Introduction to Participatory Research

Key information

Start date:
24 May 2024
Attendance dates:

24 May 2024

Time commitment:
1pm - 5pm
Distance learning
Contact details:


This course introduces the idea of community participation in, and co-production of, research. It touches on the spectrum of participation, from community consultation at one end to community-led and -controlled research design at the other, with a practical focus on the latter.

We will evaluate together the strengths and challenges of each type of approach and consider which approaches might be well-suited to which types of project. 

The course will offer an opportunity for students to start thinking about if and how participatory approaches could be applicable in their own work.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • To understand when, why and how some participatory approaches could add value to research
  • To be able to reflect on some of the strengths, challenges and appropriate application of different participatory approaches
  • To be able to reflect on how participatory approaches might be applicable to ones own work
  • To understand some of the ethical considerations of using these approaches, e.g. issues of research ownership, risks around exploitation
  • To understand some of the key political roots and philosophies of participatory research.

Course content

  • What is participatory research?
  • What can different participatory approaches offer?
  • What are the ethical and practical considerations of participatory research? 
  • How does this relate to my work?

Learning and teaching methods

Guided content, discussions, and/or independent and group exercises. 

Course leader

PJ Annand profile image

Dr PJ Annand

Senior Research Fellow (Leverhulme)

Course contributor

Dr Sohail Jannesari

Course contributor

Dr PJ Annand

PJ is a Senior Research Fellow at University of Surrey working on participatory approaches to structural-level health and social inequalities. Prior to academia, PJ worked for 10 years in the third sector on research, campaigns and service provision. They are also an activist committed to delivering scholarship that will help bring about tangible change. PJ is co-developing a module on Lived Experience in Mental Health Research at King’s College London and has previously convened and taught on undergraduate and postgraduate modules in Health Inequalities, Cultural Competence, Public Health and Research Methods. PJ currently leads the Queering Shelter project (a participatory study on LGBTQ+ ‘safe spaces’) and the CANVAS project (on the impact of COVID on the domestic abuse sector) and co-leads the Beyond ‘Do No Harm' project (about feminist and decolonial approaches to impact). They recently founded the Reject Lounge, a group of academics, artists and third sector representatives seeking to transform academic-community collaboration cultures. PJ is also a committee member of the British Psychological Society – Psychology of Women and Equalities Section. Find out more about their work by visiting

Dr Sohail Jannesari

Sohail is a Lecturer in Global Health. He has worked on outcomes for survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery. He completed a PhD on the effects of the asylum process on the mental health of Iranians and Afghans using a participatory action research approach and a postcolonial lens. He is also the co-founder of the Stolen Tools anti-racism journal, co-convener of the Inspiring Ethics group and co-developed a guide for mental health professionals working with Afghan sanctuary seekers. He founded the Migrant Connections Festival and Walk and Talk Migrant Welcome Tour charities. You can find out more about his work at

Entry requirements

A basic understanding of research methods will be helpful.

Fees and funding

Price per person:




Education and charitable sector applicants


Government and commercial sector applicants

What these fees include

Course materials and links to further resources.

How to apply

Applications are through our online store.

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations and our terms and conditions. You are also confirming you have read and understood the University's prospective student privacy notice.

Further details of our terms and conditions will follow.


This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the commencement of the course. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read the full disclaimer.

Course location and contact details

Campus location

Stag Hill

Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught. 

Carrie Lee

University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH