Knowledge Exchange Workshop: Participant Engagement in Longitudinal Studies

29th January 2016 10:00 to 17:00


CLOSER, a consortium of nine leading longitudinal studies, thanks everyone who attended to the informal Knowledge Exchange Workshop, Participant Engagement in Longitudinal Studies, on Friday 29th January 2016 between 10:00 and 17:00 in the Woburn House Conference Centre, 20 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9HQ.

It was open to all interested staff who work for a study. The agenda was designed based on a survey that was conducted by study staff around the world over the summer about what they wanted out of a participant engagement event.

About the event:

Participant engagement is a major concern for longitudinal studies, however opportunities to share best practice and learning on this issue are few and far between. CLOSER sought to address this gap by hosting an informal knowledge exchange workshop on participant engagement for UK and international longitudinal studies.

The event explored some of the following questions:

  • What do we know about who drops out and who doesn't?
  • How is participation done in practice?
  • What is the best way of attaining consent?
  • How can we communicate impact and research effectively?
  • Online communications: what works and what doesn’t?
  • Are innovative methods of engagement effective?
  • How can we involve participants in study design & management?
  • Do incentives work?
  • How do we engage different audiences?
  • Next steps for future participant engagement training or events….?

Academic and professional staff with responsibility for participant engagement, whether at a strategic or operational level, were invited to attend. The objectives of the event were to share knowledge and innovative ideas in a relaxed atmosphere, discuss common challenges, and ultimately build capacity among study staff from both a top-down and bottom-up approach.

Please note that this event was only open to staff members currently working on a longitudinal study.


Keynote speakers included Professor Alison Park (CLOSER) and Dr Lisa Calderwood (Centre for Longitudinal Studies). Alison and Lisa gave an overview of current practice and what we know about effectiveness. It was followed by a case study presentation from the team at the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children.