Registration is closed for this event

The Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) and the Non-Traditional Research Methods Network (NTRMN) held a collaborative event in June 2022, exploring how affective experiences of ‘being a researcher’ may arise from engagement with novel research methods.

In this companion event, we have now invited two higher education researchers whose work resonates with some key themes which have emerged throughout the NTRMN’s sessions:

  • Dr Kate Carruthers Thomas will present on visual research methods, and
  • Dr Nicole Brown will present on embodied research methods.

The NTRMN was founded by three researchers (Angela Rushton, Jacquie Ridge, and Harriet Richmond) who are interested in novel and experimental research methods and who wish to create a space to critically analyse the ways in disciplinary conventions can constrain creativity. The NTRM continues under the stewardship of Jacquie Ridge and Harriet Richmond.

We aim to create an alternative interdisciplinary domain; that aims to absorb and learn from practices and experiences of researchers working within and across disciplines, to apply novel methods in new contexts, and to foster debate and reflection amongst researchers, about research. Throughout the event, we will use Padlet as a collaborative tool to generate a set of collective reflections and resources arising from the event’s presentations and conversations.

Following both presentations, we will host a Power Hour of Composition for those who wish to stay and further explore the ideas and insights discussed during the presentations. Through writing, drawing, or other form of expression, participants will be asked to use one of the prompts available on Padlet to reflect on non-traditional elements of their own research. Participants will be welcomed to share their composition at the end of the session if they would like to, but it is not a requirement.

Session 1: Introduction to Embodied Inquiry, with Dr Nicole Brown

The aim of this session is to provide delegates with an introduction to Embodied Inquiry, a form of research that puts the body in the centre of an investigation. In this interactive workshop delegates will learn about the theoretical grounding of Embodied Inquiry and experience practical elements of how researchers may attend to the body as a focus of an investigation.

The continuum of Embodied Inquiry considers lived experiences, the researcher's body in the field, the body as a communicator and/or the body in interaction. This exploration is set within a framework grounded in phenomenology, hermeneutics and the three cornerstones of human communication: that human understanding is embodied, that language is inaccurate and insufficient and that communication and understanding are metaphorical. The focus of Embodied Inquiry therefore lies in the attempt to overcome and transcend the linguistic boundaries of research by drawing on a wide range of resources such as walking interviews, mapping, model-making, arts-workshops and the like.

Session 2: Using Visual Methods in Research Practice and Dissemination, with Dr Kate Carruthers Thomas

In this presentation I’ll consider a range of visual methods in research practice and research dissemination and explore their potential for creative, affective and effective scholarship.  How can the visual be used in processes of data collection, analysis and presentation?  What do these methods bring to research practice and to the communication of research findings?  In the presentation I’ll also reflect on the experience of developing a practice of graphic social science and how this has shaped my academic identity.

Who is the session for?

This event is designed for those who wish to explore their preconceptions about approaches to research in an open and non-judgmental forum. The NTRMN, supported here by SRHE, actively works to create an inclusive and non-judgemental space that welcomes contributions from higher education researchers and practitioners from any stage of their career, and from any field of practice.  



1:30 – 1:45

Welcome from SRHE & NTRMN

1:45 – 2:30

Introduction to Embodied Inquiry: Dr Nicole Brown

Ten minute break

2:40 – 3:25

Using Visual Methods in Research Practice and Dissemination: Dr Kate Carruthers Thomas

5 minute break

3:30 – 3:45

Reflections from NTRMN and goal-setting for the Power Hour of Composition*

3:45 – 4:45

Power Hour of Composition

All registered participants will receive details to the recording of our previous event, SRHE & the Non-Traditional Research Methods Network: Part 1, ‘Being a Researcher’, held on 17 June 2022. We encourage you to view this recording should you wish to familiarise yourself with the rationale, aims, and possibilities of the NTRMN prior to engaging with this event, but it is not a prerequisite to attending and participating fully on 7th October.

The 'Power Hour of Composition' is inspired by the 'Power Hour of Writing' model developed by Stephanie Zihms and Claire Mackie. To find out more about this model, please click here to view their website.

Speaker & facilitator biographies

Dr Nicole Brown is Director of Social Research & Practice and Education Ltd and Associate Professor at University College London. Nicole’s research interests relate to physical and material representations of experiences, the generation of knowledge and use of metaphors to express what is difficult to express, and more generally, research methods and approaches to explore identity and body work. Her books include Lived Experiences of Ableism in Academia: Strategies for Inclusion in Higher Education, Ableism in Academia: Theorising Experiences of Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses in Higher Education, Embodied Inquiry: Research Methods, and Making the Most of Your Research Journal. Her next book is Photovoice, Reimagined. Nicole's creative nonfiction has been published in the Journal of Participatory Research Methods, So Fi Zine and The AutoEthnographerShe tweets as @ncjbrown and @AbleismAcademia.

Dr Kate Carruthers Thomas is a Senior Research Fellow at Birmingham City University; an academic, artist and author.  Her research is focused on gendered issues in contemporary higher education and over the past four years she has developed a practice of graphic social science, using a range of visual methods as research tools and in dissemination.  These include mapping, illustration and the graphic novel.  Kate has worked in UK higher education for over twenty years, initially as a widening participation programme manager prior to completing her PhD (2016) at Birkbeck, University of London and moving to Birmingham City University as a Research Fellow and Athena Swan Project Manager.  She can be contacted at and @drkcarrutherst.

Dr Jacquie Ridge is a Registered Nurse, and a Senior Lecturer within the Field of Nursing at the University of Northampton, UK where she also received a Doctor of Philosophy investigating Professional Identity in Adult Nursing in 2020. Her research interests being professional identity, its legitimacy and authenticity, derived from doctoral research investigated using Visual Grounded Theory. Her methodological interests are qualitative, specifically Grounded Theory and Visual Research. She is in the process of disseminating her findings through publication, alongside application to nursing curriculum.

Dr Harriet Richmond is the Organisation Development Consultant at the University of Warwick, with responsibility for staff researcher development. Harriet received a PhD in Drama from the University of Birmingham, UK in 2019. Her thesis examines the relationship between theatre design education, design and scenography practice and emergent professional identities of theatre designers by reconstructing the curriculum and pedagogy of the Motley Theatre Design Course, using novel research methods. Harriet’s research interests are the formation and development of professional identities, explored through creative research methods, including photo and object elicitation, and collage.

October 7th, 2022 from  1:30 PM to  4:45 PM
Online event - link will be provided
United Kingdom
Event Fee(s)
Event Fee(s)
Member Price £0.00
Guest Price £75.00
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