SWDTP Webinar: The Impact of Conducting Sensitive Research Online: Before, During and After COVID-19

Many social scientists conduct research on sensitive or even traumatic topics, but the effects of this work on researchers are rarely discussed. The SWDTP have put together a webinar to discuss this impact. This webinar has been filmed and put on youtube and is accessible on this page.

In this webinar, Emma Williamson and Alison Gregory will draw on their extensive experience of undertaking research prior to and since the pandemic, noting some of the challenges they have encountered and suggesting practical coping solutions to employ.

Their primary focus will be Gender Violence Research, but the webinar will be relevant to anyone whose research involves sensitive topics and working with vulnerable groups.

About the Speakers:

Emma Williamson: Reader in Gender Based Violence

Emma heads up the Centre for Gender and Violence Research, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol.

Emma has 25 years of research experience working in the area of gender-based violence in the UK and overseas. Her research topics include health, law, social policy, and service interventions.

Emma also has a keen interest in research ethics and has published widely on this topic. She is the current Faculty Research Ethics Officer and Chair of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law Research Ethics Committee.


Alison Gregory: Research Fellow (Traumatised and Vulnerable Populations) Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol

Alison’s research is in Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA), including its impacts on people’s health and wellbeing, and how professionals can best respond to support survivors, their children, and those providing informal support (friends, family members, neighbours and colleagues).

Alison’s research has expanded to include work on rape and sexual assault, older survivors of abuse and violence, and vicarious trauma in researchers. Alison works closely with DVA specialist organisations, practitioners, and commisioners of DVA services.