Dr Claire Cunnington

Department of Sociological Studies

Research Associate

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Full contact details

Dr Claire Cunnington
Department of Sociological Studies
Elmfield Building
Northumberland Road
S10 2TU

Claire joined the Department of Sociological Studies in 2021 having previously worked in higher education, the charity sector and NHS – all advice and support roles. She has a BA Hons in Archaeology and Prehistory, MA in Social Research and a PhD in Sociology all from the University of Sheffield. Her research, both in the present day and historically, focuses on adults who experienced CSA. Claire’s doctoral research contributed to the final report of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Adults Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse.

Research interests

2022-2024 – Nuffield funded project - Rethinking Domestic abuse in child protection: responding differently (R-DAC) – Research Associate

2022 – Research England funded film - Flow - Project Manager

Main Research Interests:

  • Inequalities
  • Intersectionality
  • Stigma
  • Childhood sexual abuse - both current and historical
  • Research ethics
  • Social constructionism
  • Qualitative methods including insider research
  • Trauma informed research

Journal articles

Research group

Associate Fellow of the Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters (SH+ME) project, Birkbeck.


(2022) University of Sheffield (Research England) QR Policy Support fund (£71,600)

(2021) Violence, Abuse and Mental Health Network ECR Bursary Award Scheme (£73 Conference Fees)

(2016) Wellcome Trust 'Society and Ethics Doctoral Studentship' (£83, 201)

(2015) University of Sheffield, Postgraduate Advantage Scheme with Rape Crisis Sheffield (£1,000)

(2014) University of Sheffield, Postgraduate Support Scheme (£8,000)

Teaching activities

She currently teaches sessions on strengths based approaches to recovery from childhood sexual abuse.

She is an Associate Fellow of Advance HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy). She has taught on the following undergraduate modules in the department: 

  • Social Divisions
  • Doing Social Research
  • The Sociological Imagination
  • Doing Qualitative Social Research
  • The Sociology of Evil
  • Perspectives on Inequalities. 

At a postgraduate level I have supervised Social Work MA dissertations and convened the Sheffield Methods Institute module ‘Introduction to Qualitative Research.’