Call for Papers – Trust and Mistrust: Ethics in Participatory Research, Design, Democracy and Action

Call for Papers

Trust and Mistrust: Ethics in Participatory Research, Design, Democracy and Action


A *FREE* The Trust Map, Participatory Research Hub and EMoTICON event.


Friday 17th February, Lindisfarne Centre, St. Aiden’s, University of Durham, 12-5pm (lunch 12.00-1.00)


Aim: To centre the significance of ‘trust’ and ‘mistrust’ in participatory practices, public engagement and other forms of coproduction in and beyond the University.



  • To share diverse experiences of trust and mistrust in participatory research, design, democracy and action.
  • To inform public policy and understanding through broader outputs of The Trust Map and PAR hub.
  • To develop conceptual understandings of trust and mistrust in  relation to governance through the output of a Special



This event engages with and contributes to a long tradition of participatory and collaborative research in the UK. Recently, practices of coproduction between Universities and other organisations have been encouraged by targeted funding agenda. Simultaneously we see a growth in participatory approaches to public and corporate decision-making, service delivery, and community activism on a range of different levels. In part this shift is bound with an expansion of digital technologies that enable new forms of engagement; a localism act that (it is argued) helps individuals and communities feel empowered to shape their proximate environments; and enlivened social political interest. There are opportunities here for new (and already well practiced) ways of thinking and doing together. However, these practices in all their diversity carry a specific range of risks that require closer critical engagement. In some cases participatory approaches to research, design, democracy and action may be empowering and effective. In some cases what looks like collaboration may mask other flows of power. In light of this we consider the significance of trust and mistrust to an ethics of participatory research, design, democracy and action. The mediation of trust is a complex process and through this session we seek to explore the flows and legacies of trust and mistrust in practices of coproduction. The development and loss of trust may involve personal and intimate processes and/or may operate more broadly at an institutional/ structural level. We invite speakers and participants from within and outside of academia to share experiences with and reflections on the formations and mediations of trust and mistrust in participatory, collaborative and/or co-produced research projects.


If you are interested in attending this event please register through Eventbrite:


To speak please send a brief abstract or expression of interest to and before the 16th January. There is budget to support travel expenses for selected post-graduate researchers, early careers researchers and members of community groups. Please state your request and reasons for requiring funding alongside the abstract. Please note that lunch and bursaries for early careers researchers have been provided by EMoTICON.




Funding Call – EMoTICON Network

EMoTICON Network Funding Call

The EMoTICON Network invites proposals for small research projects (including pilots, feasibility studies and agenda development workshops) between the value of £500 and £2000 in the area of Empathy and Trust in Online Communication. It is envisaged that projects will last up to 7 months and will have a start date between 1st February 2017 and31 August 2017. A total amount of £8,000 is available under this call.


Projects must be led, or sponsored by, either a PI or Co-I on a currently funded EMoTICON project. Where a project is being sponsored by an EMoTICON PI or Co-I, then the sponsor must undertake to provide an appropriate level of mentorship and supervision to the researchers involved in the application.

• Projects must also include a researcher who is NOT a PI or Co-I on one of the currently funded EMoTICON projects.

• Projects must include researchers from more than one discipline.

In addition we would encourage applications that:

• Involve more than one institution

• Include non-academic partners in co-production of research

• Build upon ideas that emerged from discussions that took place at the EMoTICON/Digital Personhood Conference in Leeds in September 2015.


Eligible costs include Travel and Subsistence; workshop/seminar hosting costs; documentation costs; dissemination costs; costs associated with hiring modest research support (such as for the purposes of transcription, desk research, etc.).

Salary costs, institutional overheads and estates costs are not eligible for funding under this call.

Application Procedure

Applications should be no more than 2 pages in length (11pt; single line spacing) and include the following headings:

• Title of Project

• Names, job titles and institutional affiliations of all collaborators


• Project Outline (max 500 words) – this should include an indication, if appropriate, of how the project has emerged from discussions at the Leeds Conference

• An indication and details of any anticipated outcomes, e.g., grant application, paper submitted to peer-reviewed journal; proposed public engagement event, etc.

