UCL Qualitative Health Research Network

Staff from the Division of Psychiatry are involved in the UCL Qualitative Health Research Network, (QHRN) a cross-faculty and transdisciplinary initiative to support the use and development of qualitative research in health, illness and care. The group runs quarterly seminars and a biennial international symposia. You can find out more by joining the mailing listYou can also follow the QHRN on Twitter at @UCL_QHRN.

The QHRN involves the collaboration of three UCL departmental qualitative groups including the Division of Psychiatry, the Department of Applied Health Research and the Institute of Global Health.

The 4th QHRN conference

The 4th QHRN conference took place in London on 22 March 2019. Abstracts of presentations from the conference can be found online.

The 5th QHRN conference

The 5th QHRN conference will take place in London on 18-19th March 2021. Call for abstracts will be opening soon, so watch this space!

Division of Psychiatry Qualitative Researchers Working Group

The Division of Psychiatry Qualitative Researchers Working Group (QRWG) is a researcher-led forum open to staff and students working in the Division. The QRWG provides a meeting point for Divisional researchers to share and explore ideas and techniques in qualitative research. It is run mainly through seminars that encourage an intellectually lively yet supportive atmosphere for discussion, allowing early career and experienced researchers from any academic discipline to present, experiment with, and learn about qualitative theory, methods and writing.

We will continue to include more slots to discuss key themes in qualitative work in a journal club format. In the past we have ran eight one-hour sessions over the year alternating between a journal club and a working group. Meetings will generally be held on the first Wednesday of the month, from 11.30am-12.30pm in Room 7 at Wing B, Maple House, unless otherwise advised.

Journal Club seminars

These seminars support discussion around qualitative research by setting an issue or problem that encourages the group to examine qualitative methods and practice, interrogate classic qualitative concepts, or critique innovative methods. Generally we will centre discussion on published articles, which are posted on this page and circulated before the meeting.

Papers discussed at previous journal clubs:

  1. Brannen J. Mixing methods: The entry of qualitative and quantitative approaches into the research process. International journal of social research methodology. 2005 Jul 1;8(3):173-84. 
  2. Chapter 10: Analysing field notes from DeWalt KM, DeWalt BR. Participant Observation: A Guide for Fieldworkers. Rowman Altamira; 2011.
  3. Vindrola-Padros C, Vindrola-Padros B: Quick and dirty? A systematic review of the use of rapid ethnographies in healthcare organisation and delivery. BMJ Quality and Safety. 2018 Apr;27(4):321-330. 
  4. Mays N, Pope C. Assessing quality in qualitative research. Bmj. 2000 Jan 1;320(7226):50-2.
  5. Gilgun, J.F (2014) Writing up Qualitative Research. In the Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research (edited by Leavy P) DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199811755.013.032
  6. Armstrong, M., Kupeli, N., Flemming, K., Stone, P., Wilkinson, S., & Candy, B. (2020). Complementary therapy in palliative care: A synthesis of qualitative and quantitative systematic reviews. Palliative Medicine, 0269216320942450.

Working Group seminars

These seminars offer an opportunity for researchers to raise particular aspects of their own work for discussion or support. Materials are usually pre-circulated before meetings to encourage fuller discussions. We encourage researchers to discuss their work at any stage of the research process to support a critical reflection of their approach. Generally, researchers will provide a short overview of the study at the beginning of the session which will be followed by broader discussion of the methodological, ethical and analytical issues that the study raises.

If you would like to present your study at one of the Working Groups in 2020, please contact the Chair for that meeting (or contact any of the chairs if you are flexible with a date). We will update this page as we organise sessions for 2020.


The group holds an evolving archive of resources to enable researchers to engage with qualitative research. We keep some books in the Division and a list of electronic references. If you work within the Division of Psychiatry at UCL and would like more information please contact one of the QRWG members listed below and we can add you to the internal mailing list.

Journal Club 2020, 11.30am-12.30pm (unless specified)





March 25th

(this meeting will be held in room 6 at 3pm-4pm)

Henry Llewellyn

Ethics and ethnography

Ethnography is about cultivating a sense of the lived expectations, complexities, inconsistencies, and possibilities of a given cultural group.  It is deeply relational, which means it is premised on making connections with people, and trying to understand their world through their eyes.  Because it so immersive and because we engage in situations that are often extremely emotionally charged, ethnography means that the relationships made in the field go beyond what is typical in most other research paradigms.  It is also an approach that is based on understanding the “real-world,” so to speak.  In this context, relationships unfold in unexpected ways and often blur the boundaries between what is more formally understood in a “researcher-participant” dynamic.  We become implicated in people’s lives and because of this, new and particular ethical tensions appear.  In this seminar we will examine some of these tensions and discuss ways of thinking about an ethics which is continually attuned to the liveliness of ethnographic encounters and the evolving relationships we make in the field.

Smith, L. and Kleinman, A. (2010). Emotional Engagements: Acknowledgement, Advocacy, and Direct Action. In Emotions in the Field: The Psychology and Anthropology of Fieldwork Experience. Edited by James Davies and Dimitrina Spencer. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

June 3rd

Sebastien Libert

Discussing teamwork in Qualitative Health Research: challenges and opportunities

As qualitative research increasingly establishes itself in the realm of interdisciplinarity and large research consortia, we will discuss the challenges and opportunities that teamwork implies in these novel configurations of scientific activity. Is teamwork a remedy to the loneliness of the independent researcher or does it prevent deeper immersion in the field? How does teamwork in observations and interviews affect relationships with participants and the topic studied? Is teamwork beneficial to interpreting data, or are we too positivist in establishing the objectivist virtue of multiple reviewers/coders? Those are some of the questions that we wish to stimulate on the day. We will discuss an article (Hall et al., 2005) presenting attempts to stimulate the value of teamwork. We encourage participants to share their own experience as part of this session.

Hall, W. A., Long, B., Bermbach, N., Jordan, S., & Patterson, K. (2005). Qualitative teamwork issues and strategies: Coordination through mutual adjustment. Qualitative Health Research, 15(3), 394–410.

September 16th  

Nuriye Kupeli

Synthesising qualitative and quantitative data in reviews

Bridget Candy will lead a discussion on their systematic review paper that synthesises qualitative and quantitative data to inform interventions in palliative care.


November 11th

Kirsten Moore



Discussion groups 2020, 11.30am-12.30pm



January 15th

Nuriye Kupeli

May 6th

Kirsten Moore

July 15th

Kirsten Moore

October 14th

Henry Llewellyn