their fervent wish that through the Realist Hive, academics from across the University will be able to develop enduring relationships that cross disciplinary boundaries and increase the skills and abilities of those involved.

On the right hand side of this page, there are links to papers, archived blogs, webpages, and other resources which we have found helpful.

We welcome comments and requests, and will be updating the blog on a weekly basis.