Activism and Voluntary Sector Research: two sides of the same coin or different currencies: Tuesday, 16th November: 11.00-4.00

In this one day on-line event, we will explore the relationship between activism and voluntary sector research. We invite presentation proposals from academia and from practice that illuminate the potential and challenges of integrating personal activism and voluntary sector research. Many voluntary sector researchers are motivated to produce research that contributes to social change and reflects their own commitment to challenge social norms, but institutional pressures, performance measures, and ideas about what constitutes ‘good research’ often mitigate against such integration.

This free event will explore:
• The divide between voluntary sector studies and activist research
• The potential for integrating personal activism and voluntary sector research
• Research methodologies for integrating activism and voluntary sector research
• The challenges of integrating activist goals into a successful research career
• The opportunities presented by the current emphasis on knowledge exchange and research
impact in higher education.

We invite short presentations on the above topics, or other elements of the relationship between voluntary sector studies and activism, to generate conversation. Your contribution might take the form of a narrative of your own experiences, analysis of how research can support activism, a reflection on the kind of methodologies that make a difference, or a summary of a project that has brought voluntary sector research and activism together.

Please send short proposals (approx. 150 words) for presentations by 5pm on Friday 22 October to (the Open University’s Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership team) with the heading VSSN November Study Day. We will notify you by 30 October if your proposal has been successful, and will group presentations to enable two different themed discussions in the morning and the afternoon.

Bookings are now open, please use the form below and there is no charge

To become a member of the VSSN network, please go to

This event will also incorporate the AGM of the Voluntary Sector Studies Network to be held over the lunch break. Further details will be circulated to all VSSN members.

Online links for the morning and afternoon sessions will be sent one week before the event.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.