Beyond talk and text: Stretching and enriching qualitative research practice

Brief workshop overview (see below for details)

What: This interactive workshop will promote ways in which researchers can expand the range of methods used for qualitative research. It will also promote the use of innovative methods for designing qualitative research projects, for approaching data collection and analysis, and reporting research findings.
Who: The workshop will be facilitated by Kerry Chamberlain.
When: Sunday 29th to Tuesday 31st August, 2010.
Where: Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
Accomodation: For accommodation possibilities, please check the EHPS website ( We recommend Hotel City Plaza and the Retro Youth and Transylvania hostels (all 5-10 minutes from the university; see for more information).
Food: Lunch and dinner will be provided on Monday; lunch will be provided on Tuesday; and refreshments will be provided during the breaks throughout the workshop. A welcome reception with drinks and snacks will be held on Sunday evening.
How much: The workshop fee is €200.
Reduced fee: Participants from eligible countries listed on the EHPS registration website are entitled to a reduced fee of €100. Please note that all participants from non-eligible countries will have to pay the full fee regardless of their status.
Deadline for application: July 1st, 2010.
Notification of acceptance: July 8th, 2010.
Deadline for payment: August 1st, 2010.
Workshop grants: Two grants are available for attendants of the Synergy workshop, each comprising a maximum of €1100 toward workshop registration, conference fee, accommodation and travel. See the grants page for more information.

Workshop details

What is the focus?

Qualitative research methodologies are becoming relatively common within health psychology, although their newness promotes a tendency for these methodologies and methods to be used in rather formulaic ways. This workshop challenges the formulaic use of methodology, promotes the use of more inventive and imaginative forms of qualitative research practice, and promotes innovation in planning and reporting qualitative research. The focus is on extending the boundaries and advancing the standard of work within the field. We will consider a wide range of recent developments in methodology – visual methods including photo-voice, photo-elicitation and graphic elicitation techniques, mobile research involving walking and go-along interviews, longitudinal research and multiple contacts, observational methods, drama and arts-based research practices, the involvement of time, space and materiality, as well as the use of multiple methodologies. The workshop will also consider the implications of these research approaches and methods for ethical practice and reflexivity, and examine innovative ways of reporting qualitative research.

Who should attend?

This workshop is suitable for researchers who have some experience in qualitative health research, and who are seeking to stretch and extend their knowledge of qualitative research in innovative directions. It is not necessary to have extensive experience in conducting qualitative research to attend, but the workshop is not intended as an entry-level course on qualitative research.

What will we do?

The workshop will be run as a collaborative engagement, seeking to pool expertise, share ideas and critical evaluations, and stimulate networking. It will involve presentations by the facilitator on key issues – methods, data collection, data analysis, ethics, reflexivity, and reporting research – but a significant amount of time will be spent working in small groups to develop specific research projects brought by participants. Participants will collaboratively help to develop and critique one another’s projects, and each participant will have developed the completed draft of an innovative research proposal at the conclusion of the workshop.

The scheduled timetable:

Sunday 29, 13.30-17.30; Monday 30 and Tuesday 31, 09.30-17.30
A draft workshop overview (we may modify this as we go through the workshop sessions):
Day 1: will commence with introductions and an orientation to the workshop, an overview of the approaches we will take to qualitative researching, a presentation and discussion on recent innovative developments in qualitative methods, followed by presentations of participant’s project topics and ideas.
Day 2: the morning will commence with a presentation on data collection and management focusing on non-textual data; the remainder of the morning will involve small group work involving the development of participant projects and reporting back; the afternoon will start with another presentation and discussion about data analysis and reflexivity in research; this will be followed by further group work to refine and justify the methods to be used in research projects.
Day 3: the morning will commence with a presentation on challenges for research ethics and creative presentation of research findings, arising from the use of innovative methods; the balance of the morning will be small group work focusing on finalising the research projects, including ethics, data analyses and reporting; the afternoon will be spent on presenting and critiquing the projects. The workshop will close with a discussion to finalise how we report back into the conference.

