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I welcome small research budgets

February 8, 2016

2010-09-18Back in the day I managed the research department of a charity, and I was always seeing interesting tendering opportunities in the third sector coming and going because we could not afford to bid for them.  What I mean is, our day rates were sufficiently high that we couldn’t do anything within the specified budgets.  But I squirrelled that information away and when I came to leave the charity I thought I might see if I could get myself a piece of the ‘lower budget’ research contract market.

Fast forward, and I proved it was possible to make a living working in that space simply by doing it, and later on during my business degree I tracked all of the relevant opportunities that came up over the course of the year and estimated the potential market as being into the £millions each year.

I like it.

I like working with relatively small research budgets.

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NEW Ruthless Research e-book: Interviewing external researchers

January 11, 2016

Following the success and great deal of interest in my original e-book The Ruthless Research guide to commissioning and managing research projects I have been prompted to write a wee follow-up!

So please do check out…

The Ruthless Research guide to commissioning and managing research projects: Interviewing external researchers

This e-book is designed to help charities and other not-for-profit organisations to understand interviewing as part of the procurement process when commissioning external research and evaluation projects.

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The DIY of self employment

January 5, 2016


People sometimes ask me about running my own business, and what it is like doing all of the extra tasks that being self employed entails.

I was thinking about it, and there isn’t that much.

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Getting a sole trader bargain

December 15, 2015

2013-07-24There are many benefits of employing a large multinational research agency to undertake your research projects and having worked for two myself I’d be more than happy to recommend them.  You get the benefit of a huge load of infrastructure ticking along behind the scenes, and a big brand name to impress people with.  Don’t think me glib, I honestly think the big boys do a brilliant job.

But that infrastructure and brand name costs.

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Why I audio record research conversations, and how I do it ethically

November 24, 2015

2013-08-12When conducting depth interviews or focus groups it is conventional for a researcher to audio record the conversations, with the consent of the respondent.  A lot of respondents are initially a little wary of this so I thought I’d explain what my needs are in relation to audio recordings, and what happens to the recording following the conversation.

There are several reasons why it is always my preference to audio record my research conversations:

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Optimising your charity, community group or activity website

November 11, 2015

2009-04-18Over the last few years I have undertaken a few research projects that have required me to collect information about charities, community groups and activities via the internet.

All too often it was challenging to find out detailed information about the charities, groups and activities as websites tended to be created with current users in mind.  They would include lists of members and awards won, and lovely photos of recent events, but they would lack the very basics such as what the organisation actually did, or where it was based, or how to get in touch.

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Happy 5th birthday to Ruthless Research!

November 1, 2015

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday Ruthless Research

Happy birthday to you!


If my business was a person, it’d have recently started school…

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