"The team were strong in their defence of qualitative research methods and were able to communicate this effectively. Communication was excellent. The project manager was easily contactable and responded swiftly to all communication. We were always well informed of fieldwork progress with reliable progress updates. The team were quick to alert the Department to the low numbers of FTT participants moving through the system, were flexible and were able to extend the fieldwork period. Comments from the Department were accepted and acted upon – and were challenged when appropriate. The final product was of a good standard."
Research officer, Department for Education


"The team made my job as the project manager very easy. Their expertise and enthusiasm gave me the confidence to let them get on with it in the knowledge that they would be in touch if there were any problems.'

'On two occasions they were proactive and suggested additions to the research… This further demonstrated their enthusiasm for the project and their professionalism in that they wanted to produce a good/worthwhile piece of research rather than just do what they were contracted to do."
Senior research officer, Department for Education


"We found the research team to be very knowledgeable about the qualitative methodology used for this project, which resulted in a high quality piece of work being delivered.

'It was very helpful having a dedicated and experienced project manager in the research team – this definitely made communications throughout the project more straightforward.

'The final report was delivered to time and was of a very high standard.

'We felt the project was good value for money, given the good number of interviews included, undertaken in a range of locations, and the high quality of the final report that was delivered."
Laura Venning, research manager, Booktrust


  • Listened well to requirements of project
  • Flexible to our needs
  • Always easy to contact and collaborate with
  • Excellent value for money
  • Report was exactly what we hoped for and met the objective of the project
  • Worked very well with project participants
  • Overall a pleasure to work with - thank you for all your hard work

Project manager, national agency

"Thank you for all the time and effort you've invested in the evaluation. We are very grateful for your speedy responses to our queries and for frequently working to challenging timescales. Particular thanks for your efforts during the reporting period which we know has been pressured – we are aware that long hours have been invested in the report and appreciate your diligence in responding to our comments and queries. You've delivered all outputs either to time or earlier than planned which has allowed the Department to continue with the development of the policy at pace. All of these efforts are very much appreciated."
Project manager – government department


"The research team was very experienced in project management and analysis and did a great job in designing the research instruments, completing the fieldwork and writing the report. They were very cooperative and responsive to our requirements all way though the project and required minimum input, which is a significant advantage for us. The research report was very well written, especially the qualitative analysis, and brought out the key messages from a complex study. I very much enjoyed working with them and I hope to be able to work with them again in the future."
Project manager – government department

"The project report has provided some interesting findings and added to the debate in this area. We would be happy to work with the project team again."
Project manager for a national advisory body


Rotherham School Meal Research Project for Rotherham MBC and NHS Rotherham:

"I found the research team very easy to work with. They were extremely professional and understood from the outset the need and scope of the proposed research project.

'I felt the team were very effective communicators both through meeting face to face with them and through the findings they brought out of all those who took part in the research.

'The team have been adaptable throughout the process and have collected a range of data that we will be able to use as evidence when meeting with key stakeholders to develop the school meals service.

'The final report is appropriately written to engage a wide audience and will be used to action plan and improve the school meals service and has highlighted a number of issues that can be worked on with schools, local authority, NHS, children and families."
Wendy Nulty and Catherine Blakemore, NHS Rotherham

Multi-agency team development programme for the National College for School Leadership:

"We very much appreciated the way in which the team had an excellent grasp of the research process and the education / multi agency environment context .

'We were very satisfied with the accessibility of the research team – they responded to emails quickly, and returned calls equally quickly if they didn't happen to be around.

'The research team deployed their staff resources in an exemplary manner and they were excellent in terms of responsiveness to a changed environment. We were very grateful for the flexibility shown by the team in response to a slower than expected start to the programme that they were tasked with evaluating. We were impressed with the positive way in which the team helped us solve the problem

'Good value for money. The research was of a very good quality lending great faith to the findings. Reports were timely and also of very good quality - benefiting a lot from the researchers obvious familiarity with the terrain."

