Conducting Research with Vulnerable Participants


Course overview:

Research with ‘vulnerable’ participants: Exploring the impact of researching emotionally sensitive topics on participants and the researcher.

This workshop will provide an overview of the challenges of ‘meaning-making’ when completing research with individuals who have experienced adversity.  Participants will be encouraged to reflect on the skill-set required to complete ethical research with ‘hard to reach’ populations.  Participants will be provided with a conceptual overview of models to understand distress raised during research practice.  The workshop will conclude with strategies to contextualise and decrease the risk of distress during the research process.

Learning objectives:
  • To develop an awareness of ‘seen’ and ‘unseen’ vulnerabilities when working with research participants.
  • To consider the ethical dilemmas involved in research with ‘hard to reach’ populations.
  • To explore warning signs of distress/anxiety and burn-out
  • To apply aspects of Compassionate Mind Theory (CMT) to understand and contextualise the research process.
  • To consider the role of supervision models and a ‘psychological’ contract to sustain the supervisor-supervisee and researcher–researched relationship.

The Vitae Researcher Development Framework

This session maps on to Domain C of the Vitae Framework: Research governance and organisation which includes the sub-domain areas of:

  • C1: Professional conduct
  • C2: Research management
  • C3: Finance, funding and resources
The Vitae Researcher Development Framework