Position Paper


What is the SHE Research Group position paper?

The position paper is the central document in which the aims, objectives, focus and organization of the SHE Research Group are decribed. It was ratified at the SHE Network Foundation (at the time for the ratification called SHE Network) assembly meeting 11-13 February 2009, Egmond aan Zee, the Netherlands.


The SHE Research Group is a consortium of researchers and research institutions in the area of health education and education research from a number of countries in Europe, linked with the Schools for Health in Europe (SHE) Network Foundation. Membership of the SHE Network Foundation is possible as SHE national coordinator, SHE regional representative or as a member of the SHE Research Group.


Currently the SHE research group consists of 65 participants from 19 European countries and one African country.


The coordinator of the group is professor Venka Simovska from Aarhus University, the Research Programme for Environmental and Health Education, Department of Education.


The main objective of the SHE Research Group is to support the development of school health promotion in Europe by stimulating, facilitating and coordinating conceptual, theoretical and empirical research.


The aims of the SHE Research Group are twofold:


a) Facilitating and coordinating research and contributing to conceptual development as well as research-based evidence for the schools for health approach across Europe.This will be done in different ways, e.g. through joint research projects among several partners in the research group; through sharing ongoing research, that is, creating a research data base on schools for health approach. Furthermore, specific research projects and systematic reviews can be planned and conducted in partnership with tjhe SHE Board, or any of the national SHE coordinators interested in researching a particular topic.


b) Research capacity building, stimulating research, and consultancy for the SHE members, in collaboration with the SHE Board. This will be done through research workshops, seminars, summer schools and consultancy for PhD students, researchers in SHE Research Group and SHE coordinators. Furthermore, members of the SHE Research Group can provide experts that can form a scientific committee for conferences and other events within the SHE Network Foundation. These events could be at international, national or regional level, depending on the needs and priorities.

Research area and issues

The main overall research area is health education and health promotion in schools, with particular focus on the health-promoting schools approach. Additionally, the research will aim to link health topics (e.g. healthy eating, physical activity, and substance use in schools, etc.) with the whole-school approach to health promotion, focus on health-determinants, holistic view of health and health inequalities.


Main principles underpinning the research agenda are the SHE core values (equity, sustainability, inclusion, empowerment and action competence, democracy) and SHE pillars (whole school approach to health, participation, school quality, evidence, schools and communities) which will be operationalised in specific research issues.


The research group operates through a core research group and specific teams.

Full position paper


Anette Schulz, SHE secretariat, UCS (ansc@ucsyd.dk)
Venka Simovska (vs@dpu.dk) Research Programme for Health and Environmental Education, Department of Education, Aarhus University, Copenhagen, Denmark


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