Registration Open for Day Event

Meg Wright |

The Voluntary Sector Studies Network, Volunteer Now, NICVA, ARK, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University are delighted to jointly host a symposium to explore pathways to collaborating on voluntary and community sector (VCS) research in Northern Ireland.

This free event will be held on the 25th June thanks to support from   NICVA, WISERD and Queen’s University Belfast. Online registration is required before Friday, 21 June 2024, 12:00.

Research within and about the voluntary and community sector springs up in many different settings and across a range of disciplines. Some of the challenges faced by academic and voluntary and community sector colleagues in Northern Ireland are how to retain past expertise on voluntary and community sector research, how to collate existing knowledge and how to connect with others interested in voluntary and community sector centred research.

Key Aims of this Event will be:

  • To strengthen sustainable relationships between academic researchers and practitioners in the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland.
  • To recognise and map out the breadth of multi-disciplinary approaches to voluntary and community sector research in differing fields across the voluntary and community sector, such as health and social care, community development, youth, environment, arts, equality, employment, sports, social enterprise, housing, and social policy.
  • To consider models of Voluntary Sector Research Partnerships.
  • To identify gaps and inform a future research agenda for Voluntary and Community Sector Research in Northern Ireland.

Format for the Event 

The day conference will be a facilitated event, aiming to promote dialogue between academics and voluntary sector practitioners from a broad range of civil society organisations, recognising their dual expertise and drawing on inclusive and participative involvement methods.“Minds shall be open, conversations shall be kind, and different knowledges shall have equal value” (Locke and Grotz, 2022, p:191).[1]

The conference event will begin by setting the scene to understand why it is important to bring together the breadth of key players engaging in voluntary and community sector centred research in Northern Ireland. Attendees will hear about the breadth of collaborative research between the sector and academia already happening in Northern Ireland.

The afternoons session will include the opportunity to learn about how such research might be funded and resourced in the future and to attend a panel session on key lessons for strengthening such collaborative research. This will be followed by the opportunity to learn about the range of voluntary sector research partnerships in other parts of the UK, and to forge plans for future developments of collaborative working.