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Centre for Social Justice and Community Action

Events, seminars and training

‘Ethics in Participatory Research: Building Trust and Being Fair’

Wednesday 25th November 2015, 4pm – 6pm

Manley Room, IHRR, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LE

This workshop will look at some of the main ethical issues and challenges that arise when community organisations and universities work together on research projects; and how we tackle these in practice. For example, it is not always clear when people are in the role of researchers and research subjects; when people’s work should be credited and when anonymity is important; who owns and has rights to the data/findings; how to navigate the institutional ethical review process; how to guard against exploitation of one party by another; how to be open about unequal power relationships; and how to achieve greater equality and mutual respect.

The workshop will be a mixture of input and small group work looking at real life case examples.

Reference will be made to Community-based Participatory Research: A Guide to Ethical Principles and Practice and accompanying case materials, films, podcasts and exercises for promoting ethical awareness, reflection and action. These were developed by a group of academics and community partners through a research project coordinated by the Centre for Social Justice and Community Action, Durham University and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council under the Connected Communities programme. The materials can be found at:

To book your free place, please sign up via our online booking system:

Issues and Challenges in Participatory and Collaborative Research – Sharing Experiences, 4th Postgraduate Event

Thursday 4th February 2016, 1-4pm, Ustinov Room, Van Mildert College, Durham University DH1 3LH

Are you undertaking research in partnership with a community group, voluntary organisation, a public body or business? Are you using participatory methods? Is the aim of your research to improve practice, change policy or create some other tangible impacts? If so, what are the issues and challenges for you?

Whilst research that is participatory and collaborative can be highly motivating, a great learning experience and a source of satisfaction, it may also create additional challenges for the postgraduate researcher. It may be time-consuming to develop a partnership, to develop and use participatory methods, to take account of views of many different stakeholders about the design and purpose of the research. There may be additional ethical and political issues relating to who controls the research, how to assure confidentiality, ownership of the findings and whose names are credited in what order on outputs.

The aim of this event, organised by the Centre for Social Justice and Community Action and supported by the Centre for Academic and Researcher Development, is for postgraduate (and other) researchers who are working in community-based collaborative research settings to meet one another and discuss experiences in a cross-disciplinary, supportive environment. We hope this will become a regular feature of the research training calendar, subject to demand. The event will be facilitated by two directors of the Centre for Social Justice and Community Action (Dr Andrew Russell, Department of Anthropology; Prof Rachel Pain, Department of Geography).

If you would like to attend, please register through the following link: Issues and Challenges - 4 February 2016

'Developing Policy and Practice Through Participatory Research'

Wednesday 18th May 2016, 9:30am - 1:00pm

Lindisfarne Centre, St Aidan's College, Durham University. Dr Andrew Orton, Durham University

BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL. For those outside the University, please contact to reserve a place.

For any queries about content, please contact:

This workshop is designed for researchers who want to find ways to involve policy-makers and practitioners in research that helps to develop policy and practice. Developing participatory approaches which involve policy-makers and practitioners can be an effective way of both carrying out and improving the impact of research. However, it can also involve negotiating significant methodological, ethical and practical challenges when trying to use such approaches as the basis for developing policy and/or practice. This workshop will draw on the experience of researchers who have negotiated these challenges, providing case studies as examples to stimulate reflection on what can help improve the effectiveness and impact of such approaches, and the barriers it can face, as well as exploring how these might be overcome. It will also provide opportunities to reflect on learning that may improve any projects of this nature that you are considering, planning, designing or carrying out.

This session is designed to complement the session on Participatory Action Research 2, by providing a specific focus on the relationship between participatory research, policy-making and practitioner development processes. Staff are welcome to attend either or both sessions; they will include different content, but neither is a pre-requisite for the other. A basic prior understanding of participatory research approaches may be helpful to those attending this session (e.g. from participants previously attending the session on Participatory Action Research 1), but this is not essential.