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CARN Conference 2014: Gateshead UK

Connecting Researchers,
Connecting Communities

Engaging with Action Research approaches in different settings.

Friday October 31st - Sunday November 2nd 2014

A Conference designed to enable exploration and understanding of our many different starting points. It will celebrate:

  • our diverse professions of health, education and community development
  • our multiplicity of roles as practitioners and academics;
  • our variety of regional and cultural locations;
  • our work with distinctive groups within our complementary practice settings

We welcome contributions from those working in and with schools, colleges, universities and vocational education; in health promotion, nursing and palliative care; in social work and community development; in workplace and environmental development - and in all other communities committed to improving social justice within our practices through Action Research.

We wish to include the voices of participants in Action Research who may not traditionally attend academic conferences and we have a limited number of Bursaries available to support attendance on the Saturday for practitioners and new researchers including service users, teachers, pupils, support workers, community activists, etc.

Keynote Speakers

Keynote Provocations will be presented by:

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Carol Munn-GiddingsProfessor of Participative Inquiry (Health & Social Care)

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John ElliottEmeritus Professor (Educational Research)

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John ElliottEmeritus Professor (Educational Research)

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Tina CookReader in Inclusive Methodologies (Community Research)

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Tina CookReader in Inclusive Methodologies (Community Research)


Submitting a Proposal

There are a variety of formats in the programme and we especially welcome contributions that are planned to include opportunities for debate and discussion. We encourage all forms of communication, participation and interaction with the audience. If the formats below do not fit your needs, please contact the Conference organisers for advice and support in your submission.

Seminar presentations include a 10-15 min. topical introduction followed by discussions within a 30 minute slot. Abstract for seminar presentation: 200-250 words.

A symposium consists of a number of presentations (between 2-6) illuminating various aspects on a common theme or project, linked by a "discussant" who conducts the presentations and then encourages audience feedback. Proposals should state whether the Symposium is to be 60 or 90 minutes. Abstracts consist of 250 words on the overall theme of the symposium and 150 words on each specific contribution.

Work-shops/round tables are small group forums for exploratory presentations of developmental work, research plans, professional experiences, theoretical issues etc. Proposal abstracts for work-shop/round tables should be 250 words, and each session has a maximum of one hour.

Poster presentations, exhibitions and performances Please provide an abstract giving a rationale for the presentation and clearly indicating the time, space and other resources required.

Practitioner and New Researchers' Workshops 1 hour Practitioner Workshops will invite 5 or 6 practitioners to highlight an issue or experience from their practice situation. The Workshop will be led and facilitated by an experienced and supportive chairperson. The workshops would normally be limited to approx 15 individuals

Indicative Dates

20th May 2014 deadline to send a proposal

20th June 2014 answer for the approval of a proposal

8th July 2014 deadline for early bird registration

Gateshead College

Gateshead College

The Conference is being hosted by the award-winning Gateshead College Baltic site.

Conference accommodation on the Friday and Saturday nights is at Jury's Inn, South Shore Road*, Gateshead (All rooms are double rooms for those who wish to bring partners).

For a map of Newcastle/Gateshead and the surrounding shopping,arts and leisure facilities for which we are perfectly placed, please click here. (The College and hotel are situated in G6)

Register for the CARN Conference 2014

Registration is now OPEN for the 2014 CARN Conference at the Gateshead College, UK, between the 31st October and 2nd November 2014

Pricing Information

Standard Prices

  • CARN members - £480 (Early Bird Rate before 8th July £430)
  • Non CARN members - £530 (Early Bird Rate before 8th July £480)
  • onference attendance, arranging own accommodation - £330 (Early Bird Rate before 8th July £280)
  • Daily rate - £110
  • Bursary for Practitioners' and New Researchers' Conference attendance on Saturday - please apply for Bursary through website

The conference fee includes two nights' accommodation at the conference hotel and the full social programme including the Reception Buffet on Friday and the conference meal on Saturday night.

We also provide lunch on arrival on Friday and before departure on Sunday. Refreshments are available during breaks throughout the conference.

The daily rate includes lunch and refreshments each day.

Organising Team & Contact

Charmian Wilby (CARN Secretary, ESRI MMU)
Contact :

Ruth Balogh (University of Glasgow)

Andy Convery (University of Sunderland)

Tina Cook (University of Northumbria)

Steven Fletcher (University of Teesside)

Killian McCartney (Newcastle City Council)

Conference Theme

The Conference themes are:

  • "Starting Out": Researching my own practice - challenges and opportunities
  • Engaging others to participate in change
  • “Starting Over”: What would I do differently next time in my action research?
  • “Am I doing it right?”: Reflecting on AR methods and methodologies
  • Ethical dilemmas; balancing competing demands
  • What does “collaboration” mean? How do we learn to collaborate?
  • What can I learn from approaches to Action Research used in different settings?
  • (How) Should we assess Action Research studies?