Mark Wright, National College for Leadership of Schools and Children's Services

Planning Careers Education and Guidance Projects: Learning from the Small-scale Careers Education and Guidance Initiative:

"The team had a good grasp of the wider policy context as well as understanding the requirements of the project.

'The team was friendly and engaged in the project. The project leader was prompt in responding to queries/requests, which was helpful given the tight project timelines. The team was also very willing to meet at our office for project meetings when requested.

'The project team adhered to challenging project timelines and was very responsive to changes and amendments requested.

'The project team offered excellent value for money.

'A sound research methodology resulted in a good quality research and reports."

Kathryn Terry, Training and Development Agency for Schools


Sheffield Gay and Bisexual Men and other Men who have Sex with Men – comments on a report for the Sheffield Centre for HIV and Sexual Health

"The knowledge and expertise of the research team was extremely high with a huge breadth of knowledge and experience in the area in which we were wishing to evaluate services. This knowledge and expertise enabled us to design the type of questionnaire which would elicit meaningful responses giving clear markers for future service design.

'The communication between ourselves and the research team was excellent and clear throughout all the evaluation process - from the design of the questionnaire through to the analysis of the results. The research team communicated without the use of jargon and in plain English.

'The research team was very flexible and efficient, agreeing to make changes as dictated by the process.

'Good value for money.

'I am delighted with the quality of the work. The findings from the evaluation are relevant and meaningful and will inform future service delivery, making services more appropriate for our target audience. We are also confident that the information gathered will enable us to engage more effectively and support the utilisation of social marketing tools in our health promotion work with MSM.

'I am extremely pleased with the work undertaken by the research team and grateful for their patience, clarity, sensitivity, efficiency and support throughout all of the evaluation process."
Steve Slack, Director, Sheffield Centre for HIV and Sexual Health

Secondary School Admissions – Sheffield Hallam University with National Centre for Social Research (Report DCSF-RR020)

"Sheffield Hallam University were excellent - the research team came equipped with the knowledge and expertise required for such a complicated project and were a pleasure to work with.

'They were flexible in their approach and conducted a lot of extra work, outside of their original contract boundaries. They worked with a sub-contractor (NATCen), and although the Department often has difficulties with sub-contractor relationships, there weren't any difficulties on this occasion.

'The quality of the research was very good indeed and they produced an excellent research report which has been well received by policy makers and practitioners.'
Michele Weatherburn, Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF)


Support Staff in 14–19 Applied Learning Programmes – A Preliminary Study

"The Sheffield Hallam University team provided a professional service and was responsive to the various requirements of our project steering group and the Department (as programme sponsors).

'An innovative approach was taken in identifying the sample for primary research and the team demonstrated a very good knowledge of the project context. Communications were clear and the regular updates provided were thorough and well considered.

'We were pleased with the quality of the research and outputs, particularly given the challenging specification and timelines of the project.'
James Pender, Training and Development Agency for Schools

Rotherham Ready Project – Evaluation

"The Project Management Group and myself have appreciated the work the Sheffield Hallam University team have undertaken during this one year evaluation. The challenge was great with the timescale alone placing significant demands on potential achievement. The scope of the research was also wide reaching with the dual objectives of using innovative research methodologies as well as evaluating Rotherham Ready activity.

'The final report has been very useful in affirming the positive direction of the project and also in identifying issues still to monitor or address. Aspects which have been especially useful include the detailing of specific qualities that different partners bring and the early/later enquiry work which has shown an improved awareness of the programme amongst schools/colleges and partners.

'The team have always been flexible and appreciative of project needs. They provided regular updates and were always willing to discuss progress informally, as well as attending project meetings.

'It has been very useful to be able to work with an excellent research team who have an established and valued relationship in Rotherham.'
Mike Garnock-Jones, Rotherham Ready Manager, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council