Decolonising Research Methodologies and Methods

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Keynote Speakers


Research Methodology Conference (RMC 2023) held in partnership with Birkbeck, University of London and Coventry University’s Centre for Global Learning (GLEA) on 16th June, 2023.

In recent years, the discussion around decolonisation of the university and of the curriculum has become increasingly widespread, following the “Rhodes Must Fall” and “Fees Must Fall” protests in South Africa, and the “Why is my curriculum white?” and “Why isn’t my professor black?” movements in the UK. The call to decolonise universities and to radically alter educational landscapes to reflect experiences and knowledge emanating from the global south is a crucial intervention in reframing issues of justice and equity in favour of global majority peoples in higher education. 

The question remains how in practical terms will these interventions shape how research is conducted, evaluated and published. What methods and methodologies will move the dial from reformist managerialism to liberation and transformation? This conference has provided a space for new and emerging researchers to envisage how the decolonial turn provides them with an opportunity to think anew about their research and its potential impact on higher education processes and practices. The conference has been a space to critically think about methods and methodologies that take us beyond the traditional educational spaces and which envisage new synergies between academy and community.

In an attempt to promote critical conversation around the theme, we sought contributions about but not limited to the following topics:

  • Critical analyses of the various forms and norms of decolonisation (real and imagined)
  • Decolonisation of research methodologies and methods
  • Methodological choices and challenges
  • Research design, methods of data collection and fieldwork and analysis
  • Ethical and legal issues
  • Digital Research, use of new technological tools and innovative approaches
  • Engaging marginalised audiences in research
  • Limitations and future directions

Addressing these challenges and opportunities, the RMC 2023 provided an important opportunity for established academics, early-career and postgraduate researchers from across the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, with the objective of providing a critical but supportive environment.

This conference has enabled participants to i) share their research experience ii) get feedback from their peers and leading academics and iii) develop their understanding of methods and methodologies in global contexts. Through the one-day conference, attendees were able to explore the current research trends, empirical, methodological, and ethical issues as well as challenges and opportunities.


Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7HX, United Kingdom