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The nature of practitioner research: critical distance, power and ethicsResearching within one’s place of practice allows the researcher to have the unique position of knowing the participants and the research context. The relationship the participants have with the researcher will impact upon the disclosure of information differently than research conducted by someone outside the area of practice. This can be a benefit and a drawback for the participants, the area of practice and the researcher. However, as is demonstrated within this paper, the role the researcher adopts throughout the process of gathering information is not always clear. As a student on the Doctorate of Education programme myself, the nature of practitioner research and the complexities of this type of research is of great interest to me. Beginning to develop my own research project through this taught programme has allowed an opportunity to think through these challenges and wrestle with the complexity and contradiction, dilemma and incongruity which emerges from being a researching practitioner. Within this piece it is suggested that these quandaries can be considered from the perspective of critical distance, relationships and power and ethical considerations. The idea of considering these conflicts reflexively will be explored here. Although this discussion was not based on empirical research findings as such, it is anticipated that this piece will further the understanding of practitioner research in higher education from the position of being a student and through scholastic analysis of the Ed D programme providing a particular perspective on the nature of research.