The state of the art of realist methodologies: a two day conference

This is a conference in which internationally recognised scholars will discuss and celebrate the innovative and ground-breaking work of emeritus Professor Ray Pawson.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­This two day conference will bring together internationally recognised scholars from a wide range of disciplines to debate and advance realist methodologies and celebrate the innovative and ground-breaking work of emeritus Professor Ray Pawson. For more details and information about registration for the conference, please see the Realism Leeds website.

There is a pre-conference event for PhD students and Early Career Academics on the 3rd November

Considerable innovation has happened in realist synthesis, evaluation, and mixed method research. There is compelling evidence of wide scale early adoption of realist methodologies across the human and social sciences. This conference is intended to bring together these innovators and adopters to advance realist methodologies.

The conference is arranged around key-note sessions (speakers to be announced), with significant time set aside for debate and discussion. The sessions are:

  • Realism and complexity
  • Multiple methods in realist research
  • Extending methodologies of realist synthesis
  • The big debate: Randomised control trials and realist evaluation
  • Utilisation: informing policy

We have purposefully chosen a venue, the Leeds Club, for its convivial surroundings. We hope that this environment will facilitate break out groups and more informal discussion. The Club is situated in Leeds city centre with easy access to interesting pubs and cafes where lively debate is possible. We intend to convene groups arranged across the experiences of participants using realist methods in research and policy and use social media extensively to report back from groups.

The conference dinner

The conference meal on the evening of the 4th November is included in the price of the conference and will be held at the Crafthouse ( It will be a celebration of fine Yorkshire food and Professor Ray Pawson’s work.