Public Involvement in Health Research – call for papers for an international symposium University of Sydney, February 21st, 2019

About this resource

Knowledge from lived experience, ‘consumers’, ‘patients’ and ‘publics’ is becoming increasingly part of not just the results of research in health but of the creation and interpretation of health research. This is part of a general movement to the validation – often hard won through the activism of users –  of lived experience in health service systems and policy. In research there has been a rise in ‘consumer-led’ or co-created research, as well as the institutionalisation of public involvement practices as a prerequisite for some types of public grant funding and to publish in certain academic outlets. Public involvement in research, viewed as an ethical imperative and ‘public good’ and best represented by the catch-cry ‘nothing about us without us’, is going mainstream.


In order to draw together those interested in critically assessing the parameters and limitations of this turn toward lay knowledge in health research we are hosting a series of international one-day symposia, the first of which will take place at The University of Sydney on February 21st, 2019. The Sydney-based symposium will involve presentations by international visitors from the University of Edinburgh and locally-based academics and community members.


We encourage anyone interested in the practical and theoretical practice of public involvement in health research to submit a 300-word abstract to present a paper or workshop at the symposium.


Please send abstracts and a short 100-word bio for each presenter to Associate Professor Jen Smith-Merry


Deadline for submissions is November 30th and accepted papers will be notified soon after.


A selection of presenters will also be invited to contribute to chapters for a book that will be developed from the symposia series.


People with a lived experience of disability, mental illness, caring or illness are strongly encouraged to submit an abstract. Please also let us know if we can do anything to facilitate your presentation at the event.


This event is funded by the University of Sydney and the University of Edinburgh through a Collaboration Award.


Symposium organising team:

Associate Professor Jen Smith-Merry. Director, Centre for Disability Research and Policy, The University of Sydney

Dr Ellen Stewart. Chancellor’s Fellow, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh

Professor Gerard Goggin, Department of Media and Communications, The University of Sydney

Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn, Centre for Disability Research and Policy, The University of Sydney

Dr Tanya Riches, Centre for Disability Studies, The University of Sydney

Cherry Baylosis, PhD student, Department of Media and Communications, The University of Sydney

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