IRiS International Conference 2017: global perspectives on research co-production with communities

The Institute for Research into Super diversity (IRiS) will be hosting its fourth annual conference in partnership with The Melbourne Social Equity Institute, University of Melbourne at the University of Birmingham on 14 and 15 September 2017. The conference will draw together academics, community-based practitioners and researchers, policy makers and doctoral researchers from a range of disciplinary backgrounds to consider various aspects of research co-production with communities.

In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in community-engaged research conducted both inside and outside the academy. This interest raises critical ontological, epistemological, methodological, political and ethical issues that are associated with conducting rigorous research and maximising the benefits of research for communities. For many academics, the aims of working collaboratively and cooperatively with community-based partners, has supported a widespread push to commodify the services of higher education institutions and promote closer ties between universities, publics and industry.

This timely interdisciplinary conference, jointly organised by the University of Birmingham’s Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) and The Melbourne Social Equity Institute, University of Melbourne, will bring together world leading academics, practitioner and community researchers to focus on the opportunities and challenges of community engaged research. The conference will explore innovative models and methods adopted as part of community-based initiatives and university-community partnerships and will provide a platform to consider a range of theoretical, methodological and ethical issues in order to advance thinking and help enhance the impact of community engaged research projects.

The conference will feature two keynote speeches from renowned experts on community engagement:  

  • Professor Angie Hart - Professor of Child, Family and Community Health, School of Health Sciences, University of Brighton
  • Professor Teresa Cordova -Director of Great Cities Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago and also Professor of Urban Planning and Policy at the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (CUPPA)

Call for papers

The conference will feature invited plenaries, academic and practitioner panels, provocations and art-based activities, and a poster display on topics at the forefront of community-engaged research.  We welcome community-based practitioners and researchers, policy makers and academics from a range of disciplines including, anthropology, sociology, social policy, geography, linguistics, psychology, economics, business, medicine, demography, politics and development studies to submit panel proposals on innovative and varied aspects of research co-production with communities. We also encourage panel proposals from doctoral researchers. 

People interested in submitting a paper to be presented at the conference can submit abstracts to an open submission stream. Papers that are accepted for presentation will be allocated to sessions by the conference convenors.

Paper submissions are also encouraged to address topics across three broad themes:

  • Analyses of current political, philosophical, social and institutional contexts for conducting community-engaged and co-produced research;
  • Exploring the perspectives of community-based researchers, partners and practitioners towards the value and challenges of co-produced research;
  • Discussions of co-produced research that reflects on diverse research contexts, involves developed innovative methodologies or which raised critical ethical issues;

The ‘open submission’ stream invites contributions for those who wish to present a paper on a topic that does not clearly align with the agreed panel sessions or the three broad themes detailed above. Selected papers will be grouped into panel themes to be convened by the conference organisers.

Conference paper submission guidelines

Abstracts for paper proposals (250 words max) should be submitted electronically using the online submission system:  by 24 May 2017. You will also need to submit a biographic note(s) (150 words per author).

Paper acceptance decisions will be communicated by email by 23 June 2017

Presentations should be no more than 20 minutes and space for a 10 minute discussion will be allocated at the end of each presentation. 

Submit a paper proposal

Other:  Travel and accommodation expenses should be covered by the participants. We are keen to encourage the participation of community groups.

Fees:  Standard £60 per day. There is a concessionary rate of £25 per day but you will need to check with the organisers whether you meet the criteria for this rate before booking your place. On acceptance of your paper, payment can be made via our Online shop, the link for which will be available once acceptances have been communicated.

Further information: Please contact Ann Bolstridge, IRiS Manager