About the Institute

The Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research (CMI) is a centre for excellence in quantitative social science. Our core mission is to provide rigorous empirical answers to contemporary social and political questions, and to empower others to do the same

The Institute provides a focal point at The University of Manchester for the application of quantitative methods in interdisciplinary social science research in order to generate a world class research environment.

Our work contributes to advancing quantitative social science (QSS) in three key ways. First, through developing robust methods and complex forms of data to conduct QSS; second, by using those methods and data to address important social and political questions; and finally by delivering high quality training to build the key skills and capacity of researchers to engage in QSS.

CMI combines the strengths of two previous research centres in the Social Sciences at The University of Manchester, the Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Surveys Research and the Institute for Social Change.

Today we are building on this reputation for quantitative social science and the development and application of advanced quantitative methods. We bring together expertise in statistical modelling and survey research methods with a focus on political participation, ageing, ethnicity, health, class, gender and labour. This inter-disciplinarity means that we are able to offer highly original and creative insights into understanding contemporary problems.

Director and Deputy Director

The Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research (CMI) appointed Professor Ed Fieldhouse (Politics) as its new Director in September 2022, and Professor Todd Hartman (Social Statistics) as Deputy Director in November 2022.

Ed Fieldhouse is Professor of Social and Political Science. He joined The University of Manchester in 1993 and previously directed the Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research from 2002 until 2005. In 2006 he was appointed as founding director of the Institute for Social Change and executive director of Social Change: a Harvard-Manchester Initiative. In addition, he is Principal Investigator of the Scientific Leadership Team of the 2015 British Election Study, 'Voters in Context'. His main research interests are voting behaviour, electoral geography, and social and contextual influences on electoral behaviour. He is co-author of over sixty scholarly articles and books on a diverse range of topics including voting behaviour and turnout, social capital, social inequality, unemployment and deprivation. He also has extensive experience of working with non-academic stakeholders.

Todd Hartman is Professor of Quantitative Social Science. He joined The University of Manchester in 2021. His research explores the psychological underpinnings of public opinion and behaviour using cutting-edge research methods and statistical techniques. His work has been published in prestigious peer-reviewed academic journals such as Nature Communications, Nature: Scientific Reports, Psychological Medicine, Big Data & Society, British Journal of Political Science, The Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Social Psychological and Personality Science, Political Psychology, Political Communication, and The Geographical Journal.