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Ethics in Practice As Research: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Call for contributions

Ethics in Practice As Research: Interdisciplinary Perspectives  

Editor: Dr Nicole Brown

For any questions or queries, please email Nicole Brown.

Research has seen significant developments towards more egalitarian, participatory, embodied, Indigenous, feminist, and phenomenological paradigms (see Kara, 2015; Mannay, 2015; Pink, 2015). Within the scope of these developments, research approaches now focus on ‘doing and making’ as part of the research process. Although different forms of Practice As Research have gained traction and practitioner research becomes more generally acknowledged and valued, there is still very limited literature available on the practicalities of navigating such research projects. Many studies and processes resemble what constitutes practice as research within the context of creative, performing and fine arts (Barrett & Bolt, 2007; Nelson, 2013). They may be described as practice-led research (Smith and Dean, 2009), practice-based enquiry (Whiteford, 2020), or close-to-practice research (Wyse et al., 2018). Within the wider literature relating to Practice As Research, there are numerous publications regarding what constitutes practice-based/led research, or how such research can be assessed and evaluated. Similarly, there are many guidelines available that suggest a framework for how to do research ethically with some being more closely aligned with practitioner-research than others. However, there are no publications that relate specifically to how researchers navigate the special ethical conundrums they are encountering when planning, carrying out and disseminating their Practice As Research work.

This edited book aims to fill this gap in the market relating to Practice As Research, practitioner-research, close-to-practice research, practice-based and practice-led enquiries. The book will focus on ethics and ethical considerations in Practice As Research, whilst offering practical strategies and food for thought for how to navigate some of the most typical ethical issues throughout all stages of research from planning, data collection and analysis through to dissemination. And it aims to do that by presenting case studies of ethical concerns and conundrums from a range of disciplines in four broad themes: 

  1. The research process
    In what ways is the methodology (re)designed by the participant? To what extent are they credited with the process? Who has the final say in matters of design? This speaks to questions of power and expertise: the researcher may be an expert through their work, and in effective methodologies; yet the participant is the expert in their lived experience, else why would they be approached?
  2. Relationship between researcher and participant
    Positionality: how is this negotiated? How does the researcher see/position themselves? Does this change during the project, and in what ways? The participant may become more of a co-researcher as the project develops; who then has the final say on the presentation of the data, editorial issues etc?
  3. The researcher’s view of the (ongoing) ethical process
    Including challenges experienced in the field, which had not been anticipated by the original ethics form. What are the responsibilities of the researcher, who is arguably more aware of potential ethical issues (e.g. children want to give their names, but adult researchers are perhaps more aware of the potential for harm later in the children’s lives)? Dilemmas – how were these addressed?
  4. The institutional ethics process
    Is this outdated? Are policies designed more to protect the institution and the wider academy, than to facilitate innovative and robust research? This speaks to issues of decolonising ethics and recognising different forms and conventions of consent, and how this is negotiated. Yet how is this recognised from an institutional standpoint, and what are the negotiations involved?

Each chapter will deal with the specificities of ethical considerations during a particular phase of the PAR research, whilst offering insights that will be more generally applicable and relevant and therefore transferrable to new research settings and contexts. In order to emphasise and focus further on the interdisciplinary perspectives of and within the edited book, each chapter will be followed by two critical, reflective, analytical responses from contributors working in disciplines other than the one presented in the chapter. Thereby, we aim to provide further insights into applicability, relevance and transferability of methods and approaches, as well as to enter a dialogue with one another, from which the readers will glean food for critical thought in relation to their own research practices.


Proposals will be considered in relation to the following criteria:
Practice As Research:
Do the ethical issues in the abstract/project/research link with and relate to Practice As Research, practice-led or practice-based enquiries, or close-to-practice research? We do not impose a particular definition or interpretation, but would like to see practitioner-researcher elements addressed. 

Range of ethical issues, disciplinary contexts, and phases of research:
To ensure balance in the book, we will try to cover a variety of ethical issues in different phases of research, and more specifically across a wide range of disciplinary contexts.