• Timetable of work

• A justification of resources (max 300 words)

• An explanation of how the project addresses at least two of the aims of the EMoTICON Network (max 300 words):

1. To widen the Network to include new researchers in the area of Empathy and Trust in Online Communication.

2. To grow research capacity in the area of Empathy and Trust in Online Communication.

3. To support the design and writing of new research bids in the area of Empathy and Trust in Online Communication.

4. To enhance public engagement, Knowledge Exchange and Impact in the area of Empathy and Trust in Online Communication.

In addition applications should include:

• A cv for each named applicant (max 2 pages, including a list of publications and other outputs)

• Where a project is being sponsored (rather than led) by a PI or Co-I from a currently funded EMoTICON project, a brief statement from the sponsor (max half a page) confirming their support and outlining how they will provide mentorship and/or supervision.

• Where an applicant is a registered postgraduate researcher, confirmation of support from their Director of Studies/Lead Supervisor.

Deadline for the submission of applications is 5:00pm on Friday 02 December 2016 and should be e-mailed to Sally Bellman at with the subject line ‘EMoTICON Network Bid’.

Assessment Process

Applications will be considered by an expert peer review panel and judged on the excellence of the research, proposed outputs and relevance to the call. Outcomes will be notified at the beginning of January 2016.


RCUK GCRF call for evidence launched

The RCUK GCRF Call for Evidence has been launched and is now available via the RCUK website:

RCUK is seeking inputs from individuals and institutions across all academic disciplines, non-governmental organisation and industrial sectors both in and outside of the UK.

The results from the survey will be reviewed alongside feedback from the Town Meetings. RCUK will share a short summary of evidence we have collected and outline how that has informed our strategy in the autumn.

This call for evidence forms part of a broader programme of strategic engagement activities taking place under the GCRF programme. RCUK will be running focus groups later this year and opening a Call for Ideas early next year to generate priority themes within each challenge.

The survey closes at 16.00 on 22 August.

Call for Postgraduate Researchers: Empathy, Trust, Mental Health and Digital Technologies Postgraduate Workshop

Are you a Master’s or Doctoral researcher based in the UK or EU, with an interest or passion for the relationship between empathy, trust, mental health and technology? If so, we would love you to apply for our workshop to be held in Leeds, UK, on the 16th June, 2016. We will even pay towards your travel and overnight accommodation to come and take part!

Key information:

Deadline for applications (link below): 5pm, 27th May 2016

Notifications of acceptance: 3rd June 2016

Date of workshop: 16th June 2016 (optional to attend on the 17th June also)

Venue of workshop: The Edge, Sheffield University

The EMoTICON Network invites postgraduate researchers to participate in a one-day workshop exploring issues of empathy, trust, digital technologies and mental health. The workshop is being held as part of a two-day event for the

EMoTICON (Empathy and Trust in Communications Online:, Digital Personhood ( and Social Computing and Mental Health Research Networks (, where the postgraduate researchers will have the opportunity to share their own research in the form of a poster, as well as take part in workshop and networking activities.

The aim of the workshop is three-fold:

* To provide an opportunity for postgraduate researchers who are early in their career to meet with more senior members of the UK research community who have a shared interest in empathy, trust, mental health and technology.

* To promote interdisciplinary discussion, dialogue and collaborative exploration around future challenges related to empathy and trust for individuals and societies.

* To allow postgraduates to share their research with other researchers – be this the findings of their research, early insights coming from their work, or the questions, challenges and problems that motivate their work.

We are making our call for applicants open to researchers from any disciplinary background – the only requirement is that applicants are currently registered as a postgraduate student and actively conducting research that is broadly relevant to issues of empathy, and/or trust, and/or mental health and digital technology.

If selected, you would be expected to attend a PGR workshop on the Thursday (16th) morning, and have the option to present a poster at the evening meal. PGRs are also encouraged to stay for the network workshop and networking event on the 17th June, with the event finishing no later than 2:45pm.

