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Do I have to take part?

Participation is voluntary. A copy of the information provided here is yours to keep along with the consent form if you do decide to take part (you can download it at the bottom of the page and will receive a receipt of your Google Form responses). You can decide to withdraw at any time without giving a reason or you can decide not to answer a particular question. 

Basis for selecting participants: 

Participants can volunteer (self-selecting sample) to participate in projects. Some projects will be open to all students, others will be more targeted, and for these projects’ emails will be sent to the target population. 

What does participating involve? 

There are two ways to participate in this research. If on campus ipossibleyou can attend a Listening Room in one of our dedicated Listening Pods (or an alternative private space) at either Adsetts or Collegiate Library. These are dedicated spaces for you to share your experiences and for the University to listen; and are protected and private spaces. Off campus, you can participate in a virtual Listening Room online through Blackboard Collaborate. On campus, you and your friend will have an hour to discuss six (6) key topics, e.g., becoming, belonging, confidence, happiness, journey, and success. You will have a ten (10) minutes to discuss each card, before moving on to the next one.  This is repeated until you have covered all six (6) cards. You do not have to share anything you are uncomfortable with and can go as in-depth into the topics as you like. You may be asked to discuss the topics in a particular context e.g., in relation to your course. You may discuss the cards in any order. There are no wrong answers and everything you choose to share is valid. If you struggle to speak about the topics for the full ten (10) minutes, there are prompt questions to help you. Your conversation will be recorded. When on campus, you are expected to return the equipment and the data to the Hallam Help desk from which it was collected. All equipment should be in the same condition by the end of your session as it was at the start. 

Due to COVID-19, Listening Rooms are currently conducted off campus, online. If this is the case, sessions are conducted on Blackboard Collaborate. Once you and your friend have completed and returned your consent forms, you will be sent a link to join the session. You will be briefed by the researcher on how to navigate through the discussion cards presented on screen, and how to begin recording the conversation. The researcher will then leave the session so you can start your conversation.  

How often will I have to take part, and for how long? 

Your conversation should last for sixty (60) minutes. You will also be briefed beforehand (either by a researcher or via video) and will be required to complete a questionnaire afterwards. The total time commitment is a maximum of ninety (90) minutes. 

If you have already completed a Listening Room, but you see recruitment for another theme (e.g. Black History Month, or Pride) and you feel you would like to contribute, you may take part again, provided that this conversation is with a different friend. If you choose to take part in another Listening Room, you will need to email us ( to ensure the team is aware. If the project you are participating in is offering an incentive, this is so we can issue your voucher to you. You may take part in a maximum of two Listening Rooms per academic year. If you exceed this limit, you will not receive additional incentives. 

Are there any possible risks or disadvantages in taking part? 

During your conversation, you or your friend may speak about sensitive topics (if you choose), which could impact your wellbeing. You will receive a follow-up email, signposting you to free support services that are available at Hallam: 

What are the possible benefits of taking part?  

Taking part in the Listening Rooms can be a positive and cathartic experience, and it also gives you the opportunity to reflect on your experiences and development.  Many of the participants who have taken part in previous years have felt valued and supported when taking part in the Listening Rooms. You will have an hour to spend with a friend, where you can explore key ideas. You will have the opportunity to improve the experiences of students at Sheffield Hallam University. 

When can I discuss my participation? 

If you would like to discuss your participation further, please email 

Will anyone be able to connect me with what is recorded and reported?  

Any information collected that might identify participants will be stored securely and only accessed by the researchers, except as required by law. Transcripts and audio-records will be protected on a secure online server and stored on a password-protected computer, accessible only to the researchers. 

Consent will be sought from all Listening Rooms participants via a questionnaire. Your data will not be used in the research until consent is obtained from both you and your friend. 

An external professional agency will transcribe the interviews, store information securely and delete all files once transcription is completed. Participants will be able to review the transcript of the interview to edit or erase their contribution up to two weeks after data collection. All Listening Rooms conversations will be given a unique code and all identifying information removed. The transcripts are anonymized.  

To know more about your rights, read the University’s Ethics and Integrity and Privacy policies.

Who will be responsible for all of the information when this study is over 

The STEER team will be responsible for the information. 

 Who will have access to it? 

Key stakeholders will have access to the data, see the Round Table Analysis section for more information. 

What will happen to the information when this study is over? 

Data will be stored for at least 5 years following publication of results, after which it will be disposed of. 

How will you use what you find out? 

The findings from the Listening Rooms will be used at academic conferences and in publications related to the issues of students’ experiences. The findings will also be used to produce a series of recommendations, aiming to create positive change at Sheffield Hallam University and enhance students’ experiences. 

How long is the whole study likely to last? 

The Listening Rooms form part of how Sheffield Hallam University listens to its’ students on a routine basis. Therefore, the studies will run in a continuous cycle. 

How can I find out about the results of the study?  

Feedback of the study’s results will be given to you in the same way that we advertised the study, for example, via MyHallam. 

Details of who to contact if you have any concerns or if adverse effects occur after the study are given below: 

You should contact the Data Protection Officer if: 

  • you have a query about how your data is used by the University 
  • you would like to report a data security breach (e.g. if you think your personal data has been lost or disclosed inappropriately) 
  • you would like to complain about how the University has used your personal data 

You should contact the Head of Research Ethics if: 

Postal address:  Sheffield Hallam University, Howard Street, Sheffield S1 1WBT Telephone: 0114 225 5555