Deadline for abstract submissions: 25 August 2023
Notification of acceptance: 15 September 2023
Submission of full manuscripts: 31 January 2024


Word limits:
The word limit for abstracts is 350 words.
Full chapters will be 7,500 words in length (incl. references), responses to chapters will be approx. 1,200 words (incl. references).

To submit your proposal, please complete this form:


Research ethics in a changing social sciences landscape

Source: NBrown

I was asked to present my talk “Research ethics in a changing social sciences landscape” at the UCL Research Ethics Conference “Frontiers in Best Practice in Research Ethics” in September 2022. This is the recording from my talk, which was based upon a journal article. The article has now been published in Research Ethics and can be accessed here.

I begin with a brief outline of the changes we experience within the social sciences before exploring in more detail their impact on research ethics and the practices of research ethics committees. I conclude with recommendations for how the existing research ethics processes may be made more future-proof.

Women in Music and Research: an Interdisciplinary Feminist Research Hub

Source: MPotočnik

On 25 May 2022, the F-List launched its new Gender in Music Research Hub, which aims to connect feminist researchers from all disciplines, who share an interest in music. The doors are now open: all researchers, wishing to join other feminist researchers, who investigate the under-representation of women (including all who identify as women) and gender minorities (women*) in the music sector, can create an F-Listing, under the category “Music Researcher.” The community will share everyone’s research, meet to discuss relevant issues, and explore opportunities for collaboration.


How did it all start?

In 2020, Vick Bain launched the F-List for Music, which builds is activism, advocacy, and drive for change on research, “into gender inequality for female and gender minority musicians,” to pursue the vision of “women in the music industry will be able to more successfully start and sustain their careers in music for longer because of The F-List.” Since 2021, the idea of an inclusive research community, connecting feminist and practice researchers start to emerge, and it all came together on 25 May 2022, with a rich demonstration of the synergies in research and music practices coming together.


What kind of research?

Through an inclusive approach (avoiding the narrow reading of academic research in REF terms), we combine feminist and practice research, across many disciplines. To illustrate the richness of the research community, we started the day with talks from the women on the Hub’s Steering Group (all of whom can be contacted, if you are interested to learn more about their research, or want to explore collaborative opportunities):

  1. Vick Bain on Gendered Precarious Working in the UK Music Industry
  2. Dr Jo Collinson-Scott on Songwriting-as-Research as/into Feminist Methodology
  3. Sophie Daniels on Non-commercial Applications for Songwriting: Searching for Equality
  4. Dr Laura Hamer and Dr Helen Minors Introducing WMLON: Women’s Leadership Online Network
  5. Dr Linda Jankowska and Katherine Young on Co-composition in Boundarymind as a Feminist Methodology
  6. Professor Samantha Parsley on In the Key of She: Women, Technology and Cultural Production and
  7. Dr Metka Potočnik on Defining Music: a Feminist Critique of IP Law.


Just another conference?

It was a community-making day. In the afternoon, we heard from the community of Selextorhood, and musical talent at the School of Performing Arts, who will need our support now, more than ever. This hybrid event connected the audience in the Black Box Theatre, with audiences at home, through music and sharing of the lived experience. In two musical sessions, we heard music and origin stories of the women, across the globe:

  1. On the piano, playing from her “Train on Fire” Annabelle Revak was accompanied by Lottie Grey, Lauren Paige Harding and Emily Sandford (all with SoPA).
  2. On the guitar, Hannah Rose Platt.
  3. On the piano, Anjali Perinparaja, aka Pokkisham.
  4. On the piano, Sophie Daniels, aka Liberty’s Mother.
  5. Recorded, and multimedia, Eva Petrič.
  6. Recorded, and via link, Dr Catherine Davies, aka The Anchoress.

