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Participatory Action Research 2023

6th June 2023 @ 10:30 am - 7th June 2023 @ 4:00 pm

Participatory action research: theories, methods and challenges
A two-day course for doctoral students and members of community organisations

Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 June 2023
Teaching and Learning Centre, Durham University, Durham, UK

Following eight very successful courses in previous years, we are pleased to offer an in-person two-day course designed to develop understanding and skills in the theory and practice of participatory action research (PAR). PAR is increasingly popular, involving people affected by/interested in a research topic taking an active part in designing, carrying out and putting research into practice. The aim of PAR is to bring about change – for example, in people’s living conditions, service provision or public policy. Doctoral students taking a PAR approach face many challenges, including negotiating how to work with partner organisations, handling co-ownership of research findings in relation to the thesis, and responsibilities for working for social change.

The course will cover key values, ethical/political issues, theorising and critiquing PAR, working with partner organisations to influence change, and participatory approaches to research design, process, analysis, dissemination and implementation. The course will be participatory, using small groups to focus on specific questions and evaluate learning. Community partners and academics will act as tutors. Ten places will be reserved for members of community organisations, enabling a process of mutual learning for doctoral students and community partners.

The objectives of the course are to:
1. Enable participants to develop critical understandings of the uses, advantages and limitations of PAR, and an ability to draw on a range of theoretical and practical insights.
2. Develop participants’ awareness of ethical and political challenges in PAR, particularly in community-university partnership working, and strategies for handling these.
3. Facilitate the development of participants’ confidence in working with the complexities of PAR within different disciplines and settings.
4. Offer participants the experience of learning and understanding through active participation during the course, particularly through the co-inquiry group model.
5. Develop participants’ understanding of the impacts that PAR may have, and processes for creating and capturing these.

Facilitators: The course will be facilitated by a team of academic and community-based practitioners of PAR, with a variety of areas of expertise and experience, including: Professor Sarah Banks, Centre for Social Justice and Community Action, Durham University; Professor Mary Brydon Miller, University of Louisville, USA; Professor Tina Cook, formerly Liverpool Hope University; Yvonne Hall, community researcher; and Professor Kristin Kalsem, University of Cincinnati, USA.

Who should come: The course will be of interest to doctoral students and members of community organisations who do, or are interested in doing, research that is participatory. In selecting participants from community organisations, priority will be given to those based in North East England or Northern Ireland. PLEASE NOTE: This course is only available to doctoral students and members of community organisations.

Timing: the course will start at 10.30 on Day 1 and finish at 16.00 on Day 2.

How to apply: Places are limited to 50, so early booking is advisable. If you are a member of a community organisation interested in attending please complete the online application form for community organisations. If you are a doctoral student, please complete the online application form for doctoral students. Demand is usually high, so selection is based on the case you make in the application for why you will benefit from the course.

The closing date is 19 March 2023. Early application is advisable.

Please note:  Places are still available for members from Community Organisations. For an application form, please email: [email protected]


• The course is free for PhD students from NINE DTP Universities: Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Queens Belfast, Sunderland, Teesside and Ulster, and for members of community organisations.
• £60 to attend for postgraduate research students from other Universities. This fee includes meals during the two days, but doesn’t include overnight accommodation.

Accommodation: If accommodation is required, please do let us know via the online application form and we will send details of local hotels and B and Bs, once your place has been confirmed. You will need to book this and pay directly yourself. We are unable to offer on-campus accommodation during term time.

Flyer for full details: Participatory Action Research 2023

Further information: Please email [email protected] , or telephone (+44) 0191 33 41987 about bookings and accommodation. If you require any further information about the course content, please email Sarah Banks [email protected]


6th June 2023 @ 10:30 am
7th June 2023 @ 4:00 pm
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0191 3341987


NINE DTP Hub, Durham University
Arthur Holmes Building
Durham, DH1 3LE United Kingdom
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NINE DTP - a collaborative partnership funded by the ESRC