Charity and Academia

Round Table discussion: Working with charities & 3rd sector Organisations


Working with charities or 3rd sector organisations is a symbiotic process – it allows us to conduct really meaningful research (for example through recruiting hard to reach populations or tackling actual problems out there), whilst simultaneously supporting and facilitating their goals. This work entails a strong commitment from both sides to ensure mutual benefit. It can be a truly intrinsically rewarding experience as we can foster collaboration with our external partners, see real world impact in their sector on the basis of our supporting work, whilst at the same time substantially contributing to the academic community and knowledge with applied research. Projects can be cocreated with maximum user/stakeholder involvement and incorporation of true lived experience. As such, this process allows us to draw out strong pathways to impact – a clear narrative essential in funding applications. Funding bodies and policymakers have systematically encouraged taking on and fostering this approach, some making it an explicit requirement.


Whilst it is clearly a positive undertaking for both sides, it can also be hard work taking up additional time on both sides. Researchers and organisations may have distinct motivations, goals and constraints within such partnerships, which sometimes require careful negotiation to avoid complications. External partners may be confronted with administrative and time constraints faced by academia – as we often cannot commit full-time and have processes to follow to conduct our research that may delay anticipated outcomes. Getting extra funding to support the projects, adhering to ethics, procedures and methodologies, and finally conducting research (especially without funding) to get the answers sought, all takes time.


In this session, we have the pleasure to host several of our partner charities and 3rd sector organisations to discuss their experience and lessons learnt from working and collaborating with academics. We will discuss advantages of working together and what could be achieved that otherwise maybe wouldn’t have been.


Questions to be discussed:
• What does your charity do/your work involved?
• Why and how have you worked with academics together?
• What were the advantages of working with academics?
• What makes university-charity collaboration successful?
• What are the key factors to foster mutual trust and understanding to positively influence the collaborative partnership?
• What has been gained by working together?
• What are the barriers and issues of working with academia?
• How could these be overcome?


We anticipate that this informal exchange of ideas will:
• Facilitate the understanding of the distinct perspectives on university-charity partnerships
• Offer advice to researchers at universities on how to build bridges, overcome constraints and maintain healthy and mutually beneficial relationships;
• Stimulate new approaches within such collaborations;
• Highlight the critical advantages and consequences of such collaborations to the applied field.

Tammy Clinton-Harris, Senior Service Manager of Living Without Abuse
Living Without Abuse offer help and support for anyone suffering from abuse, in particular families and children from domestic violence background.

Steven Webster, Chair and Founder of FND Dimensions,
FND Dimensions provide support for people diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) as well as carers, families, and medical professionals with a focus on peer and individual support sessions.

David Kosson, Professor of Psychology at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, President and Founder of Aftermath
Aftermath support the families and victims of those with psychopathy. Surviving Psychopathy is dedicated to educating the public regarding the nature of psychopathy and its cost to individuals and society. They support research that aims to: prevent or minimize the development of psychopathic traits, reduce the impact of psychopathic traits, and understand and treat the aftermath of psychopathy.

We would like to encourage attendees and presenters to donate some money to our invited charities who will partake in our Round Table Discussion via this Justgiving page:

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