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Wolfson Institute of Population Health

Mapping Practices of Participation

Participation is an ideal that underpins the research, education and engagement activities of universities.  Researchers seek to involve people into their work through co-production, Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) and Public Engagement. Curriculums are co-produced between students, staff and members of the public. More recently, universities have begun to reflect on and develop their role in local civic life - as anchor institutions that can build place-based capacity to address various forms of inequality.

Although a feature of university culture for some time, there has been a recent push from the government and funders for ‘more participation’.  But there is no simple recipe to achieve participation for all, it is often an ideal that is never fully realised.

This project, funded by Research England, explores how the ideal of participation plays out in the context of health inequalities research conducted across the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at QMUL. Through documentary analysis, interviews and workshops with university staff, members of the public, and community organisations, we will collectively reflect on experiences of participation and speculate about how we might develop more generous and expansive practices of participation in the future.

Project Team

This project is being led by Megan Clinch and Alison Thomson who have been wondering about the contribution and consequences of participation across their research practice for some time. They are supported by experienced community researchers Tahrina Haque and Beth Hayden (Jan-Aug 2023) and postdoctoral researcher Danilo Di Emidio.

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