Participatory holistic methodologies towards sustainable transition


Participatory holistic methodologies towards sustainable transition

  • Lecturer(s) or Responsible(s): Ines Campos, Julia Bentz & Kiat Ng (CCIAM-cE3c)
  • Department Responsible: Departamento de Biologia Animal
  • Data: March 14th, 2017 to March 16th, 2017
  • Deadline for Applications: March 1st, 2017
  • Duration: 18 hours
  • Schedule: Tuesday-Thursday (9:30-12:30 and 14:00-17:00)
  • Nº (min, max) Students: 10-24
  • Location: Room to define, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande 1749-016 Lisboa


This course is designed for students with research interests in sustainable transition and participatory techniques. It imparts the students with a taste of research work through identifying research questions, formulating research structure, application of participatory holistic methodologies, and different communication forms and channels of research outcomes (i.e. presentation and publication). This course seeks to equip future researchers or practitioners with “why?: identified non-sustainable system”, “how?: participatory holistic methodologies”, and “through what form?: research structure, research paper writing and expression of ideas and results through forms that are natural for each individual – expressions ranging from visual art, dance, music, poetry, etc”. 

This course can have a recognition of 3 ECTs for FCUL PhD students enrolling in it as part of their first doctoral year.


Minimal formation (interests) of students: Curiosity about sustainable transitions, and interest in learning about conducting research using participatory holistic methodologies. 

Directed to: For (but not limited) PhD or Master students in disciplines related to Sustainability, Environment, Ecology, Multi-disciplinary studies, Geography, and professionals working in related topics

General Plan

This course provides an overview of sustainable transitions and application of participatory holistic methodologies as well as a brief introduction to structuring research and communication of research outcomes. Students will learn through lectures, alternative presentation methods (i.e. inspiring art/music/dance demonstrations by professionals), interactive sessions (e.g. games and role-play) and group work. Lectures will be given by national and International experts, in person or via video-conference.


  1. Sustainable transitions

Part I - Overview of basic conceptual framework

Part II - Challenges, lessons learned and good examples


  1. Participatory holistic methodologies

Part I – Concepts and research techniques

  • participatory action-research; and
  • participatory qualitative research techniques (e.g. multi-actor perspectives, stakeholder analysis, content analysis, interviews, participant observations, surveys, focus groups, scenario workshops, world café, participatory benefit-cost analysis)

Part II – Applications: bringing concepts and techniques to real life

  • interactive games and role-play


  1. Research work: “sprouting and fruiting”

a)      Sprouting: how to formulate a research?

  • Literature review
  • Identify research questions
  • Research structure

b)      Fruiting: how to communicate research outcomes?

  • Target audience
  • Different ways of presenting results (e.g. oral, visual, audio, etc)
  • Publication process: from journal selection to research paper structure to publishing

Time table:




Day 1

09:30 – 10:00

Introduction & ice-breaking

10:00 – 10:45

Sustainable transitions - Part I:

Overview of basic conceptual framework

(where did it come from, where is it heading & current growing pains)

10:45 – 11:00

Coffee break

11:00 – 12:30

Participatory holistic methodologies - Part I

Concepts & research techniques

12:30 – 14:00

Lunch break

14:00 – 16:00

Interactive hands-on learning: identifying non-sustainable systems with input from students and walking through 1 example from research structure to communication of research outcomes.

16:00 – 16:15

Coffee break

16:15 – 17:00

How to structure a research and publish research paper?

Day 2

09:30 – 10:45

Participatory holistic methodologies - Part II

Application: bringing concepts and techniques to real life (interactive games and role-playing)

10:45 – 11:00

Coffee break

11:00 – 12:30

Innovative approaches to participatory research presentation and integration of target audience groups

12:30 – 14:00

Lunch break

14:00 – 14:30

Introduction to practical session: groups, objectives, presentations

14:30 – 15:30

Group work

15:30 – 16:00

Short introduction to lecturer(s) from each group: objectives, plan & doubt.

16:00 – 16:15

Coffee break

16:15 – 17:00

Group work

Day 3

09:30 – 10:30

Sustainable transitions – Part II:

Challenges, lessons learned and good examples

10:30 – 10:45

Coffee break

10:45 – 12:30

Group work

12:30 – 14:00

Lunch break

14:00 – 16:30

Group presentations (4-5 groups; 20min each group)

16:30 – 17:00



Students fees.




Free for 1st year PhD students in the Doctoral programme in Biology (FCUL), Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution (UL; UP), Biology and Ecology of Global Changes (UL, UA) and Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policies (UL, Univ. Nova); 15 € for PhD students from institutions of the PEERS network (cE3c, CFE); 70 € for FCUL Master students and unemployed; 90 € for BTI, BI and other PhD students; 125€ for Professional and postdocs.

When the maximum number of students is reached, 12 vacancies will be available for non-paying 1st year PhD students mentioned above, being, by order of preference: 1) cE3c students; 2) Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policies (not from cE3c); 3) BIODIV students (not from cE3c); 4) FCUL students (not from cE3c); 5) BEAG students (not from FCUL).

How to apply

To apply send an e-mail to Kiat Ng ( with a cv, motivation letter and the following information:


Full Name:



Professional activity: Professional/Postdoc, BTI, BI (or other non-post-doc research grant), PhD student (with/ without scholarship), Lic. (Bachelor)/Master student

Academic formation:

PhD student of the 1st year of Doctoral programme BIODIV (FCUL/FCUP), Biologia (FCUL) or BEAG (FCUL or UA)?:

If yes to the above question, PhD student doing the Course to count credits for 1st year?:

PhD student of cE3c or CEF (Centro de Ecologia Funcional):?

If PhD student from another programme/centre, which: