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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2016  /  October 2016  /  Volunteering with UCL’s Q-step Programme

Volunteering with UCL’s Q-step Programme

Chin Yee contributing research at a distance

Volunteering with UCL’s Q-step Programme

Chin Yee Lee, who is just starting her second year on a BA Geography course, is part of the first batch of students enrolled in UCL’s Q-step Programme. UCL is one of 15 new centres in the UK that provide advanced training in quantitative research methods in the social sciences. In this, students receive state-of-the-art training in research design, data analysis and visualization, all highly sought after skills by today’s employers.

Chin Yee has recently been a volunteer with Hounslow Action for Youth as part of the UCL Stats Network Programme, which connects UCL students with organisations that require help in their research using data profiling and analysis.

Hounslow Action for Youth is targeted at reducing youth crime and gang participation rates. It had carried out surveys and interviews to find out how effective their programme has been from the perspectives of its young participants, their parents and the staff.

As part of her work, Chin Yee helped to sort and analyse the results for their Junior Youth Inclusion Programme (JYIP). She volunteered mainly to apply the data and statistical skills learned in the Q-step programme to a real social research project. She also hopes this will prepare her for a career in policy work and planning research.

Perhaps surprisingly, Chin Yee did not need to be physically present in Hounslow to do the work. Unlike other volunteering projects she had worked with, she was able to offer social research assistance, analysing data and preparing a report, while back home in Singapore, with the help of regular video calls and emails.

The experience has demonstrated to her that a researcher should never be over-focused on single methodologies, whether quantitative or qualitative, but seek to adopt a multidimensional perspective.

While the volunteering project did not provide direct interactions with its young beneficiaries, it allowed Chin Yee to provide suggestions about how the initiatives could be improved. It certainly gave her a different volunteering experience!

To find out more about the UCL Statistics Network, visit:

UCL Q-step:

National Q-step:

For UCL student volunteering more generally:


Chin Yee Lee