We invite contributions that explore all your engagements with, and concerns about Action Research, from initial ideas through to completed reports.

There will be dedicated sessions within the Programme for Regional Group meetings and also opportunities for meetings of Special Interest Groups across national boundaries (e.g. those interested in Palliative Care, Community Development, Inclusive Education, etc.)

Abstracts for Conference presentation, workshops, discussion groups, symposiums and performances will be required by May 20th 2014.

Social Events

Buffet Reception at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
October 31st

Conference Dinner, Live Music and Dancing
Music by the Redheughers Community Ceilidh Band
November 1st

A guide to a wide range of supplementary local events and amenities is available at

Practitioners' and New Researchers' Saturday Bursaries

Who should apply to join us for this day?
Practitioners and New Researchers are encouraged to apply for a Bursary to attend on Saturday November 1st. In the application you should state why you wish to attend the Conference. We expect applications from those who are not employed by a Higher Education institution. It is not necessary to present at the Conference in order to take advantage of the Saturday Bursary.

Would you like to share your interest in Action Research at the Conference?
Some Practitioners and New Researchers may wish to share their developing Action Research experiences by offering a traditional presentation (see Call for Proposals). However, other New Researchers may wish to make a brief contribution (approx 5 minutes presentation) to a "Practitioners' and New Researchers' Workshop".

Applying for a Bursary
To apply for a Bursary, please complete the form and forward to by 7th October 2014. Please note that Bursaries are limited.

Practitioners' and New Researchers' Workshops

What is a Practitioner/New Researcher Workshop?
1 hour Practitioner Workshops will include 5 or 6 practitioners presenting a challenging issue from their research interest. The Workshop will be led by an experienced and very supportive chairperson. The workshops would normally present to approx 15 individuals

Why offer to contribute to a Practitioner/New Researcher Workshop?
Because you're interested in research and are (considering) researching an aspect of your practice. Most practical research situations are problematic and you will benefit from sharing your experiences and learning from and with other like-minded individuals. This is an opportunity to begin contributing to the research world in a constructively appreciative environment. (And you can add this Conference Symposium presentation to your CV)

Will I have anything interesting to contribute to the Conference – I’m not an academic?
The practitioners' contributions are invariably the most interesting parts of any Conference, as you have grounded experience and unique perspectives of the challenges in practice. Your contribution will test current theory against practice, and may lead to new theory being generated from practice. You might think your everyday practice is very ordinary, but others will appreciate your insights as unique and thought-provoking opportunities to review their own experiences.

What form should my contribution take?
The benefits of contributing at a CARN conference is that you receive helpful feedback from colleagues that will assist you to focus your next research steps very productively. Consequently, if you could present 3 short statements :

  • Describe your practice context;
  • Describe what you are trying to do to improve your situation;
  • Outlining the key challenge(s) in your research.
  • You will then engage the audience with a real and immediate focus which will stimulate discussion. (Typical presenters might have 3 Powerpoint slides, but we welcome all alternative formats.)

Experience shows that if these key statements are circulated on one-side of A4, then everyone in the group will be confident that they understand your situation and can contribute usefully. This is especially helpful to those Conference participants for whom English is a second language.

Special Interest Groups

The Conference theme is “Connecting Researchers: Connecting Communities”, and making these connections involves meeting others with shared specialist interests within Action Research.

We will be creating a scheduled opportunity within the Conference for initial meetings of SIGS. On the registration form, we are inviting expressions of interest in establishing Conference spaces for additional interest groups, and will do our best to accommodate all requests:

We have these initial suggestions for Special Interest Groups at the Conference:

  • Vocational Education
  • Community Development
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Maths Education
  • Care of the Elderly
  • Teacher In-Service Professional Development
  • Youth Work
  • Palliative Care
  • Action Research with Service Users
  • Workplace Learning and Development
  • Classroom-Based Action Research
  • Health Professional Practice Development

Please email to add your suggestions to this list.

Regional Groupings

The Conference theme is "Connecting Researchers: Connecting Communities", and part of making these connections involves meeting others who may share local interests or a shared language.

Within the Conference Programme, there will be scheduled opportunities for Regional Groups to meet and develop links for further networking.

