Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Conference Announcement and Call for Abstracts: Authenticity to Action Conference, ‘Involve and Evolve’

I see that there is a conference coming up at UCLan in March though I am not involved in it. In practice, it may not be too late to submit an abstract.

“Conference Announcement and Call for Abstracts: Authenticity to Action Conference, ‘Involve and Evolve’

Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th March 2015
Samlesbury Hotel
Preston New Road

We are pleased to invite you to an exciting two day conference focused on the involvement of health and social care service users and carers in higher education. The theme of the conference is to examine critically the depth and sphere of involvement and to explore the impact that service users and carers have made to the quality of scholarly and strategic activity within universities.


A number of key issues will be addressed, including:

Innovation in service user and carer involvement
Positive environments and growth for service user and carer involvement
Successful service user and carer involvement
Strategic advantages of service user and carer involvement
The role of national regulatory and professional bodies – also panel discussion
International service user/carer models of involvement
Closing the gap – moving forward
Service user/carer knowledge
Embracing the digital environment
Researching service user/carer involvement in education
Concepts and contradictions ( e.g. authenticity vs reality, incorporation and co-option, self-definition ) -  also panel discussion


Conference presentations have been organised in a number of different formats to enable as many people as possible to become actively involved in debates, questions and interaction. Different types of presentation will include:

SHOWCASES – sessions that present the work of specific service user and carer involvement initiatives within Higher Education Institutions, health and social care practice and the voluntary sector. The emphasis will be on the practice of user and carer involvement its impact and outcomes. These sessions will be of 60 minutes duration and might involve a number of short stories that offer the experiences of project participants from various perspectives (e.g. users, carers, academic staff, researchers, students). Group discussion will be encouraged to explore, with presenters, possible solutions to key problems identified or discussion of strategy. The emphasis will be upon sharing experiences and learning from each other.

PAPERS – these sessions will typically involve presentation of studies of user and carer involvement in Higher Education. There will also be theoretical papers which present critical thinking in relation to key conference themes. These sessions will be of 30 minute duration, with time for audience questions. Paper sessions have been organised in groups of two that share common themes or address similar issues.

WORKSHOPS – these sessions will maximise audience participation. Alternately, they may focus upon key problems, opportunities or challenges within the field and attempt to draw out audience contributions to addressing these issues. These sessions will be 60 minutes in length.

The conference includes contributions and participation from all stakeholders:

Service users and carers
The conference is supported by the work of Comensus.  For more information visit the projects web site at

We aim to make the whole conference as interactive as possible and accessible to all participants. Participants have been encouraged to present their work and facilitate sessions in plain language.

Making the most of the conference
We wish the conference to truly engage and involve all the stakeholder groups. For this reason we do not want anybody to be excluded from making a contribution. If you don’t have a paper to present, why not think about facilitating a workshop to showcase relevant experiences We encourage all participants to present their work in an accessible, jargon-free format. We are particularly keen that novice conference attendees are able to participate fully in the proceedings. We welcome presentations and workshops that are led by service users and carers.

We are also planning a number of conference debates for the whole audience.  These will allow us to explore together some of the current issues and positions that impact on our work.  We will provide a safe space for full and frank open discussion.

Abstracts of between 300-500 words are required.  They should be admitted by email  The subject line of the email should clearly state Authenticity to Action, and you should state whether you are submitting a Showcase, Paper or Workshop. Please also send a short biography of authors.  All abstracts will be reviewed by the conference committee.
Deadline for abstracts – Wednesday 17th December 2014

To register your interest in the conference, or for further information, please contact Liz Roberts, UCLan Conference & Events

Email: Telephone: 01772 893809”