1 Collaborate – Think Critically: Learn from researchers who have been in your shoes – use their examples and experiences to explore how their ‘lessons learned’ can improve your own research approach. Take it one step further with additional thought-provoking questions online.

19.1 Thinking about the needs of your respondents

In Chapter 5, I discussed Phillipa Chantry’s research project on the experiences of women from low socio-economic backgrounds mothering children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I suggested that she spend a few days with these women, joining in their activities from managing their children at home, shopping, school runs and interactions with teachers, welfare agencies etc. That way, not only would she gain valuable real-time data but she could be of use to these women rather than simply use them for her Ph.D.

Consider whether there are any ways your research can be helpful to participants.

For Phillipa’s project, the suggestion was that she directly help participants with their daily activities – would you approach it in this way? Could your research benefit participants less directly?