Qualitative Health Research Network


Critical workshop 2020

Our next workshop will take place on Friday 11th September 2020 on "Truth, trust and research in health and social care". **The deadline for abstract subimssion is Friday 15th May**

About the workshop

“Truth, trust and research in health and social care"

When? Friday 11 September 2020, 10-4.30pm


Where? University College London, room TBC*

Keynote address: Dr Lorelei Jones

Lecturer in Healthcare Sciences, Bangor University


This one-day workshop convenes scholars from a broad range of academic disciplines to consider the complex dynamics of trust which are implicated in research and engrained in health and social care.  We invite submissions from early career researchers and seasoned academics to reflect on these issues via paper submissions, short presentations and discussions.  A keynote address by Dr Lorelei Jones will begin the day.



Trust might be considered as a contested ethic and social practice which permeates all aspects of our work.  It appears fundamental in establishing social networks and mediating our relationships to broader institutions (1-2).  In healthcare, trust is therefore critical to routine provision: for patients to feel safe and reassured; for doctors to know patients adhere to treatment regimens; for all to accept common terms of care and the fair distribution of resources through science and policy.

Recent political and social changes, however, have challenged public trust in institutions, including science and medicine (3-5).  Although such mistrust is not new, it is happening within a particular social and political moment (4).  The circulation of ‘alternative facts’ (4-5), a rising anti-vaccination movement (6,7), populist attacks on migrant rights to health (8), a dismissal of climate change’s impact on health (9), and a resistance to public health expertise during global health emergencies, such as Covid-19 (10-11), are just several examples of a shift from scientific knowledge towards different ways of knowing, with potentially dangerous consequences.

At stake are contemporary notions of quality, authority, responsibility and relevance in health and social care, and the processes through which knowledge is produced, circulated and applied.



Aims and scope of the workshop

In this workshop, we seek to generate a critical dialogue on truth, trust and research in health and social care.  We invite submissions from researchers at all levels that: 1) develop methodological and theoretical approaches to examine trust in health and social care, and 2) examine trust as an analytical framework to further explore notions of quality, authority, responsibility and relevance in knowledge production.


Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Studying truth and trust in health and social care (e.g., the patient-doctor relationship; the commissioning of equitable services; the authority and ‘truth’ of medicine’s objects)
  • Trust as an analytical concept (e.g., theoretical and methodological issues implicated in considering and studying trust.

Beyond merely presenting research studies or findings, this forum aims to stimulate discussion about key issues in crafting the future of qualitative health research.  As such, we envisage that participants will pose thoughtful ideas and possibly strategies to address the challenges we face in improving health and social care using qualitative methods.  The day will be limited to a small number of participants to promote a collaborative and interactive forum.


Call for paper submissions

Submission process

If you would like to be considered for the event, please submit a 300-word abstract to qhrn@ucl.ac.uk outlining your challenge or idea.  Selections will be based on the merit of the idea and its connection to the themes of the event.  **The deadline for abstract submissions has now been extended to 1700 GMT Friday 15th May.**  Selections will be made by Friday 5 June.


After submission

Successful delegates will be required to submit a longer outline by Friday 17 July in the form of a short paper or “think piece” (max 1000 words, excluding references), which will be disseminated to other delegates for reading prior to the event.  Delegates will each be given the opportunity for a short pitch outlining their key points (~5 minutes) and discussion of their paper on the day of the workshop.  A major onus will be on group discussion of the papers and collaboration in highlighting interesting connections with the theme of truth and trust in its theoretical and methodological aspects.


Further information

This workshop is organised by the UCL Qualitative Health Research Network.  The workshop will be free to attend and places will be limited to those with selected abstracts.  Please see our website for updates and FAQs.  Questions unanswered by our FAQ page can be directed to qhrn@ucl.ac.uk. You can also access a report and information about our previous critical workshop by clicking here.


* We are working on a virtual option for the day if, at the time, there are Covid-19 related restrictions in place.


Frequently asked questions

For a list of FAQs about the workshop, please see below:


For whom is this workshop?

The workshop is open to students, researchers, health and social care professionals and others interested in qualitative research and issues around truth, trust and research in health and social care.

Where and when is the workshop?

The workshop will be held on Friday 11 September, 10-4.30pm at University College London (London, UK).  However, the workshop will be held online if Covid-19 related restrictions are in place at the time of the event.

Will you still hold the workshop if there remain any COVID-19 related restrictions in place in September?

Yes. We will closely attend to information from the authorities and propose to hold the workshop entirely on a virtual learning environment and teleconferencing option supported by UCL, if restrictions relating to COVID-19 are in place at the time of the event.