The golden thread was music, written by women*, for women*, to be shared with all. The lived experience driving the music includes women fighting for equal rights under the law, violence and sexual assault, baby loss, connection with the world and fight for individual voice and freedom. As researchers, we draw on this music, and its power, to build an inclusive, accessible, and equal world for all women*.


How does law connect to feminist or practice research?

Researching intellectual property (IP) law through a feminist lens is not a traditional route. As such, it can be an isolating path. More than that, researchers in the field do not use language, which is accessible to the community: the artists. This excludes the artists from fully participating in any inquiry into IP law (does it work, should it be changed, or how is it to change). To change that, I am combining the feminist inquiry into IP law, in particular the concepts of music and authorship in copyright, with an interdisciplinary method: working with practice research and music, to add a multi-dimensional inquiry into IP law.


What’s next?

If anything, that has been written here, interests you: please reach out! Connect with us via Twitter, email or by creating a Music Researcher F-Listing. By growing our community, we will support our advocacy for change.


References and links to follow up

The UK Directory of Female+ Musicians (with over 5,000 listings):
The F-List Gender in Music Research Hub:
Vick Bain:
Research Excellence Framework is used in the UK, to assess the academic quality and rigour of research done at Higher Education (HE) Institutions:
Includes: Bain, Daniels, Collinson-Scott, Hamer, Jankowska, Parsley, Mimi Harmer ( and Potočnik.
Academic profile:
Dr Jo Collinson Scott:
Sophie Daniels:
Dr Laura Hamer:
Dr Helen Minors:
Project website:
Dr Linda Jankowska:
Katherine Young:
Project website:
Professor Samantha Parsley:
Project website:
Dr Metka Potočnik:
A feminist DJ collective, based in Birmingham: We were joined by the founder Holly Hollister and Jae Tallawah.
We were joined by Teegan Crawford (, Naomi Cunningham, and guided by Dr Maren Hancock (
SoPA is based in Walsall, part of the University of Wolverhampton:
Hanna Platt: Artist’s website:
Anjali Perinparaja:
Twitter: @PokkishamSongs.
Artist’s website:
Artist’s website:
Dr Catherine Davies:
Artist’s website:
For several publications on Fem-IP, see: or email
If you are interest to collaborate on this, please do reach out (Twitter: @drmpWOLF or email:
F-List (@theflistmusic) or any of the individual researchers, named in the blog (@vickbain, @SophieDMusic, @drmpWOLF).

Image info: from left to right: Sophie Daniels, Dr Metka Potočnik, Vick Bain, taken at the F-List Gender in Music Research Hub launch on 25 May 2022, at the Performance Hub Walsall, the University of Wolverhampton (with the courtesy of Sophie Daniels and Ben Mantle)

The Pursuit of Excellence: The Hacked Barbie

Images of Barbie dolls that have been manipulated and changed.

Source: FManfredi

PAR network member Federica Manfredi shares The Hacked Barbie.

This post is based on the project ‘EXCEL – The Pursuit of Excellence. Biotechnologies, enhancement and body capital in Portugal’, founded by the Foundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (PTDC/SOC-ANT/30572/2017) at the Instituto de Ciências Sociais – Universidade de Lisboa with the PI Chiara Pussetti.

“La Barbie hackerata” [The Hacked Barbie] is a workshop series and a dissemination activity from the project “Excel – The Pursuit of Excellence” ( that investigates non-therapeutic and long terms body interventions aiming to enhance the social performativity in the Portuguese society.

Research shows that cosmetic and body practices are connected with pressures and logics of excellences following hegemonic and post-colonial models of beauty, based on discriminations of gender, age, sexual orientation, the color of the skin or the shape of the eyes.

The Hacked Barbie has been organized for the first time at the World Anthropology Day 2021 as methodological experiment to interrogate participants about body’s perceptions, its modifications and body-performances in daily life. The goal was to stimulate an anthropological gaze on daily practices directed to bodies, inviting participants to re-created their corporeality on a doll in a guided-process: which body-interventions can make the Barbie, a symbol of gendered perfection, more similar to me? In other words, how do I manipulate and construct my self through my body? What models and social pressures guide my choices, mould the relationship with my body and intervene in my bodily social performance?

