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Information on taking part

Overview of the online event

We have invited people from across the whole country to come together online to discuss some of the decisions Britain is going to have to make about its future following the EU referendum. The aim is to understand what difference discussion and information makes to people’s views on a selection of topics – and to provide impartial evidence about what the public thinks to the politicians and policy makers who will have to make decisions about Britain’s future.

During the event, you will discuss things like how to make sure we have food that is safe to eat, how to ensure that shops and businesses treat their customers fairly, and who from other countries should be allowed in the future to come to Britain to live and work. You will get the chance to talk to other people and to quiz experts about what they think. All the discussions will be run by someone who is trained in ensuring that everyone gets the chance to have their say.

The research is being carried out by an independent research organisation NatCen, in collaboration with academics at Stanford University in the USA and the University of Manchester in the UK. The project is funded by a government body, the Economic and Social Research Council, which funds academic research in Britain into what people think and how they behave. The results of the exercise will be published in academic articles and books together with blogs and papers published on the internet.

Have I been selected?

We received a lot of interest for the events. As spaces are limited, we are not able to include everyone who expressed their interest. We will email or call those who we have selected to confirm whether they are still happy to take part.

Why have I been selected to take part?

We want to get an idea of what different people think about some of the important decisions facing Britain after they have had the chance to talk and think about the topics under discussion. That means we want people from all different backgrounds and all points of view to take part. Your participation will help ensure that the event is scientifically representative of the whole country. 

Why take part?

This is a chance for you to be part of ground-breaking research on what Britain really thinks about issues currently under EU regulation. The results of the research will be of key interest to policymakers when thinking about UK policy on these issues and about our future relationship with the EU.

Events of this kind have been held successfully across the world and on a wide range of topics.  Participants in previous events have found them extremely interesting and enjoyable – and we think you will find that this one is too.

What will I receive for taking part?

We would like to offer you £100 as a thank you for your time.

What’s involved?

We have invited members of the public to take part in a two-day online event. You can take part from the comfort of your own home: all you need is access to either a computer that has a microphone and a webcam (either built in or separate), or a smartphone, as well as a reliable internet connection. There will be three sessions of two to three hours in length held over the two days – with plenty of breaks in between.

Ahead of the event you will receive a pack with information about the topics for discussion which we will ask you to read before the day. You will be emailed a link and can join the event from whenever is convenient for you. You will need a quiet place where you can be by yourself and are able to hear and participate in discussions throughout the day. You will be sent a technical guide to help you to join.

Over the weekend, you will discuss a range of topics over the internet with a small group of other participants. The discussion will be chaired by a neutral, professional moderator. Each group will also get the chance to pose questions to experts who represent different points of view on the topics under discussion. At the beginning and at the end you will be asked to complete a short survey that asks about your views on the topics that have been discussed.

What is discussed?

During the event, you will discuss things like how to make sure we have food that is safe to eat, how to ensure that shops and businesses treat their customers fairly, and who from other countries should be allowed in future to come to Britain to live and work.

You don’t need to have any particular knowledge of the topics for discussion or have any particular interest in politics to take part. We want to hear all kinds of people. Before the event you will get an information pack that contains an introduction to all of the topics. During the weekend, you have the chance to ask experts what they think and why. You will be free to say as much or a little as you want during the discussions.

Is the research confidential?

We will not name you in any of our outputs and will aim to make sure that no one will be able to recognise you based on the information in them. However, since the event is a group-setting, other participants will hear any personal information that you share.

Where can I find out more?

For anything not covered here, please call 0800 652 4570 or email futureofbritain@natcen.ac.uk. One our staff will get back to you to answer your query as soon as possible.