Participatory Action Research


06/06/2023 - 07/06/2023

Organised by:

Durham University


Professor Sarah Banks


Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)


Hazel Reynolds
NINE DTP Coordinator

+ 44 (0)191 334 1987


View in Google Maps  (DH1 3LE)


Durham University, South Road, Durham, UK


Following eight very successful courses in previous years (the last two online), we are pleased to offer again 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.

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

This course is only available to doctoral students and members of community organisations.

Places are limited to 50, so early booking is advisable. If you are a member of a community organisation interested in attending please complete Participatory Action Research 2023 - Community Organisations Application ( If you are a doctoral student, please complete Participatory Action Research 2023 - PhD Students Application Form ( 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. 


• 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.

Website and registration:


North East


Research Skills, Communication and Dissemination

Related publications and presentations:

Research Skills, Communication and Dissemination

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