Discussing Failures in Participatory Research, with Lori Ross

We initially invited Lori Ross on the podcast to discuss the PEERS  (Peers Examining Experiences in Research) Study – a 2 yr federally funded research project looking at the experiences of peer researchers with lived experience in communities that face structural oppression in Canada, including mental health service users, people who use drugs, trans and non-binary communities, and racialized communities.  Not only was the project team studying peer researchers, but they employed peer researchers (as research assistants) as well. 

In our conversation, we discussed this research project, the findings of which are still to be written up. However, the conversation also revealed that the research team was concurrently studying what they saw as failures in the study while they were conducting the research, and that they plan to write up those reflections as well.

We’re excited to bring you this conversation with Lori Ross, the principal investigator, who shares with us some of the ins and outs of studying a process while simultaneously doing the work… and some of the project team’s insights into why their participatory research project experienced failures. 

Added to the experiential piece is their theoretical framing, which is sure to shed light on why participatory research conducted in the context of a large institution may indeed be “doomed to fail” when it comes to power sharing and other social justice aims.

[download transcript]