How to work with Transition groups

There is great need for academic and action-based research projects that:

  • help share the learning from, and assess the impact of, the Transition movement;
  • are useful to the communities that participate in the research;
  • fulfil the academic research criteria to release funding for the work

Research Protocol – for Researchers wanting to work with Transition Initiatives

While we have collaborated with some brilliant researchers and research projects, we have also often encountered researchers operating in an extractive mode, making demands on hard-pressed and under-resourced individuals and groups without really thinking about the benefits their research might give back to the subject(s) being researched.  This approach does not do justice to the potential gifts that research can bring to Transition. We therefore encourage all researchers to try to identify and agree clear benefits that their work will bring for the Transition group(s) involved and also the wider international network of transitioners.


Researchers: Before engaging with any initiatives, please do the following research:

  • check the online Transition Research repository here.
  • use the initiative directory to find out which Transition groups you might want to contact – you may find information there that materially affects your plans.
  • draft up an outline proposal for your research to submit to the initiative(s) that clearly establishes:
    • the amount of time and effort that the initiative will be expected to provide;
    • the timetable for the process (remember you will almost certainly be dealing with volunteers who will be helping you in their spare time);
    • the benefits they’ll get from your research
    • the benefits that the wider Transition movement will gain (nationally or internationally);
    • when your work will be completed.
  • engage with the initiative(s) to negotiate the work and timings;
  • post your paper onto the Transition Research repository at “citeulike”.

The Transition Research Network

This network is building mutually beneficial relationships between transition activists and researchers. Details here:

The Transition Research Primer

Targeted mainly at Transition initiatives and other community groups, the Transition Research Primer provides an accessible overview of the potential benefits of working with researchers, along with common pitfalls and advice for successful collaboration. 

Download the Transition Research Primer (7MB) from the Transition Research Network site.

Version 1.0 of the Transition Research Primer was produced with the aid of a grant awarded to Transition Network by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and officially released at the AHRC’s Connected Communities Showcase in London on March 12th 2013.