We will pay towards your travel (standard class return rail fare or coach travel) and overnight accommodation in Leeds for the evening before and/or after the workshop will be arranged for you. We will provide refreshments throughout the day and dinner on the evening of the workshop. We will provide refreshments throughout the day and dinner on the evening of the workshop.

If you have any questions at all please contact Lyndsey Bakewell (, who is leading the organisation of the workshop.

If you would like to apply to participate, then please head on over to our application page (

EMoTICON Network Grants Awarded

The EMoTICON Network is pleased to announce that network grants have been awarded to four research projects in the area of Empathy and Trust in Online.

Dr Bruce Mutsvairo (PI), Dr Jo Briggs (both from Northumbria University) and Prof. Mirjam de Bruijn (Leiden University) have been awarded money for their project ‘Mobile Media, Digital Civic Engagement and Diasporic Voices: A case study of Zimbabwean immigrants in the UK’ (project website here)

Dr Phillip Brooker, Dr Konstantina Vasileiou, Prof. Julie Barnett (all from the University of Bath) and Dr John Vines (Newcastle University) will be funded for their project ‘Exploring the potential of software tools for facilitating online qualitative research in the area of empathy and trust: research challenges and opportunities’.

Prof Dave Boothroyd, Dr Dean Lockwood, Dr Rob Coley and Martyn Thayne, from the University of Lincoln, have received funding for ‘Cybernetic Subjects and the Mediation of Trust and Empathy: A Symposium and Leverhulme International Network Grant Workshop combined’.

Dr Aisling Ann O’Kane (University College London), Prof. Shaun Lawson (Northumbria University) Prof. Paul Coulton (Lancaster University), Dr Ben Kirman (University of Lincoln), Dr Conor Linehan (University College Cork) and Sarita Naik, (Diabetes Specialist Consultant, University College London Hospital) have been awarded funds for their project ‘Design Fictions to Explore Potential Issues with DIY Diabetes Technologies’.

Watch this space for further updates – many congratulations to all four teams of researchers!

EMoTICON and Digital Personhood Meeting, Leeds 9th – 10th September 2015



The joint Digital Personhood and EMoTICON Network Meeting took place on the 9th & 10th of September 2015 in Leeds, with presentations from Research Council staff, updates on the Digital Personhood and EMoTICON projects, and networking sessions. Project members, research council staff and postgraduate students came together for the meeting, which updated those present on the projects and sought to identify both research challenges and possible future collaborations.

For a breakdown of the meeting and its outcomes see the meeting page, here.

Empathy Conference in Prague

Between 7th-9th November 2014, the five projects funded by RCUK under the EMoTICON theme were represented at the international Empathy Conference in Prague, Czech Republic. Peter Bath, Jo Briggs, Shaun Lawson, Karen Salt, Aisha Walker and Mike Wilson convened a dedicated panel on the EMoTICON network and its associated projects. Although all the projects were at very early stages, we were able to present to delegates the key research questions, overall aims and research design that inform each project. The ensuing discussion and feedback was both varied and interesting and it has enabled us to raise the profile of the projects internationally and to extend our networks beyond the UK. Delegates at the conference travelled from all corners of the world and consisted of both academics and practitioners.

Meetings with Tristram Riley-Smith

The EMoTICON Network has now had a couple of very fruitful information exchange meetings with Tristram Riley-Smith from Cambridge University, who is the RCUK External Champion for the Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research ( ).

In November 2014 Tristram came to the University of Sheffield to meet with all the EMoTICON Project PIs, to find out more about our research and to let us know about the work he is doing with PaCCS. In May he visited Loughborough for a catch-up meeting with Mike Wilson, Network PI, which also included a discussion with Leanne Melbourne, a research intern working with Tristram on a study looking at the value of academic networks.

Tristram’s role within PaCCS has a particular focus on impact and knowledge exchange and he is very keen to help projects extend their networks with policymakers and other stakeholders. More information on the work of PaCCS can be found at and their twitter handle is @PaCCSResearch.