What should you bring?

Please develop and bring a research topic, issue or proposal that you are currently planning, or one you are interested to develop, so that it can be worked up and developed collectively during the workshop. Participants will work collaboratively on these projects during the workshop with a view to developing them into finished research proposals.

How should you prepare?

Search out and determine the basic idea for your research topic, issue or proposal. Read some of the articles on the reading list, especially those that appear relevant for your project or those that particularly take your attention. Note that there is now a very wide range of published articles and books relevant to the topics of the workshop. Those suggested on the reading list involve only journal articles and not books, and are just a (somewhat esoteric) selection from the much more extensive reading list that will be issued during the workshop. Feel free to locate other readings of relevance and to bring references to the workshop so we can build up a wider reading list to share.

What are the expected outcomes?

The outcomes are to:

  • develop critical thinking about qualitative research in general;
  • extend knowledge about and use of emerging and innovative qualitative research methodologies and methods;
  • provide experience in developing, conducting and reporting more complex qualitative research;
  • promote understanding of the value, and the implications of, a creative and reflexive approach to research practice; and
  • facilitate networks and collaboration between qualitative health psychology researchers in Europe.

Finally, we will plan an innovative presentation showcasing the work developed from the workshop for the conference. There are various possibilities for this, so we will plan this collaboratively during the last phases of the workshop.

Some suggested readings

Bagnoli, A. (2009). Beyond the standard interview: The use of graphic elicitation and arts-based methods. Qualitative Research, 9, 547-570.
Camic, P. M. (2008). Playing in the mud: Health psychology, the arts and creative approaches to health care. Journal of Health Psychology, 13, 287-298.
Carpiano, R. M. (2008). Come take a walk with me: The "Go-Along" interview as a novel method for studying the implications of place for health and well-being. Health & Place, 15, 263-272.
Crilly, N., Blackwell, A., & Clarkson, P. (2006). Graphic elicitation: Using research diagrams as interview stimuli. Qualitative Research, 6, 341-366.
Catalani, C., & Minkler, M. (2009). Photovoice: A review of the literature in health and public health. Health Education & Behavior, 37, 424-451.
Clark, A., Prosser, J., & Wiles, R. (2010). Ethical issues in image-based research. Arts & Health, 2, 81-93.
Hawkes, G., Houghton, J. & Rowe, G. (2009). Risk and worry in everyday life: Comparing diaries and interviews as tools in risk perception research. Health, Risk & Society, 11, 209-230.
Keats, P. (2009). Multiple text analysis in narrative research: Visual, written, and spoken stories of experience. Qualitative Research, 9, 181-195.
Keightley, E. (2010). Remembering research: Memory and methodology in the social sciences. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 13, 55-70.
Mannay, D. (2010). Making the familiar strange: Can visual research methods render the familiar setting more perceptible? Qualitative Research, 10, 91-111.
Monrouxe, L. V. (2009). Solicited audio diaries in longitudinal narrative research: A view from inside. Qualitative Research, 9, 81-103.
Murray, M., & Gray, R. (2008). Health psychology and the arts: A conversation. Journal of Health Psychology, 13, 147-153.
Pink, S. (2008). Mobilising visual ethnography: Making routes, making place and making images [27 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(3), Art. 36,
Thomson, R., & Holland, J. (2005). 'Thanks for the memory': Memory books as a methodological resource in biographical research. Qualitative Research, 5, 201-219.
Rossiter, K., Kontos, P., Colantonio, A., Gilbert, J., Gray, J., & Keightley, M. (In press). Staging data: Theatre as a tool for analysis and knowledge transfer in health research. Social Science & Medicine [Available through online first].
Umoquit, M., Dobrow, M., Lemieux-Charles, L., Ritvo, P., Urbach, D., & Wodchis, W. (2008). The efficiency and effectiveness of utilizing diagrams in interviews: An assessment of participatory diagramming and graphic elicitation. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 8, 53. Available from