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Reflections on methodological tensions in doing qualitative research at the science-policy-community interface

Brennan, Ruth

Carrying out qualitative, participatory research at the science-policy-community interface can yield methodological tensions and present challenges for researchers. Sitting within the broader context of a long-running debate around the desirability of scholars’ engagement with the policy environment, the chapter conceptualises three tensions that emerge at the science-policy-community interface, between: process and outcome; engaged research and advocacy; and applied policy research and critical theoretical research. It calls for greater attention to the energy, skills and time it takes to forge the relationships needed to do impactful research and for wider institutional support for policy-engaged academics.

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