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Public Lecture: 19th November 2014

Can participative research emerge from “non-participative” settings? Negotiating community connections and collaborations in health research.

Professor Fiona Poland (University of East Anglia)

Health research projects are commonly planned and funded within a primarily instrumental context often with a central aim of providing solutions to problems of health challenges and health management.  Since the 1990s “Patient and Public Involvement” (PPI) in research has increasingly been seen as needed to legitimise the choice of funded topics, the acceptability of research methods to potential research participants, the wider recognition of research findings as valid and the accessibility of findings for stakeholder groups.  However, the history and dynamics of this field of work may provide different ingredients for enabling and facilitating the research participation of PPI actors.

Fiona has had many years’ experience of seeking areas for community collaboration in health and social care research.  She will consider these issues in relation to three diverse examples of funded research involving different purposes, methods, points of partnership between community groups and research project workers and commissioners:

  • A Big Lottery-funded pilot for an ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Research Observatory;
  • A long-term evaluation of the Ipswich/Suffolk prostitution strategy set up in the wake of five murders of women in 2006;
  • An action research project in an acute hospital to increase the relevance of pre-surgery education for patients and carers before surgery for colo-rectal cancer.

Fiona will argue that constructing community participative approaches needs to actively draw on and to negotiate within the resources and expectations which condition the actualities of research production.

Watch the lecture here: YouTube
Download the power point presentation here.

Date: 19th November 2014

5.30pm Registration and Refreshments
6.00pm Lecture
7.00pm Refreshments and Networking

Registration: closed

Fiona PolandProfessor Fiona Poland is a sociologist and Professor of Social Research Methodology at the University of East Anglia (UEA). She leads the Public and Patient Theme for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care East of England (CLAHRC EofE).

Her career concern has been to use the power of qualitative research methods to address the health and wellbeing concerns of individuals and communities. Her work seeks to promote collaborations and respectful working across voluntary, statutory, academic and policy boundaries especially in community settings, and particularly to improve the lives of those who live and work with dementia.

She has recently been awarded grants totalling over £20 million. She was twice Chair and is currently Vice Chair of the Association for Research in the Voluntary and Community Sector (ARVAC). She has 80 peer-reviewed publications and is journal editor of Quality in Ageing and Older Adults.

In 2013 Fiona ran a 6-week programme at UEA partnered with ARVAC to host Senior Fulbright Scholar Prof Horton Smith to promote community participation in research. Her contribution to participative and community-based working was recognised in 2013 by the University of East Anglia’s Individual Award for Engagement.

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