Participatory research

About participatory research

Research England has given Participatory Research Funding (PRF) to Oxford University since 2021.

The Participatory Research Fund (PRF) aims to strengthen research outcomes by supporting projects in which researchers and non-academic partners work together to co-create knowledge, whilst sharing power and responsibility. Partners can include organisations, creative practitioners, and communities of interest, identity and/or place.

Research England’s definition of participatory research: ‘Participatory or co-produced research strengthens research outcomes by involving the communities and users of research, better recognising their experience, needs and preferences, and giving greater agency to communities to implement findings’.

In GLAM, the PRF has been used to support:

  1. Projects that use innovative models and methodologies for participatory research. These could include a) pilot projects that test participatory approaches, b) projects that build upon an existing participatory project;
  2. Public engagement with research activities that use a participatory methodology and/or are related to participatory research.

GLAM Participatory Research Fund projects (2022-23)

  • Focus group to give insight as to how the volunteers of Multaka-Oxford were engaging with the project, what they found beneficial, and what they would like to be improved (Pitt Rivers Museum /  History of Science Museum)

  • MistleGO! Citizen Science mistletoe project (Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum)
  • Our Water Future, a pop-up exhibition resulting from a collaboration between OUMNH and REACH, related to Fair Water? exhibition (Museum of Natural History)
  • Participatory element of the Taking Care project (Pitt Rivers Museum)
  • Participatory workshop on ‘Troubling Standards: a social history of measuring in South Asia’ for South Asian diaspora community members in collaboration with Birmingham Museums Trust (History of Science Museum)

GLAM Participatory Research Fund projects (2021-22)

  • Beyond the Binary extension activity. Object-based workshop series with researchers and community members, collaborating to define research questions for future collections/engagement work centralising queer histories (Pitt Rivers Museum)
  • Collaborative pilot project with Botanic Gardens Conservation International trying to get people to lower the carbon footprint of their weekly food intake (Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum)
  • Collaborative research and storytelling around the objects at the Pitt Rivers Museum highlighting Chinese Zodiac Animals through toys, children’s clothing and folk art (Pitt Rivers Museum)
  • The Decolonisation and the Anti-Imperial Materialities Project (Pitt Rivers Museum)
  • Public engagement with research weekend at the Oxford City Farm as part of the AHRC-NERC funded Activating the Archive project (Pitt Rivers Museum)
  • Extension of Radical Hope, Critical Change programme (Pitt Rivers Museum)

Video: The Decolonisation and Anti Imperial Materialities Project