Research Areas
The Centre is home to an international team of multidisciplinary researchers committed to conducting first-rate sustainability related research through the use of innovative techniques, methods, resources and technology. Key to our success is our expertise within key multidisciplinary research areas that are founded on harmonising with the global effort for a more just, sustainable world. Among our research areas we promote a scientific dialogue to maximise expertise and output findings. Our research often requires an acute understanding of societal changes from both human and non-human perspectives. It is our developments in these areas that help us to apply unique solutions for fields as diverse as the social sciences, engineering, physical sciences, biological sciences and humanities.

  
  SUSTAINABILITY

   ▪ GOVERNANCE
   ▪ GLOBALISATION
   ▪ CONSUMPTION
   ▪ SUSTAINABILITY INDICES
   ▪ ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
   ▪ URBAN SUSTAINABILITY
   ▪ GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE
 
ENVIRONMENT
  
  ENVIRONMENT   
  
NATURE AND CULTURE   
  
ENERGY AND CLIMATE   
   
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT    
  
CONSERVATION    
  
ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS    

INTERDISCIPLINARY SOCIETAL   STUDIES  
SOCIETY STUDIES ▪   
 RIGHTS ▪   
SOCIOECONOMICS ▪   
POLITICS OF FOOD ▪   
     GENDER ▪   
 POVERTY AND AID ▪   
 POLITICAL ECOLOGY ▪   
  GEOPOLITICS ▪   


Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches
The Centre’s research is based within two interdisciplinary methodological approaches: qualitative and quantitative. The combinative use of the two has been a long goal of the Centre with attempted sustainability research that explores control and systematisation of the biases of such an idea. The Centre’s expertise in both approaches is specialised in a vast array of multidisciplinary research areas, including: sustainable development functionality measures, environmental management and impact, geographic assaying and systems approach and society studies. The difference between qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches has been well documented since Patton (1990) and Chisnall (2001) illustrated the table on the right; from an interdisciplinary standpoint, we strive to add to this knowledge base.

  ▪ Qualitative Approach: The moderately low level of involvement of academic researchers in the European survey research industry has led to a state-of-affairs where best practice research methodologies are not as broadly implemented as they should be. It has also meant that the European survey research community is not well placed to respond to the various methodological challenges facing present survey methodologists, including issues such as the increasing proportion of ‘mobile phone only’ households and the inappropriate use of non-probability online panels via poor quality sampling frames. From this viewpoint there is a potential gap in the survey research landscape; this qualitative gap is where the Polo Centre of Sustainability attracts its services and strives to fulfil it Europe-wide.
  ▪ Quantitative Approach: From a quantitative research perspective, our approach is to strengthen the evidence base for our clients through the provision of rigorous, in-depth analysis which is fully grounded in the data. Quantitative research is concerned with testing hypotheses derived from theory and/or being able to estimate the size of a phenomenon of interest. Depending on the research question, participants may be randomly assigned to different treatments. If this is not feasible, the researcher may collect data on participant and situational characteristics in order to statistically control for their influence on the dependent, or outcome, variable. If the intent is to generalize from the research participants to a larger population, the researcher will employ probability sampling to select participants. Our expertise in quantitative data acquisition is first-rate and complimentary within the European research community.
RESEARCH
SUSTAINABILITY
HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
ENVIRONMENT
INTERDISCIPLINARY SOCIETAL STUDIES
INSTITUTIONAL COLLABORATION











































































































DIFFERENCES BETWEEN QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE APPROACHES