This is the website for the International Network of Co-operative Inquirers!

We are a group of people from all around the world who are interested in undertaking research using Co-operative Inquiry. We come from Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand and USA, and we have a range of qualifications including social work, teaching, philosophy, science, geography and psychology.

Our History

In 2013 John Healy, Cass Hearn and Monica Short conducted a co-operative inquiry on the topic of believing in students living with disabilities. Since that first project many years ago, the group has grown, and we have now produced more than 30 education, health or human-service related projects and publications using the co-operative inquiry methodology.

Who are we?

The International Network of Co-operative Inquirers (INCInq) is a group of individuals from industry and academia collaborating to investigate a range of topics in the social work and human services fields by writing with people rather than about people. Find out more about the team on Our People page.

Each year we mutually agree on our fields of investigation. One of our goals is to turn practice wisdom into theory, and then share this publicly. We strive to collect a spectrum of thinking about the intersection between industry and academia rather than consensus. All ideas count. Difference and diverse thinking are embraced. We do not shy away from the hard thinking regarding the field being researched.

Some of the areas we explore:
* Investigating the intersection between academia and industry; for example, workplace learning
* Exploring connectivity and innovations that we have experienced and which we perceive overcome complexities in the fields of education, health and human services.

Our Vision

INCInq is a dynamic research network. Our vision involves:

1. Creating and nurturing supportive, safe and inclusive research environments and inquiry opportunities where questions can be answered and professional wisdom shared.

2. Educating people in the co-operative inquiry methodology and growing the network.

3. The generation and regeneration of researchers in industry and academia.

This document presents this vision in detail. You can access the document through this link

Interested in joining the group?

Our principles

  • Collaborative process:
    Supportive rather than competitive approach to research. We aim to research with people rather than about people.
  • No guilt research:
    We are all busy, and as a result, our inquiries are flexible, fitting around our commitments. We do what we can when we can as often as we can. Every fifteen minutes counts and four fifteen minutes is an hour. We each try and do something towards the project most weeks.
  • A soft and gentle entry to research:
    Power is shared, the principle of social justice is upheld, and inclusion and diversity of thinking are embraced. Everyone’s writing is good enough. The aim is to grow our research skills together, to produce publications and other research outputs, and to expand our professions’ knowledge base regarding the connections between community, industry and academia. Everyone involved in an inquiry has the power to generate projects, data, analysis and conclusions.
  • Everyone who writes is an author:
    All views about the fields that we investigate are respected. We are a research community writing together and co-operative inquiry provides rigor and structure to our collective writing experience. Authorship is in order of merit, decided by the number of hours contributed and is collectively decided. The person who writes the most is first author, the second amount second author etc. The last author might be decided for other reasons.
  • Time to research: We enjoy the research process and take the time needed to generate trustworthy and original knowledge and answers to questions in the fields of education, health and human services.

How much time will it take?

The group usually meets online via Zoom for an average of one hour every month. This is guilt-free research – every member of the team contributes as much as they can when they can.

How do we communicate?

We are a large group of colleagues located across the globe. We primarily communicate virtually and conversations are primarily shared using Google docs and Zoom.

How to find out more about INCInq?

For more information, please contact the facilitator and coordinator of INCInq, Dr Monica Short, via the contact form below. Monica’s contact details can also be found on the Charles Sturt University, Australia, website.

Our supporting partners

We thank the University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH), Sydney University, Australia for their support of our previous student-led rural focused research inquiries.


2023 Research Achievement Award (Achievement in Research about Collaborations between Communities and Education Providers in Work-Integrated Learning in Community Services, Human Services or Social Work)
Award Winner:
– Dr. Erica Russ
– Dr. Louise Whitaker
– Robyn Fitzroy
– Dr. Carmel Halton
– Joanne Rose
– Dr. Scott Gartshore
– Dr. Louise Morley
– Peter Hawkins
– Pearle Doyle
– Dr. Nicola Ivory
– Emma Pascoe
– Kim Doyle
– Dr. Monica Short
Theme: Being Global, Regional & Local in Education in Australasia and the Pacific

2022 Learning, Teaching & Assessment Enhancement Fund, University College Cork (Teaching Award)
Award Winners:
– Carmel Halton
– Joanne Rose

2021 Anglicare Australia National Awards
Award Winners:
– Dr. Louise Whitaker, INCInq member, Southern Cross University
– Dr. Mandy Hughes, Southern Cross University
– Dr. Barbara Rugendyke, Southern Cross University
Recipient of the Excellence award at the 2021 Anglicare Australia National Awards for the development of an online toolkit to empower front line workers and members of the community to promote the social inclusion of people from marginalised and disadvantaged backgrounds.
View the toolkit at:

2020 Field Education-University Collaboration Award:
Award Winner – Dr. Monica Short, Charles Sturt University