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International Research Project Opportunity

  • 1.  International Research Project Opportunity

    Posted 03-09-2023 08:24

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm a member of ACUI Region VIII, based in the UK. I'm carrying out my PhD research project into partnerships between students' unions and their institutions. As part of that I'm conducting some comparative international research using UK and US case studies. I'm currently looking for some interested US unions to act as case studies in that project. It isn't onerous for the unions involved and you'll be able to demonstrate your commitment to partnership and get a report of the outcomes of the project that you can share with your institutions. Would anyone be interested in taking part? You can either respond to the thread or email me directly on the email below. You can find more details in this formal invitation letter:

    My name is Matthew and I am a doctoral student in the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK. I would like to invite you to participate in a study entitled Talking at cross-purposes? A comparative case study exploring stakeholder perceptions of partnerships between students' unions and higher education institutions. This study aims to explore student and staff perspectives on building effective partnerships, what works and what doesn't. It also explores practitioner perspectives about how effectively your current organisational partnerships are operating and why.

    The research itself is exploring the issue of partnership between students' unions and higher education institutions. Participation involves sharing a modest sample of relevant documentation, where this exists and is not already publicly available, including strategic plans, partnership agreements and documentation relating to professional standards for university and union employees. This documentation will be anonymised as part of my work. Despite this it may be possible for readers to identify an institution based on any extracts quoted in my work. While the risk is limited, participants should therefore be aware that this poses some minor institutional risk.

    Participants will be drawn from three categories (elected student officers, career staff from students' unions and the senior university leader who acts as the liaison with the students' union). Selected individuals will be asked to take part in a semi-structured interview lasting between 30-60 minutes. Institution's participating in the research will be provided with full copies of the final thesis, as well as a single summary report for institutions; if they wish to benefit from this. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have about the project. I looked forward to working with you over the coming months.

    For additional details of the study and to provide consent if you choose to participate, please read the attached forms carefully and feel free to ask questions you might have. You can contact me with questions by e-mail at

    Best Wishes,


    Matthew Kitching
    Deputy Chief Executive Director
    Buckinghamshire Chilterns Students' Union
    High Wycombe