Qualitative Health Research Network


Symposium 2017

Third international symposium: Engagement, co-production, and collaborative meaning-making: collaboration in qualitative health research

Date and venue

  • Tuesday 7 February 2017, 9:00-17:00
  • Venue: UCL, Institute of Child Health, 30 Guildford Street, London, WC1N 1EH

Symposium theme

QHRN Symposium 2017

The third Qualitative Health Research Network Symposium brought together researchers from around the world to discuss how, in recent years, there have been increasing calls for collaboration between academia and the wider healthcare community in health research. As a result, traditional "lone researcher" models of qualitative health research have shifted to include research teams which are increasingly made up of qualitative researchers alongside quantitative researchers, members of the public, health professionals, policy-makers and other stakeholders. 

However, such collaborations may be complex and may create challenges. To date, there has been limited critical consideration of these challenges and little is known about the assumptions and effectiveness of these collaborations. In this Symposium, we explored and developed critical perspectives on:

  • What 'collaboration' has come to mean, and the ways in which the concept is growing in prominence; 
  • How collaborative relationships are established and embedded, and particularly how qualitative researchers are positioned in interdisciplinary teams;
  • The production and reproduction of power differentials and inequalities in collaborative qualitative health research;
  • How research designs, data interpretation and reporting are affected by collaboration;
  • The role of the "lay researcher" and the extent to which they offer the views and experiences of the groups they represent, as well as how marginalised groups are accommodated.
  • Examples of qualitative health research projects that are conducted in collaborative environments.

Conference proceedings

The conference proceedings of this Symposium have been published in BMJ Open, March 2017, Volume 7, Supplement 2 (link opens in new window).

Oral and poster presentations

A selection of oral and poster presentations are now available to view online

Supported by

This symposium was supported by the Wellcome Trust (link opens in new window).


9:00-9:30 Registration and coffee
9:30-9:40 Welcome by UCL President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur

Morning session

10:50-11:20 Coffee and poster viewing

Breakout sessions

12:30-13:40 Lunch and poster viewing
13:40-14:25 Keynote address by Professor Jonathan Tritter (Aston University, Birmingham, UK): Patient and Public Involvement in Research: Tensions, challenges, and opportunities
14:25-15:00 Coffee and poster viewing

Afternoon session

16:10-17:00 Panel discussion and closing remarks
 17:00-18:30 Social gathering at Curzon Bloomsbury (optional)

Poster presentations

Culture, creativity and innovation in research

Health services and systems

Making research accessible to marginalised and vulnerable groups

Theorising and reflecting on collaboration

This symposium is organised by the Qualitative Health Research Network (QHRN) with support from the Wellcome Trust.