From the first workshop, other 5 editions collected over 63 voices of participants from Italy, Portugal, Germany, United Kingdom and Brazil, during online and in-person meetings. We discussed cosmetic surgery, tattoos, anti-aging treatments, epilation, clothing choices and diet regimes under the entanglement of social excellence and personal well-being. Working sessions revealed gendered, aged, political, cultural and hide meanings related to body interventions, as well as fragilities and emotional negotiations with perceived social pressures on how to properly perform through the body.

Recent Covid-experiences crossed childhood episodes in participants’ narrations: through our works on the metaphorical plastic-flesh, the dialogue focused on disparities for the access of body treatments, gender discriminations and the pressures we experienced as teenagers, women, workers and members of a society supposed to pursuit idealistic colonial and hierarchical models of beauty, perfection and excellence.

For more information check out the following links:

The Pursuit of Excellence
Excel YouTube channel
Excel Facebook page



Federica Manfredi is a doctoral researcher in Medical Anthropology at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon. She explores contemporary extreme body interventions, especially body suspensions, with co-participated and experimental methodologies that allow to go beyond a logo-centric logic of communication. She is interested in pain, biohacking, tattoos and altered state of consciousness, explored through practice-based qualitative methodologies.



The Practice As Research network with its resources is free and always will be, but it does of course incur costs to run and to keep it running. If you use it and benefit, enjoy it and would like to keep it going, please, consider leaving something in the tip jar. Thank you!

Ageism and the mature professional dancer

Image of a dancer wearing red pointe shoes in red dust. Photograph taken whilst filming in the outback of SW Queensland.

Source: SYork-Price

In her “Ageism and the mature professional dancer” research PAR network member Dr Sonia York-Pryce, a mature professional dancer herself, investigated the role of professional dancers who extend beyond the industry expectations of acceptable age and analysed the contribution that they are making to current dialogues relating to ageism within Western dance culture. Sonia collaborated with mature professional dancers to produce dance films celebrating their craft and gathered data through a survey and interviews with practitioners working in the field, nationally and internationally.

Sonia says: “Putting an ageing woman’s body on film is a challenging thing to do, considered a negative thing by some, but there is a lack of this in the media, dance, or film so there is a need to make this more mainstream and acceptable. It has prompted many interesting conversations. Much of my practice as research goes on in the ballet studio where I experience ageing physically on a daily basis which gives me great insight into how many of the mature dancers in my research have adapted their practice to accommodate their ageing bodies in order to keep performing.”

For more details about here work, check out her web site.
And here are links to Sonia’s dance films:
Interprète/Inappropriate Behaviour
Utterly (in)appropriate

Dr Sonia York-Pryce studied classical ballet at Elmhurst Ballet School, UK and the Royal Ballet School UK, and contemporary dance at the London School of Contemporary Dance and the Laban Centre, in London, UK. She has enjoyed artist residencies with Red Gate Gallery, Beijing China, photographing Beijing LDTX Contemporary Dance Company; and an interdisciplinary residency with Hospitalfield House, Arbroath Scotland. She has also photographed London Studio Centre’s Images Ballet Company.


The Practice As Research network with its resources is free and always will be, but it does of course incur costs to run and to keep it running. If you use it and benefit, enjoy it and would like to keep it going, please, consider leaving something in the tip jar. Thank you!

Poetry As Research on SAGEMethodspace


Venn diagram outlining practice, teaching and research as three distinct areas and the section that overlaps in the middle is called Practice as Research

Source: NBrown

The founders of the Poetry As Research group Áine McAllister and Nicole Brown were invited to contribute to the SAGEMethodspace website. The SAGEMethodspace currently focuses on practitioner research and creative research practices. Áine and Nicole were asked to offer a brief introduction to Practice As Research and to Poetic Inquiry, as well as to highlight the community of poetic practitioners that we have established.

