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‘The Symposium has played a vital part in helping me grow in confidence as a researcher and academic, and in finding my `voice’. The atmosphere at the Symposium is collaborative and supportive where newer researchers are nurtured and encouraged, and has played a significant role in my own learning and growing as a PhD student.’
‘As an independent researcher only lately come to academia, the Symposium offers a supportive and sympathetic environment. Not many other ‘spaces’ are available to one who has no institutional affiliation and fairly limited access to the range of academic materials, which are the working tools of any research project.’
‘Receiving professional – and uncompetitive – feedback from peers, and lots of good advice from experienced members who have already published work, encouraged me to have a go myself. As a direct result, I have four academic publications out there already, and I am now concentrating on writing as my main occupation.’
‘The Symposium is a brilliant place of learning, care and compassion. We eat together, laugh together, cry together, pray together. We share theologically and inclusively the serious and sometimes painful aspects of the faith lives of women and girls, and others. There is a great deal of reflexive thinking and care, we know we are often walking on sacred ground as we discuss each research study; and those who participated, whilst not physically present, can sometimes feel very close.’
‘Attending the Symposium is a way of keeping in touch with a breadth of qualitative research on women's faith lives, including a variety of disciplines and methodologies. It is an opportunity to meet other researchers and its attention to process allows us to explore together particular challenges or emerging dynamics that we encounter in our work.’
‘Meeting on an equal footing, those of us a little more experienced in research and writing enjoy learning from newer conversation partners, while also sharing constructively in critical reflection as we work together to develop research skills. At each Symposium, I delight at the creativity seen in experimental methodologies contributors are checking out in the safe space we offer, and never fail to be impressed by members’ commitment to the research process, often in difficult circumstances. The welcome given to new members is genuine, and the celebration of completed theses and published works long struggled over is colourful – and loud!’