In the absence of such restrictions, we will hold the event at UCL. However, we acknowledge that restrictions might be in place around the world while not necessarily the UK. To accommodate participation of those who might still be restricted in travelling, we will continue to provide an additional online option. In case there is both online and physical attendance, interactions will take place across virtual and physical environments using webcams and projectors at the workshop venue so that everyone can interact with each other.


Registration and attendance

When does the Call for Papers end for this event?

The Call for Papers ends at 17.00 GMT on Friday 1 May.

How and when do I know if my abstract has been accepted?

You will receive an email from us by 5 June.

How do I register for the workshop if my abstract is accepted?

Registration will open in early June. You will receive instructions to this regard in the email we will send you following acceptance of your abstract.

Is this workshop free of charge?

Yes. We wish to make it as inclusive as possible.

When am I required to submit my longer outline?

You will be required to submit your longer outline (limited to 1000 words) by 17 July.

Do I need to prepare anything else for the event itself?

Yes. You will be asked to read the papers of the other delegates prior to the event. We will start circulating them on 31 July. You will also be expected to make a short pitch of your paper (~5 minutes) without PowerPoint at the event in order to stimulate group discussion.

Am I expected to attend the whole day?

We want you to make the best use of your time with us. As this event’s success largely depends upon the dynamic of the group and the discussions on the day, we expect everyone to attend the whole event. Please do contact us however in case you would experience any issue with attending the whole day and we can discuss ways to accommodate your participation.

Can I attend without submitting an abstract?

No. We are limiting the event to a small number of participants to foster intimate discussion and extend ideas submitted in abstracts and papers. We want everyone involved to contribute written pieces for discussion. Please note that only one presenter per abstract accepted can attend the event. If you submitted your abstract on behalf of several authors, please let us know during the registration process which author will be attending the event.

When will I know about the programme of the day?

You will receive the programme by email late July.


Transportation & accommodation

How do I get to the conference venue?

BY AIR: The closest International airports are London City, London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London Stansted. You can travel from the airports into central London by either rail or coach.

BY RAIL: UCL is about 15-minute walk from Euston and King’s Cross railway stations and is easily accessible by underground from other national and international rail terminals. The closest underground stations are Russell Square, King’s Cross St Pancras and Euston Square.

BY CAR: UCL is located close to Euston road and makes it easily accessible via M40, M1 and M25. There is no free parking onsite. Nearby carparks include NCP London Regents Park and NCP London Brunswick Square among other (please refer to their websites for rates and opening times).

Where do I stay while attending the workshop?

We expect participants to book their own accommodation if required while attending the event. There are several hotels and hostels around UCL. Possible options include the hub by Premier Inn on Goodge Street, the Radisson Blu Edwardian on Tottenham Court Road or YHA and YMCA hostels in the area. Please keep in mind that these suggestions may be affected by the current situation, and that other options may be available.



What food is provided?

Lunch and refreshments are provided. As QHRN aims to organise sustainable events, the menu will be 100% vegetarian.

What if I have a food allergy/intolerance of some sort?

Please be sure to include information about your allergies and/or intolerances when you complete your online registration, so that we can be sure to notify the venue of any dietary requirements. We will not be able to honour your requests if they are not included in your registration.



Is the venue wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the venue is easily accessible by wheelchair.

Is there provision for those with audio impairment?

Unfortunately, the venue isn’t equipped with induction loop systems for the hearing impaired.

For any further queries, please do not hesitate to email qhrn@ucl.ac.uk




  1. Broch-Due, V. and Ystanes, M. 2016. Introducing ethnographies of trusting. In Broch-Due, V. and Ystanes, M. (Eds), Trusting and Its Tribulations: Interdisciplinary Engagements with Intimacy, Sociality and Trust (pp. 1-36) London: Berghahn Books.
  2. Sanford V. & Angel-Ajani A. (2006) Engaged observer: anthropology, advocacy, and activism. Palgrave Macmillan, Rutgers University Press.
  3. Corsín Jiménez, A. (2011). Trust in anthropology. Anthropological Theory, 11(2): 177-196.
  4. Jasanoff, S. (2017). Back from the Brink: Truth and Trust in the Public Sphere. Issues in Science and Technology 33(4) (summer).
  5. Latour, B. (2018). Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climate Regime. London: Polity Press.
  6. Kennedy J (2019) Populist politics and vaccine hesitancy in Western Europe: an analysis of national-level data. European J Public Health, Vol 29(3): 512-516.
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  9. World Health Organization (n.d.) Climate change and human health – risks and responses: Summary. Retrieved July 2019, from https://www.who.int/globalchange/summary/en/index2.html.
  10. Garrett, L. (2020). COVID-19: the medium is the message. The Lancet, online first doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30600-0.
  11. Horton, R. (2020). Offline: COVID-19 and the NHS—“a national scandal.” The Lancet, online first doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30727-3.