What is the purpose of this research?

It is to better understand what may be unique or specific to the experience of being a woman of Ireland and how Ireland’s past may have influenced or shaped the women of Ireland today. To achieve this, the study will:

  1. Interview women of Ireland to collect their stories, perspectives, experiences, insights and opinions on what is like to be a woman of Ireland today.
  2. Collectively analyse interviews with participants to discover shared experiences, opinions, views and perspectives.
  3. Review and examine existing literature, academic research and historical texts on the role, experiences, treatment, activities and views of women of Ireland in the past.
  4. Connect the findings of the interview study to the review of the historical literature to highlight areas were the women of Ireland today, may be impacted by the past.

Who is doing this research?

It is being carried out by Dr. Belinda Vigors, a qualitative social scientist and Irish woman. This is a personal research project for her, carried out in her own personal time and is not affiliated to any research organisations or funding bodies.

How qualified is the researcher?

Dr. Belinda Vigors has a PhD in qualitative (i.e. interviewing) social science research methods. She has conducted numerous research interviews over the last 7 years and has had this research published in peer-reviewed academic journals. She is has also been part of Research Ethics Committees within Higher Education and Research institutes, and so is familiar with best practice approaches to conduct research ethically and with care.

She is a very open and friendly person and her aim with any research interview is merely to create a space and give a platform to people to tell their story and share their points of view.

What does taking part involve?

If you choose to take part in this study, it will involve participating in a confidential research interview with Belinda, either virtually (e.g. by Zoom), by phone or in-person (not likely with Covid-19!). The interview is expected to take at least one hour but may be longer (e.g. two hours).

The interview will have an open format, where Belinda will ask you to discuss your perspectives on themes relevant to the research aims of this study. A ‘life history’ approach known as ‘biographical narrative interviewing’ will be used explore your life story and your experiences as a ‘woman of Ireland’ or someone who has been impacted by ‘women of Ireland’. You will be free to raise any additional points you consider relevant and would like to discuss.

What if I don’t want to answer some questions or talk about some things?

You do not have to answer particular questions or discuss particular experiences if you do not want to and can ask to end the interview at any time. You can decide to stop being a part of this study at any time without any explanation. You can ask, at any time, for the data you have supplied up to that point to be discarded and not used in the study.

How will the things I say and the information I give in the interview be used?

The interview data will be analysed in aggregate (i.e. all participants together) and all participants will be anonymised within the findings for inclusion in:

  • The writing of a book, which combines the interview findings with a review of the historical and existing literature.

Things you say may be quoted verbatim e.g. “When I was 12 I moved school and this really affected me” in the writing of the book. This is done to ensure the perspectives of participants are shared fully. However, your name or identifying information will never be used here – a pseudonym will be used instead unless you expressly wish for your name to be used.

In addition, the researcher (Belinda) would also like to document the perspectives of the individual women who take part and share this on public platforms. If you would like and with your permission, you also have the option for your interview insights to be reported individually (i.e. in a journalistic style) and for you to be referred to in this by name / initial / pseudonym / anonymously in:

Why will the interviews be recorded?

Recording the interview is really vital to ensure I (the researcher, Belinda) can concentrate on you and your story, rather than distracting us with taking notes. It also allows for the interview to be transcribed in full so that your important perspectives can be analysed in full and reported accurately. However, if you do not want the interview recorded, please just say.

How will the interviews be recorded and transcribed?

The interviews will be recorded using the in-built recorder on Zoom, if doing it online, or the in-built recorder on the researcher’s phone, if being done over the phone. Recordings will then be saved locally to an encrypted file on the researcher’s computer and deleted from Zoom. Recordings will by transcribed in full, by the researcher, into a text document and saved locally in an encrypted file on the researcher’s computer.

How will you protect my data and information?

Data will be stored on the researcher’s personal computer and OneDrive, encrypted and password protected. Any information that may identify the participant will be removed and will not be used at any point in the write-up of the study’s findings or in subsequent publications.

If you have any additional questions, please complete the form below and Belinda will get back to you