The Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) offers methodology consultation and short workshops on quantitative and qualitative methods. These services are free for students, faculty, and other members of the UMass-Amherst research community. Our graduate student consultants are funded by the Graduate School at UMass-Amherst.

Request your free consultation 

Our consulting service is staffed by a team of advanced graduate students who provide consultation by appointment.  The team also offers short courses in specific methods and data program packages.  ISSR's Director of Research Methods Programs, Jessica Pearlman, is available for consulting appointments with faculty and graduate students, as well as to assist with the methods sections of grant proposals. 

ISSR offers both in-person (in Machmer E27) and virtual consulting options. 

Request free consultation

Fee-for-Service Consultation

ISSR offers private, customized fee-based consultations for faculty, nonprofit organizations and research-intensive companies. Fee-based consultation can be written into faculty grant proposals and is particularly appropriate for enhancing faculty grants.

ISSR also offers customized workshops for university courses and research teams.

To request fee-for-service consultations or a customized workshop, please email a description of your needs to Jessica Pearlman.

Request fee-based consultation

Methodology Consulting Team:

Jessica Pearlman | Director of Research Methods Programs

Debadatta Chakraborty
Onupurba Das
Hsin Fei Tu
Grazielle Valentim
Elinor (Elle) Waite


Areas of expertise

Research Design, Data Collection and Processing

  • Research design
  • Experimental design
  • Survey design
  • Semi-structured interviewing methods
  • Participant observation & ethnography
  • Archival research
  • Data management, coding, and processing
  • Questionnaire design and survey implementation
  • Public secondary data sources (Census, Bureau of Economic Analysis, etc.)

Quantitative Analysis

  • Descriptive analysis and simple hypothesis testing
  • Multivariate linear regression
  • Logistic and Probit regression, including multinomial and ordered approaches
  • Methods for count data, including poisson and negative binomial models
  • Longitudinal data analysis, including fixed and random effects
  • Event history and survival analysis
  • Multi-level modeling for linear and nonlinear outcomes
  • Factor and principal components analysis
  • Latent class analysis
  • Structural equation models and simultaneous equation models
  • Hayes process modeling
  • Propensity score matching
  • Imputation methods for missing data
  • Data visualization and graphics
  • Social network analysis
  • Survey sampling methods (including weighting)
  • Spatial data analysis
  • Nonparametric tests

Qualitative Analysis

  • Coding qualitative data
    • Grounded theory coding
    • Deductive approaches to coding & querying a dataset
  • Coding and interpreting comparison queries to test reliability between multiple coders on collaborative projects
  • Content analysis
  • Use of descriptive statistics in qualitative research
  • Design of comparative and case study-based research

Software Platforms

  • GPower
  • LaTeX
  • Mplus
  • Python
  • Qualtrics
  • NVivo
  • R
  • SAS
  • SPSS