Building Robust & Inclusive Democracy

Participatory Action Research Course

The Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University is offering a summer course titled Conducting Participatory Action Research.

Outside Selfie of six students wearing matching maroon shirts

Course Instructor: Dr. Anjuli Fahlberg, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Tufts University and Co-Director of the Building Together Research Collective (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Dates: Monday, June 27 - Friday, July 1
Time: 1:00 - 5:00 pm EST
Location: Zoom
Cost: $500


As we work to address racial injustice and other inequities in the US and across the globe, we must establish ethical, inclusive, and democratic practices for conducting research on/with historically marginalized populations. In this course, participants will learn how to employ Participatory Action Research (PAR), an approach to data collection that emphasizes (a) the full participation and leadership of members of the research population in each stage of the project; (b) the co-production of knowledge between formal researchers and community members; and (c) collaborative social action that improves the well-being of the research population. In this course, we will engage with different theories about how knowledge is created, learn about the principles of PAR and how to apply them in a range of research projects, and work in small groups to workshop the application of PAR in participants’ own projects. Participants will leave the course with a foundational understanding of Participatory Action Research and a concrete plan to apply PAR principles in a specific research project. Researchers of all kinds and from all countries are welcome, including social science researchers, faculty, and graduate students in academic institutions, and those conducting research in non-profit organizations and public agencies. Upper-level undergraduate students with a specific plan to engage in human subjects research may also join.

Interested applicants should fill out the application form.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the course is full. Participants are encouraged to request funding from their departments or organizations. Limited scholarships are available to those unable to secure institutional funding. Apply for a scholarship.

Participants will earn a certificate in “Conducting Participatory Action Research” from the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life upon completion.

About the Instructor

Anjuli Fahlberg, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Tufts University and an affiliated faculty with the Tisch College of Civic Life. For the last eight years, Anjuli has been conducting Participatory Action Research in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she was raised. Her research is based in Cidade de Deus, a poor, mostly Black neighborhood often referred to as a “favela,” where residents have a long history of being studied, but are rarely invited to help lead the study. In partnership with dozens (sometimes hundreds) of local residents, Anjuli and a team of researchers and local residents have collected data on healthcare, education, housing, insecurity, resilience, democracy, governance, and the impact of the pandemic on the community. She’s co-authored reports and articles with residents and wrote a book about activism in favelas (forthcoming, Oxford University Press), which has had extensive participation and input from local residents. For more information about these projects, visit Dr. Fahlberg's website and the Construindo Juntos website (click on Brazilian flag in top left corner for English version). Anjuli also consults for organizations and individual researchers on how to employ PAR in their research. Before graduate school, Anjuli spent five years working with immigrant survivors of intimate violence and homelessness in non-profits in Massachusetts. The lessons she learned about collaboration, empowerment, and social justice have informed her research practices.