Here is our core argument:

There are now many terms in use to describe the research-practice nexus. […] In sum, practice as research is research that is carried out as part of practice or that is practice. […] Poetry writing has established itself as one such method of analysis and as a viable research output in itself, although it is still struggling free from the margins.

Click here to see the full blog post on SAGEMethodspace.


The Practice As Research network with its resources is free and always will be, but it does of course incur costs to run and to keep it running. If you use it and benefit, enjoy it and would like to keep it going, please, consider leaving something in the tip jar. Thank you!

Poetry As Research readings

Pile of printed journal articles for reading

Source: NBrown

The Poetry As Research group is a reading and discussion group offering an opportunity to learn about, review and critique poetic pieces emerging from autoethnographic or ethnographic research, poetic inquiry and other Poetry As Research work.

Here is a list of readings that have been discussed and that may be helpful for anyone interested in Poetry As Research:

Maynard, K., & Cahnmann‐Taylor, M. (2010). Anthropology at the edge of words: Where poetry and ethnography meetAnthropology and Humanism35(1), 2-19.

Davis, C. (2021). Sampling poetry, pedagogy, and protest to build methodology: Critical poetic inquiry as culturally relevant methodQualitative Inquiry27(1), 114-124.

Carroll, P., Dew, K., & Howden-Chapman, P. (2011). The heart of the matter: Using poetry as a method of ethnographic inquiry to represent and present experiences of the informally housed in Aotearoa/New ZealandQualitative Inquiry17(7), 623-630.

Görlich, A. (2016). Poetic inquiry: Understanding youth on the margins of educationInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education29(4), 520-535.


Click here for more information on Poetic Inquiry and Poetry As Research on the PAR website.

The Practice As Research network with its resources is free and always will be, but it does of course incur costs to run and to keep it running. If you use it and benefit, enjoy it and would like to keep it going, please, consider leaving something in the tip jar. Thank you!

Play in the Pandemic

Source: Play in the Pandemic

PAR network members Prof John Potter and Dr Michelle Cannon share from their play in the pandemic research. The exhibition of work from the Play Observatory project, produced online with the Young V&A (formerly the Museum of Childhood) and designed by Episod Studios is now open:

It is best viewed on a laptop or desktop and not on a mobile device.

Launched in March 2022, Play in the Pandemic is an online exhibition drawing on the work of the Play Observatory. The exhibition showcases children’s artworks, games and films from across the UK that were contributed as part of the Play Observatory project. It celebrates how children have demonstrated resilience, resourcefulness, and creativity through play, supporting and reflecting their wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-22.

The Play Observatory was funded from October 2020 to March 2022 by the Economic and Social Research Council under the UK Research and Innovation `COVID-19 Rapid Response` fund. The work was undertaken by researchers from IOE, UCL’s Faculty For Education and Society, Prof John Potter, Dr Kate Cowan and Dr Michelle Cannon, The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Dr Valerio Signorelli, and, the School of Education at the University of Sheffield, Dr Yinka Olusoga, Dr Julia Bishop and Dr Cath Bannister.

For more information, visit the Play Observatory 

The Practice As Research network with its resources is free and always will be, but it does of course incur costs to run and to keep it running. If you use it and benefit, enjoy it and would like to keep it going, please, consider leaving something in the tip jar. Thank you!

ResDance podcast: Embodied Inquiry

Image of logo of ResDance podcastThe ResDance podcast led by Dr Gemma Harman is dedicated to research methodologies and methods in dance practice. It is intended for educators, students, practitioners and performers and interdisciplinary researchers curious to learn more about dance research in action.

Episode 10 of the podcast relates to Embodied Inquiry. Dr Nicole Brown and Dr Jennifer Leigh offer insight into their shared understandings of embodiment and embodied practice. Through discussion of their research interests and the variety of methods and approaches employed in their own research, they explore what an embodied approach can bring to a research project. Reflections of considerations that need to be acknowledged in research, namely reflective practice, self-acceptance and positionality are also explored. The ideas presented are drawn from principles of embodied inquiry from their recent publication: Embodied Inquiry Research Methods.


