In News, Training

The Health Promotion Research Centre (HPRC) and QUESTS (Qualitative Research in Trials Centre) will host a one-day workshop on Maximising the Impact of Visual, Creative and Participatory Methods for Health Research’, on 13 May 2019 at NUI Galway. The workshop will be delivered by Dr Dawn Mannay.


Visual, Creative and Participatory Methods for Health Research

Qualitative data speak to some of the most profound and transcending human experiences and qualitative researchers aim to give voice to the voiceless, and often seek to foster influence and understanding where none has been (Mitchell & Clarke, 2018). There are many research questions that require innovative approaches to evoke real and meaningful responses and emphatic understanding of the ways in which other people experience their worlds. Creative approaches may help us better understand how people experience the health service and can help to illustrate the health service they wish for. Through the use of creative methods, health researchers in Ireland can increase their qualitative tools of choice to ensure their research will have maximum impact. People most likely to be affected by research are often those least likely to participate in research, and inappropriate research methods can be an additional barrier to effective and meaningful participation (Cargo & Mercer, 2008). This workshop aims to increase the capacity of researchers, practitioners and organisations to learn and apply skills in creative qualitative methods that can be applied in participatory research study designs.


Workshop aims

  • Increase knowledge and confidence among participants in the application of creative and participatory methods
  • Enhance readiness to conduct participatory research using creative methods
  • Facilitate a network, e.g. practitioners, organisations and researchers with an interest in using and promoting creative and participatory methods
  • Empower and enhance the capacity of researchers and practitioners to apply creative/ participatory methods in their study designs and grant applications
  • Encourage and increase public participation in research through the use of creative methods.


Who is the workshop for?

This workshop will appeal to those committed to qualitative methods, trials, and/or PPI, and are seeking guidance and knowledge on how to apply such methods. Interested researchers include those working in health services research, social care, or working with and for community groups that are marginalised or considered ‘hard-to-reach’.


What will the workshop cover?

This workshop will explore creative methods and their use as tools of qualitative inquiry and dissemination. The opportunities and limitations of participatory approaches will be considered and the workshop will introduce a number of techniques of creative data production including drawing, collage, sandboxing, emotion stickers, photo-elicitation, artefacts and plasticine modelling; and provide opportunities to engage in hands on experiential data sessions. There will be an engagement with the ways in which images are read and created, and the ethical implications of researching with the visual. Discourses of impact, dissemination and engagement will also be considered in relation to artwork, film, magazine and music, as ways to move beyond the standard academic article and reach wider and more diverse audiences with research findings and recommendations. Debate and activities within the workshop will invite delegates to interrogate the usefulness of creative approaches and explore how they could be applied in their own analysis, data production and dissemination activities.


About the facilitators

Dr Dawn Mannay is a Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences (Psychology) at Cardiff University. Her research interests revolve around class, education, identity and inequality; and she employs participatory, visual and creative methods in her work with communities. Dawn was the Principal Investigator on a Welsh Government commissioned project exploring the educational experiences and aspirations of children and young people who are care experienced in Wales. She has also worked on projects related to motherhood, health, poverty and migration funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Welsh Crucible and the Economic and Social Research Council. Dawn is currently working on a project in CASCADE to establish a community of practice to improve the educational experiences of children and young people – ExChange: Care and Education. Dawn was written and edited many books including  ‘Visual, narrative and creative research methods: application, reflection and ethics’. Dawn has an interest in increasing the impact of research findings through the use of film, art work, music and a range of other participatory and co-produced multimodal materials.


About the hosts

Dr Colette Kelly, Director of the Health Promotion Research Centre (HPRC), NUI Galway and Chair of the Youth Engagement group of the WHO collaborative Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study, together with Dr Catherine Houghton (co-Chair of QUESTS, NUI Galway) are hosting the event.



The workshops will be practical and interactive and thus limited to approximately 50 (25 x 2) delegates in total. The participants can choose a particular method in which they are most interested, i.e. visual methods or creative tasks with participants for interactive parallel workshops in the afternoon.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Venue:                                 Institute for Life Course and Society, NUI Galway

Registration fees:              General admission €80; Student admission €40


This event is supported by the Health Research Board Conference and Event Sponsorship Scheme 2018.


For more information/to register, please visit