Qualitative Messes: Realities of Documentary and Interview-based Analyses


Research & Valorization

Target Group

Members of the Doctoral Schools


The aim of the workshop is to explore the realities of doing qualitative research. Usually, conventional training on qualitative research would emphasize structure and ways to control the qualitative research process. Yet, when researchers actually go into the field to do qualitative research they find many challenges that sometimes are not covered in textbooks or mainstream training, including unexpected findings, political situations that provide roadblocks for data collection, or the need for unstructured approaches to make sense of messy data, among many others.

Following the workshop, all participants will be invited to join a LinkedIn Group that will sustain the experience of learning how to deal with qualitative messes online.  Employing a critical, reflective and art-based approach to learning we aim to build and connect communities of qualitative researchers that will develop important skills required to meet today’s complex social challenges.


This workshop will provide a safe space to discuss qualitative research in a critical way, where participants will not only receive advice on common challenges, but also will be able to share their challenging experiences.

In addition, the workshop will act as an exhibition space, where we will invite participants, as part of the activities of the workshop, to express visually their qualitative messes, by exhibiting notes, figures, or pictures that caused/represent methodological qualitative messes. The latter will provide a creative and reflective experience to UGent participants and an opportunity to share and exhibit their own qualitative frustrations and communicate physically the challenges of qualitative research messes, which force us, as researchers, to re-imagine initial assumptions.


  • Dr. Gerardo Abreu Pederzini, University of Kent.
  • Dr. May Seitanidi, University of Kent.

Plus Guest Talks from UGent Colleagues: Dr. Olga Petintseva, Dr. Mafalda Maia Pardal, Dr. Peter Stevens and Prof. Tom Decorte


  • Session 1: Introduction to the Workshop.

1.1.    Situating and Understanding Qualitative Messes.

  • Session 2: The Philosophy of Science of Qualitative Messes.

2.1.    Expressing Qualitative Messes: An Arts-Based Exercise

Brief Break

  • Session 3: Exploring Documentary Messes in Qualitative Research
  • Session 4: Exploring Interview Messes in Qualitative Research

Brief Break

  • Session 5: Sharing Experiences of Qualitative Messes
  • Session 6: Invited Guest-Experts from UGent will kindly share some of their experiences.
  • Session 7: We will share some experiences from UKent.

Time schedule & Venue

Registration fee

Free of charge for Doctoral School members. The no show policy applies: no-show policy UGent


Follow this link: https://webappsx.ugent.be/eventManager/events/qualitativeresearchunivkent

Please read the cancellation policy: cancellationpolicycourses

Teaching methods

Interactive seminar + assignments

Number of participants




Evaluation methods and criteria (doctoral training programme)

100% participation