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Past event

Independent Researchers’ Forum Annual Meeting

Join the Independent Researchers’ Forum annual meeting to network with colleagues, learn about the activities of the SIG over the last year and plans for 2021. This meeting is open to Non Members to also attend.

This meeting will be hosted on Zoom, where you will have the opportunity to network and speak to other members. You must register via this page to receive the zoom link the day before the meeting.

A useful and relevant document can be found here

If you cannot attend, you can still comment. You are always welcome to email for more information and tell your co-convenors and BERA what you think is useful as a future model for the IRF. Your comments will be included in the meeting.

In late 2019 BERA began a review of the SIGs structure. There are more than 30 SIGs but they are all different. For the IRF, it has always been our aim to be inclusive of ALL the diverse groups of researchers within the ranks of independent researchers (Teacher researchers in colleges of FE and schools, educational technology researchers, retired and employed, contract researchers, those who run their own businesses or who work for charitable organisations – and more).

Independent researchers are among researchers carrying out innovative research. Thinking differently and pushing the boundaries can be tricky, yet inspiring.

So how best can BERA support independent researchers?

BERA is suggesting that a more level playing field for independent researchers is the way forward. Since the pandemic BERA have adopted new ways of working and held successful online meetings, and these methods, if retained after the pandemic, could really help independent researchers to develop opportunities for contact, making attendance time and cost-effective, and reducing isolation.

At the meeting on 21st May, IRF members will have the chance to consider and discuss options for models of working:

EITHER 1 adopt the ‘four nations model’ to share and work together

OR 2 organise using a ‘sector’ approach

OR 3 take an issue based /problem-solving approach (e.g. how can BERA support independent researchers finding a route to gain ethical approval)

The other item for discussion at the meeting on 21st May is to report progress and direction on a key issue affecting independent researchers: gaining ethical approval to undertake research. More information is to be found in this document


Profile picture of Carrie Birch
Carrie Birch, Dr

Independent Researcher at N/A

As convenor/independent researcher/practitioner Carrie aims to promote contact between independent researchers and to represent their interests in BERA. As regards her research Carrie has a commitment to social justice and to sharing the...

Profile picture of Agnese Zicari
Agnese Zicari, Ms


Born in Italy, attended part of her education in her hometown, where she was awarded with: an A-level ‘Maturità’ Scientifica’ and a BSc Hons in Pharmaceutical Sciences (La Sapienza – Medicine and Pharmacy Department). Subsequently,...

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