Dr Nicole Brown is Associate Professor at UCL Institute of Education and Director of Social Research & Practice and Education Ltd. Nicole’s research interests relate to physical and material representations of experiences, the generation of knowledge and use of metaphors to express what is difficult to express, and more generally, research methods and approaches to explore identity and body work. Her books include Lived Experiences of Ableism in Academia: Strategies for Inclusion in Higher Education, Ableism in Academia: Theorising Experiences of Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses in Higher Education, Embodied Inquiry: Research Methods, and Making the Most of Your Research Journal.
She tweets as @ncjbrown and @AbleismAcademia.

Dr Jennifer Leigh initially trained as a chemist and somatic movement therapist before completing her doctorate in education at the University of Birmingham (2012). She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Higher Education and Academic Practice at the University of Kent (UK) where she co-chairs the Disabled Staff Network. She is Vice Chair (Research) of the International Women in Supramolecular Chemistry (WISC) network and has led on a paper setting out the ethos of calling in the community to enact change, and a forthcoming book. She has edited two books: Ableism in Academia with Nicole Brown, and Conversations on Embodiment. This year she co-authored Embodied Inquiry with Nicole Brown. Her research interests include marginalisation in academia, academic practice, academic development, and ableism as well as phenomenological and creative research methods in higher education and other applications.
Twitter: @drschniff @SupraChem @SupraLab1

The Practice As Research network with its resources is free and always will be, but it does of course incur costs to run and to keep it running. If you use it and benefit, enjoy it and would like to keep it going, please, consider leaving something in the tip jar. Thank you!

Poetic Inquiry: Alone in a group

The Poetry As Research group has submitted the following abstract to the International Symposium on Poetic Inquiry 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa, from the 25th to the 27th of May 2022.

Image with colourful splotches advertising the Poetic Inquiry symposium 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa


Alone in a Group: Silence and Invisibility in the Academy

The power of poetry in/as research and the effectiveness and impact of poetic inquiry, specifically within the scope of exploring marginalisation and resistances are undisputed. As part of the Practice As Research network, Dr Nicole Brown and Áine McAllister have established a “Poetic Inquiry” group that allows for creative exchanges, experimentation with form and content and a forum for exploring Poetry As Research Methodologies.

For the Symposium 2022 the Poetry As Research collective proposes a poetry-reading-cum-panel to present outcomes of the group’s poetic inquiry into “Silence and Invisibility in the Academy”. The presentation begins with group members performing poems that have been collaboratively developed. These are then used to explore and theorise the practicalities of poetic inquiry, and how Poetry As Research may offer opportunities for developing deeper understanding of commonly encountered experiences in particular feeling silenced or invisible in the academy. We specifically focus on how a dialogic process of writing enables us to make sense of experiences and to amplify otherwise silenced and marginalised voices whilst remaining true to our individual and collective selves. We will highlight practical and methodological choices and their effect on the writers and their audiences before concluding the presentation with a reflection on the relationship between and boundaries of poetic inquiry, autoethnographic explorations, Practice As Research and commonalities in our experience(s) of being poetic inquirers in the academy.


Nicole Brown (UCL Institute of Education and Director of Social Research & Practice and Education Ltd, UK)
Margaret Buchanan (University of Minnesota, USA)
Mandy Haggith (University of the Highlands and Islands, UK)
Erin Kuri (McMaster University, Canada)
Victoria Lin Peterson-Hilleque (University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, USA)
Aine McAllister (UCL Institute of Education, UK)
Emily Sikora Katt (East Tennessee State University, USA)
Jenny Van der Aa (Universities of Kampen, Netherlands, and Leuven, Belgium)
Laura Warner (University of Exeter, UK)