Our next workshop will take place March 12-13, 2019 at the University of Oxford. Details and registration will be available shortly.

These Workshops introduce participants to the TIER protocol for replicable empirical research. They are intended for faculty members interested in teaching their own students to follow this protocol to document the statistical work they do for senior theses, other independent research projects, or papers written for classes.

About the Workshops

TIER Faculty Development Workshops are intended for instructors who are interested in incorporating principles of transparent and reproducible research in their teaching and/or research advising. The workshops emphasize research methods in the social sciences, but participation is not limited to social science faculty. Instructors from departments of math and statistics, or other fields in which quantitative methods are important, are welcome as well. We are seeking participants who teach classes and/or supervise research involving applied analysis of statistical data, regardless of their disciplinary homes. Faculty from both graduate and undergraduate programs are invited to apply.

The focus of the Workshops is the TIER Protocol, a workflow for conducting and documenting empirical research that we have developed over a number of years teaching introductory statistics classes and advising senior theses. The TIER Protocol specifies a set of electronic files—including data, computer code, and supplementary information—that students prepare in the course of conducting their research projects, and submit when they turn in their final papers. The guiding principle behind the protocol is that the information included in the documentation should be complete and transparent enough to allow an interested third party to easily and exactly reproduce all the steps of data management and analysis that led from the original data files to the results reported in the paper.

The Workshops include a thorough exposition of the structure and content of the documentation specified by the protocol, strategies we have developed for teaching students to use it to document their own empirical research projects, and the range of pedagogical benefits that result. Participants are also introduced to the Open Science Framework, a powerful but user-friendly web platform for managing research data and documents. Since training in research methods takes place in a variety of contexts, we also discuss ways in which individual instructors can modify the protocol to suit their particular needs.

Workshop Agenda

The topics covered in these one and one-half day Workshops include:

  • The broad principles underlying the protocol: replicability, transparency and integrity.
  • How those principles are embodied in the protocol.
  • Teaching students to use the protocol to document their own research.
  • Web platforms for creating and sharing documentation.
  • Pedagogical benefits of the protocol.
  • Implications of our student-oriented protocol for standards of professional practice in empirical social science research.

We are keenly interested in hearing the participants’ views on the Protocol, its potential for enhancing student research experiences, and potential obstacles to its dissemination. The Workshops are therefore conducted in a participatory, discussion-oriented format. To facilitate active and inclusive discussion, the number of participants in each Workshop is capped at about 10.

The Workshops are software-neutral, by which we mean that the presentation and discussion of the Protocol will be conducted in terms that apply to users of any programmable statistical package, such as Stata, SPSS, SAS and R. (Most of the examples we present will be done with Stata, but the principles we discuss translate easily to any of the major statistical packages.)

Post-workshop Follow-up

After each Workshop, we strive to maintain regular contact with the participants so that we can learn about their experiences teaching the Protocol to their students, and/or to offer further guidance or assistance. In particular, we will ask participants to keep us up-to-date about ways they incorporate transparency and replicability in their teaching and advising, and to share with us syllabi and other materials from relevant courses (e.g., instructions for research projects, assignments and exercises, handouts).


The Workshops take place on the campus of Haverford College, in Haverford, PA, which is located about 10 miles west of Philadelphia.

They typically begin about mid-day on a Friday and conclude at the end of the day on Saturday.

Housing and meals are provided free of charge for all participants. Housing is in single guest rooms on or near the Haverford College campus.

We ask applicants to seek funds for travel expenses from their home institutions. For individuals not able to obtain internal support, we can offer financial assistance for travel to and from the workshop.