Professor Kate Reed (she/her)

Sheffield Methods Institute

Director of Sheffield Methods Institute

Professor of Sociology and Director of the Sheffield Methods Institute

Profile image for Director of SMI Prof Kate Reed
Profile picture of Profile image for Director of SMI Prof Kate Reed

Full contact details

Professor Kate Reed
Sheffield Methods Institute
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH
Supporting family bereavement - Meet Professor Kate Reed

Kate Reed is Professor of Sociology and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. She became Director of Sheffield Methods Institute in February 2022. Kate joined the Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield in January 2004, and worked with SMI from 2017 as Faculty of Social Sciences Director of Doctoral Programmes. Her teaching interests are focused in the areas of health, social theory and research methods. She has a strong interest in creative qualitative methods and is well known particularly for her work on sensitive research. She has written and researched extensively on reproductive health. She was the Principal Investigator of the research project: ‘End of or Start of Life’? Visual Technology and the Transformation of Traditional Post-Mortem funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. This project aimed to understand how bereaved parents, along with the professionals who care for them, both feel about, and experience, the minimally invasive post-mortem process. This project won the ESRC Outstanding Societal Impact Prize  in 2019. Kate has published widely in the areas of pregnancy screening, reproductive loss, gender, visual health technology and social theory. She also mentors postdoctoral researchers who are conducting research on various aspects of health and illness and are funded by the ESRC, Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness and the Wellcome Trust. 

Research interests

Kate’s research interests span several areas including reproductive health, gender, technology, social theory, and qualitative methods. Kate’s research has made significant conceptual and methodological contributions to the discipline of sociology. Her research also involves creative and interdisciplinary collaboration and has also led to demonstrable change in health service delivery and bereavement support. This is illustrated by the success of Remembering Baby, a touring collaborative art exhibition 2017-18 which was based on an ESRC-funded research project on baby loss and post-mortem. Kate also collaborates in her research with several non-academic partners, including the National Health Service (NHS), Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the National Bereavement Service. 



  • Reed K, Ellis J & Whitby E (2023) Understanding baby loss The sociology of life, death and post-mortem. Manchester: Manchester University Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Benzer M & Reed K (2019) Social Life: Contemporary Social Theory. London: Sage Publications. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Reed K (2012) Gender and Genetics: Sociology of the Prenatal. London: Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download
  • (2006) New Directions in Social Theory: Race, Gender and the Canon. SAGE Publications Ltd. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Reed K (2003) Worlds of Health Exploring the Health Choices of British Asian Mothers. Greenwood Publishing Group. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles


  • Reed K (2015) Racing the feminist agenda: exploring the intersections between race, ethnicity and gender In Robinson SV & Richardson D (Ed.), Introducing Gender and Women's Studies (pp. 133-149). Palgrave Macmillan RIS download Bibtex download
  • Reed K (2012) The body In Williams C & Evans M (Ed.), Gender: The Key Concepts RIS download Bibtex download

Book reviews


UKRI Research England, COVID recovery KE funds 2022, PI: Professor Kate Reed, Death administration post COVID: changing attitudes, policy, and practice, £23, 000  

ESRC Outstanding Societal Impact prize 2019-2021, PI: Professor Kate Reed, Changing practices and supporting parents for infant post-mortems (with Dr Elspeth Whitby and Dr Julie Ellis), £10,000

ESRC IAA Knowledge Exchange 2019-2020, PI: Professor Kate Reed, Co-I Dr Elspeth Whitby and Dr Maria Teresa Ferazzoli Post-mortem matters: challenging taboos and changing practice, £30,000

ESRC Responsive Mode Grant 2015-2018, PI: Professor Kate Reed, Co-I Dr Elspeth Whitby. ‘End of’ or ‘start of’ life? Visual technology and the transformation of traditional post-mortem, £314,000  

White Rose Collaboration Fund 2015-16 PI: Dr Zoe Darwin, University of Huddersfield. Identifying and managing perinatal mental health in male partners using the Born and Bred in Yorkshire (BaBY) cohort, £10,190

Foundation of Sociology of Health and Illness, 2013, PI Professor Kate Reed, Co-I Professor Susie Molyneux-Hodgson, Co-I Dr Inna Kochetkova (Co-I) The rise of the big machine: the role of MRI in health and Healthcare £2000

British Academy 2012-2013 Constructing the foetal patient PI: Professor Kate Reed, Co- I Professor Susie Molyneux-Hodgson £7,347

Wellcome Trust (2006-2008) Antenatal Screening and the Gendering of Genetic Responsibility PI: Professor Kate Reed £16,175 

Teaching interests

Kate has taught across several areas of sociology including social theory, health and illness, and genetics as well as on interdisciplinary faculty facing programmes including the MA in Social Research and Faculty of Social Sciences PGR research training programme. The aims of her teaching are threefold: firstly, to deliver high quality teaching, which is directly driven by her research, secondly to create teaching that will enhance the professional development and potential employability prospects of sociology and social science graduates, and thirdly to deliver teaching around health which has practical relevance for students beyond the social sciences. 

Kate’s most recent teaching has been centred around social research methods training on sensitive research. She delivers this training in various forms to SMI MA Social Research students, Faculty of Social Sciences PGR students and to PGR students registered across the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership (WR DTP). Kate is currently the MA Social Research dissertation module convenor and plays a key role in supervising MA Dissertation students registered on this programme.

PhD Supervision

Kate has supervised numerous PhD students on various aspects of health and illness and welcome enquiries from potential students in this area.  Her current PhD students include:

Macole Lannaman, Challenging racialised borders and boundaries in British Secondary Schools, Faculty of Social Sciences full Scholarship. Macole is co-supervised with Dr Jo Britton. He is in the second year of his PhD.

Kate Montague-Hellen, Watch and Worry? Understanding the experiences of people living with newly diagnosed, untreated, chronic haematological malignancies. Kate is co-supervised with Dr Abi Tazzyman. Kate is an ESRC +3 funded student and is in the first year of her PhD research.