Several Regional Groups are already well-established:

  • Dutch-speaking Group
  • German-speaking Group
  • Spanish-Speaking Group
  • Nordic Group
  • New Zealand Group
  • Scottish CARN

Please use the registration form to suggest additions to this to this list, or email

Notes to Chairs and Presenters

We are proud that CARN is a truly global community, and are delighted to welcome all our guests from other countries.

The language of this CARN Conference is English, and there are no plan to provide interpreters, although please do contact CARN ( if you would like an interpreter or signer for your presentation. We anticipate that Regional group meetings will adopt an appropriate language.

We would ask all presenters to help ensure that those participants for whom English is not their first language can gain maximum benefit from the Conference.

Before the Conference, if your presentation is supported by Powerpoint, it is very helpful if you can limit the number of words on the slides to key phrases, and prepare 20 copies to enable all delegates to develop a working understanding of your issues.

During your presentation, please remember that some listeners will be translating as you speak, so a measured delivery with pauses and occasional restatements will be appreciated.

Following presentations, because it is more difficult to fully engage in discussions and respond quickly if English is not your first language, please invite initial responses from non-English speakers in the audience. This will assist all participants to contribute fully to the agenda for discussion (and encourage crucial comparative perspectives).

Please contact us at with further suggestions to ensure that all participants feel fully welcomed.


Travelling to and from the Conference
The Conference is at Gateshead College and accommodation is at the nearby Gateshead Jury's Inn. You will often see reference to "Newcastle/Gateshead" as these are adjacent centres separated only by a river (as in Buda/Pest), so we use the Newcastle Ferry terminal, Newcastle Train Station and Newcastle Airport for the Gateshead Conference.

Caution - There is a Newcastle Jury's Inn and a Gateshead Jury's Inn - we are staying at the Gateshead Jury's Inn!

Travelling by Metro
The "Metro" provides extensive transport throughout the Tyne & Wear area on a frequent basis. The nearest Metro stations to the Baltic Campus are Gateshead Interchange (10 minutes walk) and Central Station (15 minutes walk).

Travelling from Newcastle Airport to Gateshead College or Gateshead Jury's Inn
A taxi from Newcastle Airport to Jury's Gateshead is also about £18 to £20 - and takes 20 mins.
A single Metro ticket from Newcastle Airport costs £3.30 and takes 25 minutes to Gateshead Interchange

Travelling from Newcastle Central train station to Gateshead College or Gateshead Jury's Inn
The nearest station is Newcastle Central (around three hours to London King's Cross, one and a half hours to Edinburgh). If you arrive into Newcastle Central Station you can choose to either:

  • Catch the yellow Quaylink Q1 bus from outside Central Station £1.10 (about fifteen minutes)
  • Walk across the Millenium or Swing Bridge from Central Station (about fifteen minutes)
  • Take a taxi, approx £ 6 (about eight minutes)

Travelling from Newcastle Ferry Terminal to Gateshead College or Gateshead Jury's Inn
A taxi from Newcastle Ferry Terminal costs about £18 for a taxi seating up to 5 if you phone a taxi firm (15 minute journey direct to the hotel).

Using taxis
It is slightly cheaper if you phone taxis rather than taking one from a rank - and confirm the price on the phone. Our taxi-drivers are very good - it's very rare to hear of any problems.

Travelling by car
The postcode of the Gateshead College is NE8 3BE, and the SAGE building is a major adjacent landmark. There is Car Parking adjacent to the College, approximately £4.00 per day.


The Conference is at Gateshead College and accommodation is at the nearby Gateshead Jury's Inn.

Caution - There is a Newcastle Jury's Inn and a Gateshead Jury's Inn - we are staying at the Gateshead Jury's Inn!

Two nights accommodation is included in your conference fee, for Friday 31st October, and Saturday 1st November.

Booking additional nights' accommodation
If you wish to extend your stay, we have negotiated a number of rooms at a discount price for the Thursday October 30th at £65 and Sunday November 2nd at £55. These rooms can be booked directly by yourselves by quoting block code "CARNMM" when emailing Odette Lumbard: who will assist with any bookings.

International Advisory Board

Bridget Cooper - University of Sunderland, UK

Elisabeth Bergdahl - FOU nu, Sweden

Maria Flores - University of Minho, Portugal

Sigrid Gjotterud - Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

Franz Rauch - Alpen-Adria-University, Austria

Joe Shosh - Moravian College, USA

Jacqueline Van Swet - Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands

Lesley Wood - North West University, SA

Bronwen Cowie - University of Waikato, NZ

Graeme Blench - East Durham College, UK

Tina Cook - University of Northumbria, UK

Steven Fletcher - University of Teesside, UK