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Pathways Workshop – Conducting Research on Sensitive Topics

Date - Wednesday, 9th May 2018 (10:00 am - 4:00 pm)

Conducting Research on Sensitive Topics

Date & Time: Wednesday 9 May 2018, 10am – 4pm

Venue: University of Sheffield, Room TBC

This one day workshop will be relevant for PhD students and early career researchers across the social sciences conducting sensitive research. This could include research on a range of topics including emotionally-laden subjects, taboos and political controversies, or matters relating to crime, justice and human rights. The day seeks to cover a range of issues from thinking through some of the conceptual and methodological challenges that we often face when considering research in sensitive areas. It will also focus on issues of dissemination and impact including how to communicate research findings in sensitive areas to different audiences.  The day will consist of a combination of formal presentations as well as practice-based activities.  There will be a diverse range of speakers covering a variety of substantive topics – including academic researchers at different career stages, colleagues from academic-related services and practitioners from organisations such as the NHS and police.


Dr Kate Reed is a Reader in medical Sociology and an experienced researcher in the area of reproductive health. She is currently the Primary Investigator on an ESRC funded project, ‘End’ or ‘Start of’ Life? Visual technology and the transformation of traditional post-mortem.

Dr Julie Ellis is a Research Associate at the University of Sheffield. She is a sociologist who has conducted research in a variety of sensitive health-related contexts. Her research focuses on social and relational aspects of death, dying and bereavement.  She is currently a researcher on the ESRC study: ‘End of’ or ‘Start of’ Life? Visual Technology and the Transformation of Traditional Post-Mortem.

Dr Elspeth Whitby is a senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield and an Honorary Consultant Radiologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. Her clinical practice and research involves Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the foetus (unborn baby) and neonate (newborn baby). She provides a national service for MRI of the foetus for pregnant women and along with her colleagues in Pathology, pioneered the world’s first clinical Minimally Invasive Autopsy service.

Lauren Bradford is an ESRC doctoral student in the School of Law. She is conducting research with surviving trauma victims, specifically those who are bereaved through homicide (murder/manslaughter), and practitioners from the criminal justice and voluntary sectors. Her research focuses on the interactional and experiential aspects of the homicide bereavement as a unique group of victims dealing with complex and traumatic death.

Travel Information
Students are responsible for arranging travel to and from this Pathways session.  The WRDTP cannot reimburse travel costs to these sessions.

Booking form coming soon!!

This event will be recorded and made available on the website.

Enquiry contact details

For all enquiries please contact Dr Julie Ellis, Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield, 0114 2226447 julie.ellis@sheffield.ac.uk.